The Ferrier family has a long history in the construction industry. Don Ferrier, president of Ferrier Custom Homes, is the third generation of Ferriers to explore groundbreaking construction techniques. Ferrier Inc. pride themselves on the exemplary energy efficiency of their buildings and constantly adopt new techniques that help them to build above and beyond code requirements.
A Family Tradition
Alexander Ferrier emigrated from Scotland in 1881 and worked in partnership with his brother David in constructing stone courthouses, schools, churches, hotels, banks and bridges throughout Texas. Don Ferrier continued the proud family tradition when he established Ferrier Builders Inc. in 1984. Don started out building earth-sheltered homes and his early experimentation in more energy efficient homes has continued throughout his career: “Our clients are people who want to build some of the most energy efficient homes in the United States and that’s why they come to us,” says Don. “If I had been building conventional homes, I would probably have given it up long ago. For me, the most rewarding thing is the enthusiasm of my clients. They are always telling me how they used to dread their monthly energy bill, but they get a real thrill out of the savings they are making with homes that are so energy efficient.”
Balancing the Budget
With prospective homeowners more educated about environmental issues, the long-term savings that energy efficient homes provide and the increase in resale value, the financial benefits of green building is really driving the move to energy efficiency. “Every new home is a balance between energy efficiency and budget,” says Don. “Our clients are becoming more educated about their choices. They are willing to spend more money upfront because they understand that they will have an excellent return on investment. Energy efficiency makes financial sense, and many of the clients want to do the right thing. They want to do the right thing for themselves and their children. Homebuyers are moving to a more sustainable mindset.”
The Future is Green
Don sees the green building trend becoming more entrenched in the coming years: “The future is net zero and I am actively moving to building homes that make as much energy as they consume. At least half of the homes and remodels I am working on at the moment are aiming to build net zero homes. There are some really great programs out there with large photovoltaic suppliers who offer a number of options including leasing or buying. We are also working with a Houston group with a Power Cell generator powered with natural gas that supplies all of a houses energy and natural gas needs. These options make net zero more affordable for the average homeowner,” says Don. “We are looking at building comprehensive energy efficient buildings in the affordable home market. Simply put, we’re looking to build smarter, and help others do the same. We believe building green benefits everyone; the environment, the industry, our communities, our clients, and future generations.”