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Chris Wood, Vice President at Hearthstone Homes, Earns 2012 S.A. Walters Award

Chris Wood, Vice President at Hearthstone Homes, Earns 2012 S.A. Walters Award

Chris Wood, Vice President at Hearthstone Homes, Earns 2012 S.A. Walters Award.

The Building Systems Councils (BSC) of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently honored Chris Wood for a lifetime of service and achievement in advancing the systems-built industry and contributing to the efforts of the BSC.

Wood, vice president of sales for Hearthstone Homes in Dandridge, Tenn., received the S.A. Walters Systems-Built Achievement Award presented by former S.A. Walters’ recipient, Lynn Gastineau of Gastineau Log Homes in New Bloomfield, Mo., last week during the BSC’s signature conference and networking event, Showcase.

The award is given annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the building systems industry.

“This award recognizes those who have made an impact in our industry and in the Building Systems Councils,” said former S.A. Walters recipient and BSC chairman Dwight Hikel, owner of Shelter Systems Ltd. in Westminster, Md. “There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your fellow industry peers, and Chris Wood has earned this honor.”

After receiving an architecture degree in 1984 from Vermont Technical College, Wood entered the building systems industry as a post and beam field designer. Five years later he joined Hearthstone as a regional sales manager and in 2000 became the vice president of sales.

Wood does sales and marketing management for direct sales and nationwide independent distributors and also provides preliminary design services for customers. Wood was also a finalist for the S.A. Walters Award in 2011.

Wood became involved with the BSC in the late 1990s and has since been actively engaged in energy issues. He was recently appointed as the Log Home Council representative to the NAHB Energy Subcommittee and the Building Codes and Standards Subcommittee. Wood was also selected as the first-ever BSC member to be a voting member on NAHB’s Construction Codes & Standards Committee.

Over the years Wood has attended ICC Code Hearings and meetings with groups like the Department of Energy and has played an instrumental role in the education of legislators regarding the unique properties of log and timber home construction when it comes to energy efficiency.

The S.A. Walters Systems-Built Achievement Award is named after the first chairman of the Home Manufacturers Councils, now the Building Systems Councils of NAHB.

In accepting the award, Chris Wood acknowledged previous winners for their contributions, thanked his wife and family and employer for their support, and said he looks forward to continue to make an impact to the log and timber home industry in the future.

“I am honored to join a select group of industry talent,” Wood said at Showcase. “I have been really fortunate in my life to take a career path that I enjoy what I do. Couldn’t do it without support of staff at Hearthstone, Inc., the staff at NAHB, subcontractors and vendor talent. But most importantly, support at home with wonderful wife and kids.

“Life is chapters, and I’m still writing mine. Working in this industry is rewarding. It’s been easy, and it’s been tough, especially these past few years. But on average it’s been fun five out of the last seven years.

“New homes today are better than any existing inventory, or even homes built two years ago. We continue to adopt new technologies, this includes HVAC equipment and design advancements, entertainment rooms with internet and flat screens, safe rooms built into foundations systems, and on it goes.

“The challenge then is that we need to get the memo out to consumers, that no 30% off existing fire sale is “better” than a new home with the latest technology. Our competition is not other loggies, mods, panelizers or even concrete. Its the 130 million existing home inventory, most of which have serious issues.

“My problem with the new codes and energy efficiency mandates, and the reason I am active in the code process, is they fail to recognize the consumer has a choice. They can buy an older in-efficient home, or a new home that is already better than any thing recently built.

“I’ll support any efficiency mandates that have a 10 year or less return on investment (ROI). But the 30 year ROI that the Department of Energy is pushing in code reform is out of touch with what the market will afford,” Wood said.

“Who will lead the next generation of log and timber home builders? I’m not sure. They won’t need to master lineal footage of logs. Instead, they’ll need to be good problem solvers, creative, flexible, driven and have strong people skills. If anyone has this type of candidate, have them give me a call, or email a resume,” Wood concluded.