Sustainable 9 Design + Build

Ryan & Chad Hanson

Building the Future Today

It is not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable Nine Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow now, reflected in its enduring commitment to Green and energy efficient homes that are beautifully custom designed and built.

“Many clients are first attracted to us because they love the design and quality that they see in our homes,” said Chad Hanson, partner. “Since our architectural design tends to interpret modern or contemporary style, most of our clients are interested in energy efficiency and health aspects of a home, too.”

The Sustainable Nine interpretation of stylistically modern design is what Hanson describes as “Minnesota Modern.” That means you’ll find natural, warm tones in both exterior and interior, and use of regional woods such as reclaimed elm from a Wisconsin barn.  Their Minnesota cabinetry vendor uses only lumber that doesn’t have added formaldehyde. In remodeling projects, Sustainable Nine also interprets such classic styles as mid-century, with its clean, simple lines that have come full circle.

Both Chad and Ryan Hanson continually update their knowledge on all subjects Green, with sustainable, energy efficient building that emphasizes healthy indoor air. In recent European travels, Chad noticed widespread trends that are only emerging here in the Midwest.  Sustainable Nine may be the only company in this market to offer exterior insulation, for example.

“With Minnesota’s building codes, we are able to safely install exterior insulation that doesn’t compromise interior air flow, said Hanson. “This is an exciting time. Our clients are seeing that not only can they save money, they are making a difference in reducing dependence on coal and natural gas.” The company partners with several excellent solar installers. Now Hanson is also keeping his eye on a sleek, solar roof shingle product being developed by the Tesla Company, which will bring beauty and innovation to the growing trend of solar energy in Minnesota.

“Solar energy is becoming more affordable at the front end,” said Hanson, “ In 13 years of business, we’ve seen it is also becoming more acceptable to a growing market. About 85% of our clients put these upgrades in their plans, so at the least, solar can be installed at a later date. The return on investment comprises a shorter period than in the past, and it’s now possible to integrate solar panels into the architectural plan so that it meshes and doesn’t conflict with the design.”

Energy efficiency is not just important on the home’s exterior. How we get to energy savings inside the house extends all the way from comprehensive LED lighting fixtures to Energy Star appliances. “Everything counts toward having utility bills that are extremely low,” said Hanson. “And all of our resources know that we only use nontoxic products from carpet to cabinets, to windows.”

Hanson says that Sustainable Nine is the glue that brings everything together in a home project, and each home bears a signature stamp of sustainability and unique style.  Working with the client, selected architects and interior designers, an ultimately livable home is created.


Written by Joan Knight
Photography by Meghan Doll