Veteran's sacrifice honored with custom smart home

Veteran's sacrifice honored with custom smart home

FORT WAYNE, IND. — WaterFurnace International Inc. donated a complete Synergy3D residential geothermal system for a new smart home in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., for Marine Cpl. Todd Nicely, one of three surviving quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lost both arms and legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2010.

FORT WAYNE, IND. — WaterFurnace International Inc. donated a complete Synergy3D residential geothermal system for a new smart home in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., for Marine Cpl. Todd Nicely, one of three surviving quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lost both arms and legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2010.

After learning that the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation was building a home to honor Nicely, Art Carlo, WaterFurnace distribution manager and himself a former Marine, immediately wanted to help.

"I called WaterFurnace President Tom Huntington about donating a complete geothermal system and he jumped on board," said Carlo.

WaterFurnace dealer Rehagen Heating & Cooling Inc., Westphalia, Mo., donated the labor to install Nicely's HVAC system.The contracting company, which is also a full-service sheet metal shop where duct work is custom fabricated, also donated the sheet metal and design and installation of the duct work, plus the design and installation of the plumbing and radiant floor.

Frank Siller, chairman of Tunnel to Towers stated, "We are excited to have WaterFurnace participating in our Homes for the Bravest program. We are truly appreciative of their generosity in providing a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system that will greatly increase Todd's quality of life."

The 2,800-sq.ft. smart home, located in the Four Seasons development on Osage Beach, will be completely handicap accessible, with wider doorways, motorized kitchen cabinets and rooms specifically designed for the unique needs of Nicely.

"Cpl. Nicely will be able to control many features of the home — opening doors, turning on lights with simply his voice, iPad or his iPhone," Carlo said.

"The only thing that Cpl. Nicely wanted in his new home was a 'man cave' on the lower level of the house," added Carlo. "Since he'll be spending a lot of time there, we recommended radiant heating to make it as comfortable as possible."

According to Travis Rehagen, president of Rehagen Heating & Cooling Inc., radiant heat is being used due to the comfort level of having 85°F floors as opposed to 45°F floors, and the geothermal was chosen based on the efficiency of the system and comfort.

The Synergy3D series, which is one piece of equipment, provides both radiant heat for basement and bathroom floors and traditional forced air heating and cooling for the rest of the home. “All of our geothermal is very low maintenance and is the most efficient, so if you are on a fixed income it is more financially responsible,” said Rehagen.

According to Carlo, the geothermal system also complements the house's advanced automation systems.

"Geothermal is the smartest thing you can put in a smart home," he said. "Cpl. Nicely will enjoy the incredible comfort geothermal provides and see significant savings on his utility bills. He deserves it." 

The plumbing consists of all Kohler fixtures, which are high efficiency, conserving water throughout the house.

“Everything was designed according to ADA Standards for Accessible Design,” said Rehagen. “And everything is efficient since Nicely needs to maintain the house and everything in it as well.”

“This project is a wonderful thing for Cpl. Nicely, and it is also special because the Marines is special to us since our family has always been in the Marines” added Rehagen. “These are people we need to take care of — they are fighting for our freedom every day.”

The groundbreaking for Nicely’s home was Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011, and the house was completed mid-June 2012. Nicely is planning to move into the home as soon as possible.  

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