January 01, 2005
Shannon Balts and her husband, Kevin Balts, of Balts Construction of the Chippewa Valley, in Wisconsin, pride themselves on running a family-friendly company that is open to new ideas.When a flyer from the state’s Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) program arrived offering training in energy-efficient construction practices, Shannon picked up the phone. “We were looking for ways to do our jobs better,” says Shannon, president of Balts Construction. The flyer mentioned techniques for making homes more efficient, more durable, and safer—all qualities that Shannon feels ought to be true of any family’s home, especially any home her company works on.What she couldn’t foresee was the large effect that the one phone call would have on her company’s trajectory. Three years ago, Shannon and Kevin, and two of their four employees, participated in a two-day on-site training session that covered building science and house-as-a-system construction techniques.The training also covered marketing tactics.The association with HPwES gave a big boost to a small company that was just beginning to make a name for itself....
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