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MICHAEL (MIKE) NICKLAS, FAIA (1949-)

Nicklas was born in Fort Smith VA. He found architecture in high school and graduated from NCSU's School of Design in 1972. During that time, he created his own company in San Salvador, Bahamas doing low-income design-build housing systems. Later he interned in Raleigh with George Ellingwood and Dean Best. His career began to focus on energy-efficient buildings and he became a national authority on solar and sustainability.

He started Innovative Design in 1977. By 1979, through a grant from the DOE, his firm ended up modifying and building about 4,000 passive solar homes throughout the Southeast. Since that time, the firm has done about 200 custom houses as well as many commercial projects.

If you know where these homes are, please write us!


1978 - The Lawrence G. Haft Solar Residence, Smithfield NC.


1978 - The Darryl and Carol Reardon Passive Solar Residence, Raleigh NC.


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1980 - The Glenn F. and Linda Harvey Passive Solar Residence, 2421 Coley Forest Place, Raleigh NC. Sold in 1999 to James and Robin Browning. Sold in 2000 to Michael Steer and Mary Kelly.


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1980 - The John Phillip and Virginia Ann Sall Solar Residence, 305 Homestead Drive, Cary NC. Sold in 1991 to Tony Edward Eggleston and Ellen Carol Pulaski.


1980 - The William Berry Passive Home, Charlotte NC.


1980 - The Bob and Kathy Reeves Hybrid Solar Residence, Raleigh NC.


1980 - The Jon and Jolie Rufty Solar Residence, Cary NC.


1980 - The William Berry Passive Home II, Charlotte NC.


1980 - The William Berry Passive Home III, Charlotte NC.


1981 - The William Berry Passive Home IV, Charlotte NC.


1981 - The Linda and Howard Stier House, Raleigh NC.


1981 - The Woody Fairbrother Residence, Raleigh NC.


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1982 - The Robert R. and Waltraud Reeber House, 1722 Lake Valley Trail, Chapel Hill NC. Featured in the Chapel Hill News in the early 1980s. Modified in the 1990s with the addition of a family room and unheated sunroom.


1982 - The Reddy House, Raleigh NC.


1982 - The Elmer B. Eddy House, Raleigh NC.


1983 - The Ken and Joyce Zeitler House, Raleigh NC.


1983 - The Walter Burke House, Beaufort NC.


1984 - The John and Jacqueline Avent House, Rocky Mount NC.


1984 - The Richard and Phyllis Beane Residence, Chapel Hill NC.


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1985 - The Jean S. and Paul M. Thomas House, 837 Kenmore Road, Chapel Hill NC. Built by Lindsay Landscaping and Design. According to Jean Thomas, the workshop behind the garage is now an apartment; the atrium had a hot tub in the corner which has been removed. Sold in 2001 to Sylvia A. M. and Thomas H. Dunning, Jr. Sold in 2004 to Rosie A. Benzonelli and Steven D. Warwick. Transferred in 2006 to the Rosie A. Benzonelli and Steven D. Warwick Revocable Trust. Sold in 2015 to Dawn G. and Robert A. Hummer. Has been a vacation rental for a few years.


1985 - The Roger and Melody Shaver Residence, Wake Forest NC. Unbuilt.


1985 - The Ugo Sacchetti Residence, Wilmington NC. Unbuilt.


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1986 - The Richard and Sandra Paur Underground House, 5313 Tuliptree Lane, Raleigh NC.


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1988 - The Michael Nicklas and Susan Luster House, 1237 Gatehouse Drive, Cary NC.


1990 - The Steve Seilkop and Donna Sullivan Residence, Apex NC.


1990 - The Howard and Rebecca Moss Residence, Dayton OH. Unbuilt.


1990 - The Ed and Marie Pawlack Residence, Chatham NJ. Unbuilt.


1990 - The Luis Molina and Maria Frazer Residence, Chapel Hill NC.


1991 - The Lewis and Jean Huff Residence, Raleigh NC. Unbuilt.


1992 - The James and Mary Bruce Serene Residence, Statesville NC.


1994 - The David Preston and Carol Lorenz House, 1812 Rams Way, Hillsborough NC. Won the 1996 Professional Builders’ Award for Energy Value Housing. Sold in 2020 to Laura G. Spinka.


2000 - The Ross and Holly John Residence, Buffalo NY.


Sources include: Mike Nicklas; Jean Thomas; Steve Warwick; Wake County Register of Deeds; Louis Gerics.