OKC-area builder green home featured in July's Slice

Posted on August 18, 2011 by Mike Means

Mike Gilles, Savannah

Jeff & Suzy Lytle's new home - built by Savannah Homes and Mike Gilles - is one of the greenest in Oklahoma and continues to attract attention. This time, the home, Gilles and the green techniques used were featured in the July 2011 edition of Slice magazine.

To read the original article, please click here and navigate to page 56 on the e-reader.



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Natural gas another component to building green

Posted on August 17, 2011 by Mike Means

Jose Laboy,
CenterPoint Energy

Guest submission by Jose Laboy, CenterPoint Energy


When we use the word "green" in relation to construction, what most often comes to mind is the building materials and landscaping. But there's another component to green building and sustainability - the use of natural gas.

It burns cleanly and is an abundant energy source in Oklahoma. Truly, using natural gas benefits the entire state which is why CenterPoint Energy is helping to sponsor the Green Building Summit this year.

I attended the Summit last year and saw the opportunity to participate in the conversation and spread the word about natural gas. Many people may not know that energy companies, like CenterPoint, offer rebates of up to $475 to customers who purchase and install high-efficiency, natural-gas heating systems. We also offer rebates to people who purchase a qualifying high-efficiency natural gas tank water heater or�tankless water heater.

At the time, these systems many seem a bit pricey, but the costs of these purchases can be�recovered over time with the conservation of resources they provide, usually within five years. And this is a way to give back to our customers and reward people for choosing higher efficiency appliances.

In fact, Oklahoma is one of a handful of states that gives rebates for switching fuels. Customers have a choice. It's a matter of education and CenterPoint Energy will be on hand at the Green Building Summit to lend a hand in providing it.

See you there!

The Oklahoma Green Building Summit is sponsored, in part, by the following:

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Message from the President

Posted on August 9, 2011 by Mike Means

Michael Herndon,
2011 OSHBA Presiden

by Michael Herndon, 2011 OSHBA President

Weather is something we all have to contend with but it seems this summer has been harder than most. The heat decreases production and brings with it health concerns but it seems our biggest problem lies in the ability to educate our home owners of the impact of moisture on their ground supported foundations. Moisture, or lack thereof, causes the soil to expand or contract and uneven moisture can create disastrous consequences. Recent fluctuations in weather from very wet to very dry conditions continues to pose high risk. Perimeter flower beds, planting of trees and placement of water by the home owner is always a concern that most don't understand. No mater how much we include in our warranty and contracts some still try to hold us accountable.

Our recent convention was a great success with 141 registered. Oklahoma builders continue to amaze me with their ability to change a negative situation into a positive and survive the impossible. The amount of knowledge of each of you is beyond my comprehension. Sharing of problems and concerns is always beneficial to each of us. It was a great meeting of the minds and the camaraderie with fellow builders is always great.

As life and technology continues to move forward and with all of us looking for a better way to handle our everyday activities, I was able to enjoy learning from several of you ways to improve. With the ability to synchronize nearly instantly from smartphones and iPads, new apps can save lots of time and we all know time is money. I challenge each of you to share applications and would like to hear from you on ideas on how to best do this.

June housing starts rose 14.6 percent. NAHB HMI which gauges builder confidence in single family housing markets increased 2 points in July to a reading of 15. "Select markets are showing gradual improvements as consumers begin to take advantage of very favorable conditions." Said NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen. David Crowe provided a similar assessment of the starts data in interviews with CBS Radio and AP Radio.

I believe this is another fitting quote for today's times.


  • "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."


Albert Einstein

Until next time good luck and may God bless,

Michael Herndon, 2011 President

Upcoming Events

As you can see by the heading above, the 2011 Green Building Summit is right around the corner. Be sure to visit www.okgreenbuildingsummit.com to register for this annual event and for more information.

There will be some more OSHA training classes to be held. Be sure to check often the OSHBA website for classes in your area - www.okhba.org.

Important Meeting with Senator Jim Inhofe

We were able to schedule a meeting with U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe for the afternoon of August 22. This meeting will be at 2:00 pm at the COHBA Banquet Facility. Make plans to attend and get an update on all the issues facing our industry and our nation.

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We need your feedback: energy-efficient home construction tax credit questioned

Posted on August 8, 2011 by Mike Means

The Tulsa World ran a story in yesterday's edition that questions the merits of a state tax subsidy for energy-efficient home construction. I welcome you to please read the article, and pay close attention to the next-to-last paragraph.

You can read the story here.

I will be presenting our case to the task force on Wednesday morning. If any of you have comments you would like to add, please send them to me or use the comments feature here.

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Consumers, builders and realtors can benefit from Oklahoma's Green Building Summit

Posted on July 28, 2011 by Mike Means

Interested in learning more about green building? Whether you're a consumer, builder or realtor, you'll find some great information at the Oklahoma Green Building Summit, scheduled for Sept. 27 - 28, 2011, at the Reed Center in Midwest City.

Oklahoma Green Building Summit Schedule

Tuesday, September 27

7:15-9:00                Check In

7:30-8:45                "Understanding the New Oklahoma Residential Building Code: What's in it?"

Presenter:               Kelly Parker, P.E., President, Guaranteed Watt Saver Systems

9:00 - 9:15             Welcome - Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb

9:15-12:30           "CSI - Construction Scene Investigation for Building and Real Estate Professionals"

Presenter:           Joe Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng., ASHRAE Fellow, Principal, Building Science Corp., Boston

12:30-1:30           Lunch Provided

1:30-4:30             Builder Breakout?: "Hard-Core Building Science for Building Professionals"

Presenter:          Joe Lstiburek

Realtor Breakout: "Sticks and Stones of Homes"? Basic building technologies for Realtors, covering foundation, windows, insulation, etc.

Presenters: Todd Booze, chairman of Green Building Committee, Oklahoma State Home Builders Association? & Kelly Parker, president, Guaranteed Watt Saver Systems

4:00-6:30         Exhibitor Happy Hour

Wednesday, September 28

8:00-8:30       Check-In

8:30-noon       "Commercial Green Building-What Works"

1 - 4 p.m.       Panel TBA

Registration information can be found at www.okgreenbuildingsummit.com

The summit's organizing partners are Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, Association of Energy Engineers/Oklahoma chapter and Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors Green Resource Council.

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Homebuilders across state log in

Posted on July 25, 2011 by Mike Means

'We are shifting gears'

The state homebuilder association's chief probably said it best recently at the industry's annual state convention: "Shifting gears may be the way."

The tone of the meeting held at the Choctaw Casino in Durant was simply that - change gears as there's a market out there.

As they wait for the tide to turn, some are turning to remodeling.

"We're doing remodel work and commercial (work). In the last six weeks, the phone calls have been non-stop. We shifted gears and started to take projects we used to not take. Because we handle our own design, remodeling work is an easy transition."

Across the state, the economic picture varies. In Norman and Newscastle, the number of building permits is up, while the City of Lawton is 25-30 percent down.

"We were thinking with the military base expansion of 2,500 personnel, the expectation was those people would purchase rather than rent," said John Jones, Lawton Home Builders Association president.

"But 80 percent of the new arrivals are renting because many came from areas where they could not sell their homes."

The Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa is trying something new this year - a remodelers' showcase of homes, with nine featured.

Enid has only let 4-5 residential building permits thus far this year, as residential construction is significantly down, but commercial is up, said president Enid HBA president Cory Moore. The annual Parade of Homes showcased 16, which is "great in the times we are in."

Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association enlisted 50 new members in their membership drive.

On the flip side, in Stillwater, "residential has come to a screeching halt," said Stillwater HBA president Matt Keys. The Tour of Homes was cancelled, and 30 permits have been issued thus far this year, 75 percent down from the previous year. The growth is outside the city limits, Keys said.

In South Oklahoma City, "Times are tough. The Showcase of Homes there featured 38 homes. In previous years, the tour featured 60-70 homes. Meanwhile, in Shawnee, permits are down by 10 percent.

A comment from the recently established Greater Sequoyah County chapter president drew chuckles from the group. Rich Looper reported in to OSHBA president Mike Means that, last year, his only job was remodeling a bathroom. This year, he just recently received his first building permit in three years.

Is the picture looking up?

Despite the news, Oklahomans are known as survivors. This too shall pass.

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