About Chris…  more...


Chris Senior has been in the homebuilding industry daily since 1988, first working for 3 large production builders in the Research Triangle.  Then he started-out alone in 1993 at ocean’s edge as a custom NC Residential Contractor, and later became an Unlimited NC Commercial Contractor  ('98).  He served on the Executive Board of Directors of the NC Sustainable Energy Association (’07-10), making a positive difference in very timely renewable energy public policy.  While there, they legislated and succesfully passed 2 very important NC laws - on an individual level: the “Right to Solar Bill” enabling any home to access the Sun for heat/power without restriction; and on a larger scale: “20 in 20”, requiring all “NC Utilities to have 20% Renewables on Grid in 20 Years”.  Locally, he recently served on the exemplary Town of Chapel Hill Sustainability Committee.


    In 2009 he successfully completed the 2nd US training class series in Boston for the intensive cutting-edge European certification training with the PassiveHouse Institute.US.  He is also a certified NAHB-Master Certified Green Professional (‘11), NAHB-Certified Green Professional (’08), an NC HealthyBuilt HomeBuilder, an original 100% EnergyStar builder, etc, etc.  He has maintained his NC Real Estate Broker’s license annually with continuing education since ’78, and helped teach and become a charter NAR-GREEN realtor (’09).

  

    Chris says that he vividly remembers that his interests in homebuilding were first tangibly inspired at age 7...   As the eldest of 5 siblings, he says he “was so thrilled to get to work beside my busy pediatrician father and my realtor mother to assemble our large family home" back in 1963 - "just as my lights were coming on", he says.  “My father’s father, an innovative civil engineer from Buffalo NY, pitched in, too”.  “My dad used mostly recycled historical materials, rescued from several crumbling, overgrown, pre-Civil War mansions” (later flooded to create Jordan Lake, in central NC).  Heartpine fireplace mantles, handmade bricks with fingerprints and dogprints, mortice-and-tenon pegged doors, bubbly windowglass, hand-hewn beams…  That home was later featured in magazines and newspapers as the “New House with History” (way back in 1963!...).

 

  Through college and grad school he majored in Anthropology/Archaeology.  It required a unique dichotomy of indoor/outdoor scholarliness - both "a tacked-to-the-seat literary discipline" and "physically and mentally exacting fieldwork under tough remote conditions".  He "got good" and started leading large crews on "digs" - for 7 summers and then 1.5 solid years - in NC, SC, TN, VA, MD, KY, and a summer in the Middle East.


    He has been steadily fascinated by alternative renewable energies and “aggressive” solar orientation for comfort since the early ‘70s in Boone NC.  His college farmhouse was powered by DC-current from a water wheel.  He helped assemble electricity-generating Argentinean windmills for a college project.  He did Outward Bound and led “digs” every summer and learned a lot about living outdoors in the mountains and... “appreciating the comforts of being indoors” after living in tents and bathing  in rivers.


    Archaeologically, in a flash of understanding, Chris said he “realized that every prehistoric human habitation site was solar-oriented!”.. ..”We’ve simply forgotten the important simplicity of the Suns’ daily and seasonal path, with our disoriented cul-de-sac subdivisions and our creation of fossil-fueled interior air-conditioning and heat”.  “You can drive down any country road and study sensible shade, sun and seasonally-prevailing winds on farmhouses that were built long before heat and air-conditioning arrived”.


   Chris had a college archaeology assignment to find and register with the state 10 previously-undocumented prehistoric Indian sites around Boone NC - he successfully discovered incredibly rich sites by first predicting where the prehistoric sites would be by first envisioning the Sun’s seasonal arc on topographical maps!  “Let’s see, if I were a Native American thousands of years ago, where would I choose to camp?”...


    After graduate school in D.C., the frontier West called him and his best friend to drive cross-country.  “At the Pacific, with a coin-toss, it was "heads", we took a right...  It changed everything”, he says.  They stopped and stayed in Anchorage Alaska, during the ‘80's.  Hence the “Anchorage” business name, a “safe port in the storm”.  While there, professionally, Senior "totally switched gears - and wardrobe - and haircut" from ponytailed archaeology into high finance, and became a formally trained, “very helpful and therefore successful” stockbroker with a major firm in Anchorage, Alaska.

  

    Senior grins and reflects that, "ironically, in retrospect, that early winding path was ultimately an ideal educational and career background for becoming a custom green homebuilder".  He says that blending "a studious, idyllic devotion to humankind's diversity and adaptability (anthropology), and the manual comprehension and documentation of structural detail (archaeology), then the formal financial industry training and its' fiduciary responsibilities (finance), were all, oddly, properly imperative ingredients" to becoming a well-rounded custom green builder.


    He is married to sweet happy angel Leigh Ann, a Wilmington NC native and a brilliant 32-year career RN, specializing in HIV/AIDS care for street folk the last 14 years.  They don't have kids - but do have 18 incredible nieces and nephews, dear sweet patients and happy grateful clients with fantastic unique homes - to leave behind...


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