Congratulations to the Winner of our Prince Edward Island Giveaway

June 11th, 2015

Congratulations to the winner of our Prince Edward Island Trip for Two giveaway, Edwin Symmes, and wife Rhena! Edwin has a passion for photography and architecture, while Rhena is a painter and has exhibited locally in their town. They plan on a fall trip to PEI, where they are looking forward to discovering PEI from an artistic point of view. (And lucky for them, the International Shellfish Festival coincides nicely with their planned itinerary.)

Edwin and Rhena are long time fans of Deltec and actually attended one of our homebuilding seminars a few years ago. They saw the opportunity to enter Deltec’s giveaway on Facebook. Edwin says, “We are excited, delighted and looking forward to the trip, and thrilled to experience the Deltec rotating structure in such an abundantly beautiful location.”

Edwin and Rhena, we know you will enjoy staying in Canada’s Rotating House – Around The Sea. We hope you’ll share plenty of pictures from your vacation to our Facebook page!

thrilled to get to experience the Deltec rotating structure on such an abundantly beautiful location.

First Local Home from Deltec’s Renew Collection Under Construction

June 11th, 2015

Asheville couple Rick and Maureen Winkenwerder have always wanted to retire in a high-performance home. Having been familiar with Deltec, they set out to learn more with a tour of our solar-powered manufacturing facility. As a carpenter, Winkenwerder knew what he was looking for.

“Quality of lumber is very important,” he said. “A prefabricated home was appealing because it keeps lumber out of the elements where it could otherwise accumulate mold and moisture.”

Best known for our custom round homes, the Renew Collection consists of nine pre-designed models in styles ranging from round to Arts and Crafts to modern. Each reduces energy consumption by up to two-thirds in comparison to a typical home. The remaining one-third can be powered with renewable energy.

Even though the Renew Collection was brand new at the time, the couple didn’t hesitate.

“We knew we wanted a highly energy efficient, low maintenance, one-level home, so we chose the Ridgeline model. We didn’t really think about it being the first in Asheville,” said Winkenwerder.

The Ridgeline has 1,604 square feet, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and passive solar design, among other energy efficient features. Once delivered, the shell was assembled in 13 days.

Winkenwerder is acting as his own general contractor and builder, allowing him to fulfill his “40-year-dream” of building his own home.

“Rick has always been interested in green building concepts and I constantly look for ways to be more self-sufficient. This way we do it at our own pace,” said Maureen Winkenwerder.

“The idea behind the Renew Collection was to make it easier to build a home that goes beyond reducing environmental impact to creating a positive effect,” said Leigha Dickens, green building and sustainability manager for Deltec. “The pre-design aspect makes building a high performance home more cost-effective and therefore more attainable.”

Upon completion, the couple will apply for Energy Star-certification and plan to eventually add solar panels to achieve net-zero energy.

“I think everyone is leaning toward more energy efficient houses, especially in this area. There’s so much support for it,” said Maureen Winkenwerder.

President of Deltec Steve Linton agrees that building homes to this level of efficiency is more than just a trend.

“We keep coming back to an essential question: what will the homes of our grandchildren be like?” said Linton. “This is really the future of homebuilding.”

Ridgeline, Energy Star, sustainable home

From the left: Rick and Maureen Winkenwerder take a break from building and enjoy the front porch of their Renew Collection home; Interior view showing the vaulted ceiling and clerestory windows; Rick, an experienced carpenter, cuts wood to size. Rick is owner-builder for the construction of their home.

Top of page: Front and back views of the Ridgeline in progress, one of nine high performance home models in Deltec’s Renew Collection.

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