The DSC Standard® – A Banner Beginning- Paradise Valley’s First LEED Home

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This was a banner first quarter for DSC. We just received certification on Paradise Valley’s first LEED certified custom home… ever! This on the heels of the announcement that El Chorro Lodge earned LEED Gold certification, making it the first ever full-service LEED certified restaurant in Arizona.

We’re not shy about our habitual commitment to the DSC Standard®—a level of excellence that we pursue every day alongside the industry’s “best-of-the-best” staff, design professionals and craftsmen. This new LEED home is a high point in that journey.

When we talk about the DSC Standard®, this is what we point to. It’s about Building the Best Better® for our clients, and it’s a great feeling!

With gratitude,
Jerry Meek and Team DSC®


The new three-building, LEED certified Paradise Valley residence includes a main house (LEED “Certified”), a guesthouse (LEED “Gold”) and a casita (LEED “Platinum”). We hope you enjoy a preview of this latest green achievement, along with personal insight from our forward-thinking homeowners about their LEED journey. See the homeowners’ comments and accompanying photos below.

“Building LEED came with some unknowns for us. Would it cost more? Would we have to compromise comfort? The results were better than we ever expected. Extra costs were negligible, and although we wondered if we would have to trade utility for luxury, the opposite was true. The things we added or installed to achieve LEED certification only enhanced the home.”

“We’d encourage everyone to get out in front of this trend, not only because it’s the wave of the future but because it’s the right thing and because there are hugely positive benefits. In a very short time, we have seen significantly lower energy bills and even an improvement in allergies because of the home’s air quality.”

“It felt good to put thought behind our building process. Desert Star brought the idea of LEED to the table and directed us through each step. They answered—or found the answers to—every question we had. Now we’re models for what can be done. Our friends and neighbors are interested in hearing our story. Some have started planning their own green improvements.”


The LEED for Homes program (standing for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the leading, nationally accepted third party verification system for green homes. It ranks properties from lowest to highest as Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

LEED homes are also given a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score to help determine true energy efficiency. The HERS score does for your home what the MPG rating does for your car. Based on average HERS scores of LEED homes built to date, this type of property has the potential to use 20 to 30 percent—and in some cases up to 60 percent—less energy than homes built to standard building codes. The HERS score at this Paradise Valley home verifies that it is 43 percent more efficient than a traditionally built house. This translates into lower costs for the lifetime of the home.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the quality of indoor air is also often two to five times worse—and occasionally more than 100 times worse—than outdoor air. A LEED home counters this by maximizing fresh air indoors and minimizing exposure to toxins and pollutants.

Considering building green? We’re here to help. Call us at 480.951.4425.

“If typical building code is equivalent to a high school degree, then LEED certification is a graduate degree.”
– Jeremy Meek
DSC Sustainability Programs Manager
LEED for Homes Accredited Professional


DSC congratulates Donna Vallone for her recognition as a 2011 Master of the Southwest! Instituted more than 20 years ago by Phoenix Home & Garden, this distinction recognizes those who “use their talents to help define our homes, establish a connection with the environment and create a sense of place.” We’ve worked in tandem with Donna for years and consider her an integral part of many of our most successful projects, including the home featured above and the home featured in this great article. Don’t miss this story about Donna and her beautiful creations.