LEED AP | Sustainability
Barbara Harwood, a LEED™ Accredited Professional, consults in all aspects of sustainable and healthy design and architecture, primarily for residential, mixed-use and low-income buildings. Her extensive background as a 20-year builder and designer of high-quality, energy-efficient, healthy residences gives her unique insight into the desires of the "cultural creatives," clients who want more than the traditional housing market offers. Her personal knowledge and experience with allergies and chemical sensitivities began a continuing pursuit of knowledge and experience into how buildings can be made healthy and safe for people with those illnesses. Her innovative use of renewable energies, both passive and active solar, in residential buildings was enabled, partially, by partnerships with both TXU Electric and Gas and solar manufacturers. Ms. Harwood brings this experience and knowledge to her present consulting work as co-principal of Donald Aitken Associates.
When Barbara Harwood founded BBH Enterprises, Inc. in 1984, her goal was to provide low-income housing that was energy efficient, an unheard-of-concept at that time. After successfully demonstrating to governments and the public that energy efficiency had to be included as a priority in low-income housing, Harwood, by consumer demand, moved on to found Enviro Custom Homes in 1995. Her principle goal, from that time until the sale of both businesses in 2002, was to build top quality homes, in all price ranges, that are energy efficient and protect people with allergies and chemical sensitivities. Her secondary goal then and her primary goal now, as a national and international consultant, is to make a difference to the future of this planet by changing the way housing is built and powered around the world.
Her companies have won the prestigious 1996, '97, '98, '99, 2000, 2001 and 2002 Energy Value Housing Award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and the NAHB Research Center. In 1996, BBH Enterprises, Inc. was presented one of the 14 national Building Innovation for Homeownership awards from HUD for the Esperanza del Sol project in Dallas' inner city. In 1990, Harwood was awarded the Professional Building "Professional Achievement Award for Public-Private Partnerships" in tribute to her efforts to create innovative partnerships to produce energy efficient, low-income, for-sale and rental housing. In 1998, Enviro Custom Homes was selected to build HOME Magazine's "Earth-Friendly House," featured in a record eight-page article in the November, 1999, issue, and two pages each in the December/January and February issues. Homes built by the company have been featured on all four major TV network newscasts, PBS, CNN, and are in re-runs with four episodes on HGTV.
In 1992, BBH Enterprises, Inc. won the Best Low-Income Development in the nation award from the Pillars of the Industry competition of the National Association of Homebuilders, and the Distinguished Appropriate Technology Award from the National Center for Appropriate Technology for their Prince William apartment complex in Oak Cliff, south of Dallas. The same project recently won a DOE award for "outstanding contributions in promoting an environmentally sustainable future." That project serves working families earning less than 50% of median income.
In 1994, the Esperanza del Sol community, developed by BBH Enterprises, Inc., was awarded designation as the nation's first E-Seal recipient. E-Seal is a kind of Good Housekeeping Seal for energy efficient homes. This inner-city development of passive solar, resource efficient, energy efficient, single family detached "courtyard-style" housing guaranteed that heating and cooling costs will not exceed $1/day/year round. Applying these same efficiency and solar principles in 1997 to a 2,910 square foot custom house in a Dallas suburb yielded utility bills averaging 56 cents a day.
Harwood is a nationally known speaker on issues of energy efficiency, resource efficiency, indoor air quality and healthy housing as well as sustainable architecture and development. She has keynoted numerous conferences, including the 2001 International Solar Energy Congress in Adelaide, Australia; the 2002 Affordable Comfort conference; the 1996 National Green Buildings Conference in Austin, TX; the National Low-Income Energy Consortium convention; the Michigan Governor's State Energy Conference; and the Vermont Lt. Gov's Annual Affordable Housing Conference.
Ms. Harwood has spoken regularly at conferences of the Energy and Environmental Building Association (EEBA), the American Solar Energy Society (ASES); the World Renewable Energy Council (WREC), and the National Assn. of Homebuilders (NAHB). She has made presentations to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and to all 1800 CEO's of the nation's investor owned utilities at the annual Edison Electric Conference. With Dr. Donald Aitken, she co-founded, in 1996, the Spirit and Sustainability session, one of its most popular, at American Solar Energy annual conferences.
Past Chairperson of the Energy Committee and past 13-year National Director of the National Association of Homebuilders, Harwood has also served on national boards and commissions under three Presidents, including a recent three-year term on the PATH (Partnership for Advanced Technologies in Housing) Energy Efficient Mortgage Task Force. She was a charter member of the TXU Integrated Resource Planning Commission and, in her capacity as consultant to cities, was instrumental in making the city of Frisco, Texas, the first to adopt a city-wide requirement that all new buildings be Energy Star rated. In 1997, she served as a member of the Habitat for Humanity "Green Team" to produce world-wide standards for energy efficient Habitat housing.
Her first book, The Healing House, (Hay House - 1997) has been on the Top-20 Best Sellers list at Amazon.com for Texas, and she is working on a second book, due out in 2004.