Our commitment to fine design, sustainability and client advocacy guides us on every project.
OVER THE YEARS, OUR WORK HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED for its clean lines; inspiring, light-filled spaces; sensitivity to — and intimate connection with — its context; restrained detailing; the rationality of its plans; and its refined and judicious use of color.
AS CERTIFIED PASSIVE HOUSE DESIGNERS, WE ARE UNIQUELY TRAINED to create sustainable buildings that will help to reduce–and ultimately reverse–the effects of climate change. Buildings designed to the Passive House standard use remarkably little energy, cost very little to heat and cool, and have minimal negative impact on the environment. Additionally, sustainably designed buildings offer the following important benefits to their users:
– Henry David Thoreau
OCCUPANT COMFORT. Occupants of conventionally constructed buildings often complain of draftiness, cold floors and walls, and difficulty in maintaining comfortable temperatures. These problems can be avoided with thoughtful design and construction. The building envelope should be thermal bridge-free: the interior spaces are thermally isolated from the exterior. This can be achieved via the correct detailing of wall, roof and floor assemblies and the use of “thermally-broken” windows and other components.
LOWER TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP. Well-designed buildings will not only last far longer that conventional ones. They will be comparatively trouble-free and inexpensive to maintain as well. Aside from fire, a building’s greatest enemy is water. If careful steps are not taken during the design stage to address water, the damage will begin before construction is even complete. Without proper flashing, roof and gutter design, and foundation waterproofing and drainage, water can wreak havoc on a building. Natural materials such as wood siding are especially vulnerable if not installed in a way that enables them to dry out quickly and easily after getting wet. Some inexperienced designers and builders wrongly assume that modern, “rot-proof” materials will protect a building on their own and render smart detailing unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth. Such materials may actually exacerbate problems by concealing rot in underlying materials, thereby delaying or preventing necessary repairs. The cost of repairing damage caused by poor detailing will far exceed the cost of doing it right the first time. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure!
WE BELIEVE THAT THE BEST RESULTS COME FROM COLLABORATION. To that end, we engage all stakeholders as true partners in the design process. The importance of being a good listener is paramount. What’s important to you? What do you like (and dislike) about your current building? Tell us about your typical day, your lifestyle and your family life. Likewise, we encourage builders, engineers and other experts to join the discussion as early as possible in the design process. These specialists provide valuable input on cost, materials, and other practical issues that may significantly impact the design.
– Nursery Rhyme
ABOVE ALL, WE DO OUR BEST TO MAKE THE ENTIRE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION EXPERIENCE AS ENJOYABLE AND STRESS-FREE AS POSSIBLE. The goal is a finished project that reflects your lifestyle and tastes and supports the health of its occupants and the larger environment.