Craftsmen of Homes


Roanoke & Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia


Education for Owners and Professionals

We are passionate about educating owners and construction industry professionals in the arts & sciences of better building.  We've crafted a comprehensive curriculum that addresses a critical need in current building practice, called 'net PLUS Energy School'.


With greater interest in energy efficiency, with greater consciousness of the need for durable, responsible, better building, and with greater access to snippets of dispersed information - OWNERS are now a key driver in construction. Few people are natural leaders, hence it isn't surprising that few architects and few builders are true leaders - competently holding the hand of their clients through the complete process of concept, design, specification, and construction of a home. Wanting more, needing more, OWNERS are now actively engaging in all of these stages of creating their new house.

This is a wonderful development. Anyone who genuinely wants to learn, is a brilliant student in the making, with which so much can be opened up for discovery and realization.

Recognize, of course, that an open mind, a clean clear mental lens, is necessary for true success. Scouring the internet, for example, provides bits of knowledge: some helpful, some misleading. Opinions and biased interpretations are more prevalent than useful, helpful knowledge. If we cling to wrong bits of information, or try to found an entire structure on a weak framework, trouble and frustration often follow.

We've created a 2-day OWNER intensive workshop, called "Essentials", which gives you genuine insight into the entire process of crafting a low-energy, high-performance home.  In this class, we:

  • 'set the stage', giving you the proper framework within which you can define project success
  • define 'roles and responsibilities', so that you know who is supposed to do what
  • put 'green programs' and 'green certifications' in context
  • show you what specifications look like - something few designers or builders take time to create
  • delve into system details, from foundations and walls to roofs
  • crack the code on windows and door performance
  • key recommendations for low-energy heating & cooling strategies
  • domestic hot water: spending just right, so you don't 'boil' over energy costs
  • Click HERE to learn more about this essential curriculum.



You are brave: ready to tackle the ultimate DIY project. Yet you know the process won't be like the TV shows - sexy, colorful, wonderful, glamorous - and done in 30 minutes.

You may have a background in construction.  You may have a family member who is/ was a builder, or perhaps you participated in some type of construction in years' past. And while feeling competent and capable, you know there are limitations to your knowledge and skill set. You know you need to learn more - likely lots more.

OWNER-BUILDERS are best served by attending our in-depth, professional-level series of curriculum.  We have taught owner builders, and find it welcome and refreshing - since the starting point is often the realization by the student that this is a brave new world, and a healthy respect for the unknown is very beneficial.

Once knowing the entire process of low-energy, high-performance construction - building a Passive House or beyond, net Zero Energy home or net PLUS Energy home - you can then with knowledge decide how much, and how little, of that process you want to tackle yourself. Perhaps you are your own Project Manager, your own General Contractor, your own Designer, your own Builder, or perhaps you opt for focusing on executing specific tasks. We will help you see how each of those roles functions through successful projects, enabling you to make informed decisions.

Click HERE for more information on our full 'net PLUS Energy' curriculum.