eleV8 Builders

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 elev8 offers clients high performance design and construction.

By Tim O’Connor

eleV8 Builders is a luxury residential design-build firm specializing in high performance design and construction. Founder and president of eleV8, Chris Little states, “Our company believes the design+build methodology provides an innovative approach on the project delivery method offering a turnkey solution. eleV8 partners with AIA registered architects to deliver superior projects”. eleV8 is an integral part of the design team from the beginning at lot selection through final project delivery.

Little believes the design+build approach can speed up the construction timeline, reduce construction cost and improve the customer experience throughout the project.

Historically projects are delivered under a design, bid, build methodology. Under this type of project delivery structure, the home owner would contract with an architect to develop the architectural plans and when complete send out to builders for bid. Little says, “Often times, we find there is a disconnect between the architectural design and the customers budget. Also, during the build process, it can be challenging to have an architect and builder that do not have experience working together and delivering projects.” eleV8 believes its design+build approach mitigates these issues by having the builder and architect working hand-in-hand collaboratively from the very beginning to achieve the preferred design for the client within budget.

High-Performance

The company strives to create high performance homes, which Little defines as homes with superior durability, elev8healthy indoor air quality, energy efficiency and comfort. Every home is designed with thermal efficiency in mind and is pre-wired for solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations. Net-zero energy capability is standard for eleV8’s projects and some homes even take it a step further with rainwater harvesting so that residents do not have to rely on wells or municipal water sources.

The subcontractors that eleV8 partners with on its projects must also value building science to be successful. “We understand the principles – the design principles and the building science principles – behind each of these and we have to have subcontractors who buy-in as well,” Little notes. “It’s not just a delegation of roles and responsibilities. We continually encourage our trade partners to stay current on best practices and new technologies. We find that this can be achieved through continuing education, trade associations and seminars.”

In all, eleV8 completes between six and eight new construction projects each year. The company works strictly in the ultra-luxury market. Homes range in size from 4,900 square feet up to 12,000 square feet and typically cost $2 million and up to build.

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Little believes the company could grow to as many as a dozen projects annually, but says any more than that could compromise its quality standards. “We want to grow organically and we want to make sure we’re exceeding our customers’ expectations,” he explains. “We’ve positioned ourselves to deliver high-performing homes and that takes minding the details.”

Where other builders prioritize aesthetics, Little envisioned eleV8 as a company that would create architecturally beautiful homes without sacrificing the performance. “We saw an opportunity to really push the envelope and change the discussion,” he explains.

Building Science Background

Little is a second-generation homebuilder who grew up working at his father’s custom home business in Houston. His background is in building science, a field that focuses on the study of thermodynamics, moisture flow and how buildings perform.

From there, Little began a career in building diagnostics and forensics. He worked with builders to identify the source of building issues and develop solutions to resolve comfort, structural, and durability concerns. “It was a fantastic opportunity to learn what not to do and ensure the appropriate materials, applications and details are properly implemented to avoid issues,“ Little says.

Four years ago, Little decided to take more than a decade of experience in the industry and strike out on his own. eleV8 was founded on the principals of building science. “I thought it was a great opportunity to apply what I’ve been promoting and everything I’ve learned in my career,” Little says. “eleV8 creates beautiful homes that are thoughtfully designed, and constructed to perform exceptionally.” 

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