We are pleased to welcome another new member to our BrightBuilt Home team of designers and high-performance fanatics. Meet Nathan West, who hails from southern Ohio and brings his design chops, hands-on experience, and passion for sustainable building along. As a way to get to know him better, and to introduce him to our BrightBuilt family, we thought we'd ask Nathan some of our signature pointed questions.
Tell us a little about yourself! Where are you from, where have you been, and how did you get here?
I grew up on a small cattle farm in southern Ohio where my family has lived since the 1820’s. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to spend all of my time wandering around in the woods and enjoying nature. Unfortunately, my hometown was poisoned by a now infamous PFOA contamination. My love of nature and my desire to protect it has lead me down a somewhat unique path towards a career in sustainable home design. I left my hometown to study architecture, and after graduating, I moved to central Vermont. I became a carpenter so that I could spend as much time as possible outdoors while learning about construction. Throughout my 20’s, I worked on many houses of all shapes and sizes. Eventually, I discovered the vibrant community in Portland, Maine with many people who share my passion for building sustainable homes. Every day, I’m grateful to call this amazing community my home.
Why is Net Zero building important to you?
A safe, healthy, and comfortable home is centrally important to living a happy and healthy life- unfortunately in our world, most people don’t have access to this kind of luxury. I’m driven to continuously work towards closing that gap so that the Earth can support more people living their best lives without dependance on fossil fuels. I believe that building durable and affordable Net Zero homes benefits the people who are living in them, but it is also greatly to the benefit of our Earth’s future.
If given the option, which BrightBuilt design would you build and move into tomorrow?
The Highland with the vaulted ceiling and loft is actually very similar to the layout of my current apartment in Portland. However, that’s like comparing a 1970’s model car to one built in 2023. It would be a very nice upgrade!
If the BrightBuilt Home team were to become stranded on a remote island, what role would you take on to ensure everyone’s survival?
I actually used to teach wilderness survival classes at a summer camp! After helping to build the initial priorities such as fires and shelters, I’d help collect water and catch some fish for a nice dinner. Then, the top priority is staying calm in a survival situation- so I would build some nice beach chairs so we could all relax for a bit- that sounds pretty nice actually.
A new sitcom about the daily antics of the BrightBuilt team has been picked up by all of the major networks. Who is cast as you?
I think that Timothy Chalamet would do exceptionally well with the role, but I would also want to give Michael Cera the opportunity to audition.
You have figured out how to place a BrightBuilt home anywhere; not just in terms of geographic location, but rather, on, under, over, inside, on top of, or beside anything. Where is the first place you set one?
Earth sheltered homes and buildings are something that I’m deeply fascinated by (pun intended). I would love to be able to tuck a BrightBuilt home into a hillside somewhere deep in the woods.
And most importantly: What fashion trend did you use to rock that you now wish you could delete from your past?
As a teenager, I went to all of the local fairs to show and sell market beef cattle. There are a lot of pictures of me dressed in the typical cowboy fashion for these events. I definitely felt dorky at the time, but I do think I wore it well.