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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Hanley Estate: The First ‘LEED for Homes’ Certified Residence in Paradise Valley

Respect for the desert, marquee design and craftsmanship and environmental sensitivity: Lee and Nancy Hanley’s home artfully combines tradition and energy-saving technology. 

When they worked with their design/construction team on the residence just before and during the Great Recession, 2006–2010, the Hanleys wanted to demonstrate they were environmentally conscientious, without sacrificing authenticity, spaciousness and luxury for energy efficiency.

As a result, their 17,000-square foot rural Mediterranean estate, including a stand-alone guest house and casita, became the first “LEED for Homes” certified property in Paradise Valley and one of the largest LEED-certified homes in Arizona. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a green building certification program developed by the nonprofit Chicago-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

After years of passionate planning on the home, Lee, a Marine Corps officer and veteran, passed away in Aug. 2012, a year and a half after the home was finished. On the wall of his study are ceremonial swords, awards and commendations, including one noting Nancy’s continuing support of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

Nancy met Ron Eriksson in 2018, and the two were married the following year. The couple is remodeling a smaller luxury home in nearby Finisterre.

 On a 4 1/2-acre-plus lot, the timeless estate has views to adjacent Camelback Mountain with direct access to the trails; in the distance are the McDowell Mountains. The main home has four bedrooms, five full bathrooms and three powder rooms; the guest house has two bedrooms and one bath; and the casita has one bedroom and one bathroom. In addition, the home features two two-car garages and a heated pool/spa.

Widely honored, the home received a Pacific Coast Builders Gold Nugget Award in 2011 for the best home over 6,000 square feet and, the same year, a National Gold Nugget Grand Award for the Best Custom Home over 6,500 square feet.

The couple’s stellar team included Architect Mark B. Candelaria, AIA, Candelaria Design Associates LLC; green building pioneer, Desert Star Construction (DSC); Interior Designer, Donna Vallone; Architectural consultant, Jim Smith, Serving the Nation; Landscape Architect, Jeff Berghoff; and lighting designer, Creative Designs in Lighting, Walter Spitz, principal. “We are thrilled to be working with Mark Candelaria and the same design/construction team on our new home,” Nancy says.

“The client was very intent on creating a truly authentic rural Mediterranean home incorporating reclaimed materials, including beams, wood floors, fireplaces and doors,” Candelaria explains. “And then all new materials had to be incorporated in a way that reinforced this old rural Mediterranean aesthetic yet, incorporated the latest technology including lighting, energy efficiency and solar. The challenge was to incorporate this technology in a hidden manner that did not detract from the authentic rural Mediterranean style.”

Designed & Built Green

Each of the structures on the property received a LEED rating: the 13,982-square foot main house, LEED certified; the 2,025-square foot guest house, Gold; and the 977-square foot casita, Platinum.

Individual spaces achieved these HERS ratings: main house, 57; guest house, 61; casita, 62. The Home Energy Rating System index is the industry standard measuring energy efficiency. The lower the score, the more efficient the space.

The not-for-profit Residential Energy Services Network, based in Oceanside, California, maintains national standards for building energy efficiency rating and certification systems in the United States. RESNET determines HERS by checking exterior walls, above and below grade; floors above unconditioned spaces such as garages or cellars; ceilings and roofs; attics, foundations and crawl spaces; windows and doors; vents and ductwork; HVAC systems; the water heating system; and thermostats.

To get started, the team razed the existing 1960s home, then salvaged the materials, much of it steel, and donated these to local nonprofits. Berghoff employees saved all of the original plants, trees and cacti, some of which are more than a century old; they then replanted them on the property.

Led by company founder and CEO, Jerry Meek, Desert Star Construction built with 8-inch CMU blocks and 2 x 4-inch furring. The next layer is a local blend by Anasazi Stone—mortar washed using sand from the site—coats the blocks and furring. For insulation, the team installed sprayed-foam, blown cellulose and batts based on various requirements.

DSC also built a ground-mounted solar farm consisting of about 39 arrays for solar electricity, which power about half of the home’s needs, and three dedicated solar hot water heater panels. In addition, the company installed a smart fertigation system reusing gray water and a commercial-grade central heating and cooling plant.

Without the central cooling plant, the home would require as many as 23 traditional cooling units, explains Ryan Christiansen, director of operations for Desert Star Concierge LLC services, which has maintained the property since it was completed.

“These four units in place require less space than traditional units and they last long; the ones here are original from 2010,” he says. The solar water heaters provide about 110 gallons of water; they replenish in about two hours, so even with a house full of family and guests, no one has to wait for a hot shower.

“Even as the home exudes the spirit of European design, art and beauty, its heart beats strong for the future,” explains Candelaria, in his 40th year designing award-winning custom homes in the Valley and across the country. “Advanced technology goes virtually undetected, helping to make the residence 43 % more energy efficient and save 67 % more water on irrigation than a typical custom home.”

Respect for Many Traditions

In addition to its energy efficiency, the home celebrates European antique furnishings, chandeliers and art masterpieces. “It’s rural Mediterranean, not too French, not too Italian,” Nancy says.

“Each space is designed and enriched with the homeowners’ deep appreciation for European design,” Candelaria explains. “Painstakingly sourced materials and architectural salvage, such as reclaimed Belgian cobblestone, Douglas fir ceiling beams and French oak flooring, limestone fireplaces imported from France and antique hardware create a sense of classic tradition.”

She sourced her antiques, artworks and accessories such as vintage chandeliers from Valley of the Sun boutiques as well as her extensive travels throughout the country and the world. “We took several trips together to gather antiques and one-of-a-kind interior doors and shopped in Los Angeles for fabrics and furniture,” says Niki Saulino, a designer for Vallone Design, which has been completing high-end residential and commercial interiors for 20 years. “We catalogued all of the existing art and antiques in seven volumes. Details are everywhere you look!”

The home is also an intimate art gallery. Most of the artworks are by 19th- and 20th-century European and American impressionists and post-impressionists. In the library, Candelaria designed a niche to accommodate a large painting from 1889, “Wallingford Bridge, England,” by Herbert Olivier (1861–1952), uncle of Laurence Olivier, the great English actor (1907–1989). “When we were in England, we bought it at auction and became the first owners of the painting outside of the Olivier family,” she recalls.

Even the architecture is infused with artwork. In the living room, Candelaria designed a coffered ceiling with 15 squares. Each one has an original oil on canvas painted by Valley resident Kim Sweet in shades of beige, light brown and gray.

Among the spectacular antique furnishings are three Japanese tables and a 19th-century hand-painted bureau, also from Japan, and a fragile, aged walnut chest with aged scratches and scars. It was trucked to the site from a San Francisco antiques boutique and placed before the house was even finished. “The piece cannot be moved without taking it apart, dowel by dowel,” she explains.

At Exquisite Surfaces in Los Angeles, the team found an 1800s limestone fireplace for the living room. “They laid the pieces out on the floor for us to see, and it was constructed on site at the home,” she recalls.

In addition, her most prized piece is a beautifully grained walnut housekeeper’s cabinet from the late 1700s in the breakfast room across from the kitchen. “I picture that it was in the servants’ quarters for an affluent family,” she says. “I think about the background of where it has been and who used it. It was never intended to be fine furniture but an everyday working piece. I just have it waxed and love using it to house placemats, chargers and napkins, just as it had been used for over two centuries.”

Family is a strong tradition here, too. Candelaria notes, “Among the couple’s collection of art, books and antiques are photos of the homeowner’s children, grandchildren and lifelong friends, showing that each room is made to share life’s most precious moments with those they love most.”

Visit candelariadesign.com and desertstarconstruction.com/custom-home-builder/zona-verde/ for more information on the home.


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