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April 1, 2019 Manufacturing awards

Acorn Deck House minimizes waste and energy use while creating efficient home puzzle pieces

Acorn Deck prefabricates home pieces for assembly at the construction site.

The homes manufactured by Acorn Deck House Co. in its 85,000-square-foot Acton facility are as energy efficient as the factory itself.

The company, a combination of homebuilding firms Acorn and Deck House formed when the companies merged in 1995, makes the various components of luxurious homes in its facility, which are then shipped to a construction site.

“We take what's on the plans and make puzzle pieces,” said General Manager Paul Buraczynski.

Since most of the company's homes are built for the New England area, they come with energy efficiency and maximum solar benefits, including large windows to allow natural sunlight to keep homes warm during the winter.

All homes are positioned to maximize the solar benefits of the site, Buracynzski said.

Exceeding customers' expectations

The company's trademark roof extends beyond a typical roofline to provide shading in the summer but still allow natural heating for the cold months.

“We're trying to reduce the carbon footprint here and pass that onto our customers and their houses,” Buraczynski said.

Boston developer Claude Hoopes and his wife built an Acorn Deck House home on their property on the coast of Maine, which has been in the family for seven generations. The 3,000-square-foot house will be their home from May through October.

The home, built in September with near 360-degree water views, has already proven itself more than tough and warm enough to survive a Maine winter.

The veteran developer said he's a stickler for details and Acorn Deck surpassed even his expectations.

“I just couldn't believe they were going to the level they did in every phase: site visits, concept development – all of those things for which I had experience for 40 years – they exceeded what I anticipated,” he said.

The couple spent a few weeks in the home over the winter and never put the thermostat above 60, but the solar design and the radiant heating kept the home in the upper 60s all winter.

“That's how tight the house is,” Hoopes said. “This is a 12-month house.”

Other homes in the company's portfolio make use of metal roofs, geothermal heating and Energy Star windows and doors.

Corporate environmental commitment

However, it's not just the finished homes that give the company it's reputation as a leader in energy efficiency.

Because the raw materials needed to construct a house aren't just shipped to the construction site, the company can limit materials waste via highly controlled manufacturing and using smaller quantities of wood and other materials.

The company's corporate headquarters has switched over to solar hot water, installed solar panels on its roof and utilizes infrared heating in the factory.

The company utilizes more simple methods of efficiency, like donating waste materials to local farms and other community projects.

“Acorn and Deck House have always put a lot of thought into sustainability even before it was the hot topic,” said Marketing Manager Valerie Graham.

Read about the WBJ 2019 Manufacturing Excellence Award winners

Manufacturing Excellence Award, Large Company - AIS

Manufacturing Excellence Award, Small Company - Organomation

Green Manufacturing Award - Acorn Deck House Co.

Rising Star Award - New England Optical Systems, Inc.

Product Design & Innovation Award - CPI Radant Technologies Division, Inc.

Collaboration in Manufacturing Award - Carpe Diem Technologies, Inc.

Workplace Development & Productivity Award - SLIDEWAYS, Inc.

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