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The Cornwallis Story

August 19, 2014 1:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Drafted by Architect Nathan Isley, the Isley Residence is a LEED for Homes Certified, NAHB Home Innovation’s GREEN Certified, Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR and WaterSense® Qualified home. This home scored a 59 rating on the HERS Index. One of Durham County’s first LEED for Homes Certified single family residences, this home qualifies for the Duke Energy Incentive rebate program.

LEED HOME BuilderWe could write a list three pages long representing the custom features and advanced building techniques of this new home, such as all LED light bulbs, cork flooring, quartz tops, low flow toilets, spray foam insulation and indigenous drought tolerant landscaping that are all upgrades that collectively qualify this home for its accolades.

But don’t overlook the finishing features for this new home. All staining seam metal roofing, cherry cabinets, stone fireplace, stain-grade casement windows, interior true divided window transoms above interior doors, two story screen porch and a deck big enough to land a helicopter are all included.

The Charrette team gave much thought to the home’s energy efficiency features and sustainability which complements the home’s siting on the shared equestrian family tract. The morning sun flows into the master bedroom windows and sets over the back porch. The kitchen is open to the family room and offers an oversized island perfect for entertaining. The family room displays a custom built, all cherry desk and bookcase that flank the stone fireplace and coffered ceiling.

Two piece chair rail in the game room accent the custom built book shelves and hardwood floors. The mudroom has oversized cabinets and a handcrafted bench with coat hooks.


To be honest, I wrote the above from my office with a fluorescent light hanging above my head; sitting at my desk. Now I am typing this while inside the home with the warm sunlight that brightens the walls.

New and fresh and CLEAN are all around me right now. Every caulk joint is straight. Everything around me has a shine and a regalness about it.

I am the only one here. The silence is broken only by the sound of the intermittent refrigerator fan. I am standing at the kitchen island looking at my lap top and I can hear the light wind wafting the unlatched screen door against the door frame, the buzz of the pasture grass that surrounds the house, a crow squawks on the fence line in the distance. No cars, no neighbourhood noise, just peace.

I have to think what a good job we did constructing this new home into the Earth’s soil so that it flows with the land as if it was made by the Earth itself. In an almost seamless manner, this Green Sustainable home built to shelter and comfort the souls that will call it home has the feel of a homestead of the generations before us.

LEED HOME Chad CollinsWhat a great home and what a pleasure it has been to have been a part of it. May this home stand for the coming generations to enjoy for years to come. I give you one of Durham’s first LEED Certified Homes, The Cornwallis.      View The Cornwallis Gallery




Chad D Collins 2014 NAHB Certified Green Home Professional of the Year (3) Chad D. Collins, Accredited Master Builder

An area native, NC Licensed General Contractor, National Association of Home Builders Master Certified Green ProfessionalTM, and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, Chad is one of less than 50 Accredited Master Builders in the state. He achieved this professional designations after years of experience and numerous hours of coursework via the NC Builder Institute. Chad has been an active member of the building industry since the early 1990’s. He joined the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties in 2005. Chad was soon named HBA Recruiter of the Year and he subsequently chaired various HBA committees. Chad is a Licensed Home Inspector, as well as, a Licensed Lead Abatement professional.

In addition to industry awards in recognition of excellence in home building and remodeling, Collins Design-Build has twice been named Building Company of the Year via the HBA’s Triangle Sales and Marketing Council MAME (Major Achievements in Marketing Excellence) Awards. The company has also received a Best Green Built Home STARS Award from the NCHBA. Currently, Chad serves as 1st Vice President of the HBADOC, and recently completed one of Durham’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) residential projects. LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, projects must satisfy pre-requisites and earn points to achieve various levels of achievement.

In 2014 Chad was selected as the HBADOC 2014 Builder of the Year and recently honored at The International Builders Show in Las Vegas as the NAHB’s Certified Green Home Professional of the Year.

Contact Chad at 919-422-2818 or via email chad@collinsdesignbuild.com

To learn about homeownership opportunities, contact Emilee at emilee@collinsdesignbuild.com


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This post was written by Chad Collins


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