Optimize Your Building System

optimizepagephotosmallerThe 'Mr. Potato Head' school of design has been debunked - you dont get the best building by buying a bunch of great looking components and then blindly sticking them together. Take the following common examples of such mistakes:

When you superinsulate walls or roofs - what could be bad about that? - without accounting for moisture flows. Rotted sheathing and mold can result.

When huge walls of glass are built in the name of natural daylighting - because everybody loves natural light and it's green and it earns LEED points! Then they cook and blind people who have to work in them.

Lets work together by thinking through your whole building and its future performance. By engaging in this process early, I can save you lots of time, money and trouble down the road.

Don't get caught making the Mr. Potato Head design mistakes. Buildings are system, not components acting in a vacuum. Each depends on the others to make your building perform well and look great.

Material selection should follow, not preceed, good design.

No one material is right for every job, nor does the use of any particular material make the project 'green'. People often come to me wanting to build a straw bale or adobe or SIP building, or use some other system in which they have become interested. That can be a mistake, whether you want to go green or not, because material selection should be an offshoot of design, not vice versa. Consider climate, sun, wind, soil, topography, budget, and building use, then design for energy, financial efficiency, and overall performance.