What’s your vision for the future of eco-conscious architecture?
Ultimate awareness. Over the years, there have been many attempts to regulate or systematize a process to require buildings to be sustainable. These attempts certainly bring awareness to the field of construction; however, the solution is never one-size fits all. I still believe the basics provide most of the return on investment. These include solar orientation, passive heating, passive cooling and insulation values—to name a few. Certainly, local renewable resources and energy efficient fixtures play into this equation. I see supplementing projects with active systems like photovoltaics to achieve rigorous energy goals that cannot be achieved passively. Building smaller structures helps contribute to less consumption, more attention to detail and quality.
Can you recommend some ways (large-scale and small-scale) to make homes carbon-neutral?
Converting to an all-electric energy system with solar panels (to offset usage) is a great way to offset carbon if you have a well-sealed building envelope. The ROI is usually reasonable and local energy companies still have some rebates available.
Is there a project, building or home you are most proud of? Alternatively, a project highlighted by the media?
From an efficiency perspective, we designed a 450 square foot small home in Boulder up against the Mt. Sanitas open space. It was purposely small, but the owners did not skimp on luxury with a large window/door wall, garden area and resistance pool. The project barely has any energy costs. We also recently finished a moderately sized house for a pianist in east Denver with electric bills running in the $4-8 range.
In your opinion, what makes a house a home?
Full integration with the site, a diversity of options that accommodate a variety of people & functions, and our clients’ personal imprint—however, that idea manifests itself.
Define your home’s style in two words:
Bespoke + Site Specific
If you could recommend any pivotal books, podcasts, leaders, etc., what would you recommend?
Eyes of the Skin by Juhani Pallasmaa. This book explores how the senses, beyond vision, fill environments and space.
Finish this quote: In design, …
More specifically, we believe in the extraordinary power of design to influence our awareness and quality of life.