The ABC Green Home 4.0 is certifiably green with nine certifications
An Interview with Nick Slevin
QUESTION: So, it’s been ten years. What’s the backstory on the ABC Green Home Project?
NICK SLEVIN: It’s pretty straightforward, really. We realized in 2010 that the approved Title 24 code changes for January 1st, 2020 were going to be a game changer, not just here in California but across the country. We also understood that if you are in the business of publishing a magazine called Green Home Builder and sharing best practices in high-performance homebuilding to a national peer audience of homebuilders, your mission might be better served by actually building very green houses yourself and sharing the experience. So, I initially approached the teams at Southern California Edison, and then after the success of the first home, Southern California Gas Company, and invited their ongoing participation in a series of net-zero demonstration home builds.
QUESTION: Can you explain the name?
NICK SLEVIN: We decided to call it the Affordable, Buildable, Certified Green Home Project essentially because back then, most of the so-called green homes we were seeing were McMansions with a few solar panels on the roof and not much more that made them sustainable. We wanted to demonstrate the ABC’s of green homebuilding.
This project gave us our canvas. The big utilities brought legitimacy and our advertisers stepped up and provided their materials for the design teams. Early on we had folks with offbeat new products they wanted us to use jumping on the bandwagon.
We adopted a simple policy when it came to design and materials; any builder could build these homes on any lot in America and achieve the same results. Nothing made from Faberge? eggs, or golden eagles’ beaks was allowed in the builds. Only the exact materials available to every homebuilder in every market were used.
QUESTION: What happened when you delivered the first home, what has happened since?
NICK SLEVIN: At 32,000 folks toured the first home at the Great Park in Irvine. We were on TV, in the papers and magazines, and all over the internet. The original ABC Green Home was a home run, so we decided to continue the project and remain here in Southern California, where we have been able to draw on the support of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, where we have been a member for 30 years.
For the next few homes, we maintained our affordable green approach and worked with a great builder partner, Habitat Orange County, as our builder partner on each Net-Zero, LEED home, making sure each completed home was provided to a combat disabled U.S. veteran and their family.
QUESTION: The ABC Green Home has won quite a lot of recognition and quite a few prizes along the way. What is it about the project that you think resonates with your homebuilder peer audience?
NICK SLEVIN: I think builder folks react positively to the design and construction teams, the clean designs, and the simple approach we have adopted, which breaks down the building science and makes it easier to absorb.
QUESTION: You have achieved 18 major awards and your homes are multiply certified by nine separate agencies. What’s next for the ABC Green Home Project?
NICK SLEVIN: We are looking at lots and land in Southern California now for the next build. We would like to build a subdivision of LEED Platinum, net-zero homes and also a multifamily building. Folks interested in participating in the ABC Green Home 5.0, email me at email@example.com and we’ll be pleased to include you in the next project.
To learn more about the ABC Green Home project or to get involved for the next build, visit www.abcgreenhome.com for all the updates. Follow the ABC Green Home project on social media at @ABCgreenhome.
To view this story as originally published, please read the November/December issue of Green Home Builder Magazine.