We always love to sit down and chat with local Denver Developers and see what approach and backstory is behind there work.
Shannon Harris with Fuse Living, loves sustainable and healthy design, sitting down to hear her backstory and her approach on development was a true pleasure. I think this interview has tons of insight on how to make better communities and we’re glad to share this with each of you.
As an interior designer, Shannon was drawn to Denver by a passion to use sustainable design principles more often in her work. As time went on though, interiors were not enough. She wanted to truly integrate sustainability into the homes she was working on.
So together with her father, Shannon decided the best way to make a bigger impact was to flip older homes and include healthy technologies and materials into the refurb.
However, after securing a good deal on an empty lot in the Five Points neighborhood they decided to dive head first into new construction.
After some painful early lessons and a lot of hard work – Shannon now runs Fuse Living.
The Fuse Living business has two parts. The first is a development company specializing in healthy, energy efficient homes. In the second part, Shannon uses her design expertise and the same health-focused principles to create stunning interiors.
In her interview with me, she talks about how building strong relationships with contractors early on has been crucial to the success of her developments. She attracted a great GC, Realtor and Design team on her first project. Not easy.
This has allowed her to grow the business without any previous development experience. Now Fuse Living are working on larger and more ambitious developments. Their latest offering is a 12-unit condo due to be released in Summer 2016.
I ask her – “Do energy efficiency features increase sales values?”
Her answer is fascinating and a sign for the future.
Shannon also shares her tips for creating a smooth and successful development including;
- Why a “Design Charrette” is so important to a smooth build process.
- How she structures contracts to encourage contractors to be engaged early in the process.
- Why Fuse Living include Solar panels on all their developments.
- The most important choice to achieve extra sales value on healthy homes.
Above all, Shannon is driven by her passion for delivering homes that allow people to live happy, healthy lives. Energy efficiency is just one part of that.
Shannon’s interior design background gives her unique insight into the psychological aspects of design that directly influence our happiness. She includes these elements into her own developments, but also works with other developers and individuals to create stylish, healthy interiors too.
We discuss how bad design can chip away at our wellbeing day-after-day. Something that seems trivial like the swing of a shower door hitting the towel rail every morning. Or the toxins in construction materials and simple decor choices can invisibly erode your physical and mental health without realising it.
This interview is a great reminder that the “green movement” can sometimes be caught up in the technical aspects of measuring energy savings. Shannon and Fuse Living are here to remind us that in the end, we should be creating great places for people to live happy lives in.
Fuse Living – fuseliving.com
Living Building Challenge – http://living-future.org/lbc
Zero Energy Homes – http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-ready-home
LEED for Homes – http://www.usgbc.org/LEED
Indoor Air Plus – https://www.epa.gov/indoorairplus
USGBC – http://www.usgbc.org