SEM Autumn Shine on Champ, Justin Layden of M/I Homes

Meet Justin Layden – Autumn 2019 Shine On Champion

We are happy to introduce our Autumn 2019 Shine On Champion, Justin Layden! Justin is a Superintendent with M/I Homes whose dedication to quality and efficiency consistently produces homes that are extremely tight and well-built. 

Each season our team members nominate partners we work with who share a passion for improving the way people make and use energy and exemplify many of the core values that SEM stands for. One lucky winner is chosen from the entries, inducted into our Shine On Champion Hall of Fame, and awarded our Cash Cooler prize. A big congratulations goes out to Justin!

Wood plank sign of SEM's core SHINE values
SEM's SHINE core values - Seek Solutions, Have to - to Get To, Invest in the Greater Good, Never Settle, Enjoy the Journey

What Makes Justin a Shine On Champ?

I do this job because I want to be the voice and eyes of the future homebuyer who cannot see what is beyond the drywall. Justin makes that easy for me. He ensures that his homes are built not only to Energy Star standards, but are also well under the requirements for 2019 HERO code (even though the neighborhood isn’t in HERO territory). When I perform rough duct tests on Justin’s homes in Andrew’s Chapel, they are all averaging sub 2.0% total leakage. I do a lot of air-sealing in Andrew’s Chapel and rarely have to use my foam gun because of his excellent leadership and watchful eyes.

Justin also hires the best contractors and holds them to high standards to build the most energy efficient home possible for the future consumer. On the job, Justin is cordial with me and every contractor that he comes in contact with. If I do ever find something that needs correction, Justin is usually there fixing it before I can drive away. Justin is a hard working supervisor who exhibits our core values and what we hope that every builder can achieve. I believe his homes will be meeting future code requirements before they are even established!

Seek Solutions

No matter what issues arise on-site, Justin is always there in a timely manner ready to fix it. He takes the comments and criticisms that are given to him and turns them into new goals to meet on all future homes. Justin continually finds ways to enhance the home’s performance and strives to have the best built homes in the subdivision.

"Have To" Shifts to "Get To"

Justin makes sure that his homes are ready for inspection and that everything is set up no matter what. He proactively schedules his contractors so that everything is completed and that no one feels rushed. Most builders have to meet a minimum building code requirement, but Justin finds pride in the craftsmanship of his homes, excelling beyond base expectations. 

Invest in the Greater Good

Each of M/I’s homes is an Energy Star Certified building. This program helps create homes that homeowners can be proud of. Justin ensures that all of his homes have energy efficient appliances, advanced framing techniques, and tight building standards. This creates a home that will last longer and use less energy, helping both the homeowner and environment in the future.

Never Settle

Homes in Andrew’s Chapel are already Energy Star certified, but Justin aspires to have homes that test much lower than even the strictest of program standards. Consistently, the ducts in Justin’s homes test at less than 2% total leakage and his blower doors are sub 3 ACH. This desire to have well sealed homes makes my job a dream and sets an example for other builders to work toward. 

Enjoy the Journey

Justin is cheerful, hard working, and is always friendly to myself and his contractors. He greets everyone while on-site and creates a working environment that promotes growth and positivity. His contractors enjoy working for him and he doesn’t just build houses, but creates homes that future families can be proud to call theirs. 

It's A Team Effort

We know building a top-notch product takes a team. That’s why a bonus shout out also goes to Efrian Vasquez with the Yellow Dot team who are an integral part of why Justin as able to deliver such exceptional homes.

The Prize

What’s in it for the Shine On Champ? It’s really a win-win-win situation. By building high-quality homes optimized for performance, the builder has another tool in their belt when differentiating themselves in a hot market. At the same time, homeowners receive more value and can be confident in the quality they were sold on because their home was third-party inspected by an independent verifier. And finally, everyone wins with less energy consumption, more efficiency, and actual savings that can be spent on other things beyond utility bills and home maintenance.

But we realize this might not be the most exciting prize to carry home at the end of the day (although we’d beg to differ), so we’ve put together a more tangible award for the Champs that make this all happen. Our Yeti cooler full of cash is just a small way of saying thanks to our Shine On Champs for going above and beyond so we can make sure our partners are (properly) insulating their homes and their value.

Way to go Justin and keep up the great work! Be on the lookout for our next nomination this winter. You might be Southern Energy Management’s next Shine On Champion and the lucky winner of the next Yeti #cashcooler.

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