ZELOS designs

Sustainability + contemporary design

about ZELOS designs

In Greek mythology, Zelos ("zeal") was the son of Pallas and Styx and brother of Nike, Cratos and Bia, and part of Zeus' retinue. He was the personification of dedication and emulation.

The goal of ZELOS designs is to provide affordable housing in the most sustainable way possible. This means purchasing and updating vacant homes utilizing sustainable and modernist principles, thereby reusing existing housing stock and making these properties and neighborhoods more desirable.

Many developers and architects talk about sustainability and how it is integrated into their new homes. However, in Orange County, North Carolina, 7% of the housing is vacant. Nationally, 9% of the housing is vacant. How sustainable are these architects and developers new homes if they are not needed? These properties are also typically constructed on virgin farmland in our area, and are single family detached housing. This adds to suburban sprawl and its accompanying appetite for land, decreases activity and property values in downtown areas, and increases energy consumption and pollution through increased commuting. The single family detached building type consumes the most energy compared with townhomes or apartments because all sides of the building are exposed to the elements allowing heat to escape in winter and penetrate into the building during the summer.

Redevelopment, renovation, and adaptive reuse have less environmental impact than new construction, even single family detached housing when compared to the same newly constructed building type. By upgrading old technology to more energy efficient new technology, repairing leaks, improving indoor air quality through the use of no VOC paints, flooring, and weatherproofing, adding insulation, and the addition of energy conserving lighting and water conserving fixtures, a home that normally would have continued to be vacant or be occupied with little to none of these problems resolved or upgraded would become an asset to its neighborhood and its owners. The addition of modern architectural elements and upgrades brings design to people that normally could not afford them. After all, that is the original purpose of modernism.  

By offering environmentally friendly products and modern design through retail, people are educated on why these things are important and provides an avenue for them to responsibly upgrade their own homes to become more environmentally friendly and make their homes more aesthetically pleasing. 

ZELOS designs was started by Christopher Garvin. Chris is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional and is an Associate member of the AIA. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design.