Business Matters: Solar PV that makes Cents


Does Solar PV makes sense for business? YES. Check out my slides here: CAAV – Solar Business Active solar PV is not new. The popularity of Solar PV is growing and becoming mainstream. As we all painfully have experienced energy prices are going up for traditional sourced options it seems daily. On the other side, Solar…

What are your energy expectations?


I know when we were looking for our first home we never talked about the monthly electric bills. We were pre-approved at the bank for our mortgage, we had our cars paid off, we both had steady income. I thought we were set and understood how it all works. However, nobody ever asked us about…

Rainwater Harvesting – Design Matters


One of the most important things an architect can bring to a project is knowledge of materials and systems. In order to provide this service an architect has to be constantly looking, researching, and learning about what is available and what has been tested. In a recent project that we designed, it was discovered late…

LEED is a tool that creates better buildings – Design Matters


The LEED rating system has faced some serious criticism over the last several years for the actual building performance vs modeled performance. While I do support the LEED rating system as a tool to create better buildings, I see the point of the criticism. LEED is a simple points based system that can be used to get…

Does Going Green Cost More? Nope!


Does green cost more? This is a question I get all the time from everyone. The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Going green is a vague term that means lots of things to lots of people. For many it is simply energy-efficient strategies. Building a home that is energy-efficient is actually mandated by code, but hard…

Is big commercial good for Harrisonburg?


Scott Rogers posted news of a new commercial business potentially coming to Harrisonburg this year. We have several empty big boxes in town that need this kind of development or a rethinking of their use all together. This business will bring jobs to the area, provide a destination for some, and bring life back to…

Energy Efficient Home Renovation – Design Matters


Anytime you are thinking of doing a kitchen renovation or bedroom addition, that means you have a chance to make your home more energy-efficient. The return on investment for these renovation projects is usually about an 80% value invested, while an energy-efficient renovation actually provides positive cash flow monthly. If you are looking for a…

Shenandoah Sunshine: Harvesting Solar Power in the Valley


Tapping the power of the sun?  No more utility bills? The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley is sponsoring the second in a series of programs addressing the alternatives to fossil fuels.  “Shenandoah Sunshine: Harvesting Solar Power in the Valley,” will be presented Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 from 6-7:30 PM at the Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg….

Spend where it makes the most difference – Design Matters


Building a home is a major investment of time, energy, emotions, and money. You have to make some hard decisions and put value vs cost to the test. One of the most expensive rooms in a home is the kitchen. You have to get it right to make it efficient, functional, and beautiful. There are…

Thinking of New Solutions – Design Matters


Many developers are looking for new solutions to their traditional projects in this “new” economy. From live work spaces that allow for small business to start on the lower level and for the owner to live above to smaller footprint lots, innovation is happening. We have recently done projects that mix commercial and residential in…