Design is problem-solving and solution-making. Design is fun.
Designing houses is really fun.
Residential design addresses how we live, how we wish to live, how we spend, what we value, how we relate to our neighbors and friends, and how we fit into this world.
Real project success requires trust, respect, experience and a shared vision between Owner, builder, and designer. I want your house project to be successful, and to delight you.
I've been working with homeowners in the Pioneer Valley for more than a decade, helping people achieve their goals in the homes they love.
Architect, VT License 003.0134180
Certified Passive House Consultant #1900
I love designing homes with people. Maybe you own a house that's ready for some major work, or are buying an old place in a perfect part of town. Or maybe you have a new construction dream you're itching to hatch? I'm interested.
My technical background is in high performance design, focused on the formidable challenges of existing buildings. (See my notes on Deep Energy Retrofits here.)
I enjoy that old houses are difficult, surprising, delightful, charming things. And I know that we need to work hard to bring them up to modern standards of efficiency if we are to fend off the worst of climate change.
But my particular affection is for the people who live in them, and the problems we can solve with a small addition, or a second story, a new porch, or a gut rehab.
A client told me this past winter to add "What do you fight about?" to my list of questions for homeowners. For some families, it's the need to protect the late sleepers from the banging and clanging of the early risers. For others, it's the need to find a solitary place to get some evening work done, or a sunny spot to enjoy lunch. We can't fix everything with design, but it's fun to try.
If this sounds like your project, great. I'll work with you to turn "complicated" into "doable", to get you un-stuck in your path to the house you dream of.
I've been part of the community at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association for more than 13 years. I've volunteered at conferences, served as conference co-chair for Building Energy Boston, and now serve on the Board of Directors there. It's a community that values experience, experimentation, learning, and sharing.
I've been teaching "Sustainable Design and Green Building" (Intro and Advanced) at Greenfield Community College the past few years here in Greenfield, MA. Renewable Energy / Energy Efficiency has a department full of learners and teachers and a student body with a variety of backgrounds, interests, and abilities.
I taught previously at the Boston Architectural College as well, in their online environment - guiding 4 years of students through a class I developed with my partners at Coldham&Hartman Architects, "Zero Energy Homes: How, Why, and If". We learned a lot there and met a new generation of practitioners interested in high performance design.
I've trained as a HERS rater and a Passive House consultant.
Before moving to Western Mass in 2006, I lived primarily in New York City and Washington, DC. I worked in TV Commercials; I wrote and produced long form documentary TV; I played in an indie rock band.