beautiful modern home - sustainable home design carmel CA

Specialists in using Passive House and electrification strategies to design and build homes for optimum energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality and a lower carbon footprint.

Often, there’s a moment when we see a connection between the health of the planet and our own choices. And that can be magic. It doesn’t always come in the form of dramatic change. Every adjustment is a step in the right direction.

At Carmel Building & Design, we know that the way we—and the building industry as a whole—approach our craft has a significant impact on carbon emissions and consequent climate change. And we have it within our power to turn things around. 

A central focus is to reduce the energy demands of the homes we build and remodel to the point where the remaining energy needs can be met with onsite renewable sources such as solar. We have the know-how, resources, materials, technologies and growing body of experience to apply these strategies to any type of project. And, it’s simply the right thing to do.

beautiful modern home - sustainable home design carmel CA

Progressive, sustainable practices in a nutshell mean designing and building in a way that not only creates a better quality, much more energy efficient and comfortable home, but also reduces our overall negative impact on the environment.

In addition to following Passive House principles, we can incorporate electrification, Zero Net Energy, LEED, Living Building Challenge and other building science protocols.

We also utilize strategies like advanced framing and window placement for passive light and temperature control, reclaimed or recycled materials when possible and finishes with very low or no VOCs.

Carmel Building & Design provides complete design and construction services where we manage your project from beginning to completion. We also provide general contracting services, collaborating with you and your architect or designer to ensure an excellent finished project, and experience.
ultra modern dining room - sustainable home design carmel CA
ultra modern dining room - sustainable home design carmel CA

Passive House

Passive House—a proven concept in Europe and growing steadily in the U.S.—focuses on strategies that reduce a home’s energy demand for space heating and cooling by 75 to 90 percent. A Passive House is a very well insulated, virtually airtight building that is heated primarily by passive solar and internal heat gains from occupants, cooking, bathing and electrical equipment. It reduces the home’s energy demands to the point where the remaining energy needs can be met by onsite solar.

These 5 key principles of Passive House* can be applied to new construction, remodels and retrofits:

*Source: Passive House Institute

Control of summer heat through shading and window orientation further reduces the demand for cooling. When combined with the selection of highly efficient appliances, this creates a home with a very low operational carbon footprint.
While we focus on residential design/build, Passive House principles can be applied to any building type from institutional and educational to commercial and industrial. In addition to a low carbon footprint, greater comfort and excellent indoor air quality, a Passive House affords additional benefits including lower operating costs, increased quiet, and greater durability and value. Learn more about Passive House here.

Services

Our design/build service is end-to-end, whether it’s an extensive remodel or new construction. If you opt for our general contracting service, we work with your architect or designer to build or remodel your home. Click on the boxes below for more details.

Our Process

Our Process

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Whether you opt to work with our designer, an architect or designer you’ve already chosen or want us to make recommendations, we will assemble a team that’s a perfect match for your project. Understanding your vision, needs, priorities, budget, timing and preferences, we’ll work together to make your home, and your experience, exceptional. We excel at listening and asking the right questions until we’re sure we understand precisely what you want. Then, we draw on our skill and passion to bring your vision to life.For complex or highly technical projects, like Central California’s first Passive House, we hold a planning meeting with selected subcontractors, suppliers and consultants to ensure they understand the goals and special needs of the project. And we tap into each professional’s expertise early on to anticipate and meet challenges, and create a successful project.

With a well-thought-out plan that has been viewed from every angle, the construction phase gets underway. The craft and science of building is constantly evolving. Not only do we follow today’s most advanced practices, we stay ahead of new developments that will define quality homes of the future. Carmel Building & Design embraces techniques and technologies that enhance energy efficiency, indoor air quality and durability, reduce energy and maintenance costs and increase the value of your home. Our standard building practices are environmentally conscious, resulting in a better-built home with little or no added expense.

Communication during the project is critical not only to keep the project on track, but for your peace of mind. Whether you are local or from out of town, we keep you informed about your project in a number of ways. Many of our clients utilize our secure, web-based information-sharing tool where we post specifications, updates, photos and other project related information. You can check the status of your project, view comments from the team and communicate with us online, anytime, from anywhere. Of course, we’re always available in person, by phone or by email if that’s more your style. Throughout the project, we’ll send you regular, itemized billings that include original documentation for all work and materials, and a summary of expenditures by budget item so you can see where every penny is spent.

When you sign on with Carmel Building & Design, we make a personal commitment to provide you with the information you need to manage and enjoy your home. While it varies by type of project, we provide everything from inspection cards and lien releases to a complete Homeowner’s Manual. And we back up our work with a hassle-free warranty service.

Because of the exceptional product and experience we provide, and the personal relationships our site supervisors develop with homeowners, many of our clients return to us for additional projects and recommend us to friends and family.

Rob Nicely

President & Partner

Rob studied art at the University of California, Davis and has been in the construction industry since 1980. His rare combination of technical expertise and artistic sensibility enables him to provide a unique and exceptional experience for clients. As president, Rob leads by example. He is dedicated to the highest standards of quality and customer service, and to using the latest techniques and technologies to create environmentally mindful homes.
Rob is a Certified Green Building Professional (Build It Green) and Certified Passive House Consultant (Passive House Institute). He has served on the Passive House California board of directors since January 2018. Over the years Rob has garnered several accreditations. He participates in a variety of advocacy efforts, all focused on improving the quality of homes that Carmel Building & Design produces and increasing the ecological sustainability of the building industry in general. In his leisure time, Rob enjoys sculpting and painting.