I am thrilled that our HGTV Dream House on Kiawah Island — the first LEED-certified HGTV Dream House — continues to break public tour sales records, outselling every house before it! While I love the exposure this brings to our Platinum LEED, energy-sensitive approach to building, even more wonderful is that the most money possible is being raised for the local Charleston chapter of Communities In Schools.
I chose Communities In Schools as the national non-profit for this HGTV Dream House for several reasons, including my relationship with risk and its ability to bring about change. Now, more than ever in this country, we need to take a risk with our educational system, to really push forward to find out what works, to push the envelope with as many “what ifs” as possible to take schools beyond the status quo.
A determination to do it right the first time, with a conscience, is how we started at Dyal Compass, how we entered the energy-sensitive arena — and we haven’t wavered. It’s a no-brainer; after all, not only do you get your money back on energy bills by spending a little more on, say, geothermal heating and solar panels, you also save billions as far as impact on the earth. Clearly, it’s the right thing to do.
It’s the same with education: take time to do it right from the beginning, and you’ll get your money back and save billions in the long run.
Like the teachers and educators struggling to do the right thing by their students, Dyal Compass is a little guy at the grassroots level. But acting as a team to push things forward, little guys can bring about big change. Just look at what we’ve accomplished, pushing the envelope to not only build with a conscience, but also to break records in ticket sales for the HGTV Dream Home for Communities In Schools. The sky’s the limit!
Finally, and closest to my heart, I chose Communities In Schools to honor my sister Janet Jones, a master teacher in Charlotte, NC, and my niece Kristie Oberg, a nursery school teacher in Jackson Hole, WY. I’ve heard their stories and challenges, and I embrace the opportunity to put a spotlight on them.
It’s time to rethink our educational system, to update and revolutionize it the way LEED building is transforming the way we build homes. If we join together to do it right the first time, from the beginning — and with a conscience — who knows what records we will break?