Grumpy Architect Time

Posted on April 18,2015 by bobswin in architecture

I’m not normally a grumpy architect, but when I am it is usually because of something on this list. 1. If your house is adequately insulated there should be little temperature differential between the ceiling and the floor. 2. “Adequately” differs from code. Remember, a house built to code is the worst house you can legally build. 3. If you choose not to build an Energy-Star-certified home, please give your poor starving architect the $2,000 (the value of the Energy Star incentive) that you obviously have to spare.

Using the Pen Test for Control Layers

Posted on April 18,2015 by ab3 in architecture

I listened to the IAQ Radio podcast a few weeks ago when they interviewed Lew Harriman and Terry Brennan, who were discussing the new moisture control guide published by the EPA last year. Brennan is the lead author of the document, and it's a really great resource full of useful information about indoor air quality, fundamental building science principles, and how to control moisture.

The Problem With Modern Architecture

Posted on April 18,2015 by CarlSeville in architecture

Over my now decades-long career in construction and renovation, I have rarely attended any home tours, but I recently went on a tour of modern homes in Atlanta sponsored by a group called, quote appropriately, Modern Atlanta. The tour included ten single-family homes (I saw eight of them) and one commercial building, the new Atlanta offices of Perkins + Will, a LEED Platinum renovation, which I did not visit.

Two Solar Decathlon Homes Get High Marks for Affordability

Posted on April 18,2015 by Fretboard in affordability

The newest of the 2011 Solar Decathlon’s 10 contest categories – affordability – has become an impressive showcase for design ingenuity, and powerful evidence that building energy-efficient homes doesn’t have to bust the bank. The rules are simple: homes that cost $250,000 or less to build earn the contest category maximum of 100 points, while homes costing more than $250,000 lose points on a sliding scale that tapers to zero at the contest limit of $600,000.

Hometta: A Collaborative for Designers of (Relatively) Small, Modern Homes

Posted on April 18,2015 by Fretboard in architecture

Last month, Hometta, a new, online source of home plans, rolled out more than two dozen single-family-home designs that had been provided by a like number of architectural studios. Most of the studios are based in the U.S., although the work of architects in Chile, China, and Germany also is represented. The unifying themes in these designs are modern lines, sustainability, and (relatively) low square footage. The floor plans cap at 2,500 sq. ft. and range in price from $1,195 for a studio-size house to $3,195 for a three-bedroom.

How Green Is My Architect?

Posted on April 18,2015 by CarlSeville in architecture

Made it to San Francisco for the AIA (American Institute of Architects) annual conference yesterday, and while there was not a single bow tie in sight, I did see at least two pairs of Corbu glasses. What was most interesting, although not unexpected, was how green the conference itself has become. Just as the rest of the building industry—and the country, for that matter—has suddenly taken on the green mantle, architects and their affiliated partners have all "gone green."

Green. Design.

Posted on April 18,2015 by Mike_Maines in architecture

What Is "Green"? What Is "Design"? I’ll admit it, I have issues with the term “green.” While it encompasses the values I think are important in building, like any label, it can turn some people away. That’s unfortunate because the factors that go into green design should have universal appeal. So what is green design? In the building world, "green" means:

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