By Sadie July Normoyle, Built Green Coordinator
Ted Clifton Jr. has been involved with Built Green since 2009 and has built three projects with us, in addition to other homes outside of King and Snohomish counties. All of the projects certified through us by his company, TC Legend Homes, are 5-Star Built Green.
Ted was awarded Project of the Year at the 2016 Built Green Conference for his two-home net zero energy project in the Victory Heights neighborhood of Seattle. These homes were constructed using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)—one of the trademarks of Ted’s work. The homes include many advanced energy efficiency measures, in addition to the 9.5 kW solar arrays on each roof. They also meet 100% rainwater infiltration on site, have continuous exhaust ventilation, and used salvaged materials from the previous home. These projects were featured in a past Built Green Case Study.
Ted first became involved with Built Green because his father and a client encouraged him. He had already been building 3-Star Built Green homes in Bellingham, which inspired him to do even better. He originally started building sustainable and Built Green homes because he wanted the most stout, durable homes and thought Built Green was a good representation of the “epitome of green.” With his first net zero home, however, he realized that he could drastically reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain a home, or even eliminate it, and actually provide extra energy to power an electric car or two.
This point is often how he communicates the advantages of his projects, as compared to code built homes, to buyers. He explains that the homes make their own power, with some to spare. Ted has also found that the demand for these types of über green homes has been increasing. As he explained, he frequently gets ten or more emails a week from people wanting TC Legend Homes to build them a home.
Currently, he is working on an Emerald Star project that is pushing the boundaries of his company’s process even further. The house will make its own power and collect its own water. When asked what his favorite project so far is, he replied, “my current project, because it is always a step better than the last.”
In terms of the future, Ted is excited to see increases in efficiency in envelope systems, windows, heat pumps, and solar technology. He also mentions lighting, appliances, and toilets that just keep getting better and better. When talking about his company, he states that they are making a company whose movement is focused towards education and innovation and just building enough houses to continue their research and development.
In parting, Ted shared “our crew works three days per week, I commute in an electric car, and have a mullet.”
Thank you, Ted (and your mullet), for all your work with Built Green! We look forward to the projects you have coming up and are eager to see the completion of your first Emerald Star project!