How Shea Homes Save Water

by joshe on December 5, 2012

Water saving homesFor Shea Homes, building great houses in the 21st century involves a particular focus on resource efficiency, which is evident in everything from the solar tube lights in Shea SPACES homes to the Net Zero homes, called SheaXero offered at Shea Active Lifestyle communities that generate as much energy as they use. But great homes don’t just reduce energy use; saving water is another important consideration. Shea Homes is proud to have established itself as a homebuilder of water-smart houses and communities. Here’s how they do it.

Inside the home

Every Shea-built home is equipped with WaterSense-rated plumbing, fixtures, water-saving showers, and water-saving toilets. Created by the US Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense is a rating system that helps protect our nation’s natural resources by connecting people to water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Products carrying the WaterSense label perform well, help save money, and represent the latest innovations in manufacturing. One of these products found in some of Shea’s new homes a water-efficient faucet by 2011 WaterSense Partner of the Year Delta Faucet, that turns on and off with just a tap on the spout or handle.

Outside the home

Water-saving measures don’t end inside the home; in fact, in many parts the country, water use for irrigation exceeds indoor consumption. That’s why Shea Homes, a builder of both homes and communities, has adopted a strict policy within the company’s master-planned developments to implement smart-irrigation controls and draught-resistant landscaping that require less watering.

Preserving our natural resources is easier when you live in a water-smart home and community like those built by Shea Homes, but there’s always more we can do. Learn more about how you can save water with these tips from the EPA and learn more about Shea at

About the author

Josh Englander is a novelist and the founder of DesignLens, an online architectural publication that explores residential design and land planning concepts in America.


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The History of J.F. Shea, Part 2

by rachelk on August 21, 2012


In the early 1900’s Charlie Shea, John Shea’s eldest son, set out to remake his father’s business. While plumbing had been the focus of John’s business ventures, Charlie transitioned the company to underground piping and tunnel work in hopes of acquiring large jobs rather than focus on small contracts. Over the next 10 years the J.F. Shea Plumbing Company would build at least four major sewers and storm drain systems in Portland, Oregon.

While John was still involved in the business, he slowly relinquished control to his sons, who would take the business after he passed. It was obvious that Charlie was gaining control of the business, and by 1915 the company was reorganized and renamed the J.F. Shea Company under the guidance of Charlie. John and Charlie Shea both held 40 percent shares and 20 percent went to Gil, another one of John’s sons.

Between 1917 and 1920, Charlie Shea became the General Manager for the North Pacific Shipbuilding Company during World War I. The J.F. Shea Company would install the plumbing and heating facilities in the ships manufactured at the shipyard during this time. This postured them for more ship building experience to come before World War II.

Large sewer contract jobs like the Portland Seawall and the Mokelumne Pipeline helped grow the business, but the latter project would bring the J.F. Shea Company into California for their largest project yet. This project would pave the way for their entry into California and posture them for success in the great state.



The History of Shea, Part 1

by Shea Homes Northern California on August 13, 2012

The Shea family of companies have been passed down through the generations of the Shea family since 1881. They have a rich history deeply rooted in making quality products, pursuing customer satisfaction, and maintaining integrity throughout the company as a whole.

In 1846, Austin Shea emigrated with his family from Ireland to America, and in 1855 John Francis Shea was born in Dayton, Ohio. As an adult, John Francis Shea, a determined and motivated individual, decided to move west in pursuit of good quality work. He made his way to San Francisco, California and landed a job in plumbing. After a year with the company, John decided to pursue his own plumbing company in Portland, Oregon. He moved and in 1881, John Francis Shea opened up his own plumbing shop called the “J.F. Shea Plumbing Company”. This was John’s first attempt at running his own business, and he, unlike many others at that time, found success.

John Francis Shea valued his family, and even in his success, he never forgot about them back in Ohio. In 1891, John’s sister Katie, sent him a letter thanking him for the $20 gold piece he had sent to the family. Speaking of family, John was eager to start his own with his wife Anna, and together, they had 9 children. John taught his children about success and integrity in business and several of those children would go on to further their father’s legacy.

“Diligent and successful in business, he [John Francis Shea] left the deep impress of his individuality upon his work, and he belonged to that class or men who, although modest and unassuming, nevertheless shape the character and influence the development of the communities in which they live. His ability and energy placed him in a position of leadership…[He] owed his prosperity to tireless effort, good management and close conformity to a high standard of commercial ethics…his many good qualities endeared him to all with whom he was associated.” – Shea Times, 1988.

 John Francis Shea

*This is Part 1 in a series of posts chronicling the history of Shea Homes.