The SCIENCE part of the company, Don M. Nicholson has a Ph.D in theoretical physics. His specialty is material science, and the study of materials for energy efficiency. He utilizes his background as the “energy guru” to come up with innovative approaches to the energy efficiency challenges of designing and building homes.
When he’s not building, you can find him and his wife, Christina, socializing with neighbors in Montford, out hiking, or riding his electric bike to UNCA where he is an adjunct professor.
The DRIVEN part of the company, Donald P. Nicholson is a J.D. and TN bar member, along with being a risk savvy business man, entrepreneur, and Angel investor. He is the driving force and visionary for the company. He manages and runs the business side of things, and rolls his sleeves up and works when the family will let him.
When he’s not building, you can find him and his wife Krystal trying to keep up with their 2 young children Maple and Huck, and very occasionally sneaking off to play poker.
The GREEN part of the company, David Allen Nicholson has B.A. in industrial design. Besides being an expert tree hugger, David generates the lines, color, and visual designs that bring our ideas to life. His sketches, architectural renderings, and creative input gives our homes visual innovation that matches the scientific innovation behind their construction. He is the tireless engine and detailed craftsman on the job.
When he’s not building, you can find him fishing, playing soccer, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
The BUILDING part of the company, Dennis D. Nicholson has taken up permanent retirement in the clouds. With an M.B.A. from university of S.C., he was a general contractor since 1978. Having participating in building over 100 homes in his career, Dennis brought a level of expertise hard to find. We will always be in gratitude for the trail that he showed us how to blaze, and it is our highest honor to carry forth his legacy and teachings. Should there be a heaven, we rest certain that Dennis is on a job site up there, perched on a empty sheet-rock bucket, pointing out to Jesus the carpenter where he measured wrong!
Hi, my name is Donald Patrick Nicholson, and this is the story of my family and Nicholson and Sun.
Most big families have certain pastimes or hobbies that are woven into the fabric of their identity; for my family, that thing is building. Catapults, soap box cars, boats, submarines, treehouses, furniture, and the homes we live in. I spent the summer of ’89 operating a nail gun nailing down all the subfloors of the 4000 square foot house my dad was building for us to live in. He was day-lighting as a theoretical physicist at the time, and I was assigned the task because at 10 years old and only 4 feet tall I didn’t have to bend over much in order to move the gun along the floor. That’s how we rolled. I never gave much thought about the fact that we were always building stuff around the house, I’m sure in part because it was the same way around all the extended families’ houses’ as well. It was just part of life, a resource expected to be known and employed, the same way some families know a lot about auto maintenance, or football.
While my father spent the first 30 years of his life getting a Ph.D in theoretical physics, he paid his bills as a carpenter. Both of his big brothers, my uncles, received MBA’s and pursued many different career paths, but ultimately decided to use their building knowledge to form and run their company, Nicholson Builders. While I am a licensed attorney in the state of TN, and have been a successful professional poker player for 12 years, my bankroll originated from summer work for Nicholson Builders. For my father and I, while we have been around building for a long time, it was just part of the background and never part of our professional focus, until now. Growing up, my family hiked, canoed, rock climbed, spelunked and camped all over East Tennessee, but we were never what I would call environmentalists. We respected the earth, recycled, didn’t litter, but we prioritized people problems first, and although we were obviously aware of the concerns about global warming, at least for me, I thought that we had time to deal with it later. I can’t say the exact moment when I realized how ignorant I was about the direness of climate change, having heard about it in very general theoretical terms for most of my life, I think I had been lulled into thinking it was just this distant threat that had been there for a long time and was on our collective societal to-do list. But the evidence had been mounting and the scientific community uniting, and to my complete surprise in the summer of 2013, in my mind, climate change grew bigger than just an environmental earth issue and came into my consciousness as an issue concerning our global humanity. So I thought of the smartest old hippie scientist I knew, who might be able to help me do something about it on a grand scale, and picked up my phone and dialed “dad”. Thus, Nicholson and Sun, with all its layers of connotation, was started. With two career changes, and lots of moving, we have brought our family to set up shop in Asheville NC, a place that we feel the community will support our attempts to push the building industry towards measures that will ultimately help, however small, with climate change and global warming. With a scientific basis and approach, we strive to come up with building and design innovations that improve home energy efficiency, and reduce carbon footprint, on a cost-effective basis so that the market will respond positively independent of the political positions. We believe that making the best houses on the planet, and for the planet, can be one in the same, and I hope whoever is reading this will give us a chance to show it.