I’ve been asked numerous times over the last couple of years to get back to writing the “Ask the Builder” article in this newspaper. I am happy to be back and have committed to writing 13 articles over the next year. So here it goes….. Recently, I had a tremendous 2 hour conversation with a legendary track coach at the old Fort Vancouver High School and Clark College. He is now 89 years old with a strong will to reach 100. I asked him what concept has held true over the last 65 years in teaching kids how to run? His immediate answer was posture. The fastest runners run tall. His coaching tip was to imagine your belly button sucked in to reach your spine. This trick will give you good posture. He enthusiastically demonstrated this for me and mentioned he works on this every day. Naturally, this got me thinking about housing. I have had the benefit of building over 2500 homes since the time I have owned Quail Homes (1989 to present). That experience gives me some perspective. My one word answer for housing is quality. Most builders follow the minimums set by building codes. Experts suggest differently. The concepts for building a quality home is outlined very simply by the U.S. Department of Energy’s ”Zero Ready Energy Home” (ZERH) program. Of which we have adopted. The Department of Energy consulted with the very best our industry offers. The ZERH’s program has done a great job in summarizing this by the “Seven Must-Have Systems” when building a new home. They are (1) Optimized Thermal protections, (2) Whole House Water Protection, (3) High Performance Heating and Cooling, (4) High Efficiency Components, (5) Complete Indoor Air Quality, (6) Solar Ready Construction and (7) Enhanced Quality Assurance. I look forward to future talks with the legendary track coach. I hope you stay tuned in our written conversation as I further discuss the “Seven Must-Have Systems” in future articles. You can get a live performance by visiting our entry into this year’s Parade of Homes starting September 8th . We hope to see you there.