Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — The Responsible Remodel

In the movie First Knight, King Arthur (Sean Connery) said, “There’s another kind of peace on the other side of war”. That is my perception of home remodeling projects. You have to endure some pain to reap the reward. Remodeling is rarely fun because it is disruptive, challenging and costly but “after the war” you have a rejuvenated space and in my experience, the best way to rejuvenate a space is to follow the “Four R’s” reduce, reuse, recycle and responsibility. read more →

31 Jul 2009
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What does “green” mean to an architect?

What does “green” mean to an architect? You’ve heard the real estate mantra, location, location location…well, “green” means thoughtful and responsive design and it’s all about location. No matter what synonym you use — “sustainable design”, “green building”, “passive design” “LEED”, “environmentally friendly” It’s about relative location – where you put the house on the.. read more →

13 Jun 2009
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How Green is my Granite?

Do you like a challenge? Do you tackle the daily crossword or sudoku puzzle and celebrate a triumphant victory? I love challenges but few puzzles parallel the thrill or complexity of a residential design/construction project. Like the client who calls and says, “Hello, I am interviewing architects and I need an architect who can make my 3,000 square foot house respond to my every lifestyle whim, on my steep and heavily forested lot, with top of the line appliances and finishes and full perimeter porches and all within my budget of $80/SF. Oh, and while you are at it, make my house ultra-green.” I waited a moment and asked, “Is that all?” It is challenging to create a personalized home that blends with the environment, but the green buzz adds a new dimension to design and construction that is difficult to quantify and integrate. read more →

30 Apr 2009
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Green Business — Distinguishing Hype from Help

I’m a proud small business owner and join millions of small business owners who employ 99.7% of Americans and account for 50.1% of the non-farm gross domestic product. As a contingent we’re anything but small and our actions have a profound impact on our economy and environment. When small businesses decide to operate a green business, it makes a big difference; however, running a green business might not be for everyone – at least not today. Deciding to live green at home and live green at work are mutually exclusive decisions because decisions you make at home reflect your desires but decisions you make in your business should reflect your business strategy. read more →

31 Mar 2009
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Universal Design Principles

Every architect, designer, artist, builder or hobbyist has a design philosophy. Most philosphies involve a flowery description of the design psyche and excessive use of compound adjectives. Those profound perfunctory proclomations of perpetual purpose make my head hurt. My design philosophy is not unique, but it’s simple — good homes are responsive to lifestyle and location. read more →

09 Aug 2008
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Simpler Fi — Always Simple

Back to basics… less is more… write to express not to impress … naturalist thinking … those are all phrases that virtually mean the same thing — keep it simple or as one of my all-time favorite clients so eloquently says, simpler-fi. read more →

08 Apr 2008
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What is a “green” architect?

What is a “green” architect?   A “green” architect is a figment of an architect’s imagination. There is no official designation or legal title called “green” architect. Generally a person who uses this marketing title hopes to attract environmentally-conscious clients and believes the “green” label differentiates their business or service. Sometimes professionals use their LEED.. read more →

24 Mar 2008
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Sustainability — My Self Assessment

Sustainability is not new; it’s not different nor is it reinvented. It feels new because it receives top billing at building trade shows, home improvement magazines and do-it-yourself television programs. You could argue that publicity increased awareness, but true sustainability (not to be confused with the marketing hype) is identical in spirit and practice today as it was in early civilization. Sustainable meant providing for your basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter) with the resources available. Most often, economics drove one’s sustainable lifestyle. The major difference today is sustainable living is a choice whereas it used to be the natural way. read more →

24 Feb 2008
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