|Services/How We Design|
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• Architectural design
• Construction documents & specifications
• Construction project administration
• Pre-design feasibility studies
• Site analysis & land planning
• Facilities programming & review
• Interior design & space planning
• Passive solar engineering
• Energy conservation analysis
• Educational presentations
• Promotional materials preparation
• Desktop publications & graphics
We also believe in a current groundswell of public awareness of emerging environmental and ecological thinking. Education is part of our design process, both for ourselves and our clients. We understand that materials, techniques and building systems change constantly and that marked improvements in chemistry and resources are to be noted for inclusion in our work.
We ask tough questions of our clients and work hard to solve budget challenges, especially when looking for alternatives to “business-as-usual” solutions.
As architects with extensive hands-on building experience, we understand the translation from a CAD document to reality. Our construction documents are known to be accurate, complete and based on practical experience of how things go together in the field.
We enjoy working with contractors and local craftspeople and believe in a team approach to building. The construction can be the most enjoyable part of the work when expectations of the owner, architect and builder are all met.
We use a questionnaire to help record and translate the owner’s lifestyle, dreams, and eccentricities into useful information for design purposes. With this information, an accurate program of spaces and their respective characteristics is described. We welcome visual materials, photos, and paraphernalia as necessary to explain ideas.
We also conduct group workshops to explore the Goals, Activities and Places that are key to the successful programming of a residential or commercial facility.
When working with a large group of individuals to build an intentional community, workshops are focused on:
We believe in using the sun and wind to power our buildings. The future is here and we are still dependent on oil. We feel that children (and adults) can benefit from being included in the designing of a home. Understanding how the sun and wind powers their home might be fodder for a science project that monitors and records how well these systems are performing. Our projects are thermally optimized by careful detailing of the building envelope, incorporating energy conservation techniques and by passive solar engineering. We encourage commercial clients to enroll in the LEED program for certification of a project as a high level environmental commitment. We encourage residential customers to enroll in the Vermont Built Green Program for certification and to have an energy audit performed by Efficiency Vermont, to assess overall building performance and rating.
Environment & Materials
Our buildings can sit lightly with the earth, surrounded by nature and natural materials and perhaps carbon neutral - meaning that the structure does not add to the global CO2 problem, exhausts air cleaner than it intakes and produces no long term toxins. While it is both easy and timely to be “green”, our office takes a critical look beneath product claims and company profiles that we do business with. We generally discourage the use of products containing PVC, petroleum and other known chemicals which are either dangerous to life, difficult or impossible to safely dispose off, or do not recycle easily. We review new “green” products carefully before recommending them for use. Materials and methods consistent with good ecological practices are used while seeking socially responsible contractors, subcontractors and craftspeople to perform work. We understand that affordable, durable alternatives to certain materials are still being developed and benign solutions may not always be affordable or available. We encourage the use of regional, easily replenished or recycled materials. Costs of Construction To assure a goal of budget responsibility, we generate an Estimate of Probable Cost of Construction once an initial design is complete. This estimate is refined two or three times before construction begins. Keeping costs in line is a constant challenge during the design process and we believe in responsible vigilance.