With three generations of homebuilders guiding its path, De Young Properties continues to redefine efficient living.
ESTABLISHING A REPUTATION for innovation in the progressive California homebuilding market is no small task. Maintaining that market position is even harder.
But De Young Properties, established in 1974, has been able to benefit from decades of homebuilding experience, which goes back even farther, while continuing to innovate. Its new De Young SmartHome Icon Series floor plans are one example.
“At De Young Properties, we find that staying ahead of industry trends and always building towards the most innovative ways of constructing a home is a key selling point in our market,” Executive Vice President Brandon De Young says. “Our homebuyers are looking for cutting-edge building science and technology to save money while also helping the environment; De Young Properties provides that, and more.”
That’s been the idea from the beginning, he says.
“From 1974 to well into the next century, our team has focused on one goal: building homes that families will cherish for many years to come,” Brandon De Young says. “Our focus on the highest level of energy-efficiency is a key component to that goal.”
Maximizing and Transforming
If there’s a measure of how much the community values the strides the company is making through years of R&D, which have resulted in
innovations like a revolutionary attic design that affordably envelopes a home’s HVAC system, it’s in how they sell.
The launch of the company’s newest community, Sierra Crest in North Clovis in April of this year, provided a stunning illustration.
With the debut of the new De Young SmartHome Icon Series floor plans – a new approach to how new homes are built to maximize energy efficiency and comfort – De Young Properties was able to sell the entire first phase of the 39-homesite community, plus about 75 percent of a second phase, prior to the start of vertical construction.
“The De Young SmartHome Icon Series homes include leading-edge building science and technology further enhanced with a performance-sealed attic, advanced-framed walls and a SolarCity 20-year fully prepaid solar system lease, which make these new De Young homes unmatched in the market, allowing home-buyers to enjoy some of the most advanced energy-efficient homes available in the state,” Brandon De Young says. “Our goal is to never grow complacent. Our brand new Icon Series floor plans advance the De Young SmartHome, and the homebuilding industry, to a whole new level.”
The new attic design takes a home’s thermal boundary to the actual perimeter of the home, from the top of the roofline to the base of the walls.
That not only protects the ductwork in the home from significant temperature differentials, but the furnace and air handler as well, resulting in increased energy efficiency and comfort, Brandon De Young says.
The new advanced wall framing design and techniques include thicker exterior walls and more strategically placed wall studs to increase the amount of insulation for an even better thermal boundary, and as an added bonus, a better sound barrier from the world outside.
Through a partnership with SolarCity, all De Young SmartHome Icon Series homes come with a solar system included under a 20-year, fully prepaid lease.
“Since the solar leases are prepaid upfront for each homebuyer, there will be no worry about making the payments and homeowners will start saving money the day their system is turned on,” Brandon De Young says. “These efforts are just the latest innovations by De Young Properties to build the most energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly homes possible.”
As an award-winning homebuilder – honored by industry associations and voted by newspaper readers among the top three best new homebuilders five years in a row, to name a few recent recognitions – innovation has long been part of the Fresno, California-based company’s credo.
“De Young Properties has always been committed to work in harmony with the environment by building affordable homes that are more durable, energy-efficient and healthier to live in, while having a reduced impact on the environment,” Brandon De Young says.
Recognized as some of the most energy-efficient homes in the Central Valley of California, he says, each De Young home is certified by GreenPoint Rated, which gives homeowners third-party assurance that their new home supports energy-efficiency, sustainable building practices, indoor air quality and water conservation.
De Young Properties has also placed itself at the forefront of its industry by being the first to offer, and continue to offer, multiple homes designed to be zero-net electric, Brandon De Young says. The company also collaborated with PG&E to advance beyond Zero Net Electric to build the first zero-net-energy home in the area. The De Young Zero Net Energy Home supports California’s Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan that requires all new residential homes in California to be zero-net energy by 2020.
De Young is set to complete their second zero-net energy home, which will be known as Zero EnerG3, or ZEG3, in early 2017.
The company also remains the first to employ an electronically commutated motor (ECM), one of many EnergySmart features integrated into De
Young Properties’ homes.
“Not only does the ECM significantly reduce the energy consumed by our HVAC system, it is also crucial to our whole-home ventilation and indoor air quality strategy by bringing in fresh air from the outside to be filtered then disbursed into the living space,” Brandon De Young says. “This function, combined with a continuous fan exhausting stale air from the inside, creates a balanced ventilation system within the home.
“We are the only builder that we know of to use this amazing technology in our region,” he adds.
As a picture of the homes’ adaptability – part of the company’s aim to create homes that will last for generations – the new Icon Series homes will only require a one-step AC unit upgrade and solar panel adjustment for it to achieve the same efficiency as the upcoming ZEG3.
That lack of complacency outlines a path to continual adaptability and improvement, Brandon De Young says.
“With the introduction of the De Young SmartHome in 2015, we have once again set the standard for building science and technology,” he says.
“Every De Young SmartHome comes included with cutting-edge EnergySmart and ControlSmart technology and design, delivering exceptional energy-efficiency, environmentally-friendly features, enhanced indoor health, security, financial control and an overall improved quality of life while maintaining quality craftsmanship and true comfort.”
Those EnergySmart features are continually improved over time, which saves homebuyers money and reduces the carbon impact that homes have on the environment, Brandon says.