The Root Cause Blog
30 May

Q & A with Bill Haney of Blu Homes

Written by Zeina Fayyaz, Accelerator Manager, Institute for Black Male Achievement

Root Cause's Business Innovator Award is given to members of the business community who have built a business with a social mission that creates positive impact in the communities in which it operates. The purpose of the award is to draw parallels between groundbreaking business practices and social innovation.

We were proud to present our 3rd Annual Business Innovator Award to Blu Homes at our 2013 Social Innovator Showcase. Blu Homes, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, is the leading provider of beautiful and green precision-built homes in North America. Through advanced technology, Blu Homes is working to improve the health, economics, design experience and environmental effects of housing for American families.

Co-Founder and President of Blu Homes, Bill Haney, was kind enough to spare a few minutes of his time to sit down with Root Cause to answer a few questions.

1) What aspect of your program/organization's work makes you most proud and why?

I'm most proud of Blu Homes' dedicated, talented team and our innovative design process, which allow us to create green, modern homes for American families. Thanks to the simpler process we provide, our predictable pricing model and our leading environmental performance, we can build healthy and beautiful living spaces with high indoor air quality. I'm also proud that from 2011 to 2012, Blu Homes’ bookings grew 300% year-over-year, reaching $40 million in 2012.

2) What inspired you to start Blu Homes?

"I've long been passionate about technology and the environment. I've been inspired to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint of American homes and, at the same time, make the home-buying process easier and more convenient. Combining all of these passions into my work at Blu Homes has been a journey of discovery and innovation. In the past, I've started or helped start over a dozen technology companies that focus on addressing environmental issues. With Blu Homes, I've been able to use advanced technology to improve the health, economics, design experience and environmental effect of housing for American families. It's a dream come true."

3) What aspect of the upcoming Social Innovator Showcase most excites you?

I'm excited to spend time getting to know this year's selected Social Innovators, who will be featured at the showcase event. I'm looking forward to hearing their pitches and learning more about these companies and their leaders.

4) The purpose of our Business Innovator Award is to draw parallels between groundbreaking business practices and social innovation. What parallels would you highlight between your business practices and social innovation?

Every aspect of Blu Homes' business practices reflects a dedication to social innovation. Our commitment to green, healthy homes recognizes the growing need to create environmentally conscious, energy-efficient and healthy spaces for families to live and grow. Our tech tools, such as the 3-D Configurator, give our clients an unprecedented level of control over the prefab building process. Our green and energy efficiency features mean that our homes can easily adapt to a number of environments, from urban, southwest desert lots to rural, snowy New England acreages. Additionally, we are bringing green manufacturing jobs back to the community. We currently employ over 120 skilled craftsmen in Vallejo, CA, a recently bankrupt city with a hugely talented workforce, but, until recently, no jobs. I can't tell you how gratifying it is to know that we're contributing to the revitalization of this community, which played such an important role in America's manufacturing history, especially during World