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Helping you to achieve creative and sustainable design solutions for your residential projects



Going way back to about grade 4, when other kids were making angels in the snow, my friend Angelique and I were making house plans in the snow. I still remember the little steps and the fireplaces….nothing like a child’s imagination
a clip art of a little girl building a snow fort

A Notable Passage

“ But we shall live to see the day, I trust” went on the artist, “ when no man shall build his house for posterity. Why should he? He might just as reasonably order a durable suit of clothes – leather or gutta-percha, or whatever else lasts longest – so that his great-grandchildren should have the benefit of them, and cut precisely the same figure in the world that he himself does. If each generation were allowed and expected to build its own houses, that single change, comparatively unimportant in itself, would imply every reform which society is now suffering for. I doubt whether even our public edifices – our capitols, state houses, courthouses, city hall, and churches - ought to be built of such permanent materials as stone or brick. It were better that they should crumble to ruin once in twenty years, or thereabouts, as a hint to the people to examine into and reform the institutions that they symbolize.”

p.140 “ The House of the Seven Gables” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 
first published in 1851

 

My Approach to Home Design

For me, the house needs to serve its occupants rather then the other way around.  So in the design process, due consideration should be given to:

a) the site orientation - for example, facing east to catch the morning sun

b) the site features - every site has something to offer - how can we maximize those features.

c) the floor plan - what are the requirements for each room and what is the relationship between them?

d) the elevations -  is the outside design of the dwelling inviting?

e) the overall design of the house - does it meet all your expectations?

f) construction - of the many alternatives available for building, what best suits you and your budget?

g) materials - what are the overall implications of the materials you choose?

The options available in the building industry are virtually endless so it is wise to take time to review these options in order to achieve the best solution for your home design project.

What I bring to the table are principles of enduring design (ref: A Pattern Language), principles of green design (refer article "What is Green Design") and appropriate construction technology. This coupled with an integrity and willingness to really listen to what my clients wishes are and work with them to achieve a place they are pleased to call "Home"

Hands on building experience:

’79 I assisted with the design and construction of a vertical log post and beam home in Sooke, B.C.

’93-‘02 designed and built my own Post and Beam West Coast Design home to R-2000 standards on the ocean front at Willis Point, just outside of Victoria,

’02-’06 moved to an organic farm, renovated the 25 year old house, converted a horse trailer shed into a cottage, built a greenhouse, added on to the barn and converted a large blacksmith shop into a gym, yoga room and workshop.

Present day - Along with designing new homes, renovations and additions for clients, I am greening my own home by taking advantage of the site for passive solar design, increasing the insulation values while tightening up the building envelope, and replacing the windows and doors with low E - Argon filled rated Energy Star units.

To sum up, throughout these 30 years, I’ve been continuously involved with the design of many homes, additions and renovations – it’s what I love to do and now with the emphasis on sustainable design, it just makes sense to me.


It’s all academic anyway…

‘80-‘82 British Columbia Institute of Technology - Diploma in Building Technology
’85-’87 Acadia University - Bachelor of Science - Certificate in Applied Science (Diploma in Engineering)
’87-’89 Technical University of Nova Scotia - Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies

Municipal Building Official positions held:

Plans examiner for the Town of Smithers, B.C.
Plans examiner for the City of Nanaimo, B.C.
Building Inspector for the City of Gloucester, Ontario

Achievements:

Level 2 Certification Building Inspectors Association of British Columbia
Certification for R-2000 program
Certification of Wood Energy and the Better Built House

Work in Architectural Firms and Design Build Firms:

Cluff & Cluff Architects – Toronto, Ontario
Rob Reimers Architect – Toronto, Ontario
Campbell Moore Architects – Victoria, B.C.
Bill Lipsey Architect – Victoria, B.C.
Holovsky Chang Architects – Saanich B.C.
Harris Challenge – Design Build– Design of R-2000 homes