LEED Certification for Hnedak Mountain Home, DreamCatcher Room Showcase

November 7th, 2013

Sitting 660 feet above the White River, with an expansive wood deck perched atop Fletcher Mountain, Greg Hnedak’s new house in Mountain Home, Arkansas, is bound for Gold-level LEED certification. LEED certification for homes signifies excellence and innovation in environmentally responsible building design and construction.

The Hnedak Mountain Home is no ordinary dwelling, dually serving as a second residence as well as a showroom for DreamCatcher Hotels, the turnkey hotel development company that is rattling the hospitality industry with luxurious hotels at a low cost to owners. As CEO and founder of DreamCatcher Hotels, Hnedak is putting his money where his mouth is. Greening the home was an obvious answer for Hnedak and his wife, Judy Hall. With more hotel owners interested in sustainable building, the experience of designing and constructing the green home – which feels more like a lodge, with multiple bedroom suites that include full bathrooms – has been invaluable.

The home’s green features are cutting-edge.


  • The geothermal mechanical system that controls heating and cooling is currently found in only a few homes across the United States. The state-of-the-art technology involves variable speed compressors and fans that allow each room’s temperature to be controlled individually, using zone-dampers to change air flow to un-occupied rooms and enabling on-demand temperatures for any room desired.
  • A bonus from the geothermal heating and cooling system is the generation of hot water for the house using waste heat from the cooling cycle, eliminating the need for a natural resource-intensive water heater.
  • The latest insulation technology has been applied throughout the house, including the crawl space and partial basement. In the living quarters, 5.5-inch thermal foam fills the walls, while the crawl space and basement also feature a foam layer to insulate the areas where, in typical homes, outside air is under house due to foundation vents, creating energy inefficiencies. A heated and cooled crawl space eliminates the potential for mold and mildew to occur.
  • LED lighting is throughout the house, with lighting levels controlled by a Programmable Master Control System to conserve electricity use.  
  • The plumbing fixtures are all “low-demand” and the faucets feature laminar flow controls, which conserve water use.
  • Triple-silver-coated low-emissivity (low-e) glass installations are at every window, with light-transmission and heat-blocking benefits. Solar shades that are controlled by an atomic clock cover western-exposure windows to further control temperatures and minimize heating and cooling needs. The shades are scheduled to come down during high-sun times and pull up for optimal viewing when the sun is not at its peak.
  • Energy Star appliances complete the home.


  • The home’s site was well preserved and did not require a clear-cut of trees, and the surrounding natural areas were barricaded and protected from damage during the construction process.
  • Much of the home’s exterior features hearty, rot-resistant Cypress wood sourced from within 500 miles of the home. Leftover wood from the house was used to build the furniture for the bedrooms, crafted by local carpenters. 
  • Landscaping comprises indigenous plants and materials, handled by local landscapers from the Mountain Home area.

 “The importance of sustainable building is here to stay,” says Hnedak. “As an architect and a developer, I have a unique opportunity to help people understand the benefits of green building. Our Mountain Home Residence is a way to promote the positive transformations that can happen in the places where people spend their time, whether a residence or a hotel.”

Plus, the Hnedak Mountain Home bedroom suites are full of the signature, high-quality items you find in each room of a DreamCatcher property.

  • The DreamCatcher Bed mattress is from Simmons Beautyrest.
  • The LIVING FRESH Tencel+Plus Lyocell Eucalyptus-fiber bedding is made by Valley Forge Fabrics.
  • The overhead RainDance Shower fixture and polished chrome bathroom fixtures are by Kohler.
  • The Luxury skincare products are made by Temple Spa.
  • The individual-cup coffee maker is a Keurig.
  • The clock radio and sound system are made by Sony.

“When I tell hotel owners that guests will love their hotel by DreamCatcher, I can prove it,” promises Hnedak. “Visitors to my own home tell me how much they enjoy the bed, linens, rain showerhead, and coffee maker – all of which are put in every DreamCatcher room.”

As a green consulting partner on the Hnedak Mountain Residence, Viridian provided sustainability expertise and LEED-certification insight for the project, from the conception stage through completion. Mark Weaver, of Memphis-based Hnedak Bobo Group, working with Hnedak, led the design team that included Dennis Elrod, Larry Paine and Aron Ramage.

LEED certification was developed and is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council, an association representing more than 20,000 member organizations and 140,000 LEED professionals. Certification is achieved at three levels: Platinum, Gold, and Silver. Certification on the Hnedak Mountain Home is expected in early November.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Jacobs

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