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From the Customer’s POV

2/3/2014 1:25:00 PM
Article by Mary-Carel Verden

We all know about LEED—sometimes it feels like more than we want to know. We know that it is good for the planet, sometimes good for your bottom line/sometimes not, and that it helps create a healthier workplace for you and your workers. But we don’t always realize that it can also be a golden marketing opportunity.

Green building has been around since the 1970’s but has really taken off in the last decade or two as energy costs have risen and environmental issues have become increasingly important for your customers. More and more people have made recycling, sustainability, and environmental concerns an integral part of their daily lives, influencing both large and small decisions. Talking about the LEED benefits can help you stand out from your competition. A LEED sign outside a construction project allows prospective customers know your company puts an emphasis on sustainability and environmental concerns. It may be the reason someone will call you, instead of another organization. This makes it important to discover what your customers find interesting about this type of certification.

Here’s the story we recently received of one family that’s documenting their journey of building a Platinum LEED certified home. It’s interesting to see how they are approaching the project and take a look at their perspective on the challenges they face along the way.

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National Parenting Expert Robert (Daddy Nickell) Takes The LEED On Building Green Home

Going green is more than just a fad, for many it is a way of life. Creating a safe eco-friendly environment to raise a family in has its perks, but it also has benefits that reach the entire community. From reducing landfills to improving air quality, the LEED program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was created to help families build green without increasing the cost of their project by using a common sense approach to building.

Robert Nickell, better known as Daddy Nickell, national parenting expert and founder of Daddy & Co., and his wife Dr. Nickell, are parents to a beautiful blended family of 7. They believe it’s important to create a home that is safe and healthy, and that gives back to their community. By making smart choices and planning for the future, they are ready to embark on building their dream home that will not only be functional, but will also reduce their carbon footprint. By documenting their journey of building a Platinum LEED certified home (the highest level of certification), they hope to inspire other families to incorporate energy efficiencies in their building and renovations projects.

As the Nickells moved forward with the building of their new eco friendly home, they discovered that their design plans would put them on track to achieve the LEED Platinum certification. In order to qualify for the highest level of certification, the Nickell’s need to score 80 points or more on the evaluation scale which includes the following categories:

  • Sustainable Sites (SS)
  • Water Efficiency (WE)
  • Energy and Atmosphere (EA)
  • Materials and Resources (MR)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and
  • Innovative Design (ID)

The point allocation is highly weighed on the most crucial factors of a green build – CO2 reductions and energy efficiency. The most important factors to be considered are: climate change, indoor environmental quality, resource depletion and water intake.

The building project is anticipated to take 18 months to complete and is on track to become one of 2,147 LEEDS Platinum certified homes built since 1998. Below you find some of the benefits that appealed to the Nickells:

Community and Family Benefits

  • Reduces Construction Waste - Precutting wood framing before delivery to the building site saves trees and reduces waste sent to landfill.
  • Promotes Healthy Lifestyle – Building a home within walking distance to town, beach, community parks and fields reduces the usage of automobiles and promotes exercise and community involvement for Nickell’s Family.
  • Reduces Water Consumption –By utilizing drought tolerant native California plants and vegetation in their landscaping the Nickell’s are creating lower water consumption and reduced irrigation needs.
  • Creates Sustainability – By thoughtfully using quality products to increase durability of home their home, the Nickell’s are minimizing the need for replacement of products thus reducing refuge in landfills.
  • Protects the Environment – The Nickell’s LEED certification inspired their builder, Luann Development, to participate in the “Energy Star” program by installing high efficiency appliances and plumbing fixtures.
  • Increases Energy Efficiency – By installing state of the art lighting the Nickell’s are creating high efficiency that adheres to Energy Star guidelines.
  • Reduces Greenhouse Gases – Using solar panels to heat water, pool and air cool home reduces energy levels to heat and cool the home.
  • Preserves Air Quality - All paints and materials used in construction are Low VOC. Cabinetry will be painted/stained off site to reduce off gassing and harm to the Family’s air quality.
  • Reduces Strain on Community Utility Consumption – By incorporating the best air filtering system into their plans, the air ventilation and exhaust are clean and will protect interior air quality and reduce strain on the communities electric and gas consumption.
  • Creates Less Strain on Community Resources – Using Geo Thermal technology will provide the Nickell’s the ability to control airflow throughout their home which will put less strain on community resources.
  • Creates Public Awareness - LEED home certification creates public awareness of environmental education. The Nickells will have a LEED sign on outside of their construction project. They are hoping to feature their home in newspaper, magazine and web sites about benefits of LEED Homes.

Choosing to build a LEED certified home will provide many lasting benefits for the Nickell family and the community of Manhattan Beach. The Nickell family and their builder, Luann Development, are documenting their journey to see how this program can truly make a difference to this family and a community of families. You can track the progress of their new home on their DailyDaddy blog or thru a work zone camera set up by the developer.

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