Deltec Homes Expands the Renew Collection with Three New Models

May 7th, 2015

We’re excited to officially launch three new models for the Renew Collection. The new models include the Aster, an 861-square-foot tiny round home; the Chestnut, an Arts and Crafts style home; and the Highland, a modern design.

deltec's tiny home, the aster

The Aster was created amidst the tiny home movement. Though it has an extremely small footprint, the large outdoor space and open floor plan make it very livable. The Chestnut is a craftsman-style home that offers that old bungalow charm without the inefficiencies. The Highland is the largest home in the collection with 1669-2170 square feet. It’s very modern, spacious and gives a lot of natural light.

The addition of these three models brings the total number of homes in the Renew Collection to nine. Each is designed to use two-thirds less energy than a traditional home and can easily achieve net-zero living. The pre-designed floor plans enable a faster and more cost-effective build. Our goal is to make high performance and net-zero homes more attainable. Eliminating the time and costs that go into designing a custom home is a huge component of that.

arts anbd crafts style home

This is the first addition to the Renew Collection and we plan to continue adding new models each year. “A lot of research goes into designing a home that performs on this level,” said Leigha Dickens, green building and sustainability manager. “However, we want to have models that appeal to everyone, so it’s a challenge we’re eager to take on.”

Download a new Renew Collection booklet or visit our website to view floor plans

From Deltec homeowner to Deltec employee

May 7th, 2015

As a seasoned Deltec homeowner and a relatively new employee at Deltec I’ve been asked to write about my experience. The first thing that comes to mind is the coffee. I’d much rather drink the coffee inside my Deltec home than inside the Deltec office. It’s obvious we don’t place nearly as much emphasis on the quality of our coffee as we do on the quality of our homes. If you’re thinking of touring our plant or meeting with your project manager, I would highly recommend bringing your own cup of joe.

In regard to aspects of my life that don’t involve coffee consumption, my experiences with the company have been great. I knew from my home buying experience that the staff was really professional. Everyone has been really welcoming and supportive. I doubt there are many companies around the world where people are so intensely focused and simultaneously so laid back. Like one might expect, most of my co-workers are professional adults who are raising families in homes they’ve lived in for years prior to working for Deltec. I came to work here with various qualifications along with the fact that I live in one of our “products”. It gives me a unique perspective as I’ve sat on both sides of the table.

The thing that is hardest to explain is how well my home “works”. I designed my home with help from Chad Moore (Project Manager) and Steve Linton (current President, former Green Building Manager). I was a customer who knew exactly what I wanted when I walked in the door and those guys helped bring my ideas to fruition. I was serious about building my own high performance home utilizing concepts of building science that I had studied at Ball State University in the 1990s. The two factors that pushed me toward Deltec were the lack of interior load-bearing walls and a quick “dry-in”. I could create a floor plan that was simultaneously perfect for both passive solar design and the needs of my family. The quick “dry-in” (getting the shell up and covered with roofing underlayment) meant that as a first time “owner-builder” I could take some time finishing it out and not stress about the home rotting on the jobsite.

Now that I’ve lived in my Deltec for a few years I can say emphatically that it “works” so well that few people can understand it. When I explain that our home’s interior temperature hovers right around room temperature 300 days per year, without the use of electricity for heating or cooling, people start reaching for excuses. The fact that most people spend thousands of dollars a year on utility bills makes my situation seem almost “unfair”. It doesn’t jive with most people’s world view so even though they admire the efficiency they assume there must be a catch. There is no catch. My home is more comfortable than houses five times as expensive yet we pay about $12.50 per month for electricity. I say “more comfortable” because not only is our indoor temperature fairly constant but instead of leaving a consumptive forced air system on “auto” we open and close windows. This brings the outdoors in and connects our indoor environment with natural rhythms. Our exposed concrete slab foundation serves as a 45,000 pound thermal battery. It accepts the warmth of the winter sun and allows nighttime breezes to cool it during the summer, making the entire home feel very subtly pushed and pulled by the seasons.

I was worried when I accepted a position with Deltec Building Company that my passion for sustainability would be pushed aside in honor of the bottom line. It seems the opposite is the case. We’re improving the bottom line by increasing the sustainability of our products. It is unreal that I work for a company that uses solar electricity to process local renewable resources into high performance homes (many of which achieve “net-zero” energy use). The fact that we ship these home packages anywhere in the world is icing on the cake. It means that someone doesn’t need to have a local green building scene like Asheville’s to build a paradigm shifting house. They only need to pick up the phone.

Above left: Dan’s Deltec, a 2-story Crescent Chalet; right: Dan explains the green features in his home to visitors during a recent Western North Carolina Green Building Council (WNCGBC)

Green Home Design in Real Time

April 13th, 2015

Deltec Home’s presentation at the 2015 Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville was a huge success. Nearly two hundred people came out to hear our President, Steve Linton, and our Green Building and Sustainability Manger, Leigha Dickens, work with the audience to design, in real time, a dream green home.

It’s not the first time Linton and Dickens have presented to Fair attendees, but this year was the most dynamic so far: the presentation was interactive, and the speakers and the audience worked together to design a hypothetical green home. Modeled after the “choose your own adventure” style books of our childhood, where readers are allowed to make choices that can lead to different alternate endings, Steve and Leigha presented the audience with many of the key decisions that customers who seek to build a custom green home are often faced with making. After presenting the pros and cons, they allowed the audience to vote on the various options presented, taking a show of hands for each option, and keeping a running tally of the resulting up-front investment in the hypothetical home. Participants left with a better understanding of the key decisions they might make in designing their own home, how those decisions can affect the overall budget, and in what order those decisions are best made.

Accompanying this presentation were two handouts. The first gave an outline of each of the key decisions, and some key questions for homeowners to ask themselves when making these decisions. A second handout gave some more detailed information on the technical side of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.

Given the high degree of interest in the information provided, we’re providing downloadable  PDFs of the handouts. We hope you’ll find them useful, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us, at roundhouse@deltechomes.com.

Meet Three New Renew Collection Models

April 9th, 2015

arts anbd crafts style home

Deltec added three new models to the Renew Collection this month, bringing the offerings in our predesigned series of high performance homes up to nine. As you can see from these renderings, our predesigned collection does include conventional, non-round homes, but any comparison to traditional homes ends there: the Renew homes are specifically designed to use 2/3  less energy than a traditional home, with the option of easily going all the way to net-zero living.

We’re propelling the concept of high performance, net-zero homes into the mainstream. Why? It’s a part of our ongoing mission to reduce environmental impact by creating a positive, restorative effect on the earth.

Contact us for a free copy of our new 32-page Renew Collection booklet today!

deltec's tiny home, the aster

Top: the Chestnut, an Arts & Crafts style home available in two floor plan variations, both at 1852 sq. ft.
Middle: the Aster, Deltec’s tiny home, available in a one- or two-bedroom floorplan, both at 861 sq. ft.
Bottom: the Highland, available at 1792 sq ft or 1992 sq ft

Spoiler Alert: Deltec’s Tiny (Re)New Home

March 9th, 2015

architectural rendering and floorplan

According to Wikipedia, the small house movement is a return to houses less than 1,000 square feet, some as small as 80 square feet. And while we find the idea commendable, we also realize that ‘downsizing’ means different things to different people. If you’re not yet ready to divest yourself of all your personal belongings to live in a house trailer, we have wonderful news for you.

The Aster, part of Deltec’s growing collection of high performance, predesigned homes in the Renew Collection, comes in at a total of 861 sq ft, made up of a quintessential Deltec round, at 517 sq ft, and a ‘just-the-right-size wing, at 344 sq ft.

Predesigned for high performance and even net-zero living, this little gem allows you to live large: without the need for load-bearing interior walls, the floor plan results open and spacious, a feeling that is reinforced by our signature domed ceiling in the ‘great’ room. An optional outdoor pavilion adds 300 sq ft of outdoor living space. This little gem has us very excited, even though you won’t find it on our website yet! Above is a sneak peek at the rendering in progress and the one-bedroom model, one of two floor plans available. If you want more info, don’t hesitate to contact us!

A double sweep

March 4th, 2015

As the expression goes, necessity is the mother of invention. When our future homeowners came to us wanting to build a Deltec, they explained they owned a beautiful piece of property in the rolling hills of Meadowview, Virginia. A property, however, that presented a few challenges because it was especially important to them to create the least site disturbance possible. This meant they were not happy with the traditional solution of digging into the side of the hill for a half-underground, half-walkout basement.

Never ones to shy from a challenge, Deltec put our clients in the hands of project manager Beth Frazier. As Beth learned their site specs, she also learned exactly what they did want, as well as what they did not want. They wanted a walk-out basement, for possible multi-generational living. They wanted to take full advantage of their views. And they were committed to building green.

It took time and several design revisions, but finally Beth and our future homeowners arrived at the perfect solution: our 24 x 67 Crescent Chalet, but with the addition of a ‘Double Sweep’. A round or square home would have required excavating into the hillside, but this elongated crescent chalet, with its gently sweeping wings, could run parallel to the hillside without having to be dug into it. The sweep gave them the additional square footage they wanted, as well as more style and variation than they would have with a super long, straight home.

The Crescent Chalet offers the possibility of large expanses of windows, maximizing their view and letting the outside in. With the help of Deltec’s Green Building Manager, the home has been designed for Passive Solar, including the use of slate tiles for thermal mass. This Crescent Sweep will have a 2.0 ft overhang, and Deltec’s exceptionally energy efficient Energy Walls.

While we have been building our Crescent Chalet model for several years now, this is our first Crescent Double Sweep. We look forward to following this project and sharing it with you. Difficult situations inspire ingenious solutions – and we say, bring it!

Painting with Compassion: Behind the Scenes with Deltec CAD Designer Andrea Martin

February 5th, 2015

Andrea Martin, CAD designer for Deltec Homes, tailgates in a good way! Andrea was recently commissioned to paint a very poignant scene from Arlington National Cemetery on the tailgate of the truck belonging to Charlie Hardin, retired Army volunteer with the group Sheep Dog Impact Assistance of WNC.

It all came about by circumstance – or, as Andrea strongly believes, through destiny. When a close friend’s dad said he wanted a scene from Arlington Cemetery painted on his truck tailgate, she told him he needed to call Andrea. He told Andrea he specifically wanted  a scene from Arlington with a caisson and soldiers performing a 21 gun salute.

Although she has never taken formal art classes. Andrea says she comes from an artistic background (her mother is artist Ruth Ellen Boerman). She learned by watching her mom paint when she  was growing up, and while she has always enjoyed dabbling, she never really had any focus to her artwork.

That all changed when the task of painting Arlington Cemetery was put into her hands. She visited Arlington to Cemetery and found it “an incredibly emotional experience. Says Andrea, “I have always loved architecture, and this country. My grandfather was a career army man and I was taught not only to respect our servicemen for all they do, but also what the veterans and their families go through after the soldiers return. These two subjects give me the passion and patience to paint.”

“Suddenly,” says Andrea, “I just knew what to do.” Andrea first did studies of the grave stones, painting them from different angles. The final scene  is not from any one specific picture; rather, she put together different pictures from the Arlington National Cemetery website to create the scene she envisioned.

Charlie removed tailgate off his truck and Andrea worked on it from her coffee table. She says she painting in the evening, and found that it relaxed her. During the process, she added the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to the scene.

It took her about 30 hours to complete the tailgate, which she painted with acrylics and topped with several layers of Clear Coat.

As you can imagine, this tailgate gets noticed! Tom Riddle, another Vietnam veteran participating in the Sheepdog group, saw it and immediately asked Andrea to paint the tailgate of his truck with a battle scene, as well as a scene of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She is anticipating about 30 hours worth of effort into this tailgate and admits, “Painting the names on the shiny wall memorial is quite the task.”

Andrea says these two jobs have opened up a whole new world of connections to her. She hopes to receive more commissions to paint these kinds of scenes, and  plans on giving a part of her profits to the Sheepdog organization. Says Andrea, “I have learned that veterans are very proud people. They don’t like to ask for help, even when they desperately need it. I asked myself why am I, a civilian, not doing more to help these heroes. Meeting with veterans of all ages and seeing what they deal with mentally on a daily basis, even sometimes from a war that was 40 years ago, has changed me.”

Andrea is planning on volunteering for Sheepdog with her son, Braydon, so that he too may learn about, and honor, our veterans.

Above, from the left: Andrea painting the first tailgate; the completed scene from Arlington National Cemetery; the battle scene, not yet complete, on the second tailgate.

Immersive and interactive: the unconventional school

February 5th, 2015

It’s no surprise that forward-thinking schools think outside of the box when it comes to student curriculum. But many schools take out-of-the-box thinking one step further, applying it to the building envelope of the school.

And why not? Curriculum is shifting, subjects are blending and methods for engaging students are changing — many facilities are adapting to the increasing demands of  collaborative learning, project-based instruction and technology.

Such a school is under construction on the banks of the French Broad River in Woodfin, North Carolina, next to Woodfin’s river park on a little more than three acres of land that was donated to the school. The French Broad River Academy (FBRA) is designed using two Deltec structures that will be raised 12 feet on pilings, allowing water to move under the building in the event of flooding. The project should be completed by Summer 2015, according to director of the FBRA, Will Yeiser.

FBRA teaches North Carolina’s essential standards and the common core curriculum, but also uses the river to boost confidence and teach other skills.

“The close proximity of the buildings to the water created challenges in the design of both the site and the structure. We elevated the building up well beyond the required heights so in a flood event the buildings will remain unharmed, with the added benefit of the classrooms enjoying a great view of the French Broad River,” architect Robert Todd said.

Said Steve Linton, president of Deltec Homes, “The Deltec structure has a strong track record in creating an excellent learning environment that is built to last. Our collaboration with FBRA and the architect led to an entirely new Deltec structure that allows the school a space much larger than a standard Deltec, all while maintaining a high level of affordability for a high-performance commercial structure.”

The new facility will have about 10,000 square feet. The Deltec structures, which are enlarged versions of Deltec’s popular Crescent Chalet design, will enhance the rigorous curriculum with classroom spaces, but also the outdoor component and the experiential learning at the school. One building will have nine classrooms and office space, while the second building will be a multipurpose building, used as a performance space and indoor space for physical education classes.

From its opening in the fall of 2009 with six students, the boys school now has 68 students. All were present in January to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony of the new structure, when students, parents, and school and city officials took shovels in hand to mark the beginning of construction.

Said Linton, “The collaboration with the FBRA team has been exhilarating. We are confident that the FBRA students will be well supported in achieving the school’s mission of building character and integrity – also built to last for a lifetime.”

Top: Red Studio rendering of French Broad River Academy
Bottom: Rendering; Students enthusiastically wield shovels at the groundbreaking ceremony

Deltec’s Best of 2014

January 13th, 2015

What a difference a year makes! 2014 was a truly momentous year for us as sales and production saw a decisive uptick. We have observed with pleasure that our homes appeal to an ever-widening circle of people, from all walks of life. It makes for a creative crop of Deltec homes, all over the world! However, our homeowners all have one thing in common: they recognize – and want – the extraordinary in terms of quality and design. Without further ado, here are the highlights from 2014.

Most DIY

Homeowners Kim and Debra Randall are proud of the fact that their home is “drenched in sweat equity”. While Kim did hire a General Contractor, there is not a phase of the build that they were not involved with: They cleared the land, did 99% of all interior drywall, 100% of the prime and paint, laid 100% of the hardwood floors (about 1200 sq ft), laid every single tile (entry and both bathrooms, including the walk-in shower), installed every cabinet in both bathrooms and the entire kitchen, and set all the stone work on the interior fireplace wall.

We’re not done yet! They laid the whole deck surface, all rails, built the steps and stained everything, did 100% of the stucco finish on the exposed basement walls, installed interior doors and hardware and installed insulation in the garage. Staining and installation of baseboard and built-in shelves are an ongoing process, but when complete, will have been done 100% by the Randalls! They have kept a wonderful blog of their adventures in round house building.

I think at this point we all share the same burning question…would they do it again? Says Kim, “A number of people I work with have built new houses in the time we have been working on this one, going for the most part largely turn-key in their build. Our mantra has become, all those folks can proudly show off their beautiful homes and say, “look what we bought”, while we can stand back and say, “look what we built”.  All the sweat equity has made this house our home in a way nothing else could.”

Most Renown Homeowners

This title goes without doubt to Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, two talented singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, educators and record producers. The two-time Grammy® Award-winning duo boasts a repertoire of traditional and contemporary folk, old-time country and swing music. Of course, their Deltec Monterey-in-progress will also include a music studio!

Best Water View

Sweeping bays of windows on the top two floors earn this Deltec its claim to fame – they offer a stunning view of Lake James in Nebo, North Carolina, which homeowners Ben and Elaine Nantz assure us is ever-changing and never boring. We also really like the stucco exterior and the distinctive design elements of  this two-story Chesapeake on a walk-out, finished basement. Whether you’re on the outside looking in, or inside looking out, Ben and Elaine’s home fits beautifully into its surroundings.

Tiniest Inhabitants

Looking suspiciously similar to our Cypress model, this tiny little home was built for none other than endangered Carolina Northern flying squirrels. Deltec hosted a special after hours ‘Nesting Box Build‘ in our manufacturing facilities. Working with fourteen volunteers and using scrap wood we had been saving for this purpose, we knocked out 62 homes for our furry little friends in a record-breaking 2 1/2 hours! Volunteers came from Deltec Homes and friends Wild South and the Mountain WILD! Chapter of NC Wildlife Federation. These boxes are an important component in the efforts of the NC Wildlife Commission to monitor the population of this rare animal.

Most Innovative Use of Wood Scraps

While it’s true we produce a lot less waste than standard construction practices, we still scrupulously recycle each and every piece possible, channeling it to various recycling initiatives. Last year we were asked by the talented artisans over at Apple Country Woodcrafters in Hendersonville, NC, to donate wood scraps for their toy making mission – they have turned out thousands of wooden toys for disadvantaged children since 1985, making this initiative our new favorite! Deltec president Steve Linton gave the toy’s performances a thumbs up after giving them a go.

Biggest

The largest Deltec built in 2014  comes in at over 10,000 sq ft! A 3-story Vista complete with 2-story connect, and a garage complete with finished living space above, this is not however one of those huge homes built for two people to rattle around in. Rather, it will serve the needs of a very large, extended family – check out the curved breakfast bar and extensive seating in the dining area. You might be surprised to know that the largest Deltec ever designed is twice as large!

Smallest

Small homes are big. Just ask Lewis A., proud new owner of a compact, 800 sq ft Camden model. Lewis shares the concerns of many for energy efficiency, economic freedom, and a desire for freedom from maintenance and cleaning. Lewis used Roxul mineral wool insulation, which is a naturally fire and moisture resistant insulation with a higher R-value than fiberglass, as well as passive solar design. His Camden is a small oasis of comfort, and is practical and attainable in both size and budget.

Top State
Not surprisingly, Deltec’s home state of North Carolina comes in at first place again this year for the number of new home builds, followed closely by Virginia. Third place is tied with Georgia, South Carolina, New York,  California and Oregon!


Most Exotic Foreign Location / Furthest

Located about 6,612 miles from Asheville, NC and 45 minutes outside of Ulaanbaatar  in Mongolia’s Terelj National Park, this Deltec, a 2-story Sierra model, nestles right into this 150 acre tourist camp. About 80% of its visitors are locals ‘getting away” from city life for the weekend, although there are also travelers on their way to and from Ulaanbaatar – distances and geography are such that a mid-way stopping point becomes essential. The Deltec serves as both hotel rooms and rooms for staff.

Most Unique Purpose

While none of us would be surprised to know that a Deltec was built for use as a home, or even to house a business, the news that a Deltec was built to house a carousel might understandably raise some eyebrows. But homeowner Mary Ellen and David S., in Ellisville, MS, did just that. Mary Ellen bought a working carousel and wanted to house it indoors, so as to always be available, no matter what the weather. Mary Ellen And David had already built a Deltec a few years ago, and  nothing made more sense to them than to place the carousel in another Deltec! Thanks to the self-supporting roof system she was able to place her carousel in a wide-open, 2,500 sq ft Vista model. They have made the carousel available to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Most Popular Renew Model / Most Energy Efficient


Since we launched the Renew Collection in late 2013 we have sold over a dozen Renew homes, making it the most successful new product launch in company’s history. The majority of these have been the Ridgeline. This particular Ridgeline also crosses over to win the Most Energy Efficient Deltec built last year, and belongs to Dr. Marie DeVerneil, a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Located in Virginia, the home will feature passive solar design, solar panels with battery backup, a double stud wall and mineral wool insulation. Building a home that had a low impact on the environment was top priority for DeVerneil. An organic farmer and mother of a LEED architect and oceanographer, she describes her herself and her family as very “green”.

Most Exciting Milestone

This 1,500-square-foot home was Deltec’s 5,000th home shipped! It is Green Built North Carolina Certified. Theresa and Tom Whetstine say when they decided to build a Deltec, they didn’t realize their home would mark a major milestone for the company. “Finding out that our future home was the 5,000th Deltec home made us even more excited,” said Theresa

Best Award

The Western NC Group of the Sierra Club awarded Deltec their 2014 award for Outstanding Green Business of the Year. Local Sierra Club leader Ken Brame said they chose Deltec for the energy efficient homes they build, including a net zero collection, and the fact that Deltec operates with 100% renewable energy. Brame also cited Deltec’s commitment to reducing excess construction waste from landfills –  currently at 81% – through recycling and reuse, with a goal of 0% landfill waste by 2016. Said Brame, “Deltec exemplifies the true meaning of being a “green business” and the Sierra Club is happy to recognize them for all that they do.”

Building a Giving Network

January 7th, 2015

Giving is a personal act. At its heart, donating time, money and gifts comes about by helping others connect an existing passion to a cause. For the 2014 holiday season Deltec organized group efforts with three different causes. From seniors to children, to dogs and cats, there was an opportunity for everyone to give.

‘Building’ Gift Bags: Santa for Seniors

Deltec volunteers deliver hot meals year round to fourteen homebound seniors on a route established through Meals on Wheels. Through their Santa for Seniors program, Deltec employees built gifts bags for each one of our elderly clients. Bags included lap quilts donated by the Asheville Quilters Guild and the Knitters Guild of Asheville, coffee mugs, music CD’s, hot chocolate, cereal bars, coffee, soap, lotion, Chapstick, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash, magnifying glasses, crossword puzzles, memo pads w pen, shampoo, Christmas cards, and pet food and toys for those with pets. Last but not least, large gift bags were donated to hold it all, to make a special delivery for each client.

Children First Holiday Giving

Deltec sponsored four neighborhood children for Christmas again, through Children First/Communities In Schools (CIS) of Buncombe County, a local non-profit committed to advocating and empowering children and families living in poverty. Just like last year, the children were asked to list something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. Deltec employees bought what they wanted to buy from the list. Deltec Homes was happy to gift bicycles.

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue


Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is a nonprofit, no-kill shelter that is home to up to 100 dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and other small animals 365 days a year. The demand for supplies to care for these animals is huge. Deltec has supported this awesome organization in the past with a blanket drive. Brother Wolf said the greatest needs during the holidays are food and litter. A donation box was kept in the lobby for food, kitty litter, treats and toys, by whomever wanted to donate.

And remember, if the 2014 ‘giving season’ slipped by, it’s not too late: Whether it’s because you want to feel you’re changing someone’s life, or you feel a sense of closeness to a community or group, you love animals, or you feel fortunate and want to give back, there are so many organizations out there doing so much good, you can definitely find one that would be grateful for any help you can give–all year round!