Origin Story

We will argue that there are few things in this world more important than the world itself, its people, and the health of those people.

To sustain what we have and to have a bigger impact than the generations before us, we needed to look at doing things differently. One major factor that is dear to us is energy. Residential buildings consume the third-highest amount of energy, following the industrial and transportation sectors. The mass production of energy has its own side effects that lead to waste and health issues. So by combining our past interests of building with our shared core values, we knew we could have the greatest impact, and build a better home, than we had ever experienced – than the world has ever experienced. And that experience would define who we are and showcase what we believe in.

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In business, the most formidable and inspiring partnerships are ones built on mutual respect and shared values. Respect for common things like portable bamboo utensils and the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen and how both impact the state of residential construction. Here is the story of BrightLeaf Homes.

Brothers Rick and Alex Thompson grew up working on projects with their father since they were able to walk. Scott Sanders grew up as a bit of a self-proclaimed tree hugger – hence the portable non-disposable cutlery – and knew he wanted to be a builder, too. All three guys wanted more than an ability to build; they wanted to know how to do it best, the science and data behind it, and how to appeal to families looking for a different way to live. The result became BrightLeaf Homes.

Scott spent years working for a large residential builder. He squirreled away enough cash to build his own spec project. When the time came to break ground, Scott had garnered endless knowledge of how professional builders build homes, but more importantly how he shouldn’t build his. This led to the institution of BrightLeaf Homes, LLC in 2008. And Scott began building homes with a focus on energy conservation and conscientiousness.

The Thompson brothers started their own construction firm a decade ago using knowledge gained from working with a professional builder and taught themselves the rest of what they needed to know to be successful builders and business owners. When Rick received his BPI certification, it opened a whole new world of energy-consciousness. They experimented with various energy-efficient retrofit techniques and soon became dissatisfied with the limitations they had to work within if they wanted to bring true efficiency, high performance, and building science to existing homes.

A mutual friend and mentor eventually introduced the three, and the connection was instant. It’s not everyday you meet other likeminded and young business owners who were working in the same vein to create better homes and a better world. A friendship was naturally formed but really put to the test when the trio agreed to be featured on the DIY Network’s hit show Kitchen Crashers. From friends to now foremen, Scott, Rick, and Alex took on the challenge of renovating an entire kitchen for its homeowners in just 96 hours. What happened when the show wrapped? They came to the realization that they could really be a force if the three combined their talents. Working side by side for 18 hours a day on the DIY project led the guys to discover they shared a lot of the same desires as both entrepreneurs and builders. Scott was tired of running a business without the support of a partner or team. Rick and Alex were tired of compromising their values by solely working on renovating homes with limiting parameters.

And the rest is history.

Actually … the rest is the future.

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