LEED Professional or PBC Green Building Superman?

ICYMI and are as conscientious about saving the environment as we are, you’ll be glad to know that PBC Design + Build’s own Dan Spann AKA Director of Construction, is not only the master of a good LOL, but he is also a LEED AP. Yep, PBC has a professional on staff with a very specific area of expertise, who is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Have you figured out what the acronym that follows Dan’s signature stands for yet?  Take your time, we’ll BRB…

While you’re thinking about it, let’s get back to that environmentally-conscious trait that we all possess inside of us somewhere.  Do you ever find yourself thinking about this great big, precious world and how you can preserve the future of it?  Are you building your own custom home, or hoping to one day, and wondering how you can do-so while not contributing as much to the planet’s daily waste, pollution, or overuse of energy?  We share your concern and know that it can seem completely overwhelming.   You don’t know where to begin, or how to find the time to research, or you are wondering how in the world you could budget for huge expensive solar equipment?  Not to worry, help is on the way!  Remodeling, redecorating, AND building new construction can ALL be eco-friendlier processes just by making a few simple changes… from re-purposing an old piece of furniture to installing a tankless water heater, you can do it!

  • REPURPOSE, REPURPOSE, REPURPOSE!  Do you still have that dresser from 1983 that your spouse insists must go in your kiddo’s room because that thing was in their own room as a child and “if it was good enough for me well then, it’s good enough”?  No?  Us either ;).  But if we DID, we would use some cool Chalk Paint (try Annie Sloan– several non-toxic qualities) that everyone is talking about.  The kind that apparently covers any surface with no prep and leaves a nice, flat, seemingly even “aged” look?  Pick a color, grab some new hardware, and GO!  Chances are, that 30-something-year-old dresser has lasted this long because it is actually made out of real wood and that it is not only going to save you money but also possibly a baby tree’s life.  Win-win.Annie Sloan Re-purposed Dresser
  • Speaking of wood, re-claim that stuff!   Jump on the pallet craze.  Use a chunk of the tree trunk from the latest backyard weekend project as a night stand.  Or better yet, go visit our friends at Old Growth Riverwood in Castle Hayne, NC.  They use recovered wood that is harvested locally from the Cape Fear River as well as reclaimed wood from old barns and buildings. You can use the wood to create a unique space in your new home or get those cool people to build you a beautiful piece of furniture.  Whatever you choose to do with your reclaimed wood, there will definitely be a story to tell.   How awesome is that?!Whitebridge Re-claimed wood wall, Old Growth Riverwood
  • Take your concerns to your interior designer. Choosing your selections are one of the biggest hurdles during the design and build process.  You love something one day and doubt it the next.  There is one small way to make this process a little bit easier though, choose eco-friendly!  Can’t decide on countertops?  Skip the traditional and trendy options and go right for the ones that’ll make your insides warm and happy. Countertops can be made from all sorts of recycled materials including glass, paper, aluminum, copper, and acrylic.  Or go with trendy, because the manufacturing of quartz is actually eco-friendly.  We are sure our favorite people at Sellers Tile can help you out.  Flooring is another area where you can choose selections that are kinder to our Earth.  From Bamboo and Cork to recycled-plastic carpet, you can find options that suit your wants and fit your budget.  Cork is actually the outer bark of a Cork Oak Tree, it can be harvested from the tree which allows new bark to grow all while NOT DAMAGING OR KILLING SAID TREE!  And, you will be shocked to find out all of the amazing products you can find that are made from cork.  Our go-to flooring experts at Rug Runner can help you choose something that suits your taste.  The options are endless and bragging rights promised- go ahead, fill your home with a renewable resource!!
  • Don’t forget appliances! From more energy-efficient ovens to installing a tankless water heater, the knowledgeable team of construction professionals that you have hired (ahem) and their all-knowing friends at Ferguson, can tell you all about your options.  Just ask.
  • If you take the time to talk to your favorite design and build team member, I am sure they’d come up with a few easy outdoor selections that would be friendly to the environment.  ICF Construction, Cedar siding, a smaller footprint (go up), and leaving as many trees on the property as possible are all great ways to help avoid some of the everyday stressors on our Earth.

I bet you’re wondering how any of this is related to that curious signature at the end of every email from Daniel Spann, LEED AP?  You should know that Dan is neither a member of the Associated Press nor our Accounts Payable professional.  Instead that fancy label after his name means that Dan is super knowledgeable about GREEN BUILDING.  After studying sustainable construction and development at App State and starting his career in such, he took some extra classes, studied hard, and passed the exam given by the U.S. Green Building Council.   LEED AP stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional.  Mr. Spann isn’t only our Director of Construction here at PBC but also your go-to for all things eco-building-friendly!  And quite frankly if we ever find a spare five minutes, he’ll be getting that custom-made green cape that we all know he deserves.

Trending Now: Top 5 Popular Designs PBC Clients Are Asking For

Once focused on Craftsman style, granite countertops, and textured walls, today we are seeing our custom home clients move more towards a cleaner and simpler aesthetic.

We all remember it.  Ten years ago seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye and it feels like it’s been “one sleep” since 2001, but the reality of it is that time moves forward and “popular” is just as it has always been. Once loved and relevant by most is now replaced by newer, cooler, and more aesthetically pleasing.  The overdone McMansions have been replaced by functional, simpler, dare-we-say more “modern” homes.  Instead of seeing the constant of dark wood, bold wall colors, and Tuscan kitchens we are moving more towards interior metals, larger exterior spaces, and lighter colors overall.


In the late 2010s, we are celebrating the metals.  All of them!  We are mixing them, we are designing staircases around them, we are replacing wood with them, the list goes on.  We LOVE metal and it turns out, our clients do too.  Metals are a great way to modernize the home and make it look cleaner, sleeker, and more current.  We are seeing more clients ask for it in place of wooden pickets inside their homes (and out), we are seeing it replace wider and more traditional wood around the glazing on French Doors, and due to the popularity of the modern farmhouse we are seeing A LOT of steel windows.



noun;    a covering or coating on a structure or material.

You’re welcome.  It’s just a big word for wallpaper and faux paint or texture, as seen on this white washed brick fireplace.  Be it paint, paper, or plaster, it is intended to make a wall (or surface) look like it is made of a different material than it actually is.  Although some styles are a trend of the past, they have made their way back and are making their presence known.  Clients are loving the ability to put their own individual stamp on their new custom home and we just happen to know of the best in town.  Texture away!


Pools upon pools upon pools!  Although (possibly) an exaggeration, it seems like EVERY client we built for in the last year had a pool on their plans.  A couple of the most in-demand are “plunge pools” and “cocktail pools”.

A plunge pool is more shallow and compact than a traditional backyard pool but it also has a few different goals in mind, like aquatic exercise, physical therapy, and relaxation.

A cocktail pool is very similar to the plunge pool.  The biggest difference between the two is that a cocktail pool tends to be a bit more shallow than the plunge, and typically the cocktail pool has a bench seat around the perimeter with the idea that guests will sit and enjoy a cocktail while relaxing and cooling off with friends.  Either way, we like happy clients.  If it’s a pool that they want, a pool they will get!


FINALLY, we have all realized that an overabundance of cabinet space in the kitchen maybe isn’t a necessity.  There are lots of things we all possess that we don’t use every day.  They need a home, and we don’t necessarily have to have a place in our everyday kitchens to store them.  We want amazing pantries, full of shelving and storage, as seen in our Thom’s Creek River House.  Specifically, a scullery or an “overflow kitchen” with secondary cabinetry and plumbing (beverage refrigerator, another sink, an extra dishwasher).  Three cheers to bringing back a scullery!


We know, we know, this is probably a southern thing.  That said, large porches like this one (seen on our recently built home at Wrightsville Beach) began years ago before the present-day comfort of central air conditioning.  Big, sometimes screened in, the porch was a go-to for southerners. They did not stay inside and suffer miserably in the 100-degree humidity but instead enjoyed wide open porches and southern breezes as a way to cool off.  Fast forward, those large porches are coming back!  Yes, we have the luxury of HVAC, most of which we can adjust from an app on our phone, but we still love a great evening outside on the porch. Although most clients and designers believe that 10 foot porches are comfortable and deep, both agree that 11 and 12 foot porches add more livability, more room to sit within and enjoy the view, and that they add an element of ease and comfort while entertaining.

No matter what is trending in custom homes or how high on the popularity chart your countertop selection is, just make sure that YOU do YOU.  Probably check with Chrissy first.  And consult Jessica at FergusonMaybe ask Jarvis or Dave.  Bottom line, trends change and so do you so most importantly, love where you live!