Community Home Trust in Orange County

Synergy Building is pleased to be finishing their  third and fourth homes for The Community Home Trust (CHT)--previously known as Orange Community Housing Land Trust (OCHLT.)  CHT is a private, nonprofit developer and steward of affordable housing in Orange County.

Teaming with Synergy, CHT has built  four new "Green" homes in the last two years.  These homes, located in Carrboro meet Energy Star standards and System Vision requirements as verified by Advanced Energy of Raleigh.  The first of these home completed for CHT was featured in Chapel Hill's Green Building Tour in May of 2008.


These homes include an open floor plan with first floor Master bedroom, two additional bedrooms upstairs and two full baths.

In addition to their spectacular floor plans they feature the following energy efficient items:
  • Advanced Framing techniques ( a collection of techniques to reduce construction waste and the lumber required for wood-framed houses, while increasing energy efficiency and simplifying framing layout)
  • Sealed attic and crawl space
  • High-efficiency HVAC system
  • Cold air ventilation system
  • Spray foam insulation from Allied Spray Foam
  • Energy Star® appliances
  • Low- or no-VOC paints, caulks, & adhesives for good indoor air quality
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Low E windows

To read more about affordable home construction click here!

Advanced Framing Techniques

After numerous discussions and reviews with the Town of Carrboro regarding lot reconfigurations, storm water drainage issues. etc. etc., we are finally on our way to building two new energy efficient affordable homes  in Carrboro.

There are many features of these homes we are building in conjunction with the Community Home Trust that contribute to their being a great example of affordable Green building. One that will no longer be evident after completion of the home is our employment of advanced framing techniques. Advanced framing (also called Optimum Value Engineering) results in lower material and labor costs and improved energy performance for the building, due to less conductive temperature transfer through the framing components.  Consequently,  effective use of  advanced framing techniques starts with a well thought out framing  design that considers common lumber and sheet sizes. This reduces waste, minimizes cutting and consequently your material and labor costs.  Architect David Ripperton's conscientious design work was crucial in this effort to build with both energy efficiency and affordability in mind.

Advanced Framing

To read more about affordable home construction click here.

Town of Chapel Hill Affordable Homes get a facelift

Affordable housing has been a goal for the Town of Chapel Hill for more than two decades.  Seven homes built in the Culbreth Park Community made up one of their first projects.  Synergy Building Company was proud to combine their efforts with the Town of Chapel Hill, and the Community Home Trust to provide these  seven homes with some much needed attention.   Repairs were made to the existing decks,  all the old Masonite siding and soffit were replaced with new more durable cementitious materials,  and a fresh coat of paint was added to enhance both long term maintenance and cosmetics.  In addition, the weatherization aspects (replacing windows & doors,  improving crawl space moisture issues) plus  replacing the water heaters and HVAC units will help to keep these homes affordable for years to come.

Doing  these renovations on seven homes at the same time,  helped Synergy keep the costs down for the program.  Carefully thinking through scheduling issues in advance,  and relying on skilled and dedicated employees and subcontractors helped to make this a successful project for all involved,  especially the seven happy homeowners!

Culbreth Park home

To read more about affordable home construction click here.

Affordable Green Homes? Yes, we can!

Partnering with the Community Home Trust, Synergy Building has recently broken ground on their third and fourth energy efficient affordable homes.

This project was slow to get started due to the complications caused when lot lines are reconfigured.  On this project, the Home Trust has reconfigured a lot that already had one of their existing affordable homes, in a manner to accommodate two additional homes.   This type of infill residential development is a great way to reduce long term energy use  and make the best use of existing property.  In this case,  however,  it has added additional engineering and regulatory layers, as these lot configuration changes made the project be considered a small subdivision -  which adds challenges like enhanced storm water management issues.  These type of added construction costs can be particularly challenging to affordable home projects.

With so many hurdles at the start of this job once we got started both homes progressed quickly.

To read more about affordable home construction click here.

Can Green be affordable?

Building an energy efficient home that qualifies as part of an affordable home project may seem unrealistic......but that is exactly the project initiated by the Orange Community Housing and Land Trust.

Synergy  is very excited to be involved in this venture, and believes that the project will demonstrate that quality built energy efficient homes can also be affordable homes.

Synergy has been working with the Land Trust to develop plans and specifications to build three new homes in Carrboro that will qualify as Energy Star projects,  and will be evaluated by the Advanced Energy program.

The homes will be built on infill lots in Carrboro, feature sealed crawlspaces, advanced framing,  spray foam insulation, high efficiency hvac systems, Energy Star appliances, ventilation recovery systems, low VOC paint, fire sprinkler systems,  and much more.