New & Notable: Greg and Nicole Nixon
Owners, Ubuntu Construction
Advocacy, education and construction might seem like an odd mix for a single firm, but for Ubuntu Construction, all of these things make up both a business model and a way to contribute to community improvement.
Founded and owned by Greg and Nicole Nixon two years ago, Ubuntu specializes in green infrastructure, specifically water management installations like permeable paving and water gardens, which can be used to reduce stormwater flooding on individual properties in entire neighborhoods.
The Nixons received their first training at ThriveNOLA, and are now nationally certified in these installations. Consequently, they have gone from subcontracting in the city’s Community Adaptation Program, a Gentilly stormwater mitigation effort, to being a prime contractor in the $5 million initiative.
“We want to be the head of this industry, not just the hands and feet,” said Nicole Nixon.
“This work is definitely needed, and it needs more attention and innovation,” added Greg Nixon. Currently, the supply of materials such as permeable paving is limited, and some technologies used elsewhere in the world are not available at all. Ubuntu is looking both to expand the supply chain and develop its own innovations.
The never-ending challenge, however, is building awareness.
“It’s not all about the pumps,” explained Nicole Nixon. “Homeowners and developers need to know if they are facing a stormwater management situation, and so do the professionals like the realtors and appraisers.”
Ubuntu is a South African concept meaning “I am because we are,” a connectedness among people. For the Nixons, it embodies their company’s goals and the way everyone must come together to create stormwater solutions.