A New Approach to Quality Delivers Financial Results
Based in Denver, Colorado, Thrive Home Builders is a high-performance homebuilder that seeks to build efficient, healthy homes in a state that is known for aggressive construction defect litigation. In fact, Thrive is the only local homebuilder that offers Zero Energy Homes and DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes. As the recipient of DOE’s Grand Winner for Housing Innovation in 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016, Thrive’s commitment to building stellar homes is embedded in its culture.
With a track record and a commitment as strong as this, Thrive has made a clear promise to its customers to build sustainable housing. As a local builder, there is little room for failure—Thrive simply must uphold its commitment to build quality homes each and every time.
Over ten years ago, Thrive’s insurance carriers mandated that it hire a third-party inspection company. On the surface, this was a good thing—the home inspection service was there to help Thrive deliver better homes. However, it had an unexpected consequence: in the crush of field priorities, Thrive’s project managers assumed that with the third-party inspectors on their team, they could focus elsewhere.
At the same time, it was unclear what level of responsibility the inspector was assuming. When issues did arise, it became a finger-pointing exercise which ultimately made Thrive question its overall approach to quality. Thrive recognized that the true role of third-party inspectors was to satisfy the insurance companies. This over-reliance on third-party inspectors had unintentionally eroded Thrive’s own, internal quality assurance efforts.
Thrive decided to rebuild a culture of accountability and reinforce its internal passion for quality. While there were many changes that took place to advance this mission, two of the more significant included:
(1) Creation of a new internal position, Quality Assurance Manager, who has both the responsibility and authority to halt production when a concern arises; and
(2) Formalizing a partnership with IBACOS and integration of the PERFORM® program.
Through PERFORM, Thrive:
• Has access to the Best Practices® library, which provides visual step-by-step installation instructions, scopes of work, and quality inspection checklists.
• Leverages IBACOS’ 25 years of experience to review scopes of work, discuss products and critique alternative building assemblies prior to implementing changes
• Receives validation from IBACOS in the effectiveness of its internally-driven quality assurance efforts through periodic audits of Thrive’s defined QA Program.
Thrive’s insurance provider’s response to this new approach to quality was so positive that they offered Thrive a 44% reduction in their General Liability insurance premium costs—which is money that Thrive now invests back into its Quality Assurance Program.
While it is clearly in the interests of insurance carriers to inspect for quality, a comprehensive approach that includes design review, training and verification is even more important for builders like Thrive whose brand equity and financial security are at risk if defective homes are constructed. IBACOS’ partnership with Thrive is good for the insurer, the builder and its homebuyers. It’s not just about mitigating risk. It is about building great homes, every time.
“By partnering with IBACOS and renewing its commitment to
drive quality from within, Thrive was able to reduce its annual
construction liability insurance costs by 44%.”