Green Architecture: What Makes a Structure a “Living Building”?

EarthTalkLivingBuildingsA Pacific Northwest organization has defined an environmentally sound structure as one that generates its own energy, captures and treats all of its water, operates efficiently, and is aesthetically pleasing. Many readers will recognize the movement as the Living Building Challenge, launched in 2006.

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What is Mixed-Use?

Traditional zoning was dADC-Sketch3developed during a time when factories and many commercial uses were noisy, smelly, and/or hazardous to the public. To protect public health and residential property values, early zoning focused on separating different uses and buffering them from each other to minimize nuisances.

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The Health-Benefits Case for Mixed Used Development

HS-Mbooklet-28 Pages4The term ‘mixed-use development’ refers to buildings that contain a mix of uses – such as commercial, retail or other non-residential uses, maintaining an active commercial and business environment at pedestrian (street) level often in conjunction with residential dwellings on the upper levels in a multiple dwelling configuration. Continue reading

Educating Your Architect

Hawthorn-Saperstein BSeveral factors need to be analyzed and understood understood before design begins: program, site, regulatory and political context, and budget and schedule constraints. By working through these factors with your architect, you not only develop a set of quantified needs, you also begin to give the architect a sense of your values, goals and aspirations. Understanding these deeper, often less quantifiable factors will enable your architect to go beyond the bare satisfaction of need, to design a building—a place—that enriches your life and work. Continue reading

Top 10 House Designs and Architectural Styles to Ignite your Imagination

Are you in the process of designing and building your dream home, cottage, or ranch? If so, you are probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of home designs and styles that modern residential architecture has to offer. But, never fear! Here are the top ten architectural styles to help you zero-in on that perfect house design to suit your personality and taste.

House styles give our streets and neighborhoods a personality. Have you ever wondered, “What house style is that?” Here’s the lowdown on what is going on in American streets. Continue reading

The Architectural Monument at Thiepval

Viator_Shutterstock_99130One of my favorite architectural monuments is British Sir Edwin Lutyens Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, commemorating the lives lost at the first Battle of the Somme, fought 100-years-on now, in May 1916.

Commission
Among his other credentials, Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) was one of the principal architects of the cemeteries and memorials of the First World War. Continue reading

My Dreamhouse

riverhouseThe house is the place of abode, rest, rejuvenation, and sustenance. We base our lives in houses, but how many of us have actually taken the time to identify, formalize, and put to writing what constitutes our dream for our ideal house?

Here is a found essay, originally posted by dxallen23, describing such a vision… Continue reading