Help, my house is cold!


Help, my house is cold! This time of year, with weather like we have been having, the electric meter gets a strong workout. Yet, often our homes are not comfortable, cold even. So what can you do to make your electric bills lower and your home more comfortable? I am now working for Harrisonburg Electric…

Green Terms Defined: Tiny House


No matter what you have heard, size matters (when it comes to energy-efficiency). The larger your home the more you have to do and spend to make it energy-efficient and to keep up with maintenance. As a result, the tiny house movement has found a market and is growing in popularity.  So what is a…

5 keys to measure “good” architectural design


Architectural design is a highly subjective art. While there are works of architecture that are considered by many to be “good” architecture they will not appeal to everyone. So how do you know if your architectural creation is “good” architecture? Is it an aesthetic opinion? Is budget the primary concern? Is function the driving factor? All…

15. #Monticello #105architecturalinspiration


Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant architect and #Monticello one of his greatest works. He designed his plantation home in the Roman Neoclassical style with 43 rooms. There are 13 skylights, walls vary from 13.5″ to 27″, and it is around 11,000 sf of living space. Many of the building materials came from the land surrounding the…

15 questions to ask yourself before you hire an architect


Designing a home is a complex process with many questions, decisions, and choices to be made. You need a licensed design professional to help you achieve the best solution possible. Your architect needs you to be open and forthcoming with your hopes and dreams in order to translate your wants into a design. Here are 15…

14. Magney House #105architecturalinspiration


  In graduate school at The University of Tennessee I started putting the pieces together for my approach to sustainable design. My goal was to find aesthetically pleasing design solutions to common building problems. In this case, water. While searching for rainwater harvesting solutions, I found the Magney House designed by Glenn Murcutt. It was elegant,…

Green Term Defined: WaterSense an EPA Partnership Program


WaterSense is a label program created by the Environmental Protection Agency for consumers to easily identify water efficient products. It is similar to Energy Star in that it identifies products that are more efficient. In order to qualify a WaterSense labeled product meets the following criteria: performs as well or better than their less efficient…

Why should your new bathroom walls have plywood on them?


  Why should your new bathroom walls have plywood on them? Designing a home that can adapt over time without knowing how it will need to adapt is a difficult challenge. There are standards by which you can block for future grab bars that are designed to allow for someone in a wheelchair to use a…

13. Church of the Light by Tadao Ando #105architecturalinspiration


The Church of the Light is a chapel designed by Tadao Ando located in Osaka, Japan. Ando is one of my favorite architects not just for the beautiful structures he creates, but the philosophy he uses for design. He states: “we borrow from nature the space upon which we build.” Taking this approach to design…