​​​​​​​Consumer Activism: Is it possible and what’s the alternative?

You can find endless articles, thinkpieces and blog entries much like this one about the myth of the ethical shopper, whether organic food is really better for the environment, and the effectiveness of boycotting sweatshops. Sifting through to find real, substantive information about how to make tangible change with the things you consume challenging and exhausting, and is it even worth it?

Daylighting 101: Orientation

Daylighting 101: Orientation

When we talk about the orientation of a building, we mean how the building sits on the site relative to its context, the most important of which is typically the sun (other factors being wind, views, topography and surrounding  landscapes, buildings and streets). It is easier to optimize the orientation of a building for solar exposure in new construction, but there are takeaways that can be applied to existing homes as well.

Case Study: Detached Bedrooms

Case Study: Detached Bedrooms

Do you like the values of cohousing and shared community resources? Are you a homeowner hoping to create rent-able space on your property, but searching for a compromise between renting an existing room and building a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in your yard? Or perhaps aging parents are moving in and you'd like to offer more privacy and autonomy for them than a suite within your main home?

If any of these scenarios are appealing, then detached bedrooms may be a solution for your project!

Daylighting 101: Why Does Daylight Matter?

Daylighting 101: Why Does Daylight Matter?

Connecting to nature has a profound impact on our wellbeing. If you imagine being a room with big windows, indoor plants, fresh air, a view of a forest and lots of light, you instinctively feel more comfortable and relaxed than imagining being in a room with no windows or plants, recycled air and artificial light. “Natural light” is frequently cited as a major consideration when people are deciding where to live or how to remodel their existing homes. In architecture, natural light is referred to as daylight.