SouthLight Builders is a green building and design firm serving Buncombe County, North Carolina. Originally founded in 1977 as Blue Ridge Energy Systems, the company changed its name to SouthLight Builders in 2020 to more more accurately reflect the work that we do- designing and building energy efficient homes. The name is a reference to the passive solar design principles which we incorporate into almost every home we build- south facing windows bring in the warmth and light of the winter sun. Long before the movement had a name SouthLight Builders was a pioneer in Green Building. The guiding principles used in the early days still apply: create a tight building envelope, insulate thoroughly, employ passive solar design, and use efficient lighting and heating and cooling appliances. Over the last forty years heating, cooling and lighting technologies have advanced tremendously but the importance of passive solar design and a tight building envelope have remained key to energy efficient construction.
Jamie Shelton graduated from Davidson College in 2005 with a degree in art. Thinking of pursuing a career in architecture he searched for an apprenticeship in the green building industry to gain some experience and familiarity with building. He found a one year opportunity with SouthLight Builders and, appreciating the hands on nature of SouthLight Builders and the quality of the product they produce, he never left. He designed and started building his first personal home in 2006. From that point on, Jamie was sure that doing design/ build work was his vocation. Jamie has served for 8 years on the Board of Directors of the Green Built Alliance, formerly the Western North Carolina Green Building Council, that administers the Green Built Homes program and champions sustainability in the building industry. He has done several articles, interviews and presentations on the importance of green building and its key components. He now lives with his wife, two boys, and dog in a net zero energy home he designed and built.
Andy Presley joined SouthLight officially in 2009 though he had been working with the company informally for over 20 years prior to that. He came from a career in the equipment rental industry and his knowledge allows us to have and maintain a full fleet of equipment so that we can provide in house clearing and grading services and so that our carpenters can work more efficiently and safely by letting equipment do the heavy lifting.
Andy is also a licensed plumber and a great job manager. He serves on the Board of the Fairview Fire Department and has also served on the Workforce Development Committee and the Legislative Committee of the Asheville Home Builders Association
Building code is just now catching up to what we’ve been doing for 30 years.