What happens when two old friends and colleagues, living on opposite sides of the continent, in entirely different climates—not to mention having different occupations, backgrounds, and genders—try to agree on the ten things that matter most when designing and building a new home? First of all, you get an outcome-based perspective (Ann, an architect by training) contrasted with a process-based perspective (Pete, a building scientist)—which is especially interesting because Ann is usually all about process, and Pete’s the one with hands-on building experience. And then you find that these two perspectives have more in common than first meets the eye.
Welcome to Best Practices According to Ann & Pete, a monthly blog series in which we plan to unapologetically expound upon our core beliefs about what’s important in the design and construction of new homes.
We envision this series as having ten segments on the following themes which we hold in common. As you’ll see in the months ahead, how each of us develops these themes will vary quite a bit.
Interwoven among these ruminations you’ll likely notice some other common themes. We encourage all of you to embrace, these four overarching principles that each lead inexorably to the next.
A home is a meta-system comprising numerous subsystems. To function well as a whole, a home’s systems all need to be effectively integrated. For example, heating and cooling systems need to be designed based on the properties of the enclosure, if they’re going to perform well over time and keep the occupants comfortable.
That makes sense, right?
But since those systems are typically designed and built by a diverse cast of characters, it’s going to be extremely difficult to achieve that integration if the people designing and installing them don’t communicate…