creekside-cascade-lot-11-1With Earth Day on the horizon, environmental stewardship will soon take center stage.

And when it comes to energy efficiency and first-rate performance in new home construction, one Chicago area builder continues leading the charge.

The state’s first homebuilder to achieve top-of-the-line Diamond certification from Environments for Living (EFL), Beechen & Dill Homes has gained growing notoriety for its commitment to high-performance home construction.

An all-encompassing and stringent national program directed by some of the nation’s foremost experts in energy-efficient construction, EFL reviews the entire home as a system, outlining performance specifications touching on energy efficiency as well as safety, comfort, and durability.

David Bell, director of building science for Masco Home Services, which oversees the EFL program, said EFL’s home certification inspects seven key construction factors: tight construction; fresh air ventilation; improved insulation systems; “right sized” HVAC equipment; pressure balancing; interior moisture management; and combustion safety.

“Besides being a highly energy-efficient home, EFL-certified homes meet high- performance standards as well,” Bell said.

Every new home from Beechen & Dill carries EFL Diamond certification, confirmed Matt Dill, Beechen & Dill’s CEO and the Home Builders Association of Illinois’ 2011 “Builder of the Year.” In addition to its build-on-your-lot custom home options, Beechen & Dill currently has two Chicago area communities under development – Creekside Estates in Lockport and Misty Ridge in Romeoville. Both communities feature a variety of award-winning single-family home plans. Prices start in the mid $300,000s at Creekside Estates and the low $200,000s at Misty Ridge.

“Best of all, the customer doesn’t get charged an extra penny for these energy-efficient benefits,” Dill said. “It’s another way we differentiate ourselves from the competition and show our commitment to homebuyers.”

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index remains the construction industry’s primary way to measure residential energy efficiency. The typical new home receives a HERS score of 100, yet Beechen & Dill’s new construction routinely achieves scores in the mid-60s.

“We are building some of the most efficient homes in the country,” Beechen & Dill Homes director of construction Ed Kubiak said.

A high-performance home translates into safer, healthier, and more comfortable homes that cost less to operate. Kubiak said one current Misty Ridge resident has reported lower gas and electric bills in her new 3,400-square foot home than she had encountered in her previous 2,000-square foot townhome.

“From low-E windows filled with argon gas and high-efficiency water heaters to energy-efficient light fixtures and foam board on the outside of the home providing an extra layer of insulation, we take the extra steps to ensure our homes deliver comfort, value, energy efficiency, and real cash savings.” Kubiak said.

Beechen & Dill’s EFL certification also arrives with an extra guarantee.

“At closing, our homebuyers receive an EFL certificate that guarantees the home’s monthly heating and cooling expenses,” Kubiak said. “If a electric or gas bill ever exceeds that number, the EFL program cuts the homeowner a check for the difference.”

Such unwavering focus on quality construction and customer service continues driving Beechen & Dill’s success.

“We’re constantly research the cutting-edge techniques and best practices we can employ to produce the most high-performing homes for our buyers,” Dill said.

For additional information on Beechen and Dill Homes as well as its custom homebuilding efforts and two Chicago-area developments – Creekside Estates or Misty Ridge – please visit Creekside Estates is located on Farrell Road in Lockport just one block south of 151st Street in Lockport, while Misty Ridge can be found on Normantown Road in Romeoville approximately 1.5 miles east of Weber Road.