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Blog Category - Solar

Neumann Companies’ Groundbreaking in New Berlin at Wisconsin’s First Net Zero Community

Categories: Blog, Energy Efficiency, Going Green, Green Building, Neighborhoods, Renewable Energy, Solar, The Building Process, Tim O'Brien Homes | Posted: May 24, 2017

New Berlin, WI – (May 23, 2017) – On Tuesday, May 23rd at 11:00 a.m., Neumann Companies along with Tim O’Brien Homes Inc, SunVest Solar Inc., and the City of New Berlin will hold a ground breaking ceremony on Wisconsin’s first Net Zero community, Red Fox Crossing in New Berlin. A Net Zero Community has the electrical generation from photovoltaic (PV) solar systems (the amount produced) that will offset the projected electrical consumption (the amount used) of each individual home built.

Red Fox Crossing will feature 34 single-family homesites developed by Neumann Developments, Inc., the Net Zero Ready Homes will be built by Tim O’Brien Homes Inc., and each solar array will be designed and installed by SunVest Solar, Inc.

“It has always been our dream to offer an energy independent community,” said Matt Neumann, Principal of Neumann Companies. “We are excited to have all three companies involved in creating Wisconsin’s first Net Zero community.”

The three partner companies share an environmental tie. Neumann Developments, Inc. has developed over 3000 acres of land with 50% preserved green space. Tim O’Brien Homes is a home builder that focuses on energy efficiency and green building practices. In fact, they built the first Emerald Certified home following the
National Green Building Standard (NGBS). And SunVest Solar adds the technology to bring solar energy to homes, both new and existing homes as well as commercial projects.

“Red Fox Crossing has the potential to be the turning point in building a more sustainable community and neighborhood in Wisconsin, versus focusing on only one home at a time,” says Tim O’Brien, President of Tim O’Brien Homes. “A more holistic approach to high performance and sustainable communities.”

The 34 homes in Red Fox Crossing will start in size from 1,900 square foot for a ranch and 2,200 square foot for a two-story and feature natural materials on the exterior. Each home will include a six to eight kW photovoltaic (PV) solar array and be certified by the following programs: U. S. Department of Energy Net Zero Ready Home, ENERGY STAR® V3 National Qualified Home, EPA WaterSense® and EPA Indoor Air Plus Qualified Home. “Solar is the number one source of new electric generation in the United States that enables the homeowner to generate electricity from the sun,” said Kirk Kindred, National Sales Director for SunVest Solar. “We are proud to bring the value of clean renewable solar energy to the first Net Zero Community in Wisconsin.”

Red Fox Crossing is located on the south west corner of W. Grange Avenue and S. Sunny Slope Road, serviced by New Berlin School District, and close to shopping and Interstate 43. Home and lot packages will range from $450,000 to $650,000.


Neumann Developments, Inc. is a family owned business and a local residential land conservation developer with a reputation for preserving permanent green space and creating Wisconsin’s best places to call home. For more information, please visit or on Facebook or YouTube.

Tim O’Brien Homes is a semi-custom single family home builder in the Milwaukee and Madison Wisconsin areas and the leader in energy efficiency, innovative designs, green building practices, and renewable technologies. All homes are 3rd party tested and certified surpassing the State’s energy- efficiency and green strict guidelines, and backed by a 5-Year Energy Guarantee. To learn more about Tim O’Brien homes, call 262-542-5750, visit, or tour a model home.

SunVest Solar, Inc. is a national developer who has worked with over 600 customers across the entire United States, installing more than 44,000 solar panels totaling over 14,000 kW. This equates to approximately 16,250,000 kWh of solar production every year, saving our customers well over a million dollars each year! For more information, please visit

Positively Impacting People’s Lives!

Categories: Energy Efficiency, Green Building, Home Care, Renewable Energy, Solar, The Building Process, Tim O'Brien Homes | Posted: December 2, 2014

Wonderful article about #TimOBrienHomes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel!

2013 Parade of Homes Overall Grand Award - The Birchwood

Building homes to positively impact people’s lives

Sometimes it’s best to put one foot in front of the other and let life take you where it leads. Tim O’Brien, of Tim O’Brien Homes, was introduced to the building trade at a young age, knowing that it’s a good fit for him. At 15-years-old, O’Brien worked for a commercial plumber. In college, he worked for a commercial general contractor. “When I was in college, I met someone that got me in to residential construction,” he remembered. “After college, I started with the largest builder in the country and have been in the industry ever since.”

The Tim O’Brien Family –

What do you enjoy about building?
The building process starts with one idea and transforms into a beautiful finished product. I love working with a team and being involved in the process of bringing an idea to life. I enjoy the connection with the homeowners.

What advice would you give someone looking to build?
If someone wants to build, I suggest narrowing a list down to three builders who are members of an accredited association like the MBA. Building a home involves a long-term relationship, so make sure the builder is your ideal fit. Clients should be comfortable with the building team. Ask, ask and ask again…don’t be afraid to ask many questions until you are comfortable. Also, understand all the costs and specifications. Consider not only today’s cost, but future costs like energy usage and replacement costs.

How has being an MBA member helped your business?
When I started my business, the MBA provided a network of industry professionals for me to seek guidance, develop relationships and provide education opportunities. In fact, the MBA gave Tim O’Brien Homes the opportunity to build the first Wisconsin Trend Home in 2008, showcasing green, energy-efficient products prevalent in homes built in the future (2020). In addition, the MBA provides credibility to the homebuilding industry.

How has technology changed your business?
Technology helps us stay more organized, enhances communication and provides a more efficient process for our homebuyers and vendors.

We continually stay connected to new home trends and building systems to provide the most popular choices for the buyer. In addition, national manufacturers approach Tim O’Brien Homes to be a pilot builder, bringing green and energy-efficient initiatives to the marketplace. Currently, we are testing a new insulation system and sealant package.

Dupont Corian countertops with wireless charging built in. Simply place your enabled device on the counter and charge it!

Dupont Corian countertops with wireless charging built in. Simply place your enabled device on the counter and charge it!

How do you see your business changing over the next 10 years?
I see homes and lot sizes becoming smaller with enough space in the right places, and a focus on how buyers use technology at home. Within the next 10 years, we’ll focus on encouraging the Millenniums to build by communicating the benefits of homeownership. We will see an increasing demand in solar power as costs decrease. All our homes are solar-ready with code piping for future solar additions Again, to buyers, I would say be truly ready.

What advice would you give someone looking for a career in the building industry?
Try a few things within the trades. If you have a skill and passion for something, work hard and success will follow. We are fortunate to partner with Oconomowoc High School’s Building Trades 3 Course to provide students hands-on experience for the past three years. Each year, our trade partners worked side-by-side with 12 students to build a new home. We wish more schools had this type of program to introduce students to the skilled trades.

What is your favorite quote or saying that represents your business philosophy?
“Positively Impacting People’s Lives” is our core purpose and the driving philosophy behind our company’s core values.

What charitable groups are you involved with?
This year, we are donating the funds raised from “Fit for a Cause” to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In addition, we partner with Habitat for Humanity in Waukesha County to build homes, plus our employees participate in the annual Cancer Walk to show generosity.

Tim O’Brien Homes Goes Solar

Categories: Energy Efficiency, Going Green, Green Building, Renewable Energy, Solar, Tim O'Brien Homes | Posted: November 3, 2014

Each New Home Built Ready for Solar Electric System

As part of its ongoing commitment to green building practices, Tim O’Brien Homes, Inc., a semi-custom, single-family homebuilder with offices in Milwaukee and Madison, WI; announced that every new home built by the company is now solar ready.IMG_7417

Provided in coordination with SunVest Solar, Inc., all new Tim O’Brien Homes will meet code for the future installation of a solar electric system.  According to SunVest, these systems provide a renewable energy solution with both environmental and financial benefits.  The financial advantage of the systems has increased in recent years, as the cost of solar energy has decreased by 68 percent between 2009 and 2014, while electricity rates increased 15 percent over the same period.  Today, a solar electric system from SunVest provides an average annual return on investment of nearly 20 percent.

“We are proud and excited to make it easier and more affordable for homeowners to go solar,” said Tim O’Brien, president of Tim O’Brien Homes.  “Surveys show that 97% of Americans overestimate the cost of installing a solar system and 77% of homeowners would install solar if cost were not a factor.  Having the required infrastructure in each of our new homes makes solar energy an easier decision for homeowners to make.”

To be considered solar ready, new homes are built with the necessary conduit and piping from the roof to the basement installed within the home’s walls.  This allows for faster, cleaner, and less expensive installation when homeowners opt to equip their home with a solar electric system.

SunVest solar electric systems are designed and built to last 30 years with little required maintenance.  The solar panels, which are typically installed on the roof of a home, are tested to handle between 30 and 40 pounds of snow per square foot, 90 miles per hour wind gusts, and one-inch hail stones at 55 miles per hour.

Green BuildingTim O’Brien Homes is committed to energy efficiency, innovative designs, green building practices, and renewable technologies.  Every home built meets the Focus on Energy and the Wisconsin Green Built Home programs, which are third-party tested and certified, ensuring a solid investment and low cost of homeownership.

With model homes available to tour throughout the greater Milwaukee area, all Tim O’Brien Homes feature a 10-year limited warranty that is transferable and backed by insurance.  Focused on delivering an extraordinary building experience, the Tim O’Brien Homes team of industry professionals has provided over 1,000 new homes to satisfied customers.

For more information, contact Tim O’Brien Homes at 262-542-5750 or visit

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