Cedar Street builds high-performance homes


Cedar Street Builders, owned by Zionsville resident Dan Porzel, is building a generation of high-performance green homes designed to be environmentally and energy efficient.

“You are now seeing the rapid increase of electric cars on the road, and we are seeing the same in homes,” Porzel said.

Porzel became devoted to green building after spending 14 years in the Chicago area working on large-scale LEED-Certified Commercial Projects. LEED, or leadership in energy and environmental design, is the world’s most widely used green building rating system, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

“We are seeing more and more benefits of all-electric homes (such as) improved indoor air quality and reducing monthly utility charges,” Porzel said. “Improved solar energy production per investment cost also gives the homeowner a chance to generate their power.”

In 2015, Cedar Street built Indiana’s first passive house-certified home, named project 580, a home that has a performance-based building certification that focuses on the dramatic reduction of energy use for space heating and cooling. The home is in Zionsville. Cedar Street is building another passive-certified building in Indianapolis.

“We receive a lot of interest in passive house construction,” Porzel said. “Passive house is the most rigorous energy standard out there, and it gives the home design a chance to reduce heating and cooling needs to the point of eliminating the traditional ducted furnace most homes have.”

Cedar Street has partnered with Ball State University to complete a 2023 Solar Decathlon Design Build Project. The Solar Decathlon challenges students to design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings that mitigate climate change and improve quality of life through greater affordability, resilience and energy efficiency. Several local businesses have offered services and materials at discounted rates for the competition.

“We are in a special point in time in which we are starting to see a large-scale shift in how homes are built,” Porzel said. “The focus on durability and potential for zero-energy buildings has become an achievable goal, and it’s at the forefront of our daily work. We are excited to see this continue to grow.”