Your Wants And Needs
From the first time you call us, we listen to all your wants and needs, which may range from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, to the types of storage, they way you cook and clean, or the details of significant heirlooms.Your Inspirations
Through words and images, we listen to your passions and your aesthetic. We ask you questions about all your senses, the kind of light and view you love to see, the textures, materials and colors that delight you, the qualities of space that make you feel happy and at home.Your Goals
We listen to your new lifestyle goals and collaborate with you to generate a prioritized list of criteria for success. These may include goals for budget and timeline, desired levels of energy efficiency, health and wellbeing, or levels of environmental stewardship.
For new construction, we study the site, sometimes spending an entire day examining light, vegetation, hydrology, sight lines, or soil conditions. For renovations, we study the site and its existing structures, taking measurements and photographs, examining existing structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical conditions.Zoning and Codes
Often, we meet with city planning, code, and building officials to help us clarify nuances of the ordinances. We also re-review the building code, focusing on amendments made by local government or on sections with particular relevance to your project.Ideas
As inspiration for your project, we may study alternative building systems, emerging technologies, innovative materials or finishes, or case study projects. We often even experiment with materials ourselves to discover new possibilities.
Along with our diverse in-house expertise, we often invite other collaborators to assemble a dream team for your project. Past collaborators have been carpenters, biologists, city planners, graphic artists, sound technicians, engineers, poets, cost estimators, theatrical lighting designers, realtors, and public artists.Ideation
Each brainstorm lasts about two hours, involves the entire team and focuses on generating a full array of ideas for your project. The outcome is a vast array of loose sketches or models that range from the expected to the boldly innovative.Evaluation and Edition
After each brainstorm, we organize all the information, pin it up on the wall, and usually leave it there for a few of days. Then, we revisit it, as a team, and begin editing it down to the few ideas that seem most promising.
We take these ideas and translate them into clear, demonstrative plans, elevations, models, diagrams, and other supporting visual tools.Presentation
We show you each idea, focusing on the risks and benefits of each, and listen to your feedback. We never ask you to pick one idea, but rather to select a series of features or elements in each idea that resonate with you.Re-Presentation
From your feedback, we develop a single, integral idea. We visualize it with even greater refinement, often with high quality renderings, detailed physical models, and hardlined plans and elevations. We present the idea to you for your feedback and approval.
We refine the dimensions and locations of things like appliances, plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, windows and doors, and furnishings. We refine the composition and layout of interior, exterior and landscape finishes.Engineering
We refine the design based on requirements for structural engineering, plumbing locations, heating and cooling systems, and electrical service.Finish and Material Selections
We give you our suggestions for everything from appliances and plumbing fixtures, to colors, floor materials, wall and ceiling finishes, hardware, furniture, softgoods, and lighting.
We translate the design into Contract Documents which include final drawings and full specifications. Together, they provide all the information for obtaining bids, receiving building permits, and executing construction.Final Drawings
We draft construction drawings which typically include scaled, noted, keyed, dimensioned, and coordinated building and landscape plans, building sections, exterior elevations, electrical-lighting plans, interior elevations, and numerous details.Full Specifications
For quality assurance, we organize the specifications into easily referenced sections including general conditions, sitework, foundation, framing, envelope, exterior finishes, interior finishes, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and landscape.
As your advocate, we can suggest builders and administer the bidding process. Once final bids are received, we meet with you and the builder you select to review the contract, discuss changes, and establish the construction schedule.During Construction
We maintain strong communication with you and your builder and make frequent site visits. We also schedule two key site meetings with you and your builder. First, before excavation to verify the building’s location, and second, after framing, to review the locations of walls, windows and doors. Before Construction Is Complete
We meet with you and your builder prior to drywall installation to verify all locations of plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, light fixtures, and vents. Then, right before construction is complete, we walk through the building with you and make a final punch list.
While construction is finishing, we administer the purchase of key design pieces which may include furniture, fabrics, accessories, wall coverings, lighting, accessories, or custom fabrications.Fabrication and Delivery
After purchasing, we coordinate the lead times of all pieces and ensure their proper fabrication and delivery. After they are delivered, we inspect them for quality, bring them to you, and stage them within your new building. Live Better.
We hand you an owner’s manual and you begin living your new, complete sustainable lifestyle.
Born the son of a carpenter, I have always loved the beauty of simple structures made from common materials by skilled craftspeople. This love has guided me toward ever more material and space efficient design, a philosophy capable of expressing that beauty while achieving environmental and economic sustainability.
I know from experience that life can change in a moment’s notice and because of that our environments where we live and work need to be adaptable. I believe that this is one of the most sustainable ways we can design. This kind of thought and exploration has been a major focus in my design career. I believe that good design can take us through every phase of life and provide the support for living better
Early in my career I was asked why I was making such a big career change to go from theater into architecture. The question stumped me, I never saw it as a major change. Drawing, painting, sculpting, scenery, building – it is always about design and materials. The process of designing is one of the most powerful tools we can harness.
Even before architecture school, back when I was designing and installing landscape projects for a living, I had a hard time drawing a clear line between where the landscape should end and the building began. As we all look to live more sustainably I think the boundry between living materials and building systems will continue to blur.