Ferrier Custom Built Homes (VISIT)



The beginning of a 1900sq ft home
About a $60.00 avg energy total compared to a $450.00avg.
Industry class 4 roof with life time warranty
>>> A visual… This home should be able to handle a class 3 hurricane
This home will be built with a tankless water heater, and with close attention to insulation, tight air, and the particular angels of the sun during it’s peaks.

Their Mission Statement: To advance, communicate and facilitate energy-efficient and sustainable building practices to the home building industry and into the homes and structures we buildToday we met with Don Ferrier, he is a 3rd generation of the Ferrier Company.

This company basis their designs on:

  • Proper site locations, taking into consideration of existing buildings and infrastructures
  • Reducing overall energy loads
  • Water Conservation such as water runoffs and
  • Local materials that simplify and reduce operational requirements 

The site visit really stimulated my brain cells it made me think about building homes that  last. That to me is exactly what sustainability on the first level is. Don really brought this tour home for me when he explained that the upfront costs building energy efficient homes are very steep. Yet, the long run savings could be tremendous. Not just savings on utilities and home repair but saving on items such as homeowners insurance.

AND HERE I GO AGAIN>>> windows and insulation

The very first thing Don explained how they pay extra attention to insulation and framework utilizing sprayfoams. He then went on to explain how many of the homes are built with straps to support the home through possibly class 3 hurricanes.

Completely amazing. This visit really made me want to spend some time with Habitat for Humanity (in the winter). This site visit took me a little out of my comfort zone at first because I was afraid we were going to talk more about the construction and design that goes into new homes, but Don Ferrier was so enthusiastic and focused on explaining the small changes that could be built into homes and buildings, that this visits turned into a real eye opener for me.

Rooftop Herb Garden – Supplementing fresh herbs and vegetables for our restaurant
“People always say they don’t have room for a garden. HA HA the Fairmount showed them.”

                                                       Today we met with Jason James the Chief Engineer for the Fairmount Hotel Dallas.

 The first Texas hotel to win the Green Key Award (“The Green Key audit results demonstrate our enduring commitment to environmental stewardship and constant efforts ).

Aside from getting to see a pretty productive roof top vegetable garden, what really stuck with me the most how transparent and realistic Jason was.

During the tour Jason mentioned that they have had to out source some of the services to other companies. They outsourced a few services because a few other companies offer   more established recycle/reuse programs at affordable prices. This made a ton of since to me, because once again there are a lot of small changes that can be made vs running to put solar panels on roofs. Hints : RECYCLE REVOLUTION 

This location

  • Removed 3500 pounds of old telephones, leaving 800 pounds of copper available for a recycle/reuse program
  • The offer employee garage sales to promote reuse within the company
  • To conserve energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, Fairmont has introduced compact fluorescent light bulbs where possible.
  • Guests can do their part by choosing to participate in the towel and sheet exchange program offered at all Fairmont properties
Water recycling program, which will take water from cooling towers and filtrate for irrigating the herb garden.
• Chiller replacement
• Hot water softener
• Water efficient shower heads
Every thing in this particular room is still incandescent. This is one their most important banquet rooms and it is know for it ambiance and soft lighting, The hotel is till looking to find energy efficient lightings that will complement this room ambiance.
Check out the green house


Local bees are managed by the Honey Bee Guild
This was a great tour, but it wore us OUT!!!

Trinity River Audubon (visit) – Windows and Insulation

Today we met with Sahar Sea, Education Manager


                                                                            Tour: Trinity River Audubon

The Audubon is a river basin that acts as a refuge for several species of birds making long travels through out the state. 

  • -The building is designed with slanted glass to protect against glare and bird strikes.
  • – East Texas Bamboo floors (flooring has a natural gloss)
  • – Open ceilings that keep the roof cool and a roof top garden that works as an insulator for certain areas of the     building.
  • – The banquet area ceiling is covered in a soft material made of recycled denim
  • – With walls are made of a flyass (I’m sure I spelled that wrong) and a concrete mix.
  • – Offices and conference rooms have easy opening windows that allow access to fresh air.

How did this site visit change me: The little changes make the biggest impact I assumed my energy company says that because they know I can’t afford solar panels or any of the creative insulation materials I have learned about in the past few weeks.Yet, today I heard a super presentation and as soon as we got to the Audubon all I could think about were windows and insulation.

It is really coming together in my head now. Sustainability is not just about creating gardens and adding solar panels to roofs.  There are several small changes that can drastically change the way energy is used. I now understand the purpose of an Audubon, and I this site visit was a real eye opener to the simple and affordable changes that can be made to structures, that will have long lasting impacts on the life expectancy of a building along with the environment.

Slanted Windows
Protect from glare over the banquet area and bird strikes
Ceilings made of flyash (I’m sure I spelled this wrong) and a concrete mix


I just wanted every one to see the kiddy step stool…
But the wood for the wall is made of a recyclable wood brought in from East Texas


I’m not sure if you can really see the picture.
But this is a demonstration of how rivers are formed and how they shifting and pushing of the soil create river basins.


Single stream of recyclable material getting ready to be sorted

So today we met with Eddie Lott, Founder and Executive director. 

Their Mission Statement:Foster a culture of recycling in North Texas, provide outstanding service to businesses that care, and use our success to rally for the causes of good neighborhoodship and environmental awareness.

My Thoughts: I’ll be honest before taking this class I kept hearing people say recycle/reuse almost as if it were one in the same. But Today I learned that recycling is a completely different concept. When I pictured recycling facilities I picture land fields  or that  type of environment. As you can see things are stored quite neatly and not just piles of materials.   

I posted the pictures of the plastic bottles and books, because they were stored in >>> card board boxes.  What impressed me most was not the recycling facility, but Eddie Lott himself.  While we walked around the facility I started thinking wow he’s a political science major, you’ve got to be kidding, and how does that relate. Yet, as we sat down and really listened to him talk, it was obvious. He takes a serious passion in the responsibility of recycling but it became obvious that he is equally passionate in the dynamics of how and why every one internationally should have the opportunity.

Thanks to this visit I learned that one person or one company no mater how big or small can make life sustaining difference with in towns and communities.

The staff at Recycle Revolution was holding this PVC to donate to an organization possibly Habitat for Humanities to be reused vs reycling it…. How awsome.


These box of cans could have easily come form my home alone. WOW!!!

The Bedford Library (Visit) – A creative reuse of a Food Lion Grocery

Automated Materials Handling – maximizing man power
Books are put into drop box, then travel to an area within the library. The barcodes are then automaticly scanned and dropped into designated bins. The bins are organized by library reshelfing catagories. This automatied system reduced the reshelfing process by 20 percent. (See AMH post for an actual video on this system)

Axium Solar Kiosk

Their Mission: Our Community’s front porch . . . for learning, for leisure, for life!

My thoughts on this visit:

This might sound terrible but when I initially left the site the first thing I thought was ohh no humans are going to be replaced by machines. Yet that is not the case. What impacted me the most about this site visit was the Automated Materials Handling System. It was amazing to here how much labor was cut down.


(This is me being a little too transparent), but this site visit was the 2nd most overwhelming site visit I’ve experienced. This visit was overwhelming because immediately walking into the main library we started talking about the eco friendly lighting, Geo-thermal systems, Maria Redburn showed us this wonderful inverter, and all of this was well over my head I took so many notes on stuff to Google and I came home and had a deep conversation with my neighbor who’s a private contractor.


I was really impressed at how much Maria Redburn had learned from being apart of the development and it made me think, the only way I am going to get a good grasp on all of these amazing sustainable changes is I have got to find a company trying to make these improvements and volunteer with them this way I can ask all the stupid questions I need.  So that is my new game plan


Masters of Realestate – Sustainability

It dawned on me in class that there are so many areas or avenues of sustainability that I hadn’t given much thought.  It has taken me over a year to pick a major that excited me as much as Culinary School.

I am looking forward to learning every thing I can about commercial development. Before attending this class I was extremely excited to learn more about agricultural planning and rual development, but after the first day of class I realized there is soooo much more to learn from local impacts of development to global impacts.

It was hard for me to make a connection between myself and my classmates. Honestly I was a little intimidated, but towards the end of class I started to feel our connection was that we were all understanding of the environmental urgency of proper land use and re-use.

I couldn’t have planned a better first day of class, and I wouldn’t have changed a bit.

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