Local Designer Jennifer Pippin Builds a Green Dream Home
Nov 30, 1999 12:00AM
Natural Awakenings: What makes Pippin Home Designs Unique?
Jennifer Pippin: Pippin Home Designs, Inc. is a residential design firm specializing in creating homes that truly fit the environment and the client like a glove. We intuitively take advantage of the views from the home, incorporate the sun’s path across the property and listen to what the site speaks to us about what it needs. We acknowledge what the client’s desires are, the budget constraints and provide an end result that unifies all of these elements and more. Most of our clients tell us that we knew what they wanted and needed better than they did.
Our designs blend the concepts of Green Building, Universal Design and Feng Shui in a way that truly offers a home that is sustainable, healthy and will allow the owners to age in place in a home that they will love for many years to come. We offer design consultations, site evaluations, full design concept creations and construction drawings.
NA: How did you become interested in green building?
JP: I have had a passion for green building and design long before it was ever known as ‘green.’ It all started for me back in 1987 when I had the opportunity to rent a passive solar home in Chatham County, outside of Pittsboro, NC, for a year. It fascinated me so much, and I had just begun my design career at that time. So I decided to make it a focus of my ongoing studies. I have taken many classes and workshops throughout the years in solar design and energy efficiency. I recently completed my studies at NCSU and received diplomas in both Green Building and Renewable Energy Technologies.
The basic premise of a green home is that it must first be energy efficient. I have been designing my homes to be energy efficient by taking advantage of their site locations, the path of the sun across the site, the amount of glass and shading on the various sides of the building so as to not overheat spaces, and to take advantage of the sun where possible for sun tempering and passive solar gain when the client was interested in it. For most of the years I’ve been in business, it’s been relatively low on the priority list of most of my clients, but now with the media attention paid to the whole ‘green’ idea, consumers are actually now requesting us to create green and energy efficient homes. Luckily for them, we have been designing this way all along, so it’s not been difficult at all for us to offer these principals in our designs. However, green is still perceived as an expensive concept to achieve, so my goal is to educate my clients on ways that they can achieve a level or shade of green while not breaking the budget for their homes, and there are many shades of green.
NA: What made you decide to go green with your business and your home?
JP: I decided to go green with my home as a result of the need to renovate a very small home I purchased 8 years ago for my growing household. I was married a couple of years ago and my husband and I both would like to work from home. So, the need to expand our home to accommodate our desire for home studio space opened an opportunity to incorporate the green features that I had always dreamed of. This would also give me the educational tool I needed, on a large scale, to show my clients and the community what they can do to go green as well.
The chance to expand my idea of going greener came when I decided to move my business home, thereby eliminating my daily commute and that of my employees by allowing them to work from home as well. This is a much greener way of running a business and a trend I hope that more companies will embrace as we all try to make changes to help improve the environment and help the planet.
NA: Do you feel the Charlotte area is receptive to making their homes greener?
JP: I have seen a much greater increase in the number of clients seeking us out to create their homes, as we have become known in this area for working with these green concepts. I also think the influx of people from other parts of the country to our area from states much more advanced in green programs has helped to fuel the desire for change in this area.
Pippin’s projects can be seen at: pippinhomedesigns.com and projectlivegreen.com. She can be reached at 704-895-0000.