To Certify or Not to Certify? A Good Question

Posted by Rob Nicely on April 15, 2016
To Certify or Not to Certify? A Good Question

Our rationale of following the path of Passive House, LEED, Zero Net Energy, Living Building Challenge or other specific set of guidelines is not to achieve a certification to have in our portfolio. These programs provide standards that achieve a better quality home with high energy efficiency, interior spaces that are comfortable, have healthy air quality and are quiet, yield a durable home that has a lower carbon footprint and is kinder to the planet, along with a clear way to get there. They offer our clients, and us, a way to clarify preferences, priorities and possibilities. As an advocate of building in a sustainable way, we’re always on the lookout for techniques, technologies and materials that help us do a better job. And do it with little or no added cost over the way we would build or remodel any custom home.

The more homes that are built in an environmentally sound fashion, the greater the demand for related materials and systems. That’s especially important on a local level. Think about the impact of transporting earth friendly materials across the country versus having them available through local suppliers.

We’ve already had a breakthrough in that regard with Roxul rockwool that we used in a Carmel, California project. Hayward, based in Monterey, agreed to purchase a larger quantity, sell us the portion we needed and stock the rest for our future use and, hopefully, for other builders in the area.  

It’s this kind of progress that will propel the movement of true sustainable building from a niche specialty to the way it’s always done. It’s a better way to build a higher quality home.

Want to know more? Send the author an email at


Rob Nicely is the president of Carmel Building & Design

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