Local builder wins national award for green home

Front of Terra Caelo, Keyenta, date unknown | Photo by Danny Lee

IVINS – A Southern Utah home builder won a national builder’s award last month for building a green home in Kayenta.

Jake Joines, owner of J2 Construction, received national recognition on July 19 as one of the winners of the National EcoHome Design Awards. According to EcoHome Magazine, the award goes to builders who “show continued progress in environmental design and demonstrate that the integration of rich architectural design and true technical performance is clearly taking hold.”

Jake Joines, builder of Terra Caelo | Photo courtesy of Kathi Fox

The 2012 competition included over 2,500 applicants, and only 17 from across the country were chosen as winners. The home that Joines built, named “Terra Caelo,” is one of those 17 winners, and is also the only home in Utah to be recognized this year.

“I am very honored to have received this national recognition,” Joines said. “It is my passion to build homes that are energy efficient and healthy to live in.”

The home is over 5,000-square feet in size and was built in February as a part of the 2012 St. George area Parade of Homes.

The home is cooled and heated by a 10-zone climate control system and is illuminated completely with LED lighting. There are photovoltaic and solar thermal panels that produce an abundance of electricity and hot water year round. Many earth-friendly and cost-saving features are utilized throughout the home.

According to EcoHome Magazine, the Terra Caelo is owned by former Apple employees from California. Through the use of downloaded applications on their iPhones and iPads, the homeowners are able to monitor their home’s energy use and generation.

The home also included dedicated circuits for recharging electric vehicles*.

“The award puts St. George on the map as a place where people are trying to be proactive in energy efficiency,” Joines said. He added being recognized for building a green home would also help make people become better aware of green technologies.

“There’s a lot of cool technology out there that people don’t know is available,” he said. “Many people just aren’t aware.”

The art of building homes hasn’t changed much over the last century, Joines said, but thanks to newer, more efficient energy systems, people could experience a “healthier environment” in their homes.
Joines is also the chairman of the Southwest Green Build Council and has over 15 years of construction experience. J2 is a recognized green builder and has built three of the four National Association of Home Builders-certified green homes in Southern Utah. He encourages anyone with questions about green building to contact him via J2 Construction’s website.


Terra Caelo in its natural habitat, Kayenta, date unknown | Photo by Danny Lee
A view of the interior of Terra Caelo, Kayetna, date unknown | Photo by Danny Lee
Kitchen interior of Terra Caelo, Keyenta, date unknown | Photo by Danny Lee
Terra Caelo’s roof-mounted solar panels, Kayenta, date unknown | photo by Danny Lee

* On a related topic, see St. George News story on Ivins resident Mark Larsen, the first recipient of an electric Nissan Leaf in Utah.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • David Kidder August 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Great work Jake!

    You continue to make us look good here at Kayenta.

    Thanks for the fine attention to detail.

    Best regards,


  • Murat August 7, 2012 at 11:21 am

    In time these homes that make careful use of energy will no longer be necessary as we learn to tap the mind-boggling amounts of energy freely available in our universe. Designing for optimization, however, can be a rather interesting engineering challenge.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.