Smaller footprint houses such as mountain cabins can provide valuable lessons in eco-friendly design, construction innovation, and eco-friendly materials. Anyone who has faced the challenges of limited living space will find inspiration in this selection of the latest trends in environmentally sensitive, small-scale home design. Most of the projects prove that that small-scale efficiency, as well as beautiful, thoughtful design, can overcome the apparent constraints of a small footprint.Read More
Home Renovations Ideas and Tips from the Calgary General Contractor, Renovation Company Calgary
A Calgary a full-service renovation company and general contractor specializing in design, the turnkey commercial renovations, full home renovations, custom homes and additions. Check out our website for tip and ideas.
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We have recently completed a professionally designed multi-purpose home theatre room that can also serve as an entertainment room, playroom and family room. To find out more read our post:
With much greater emphasis on energy and materials preservation efforts, the housing and renovation trends for 2016 emphasize design and building techniques that sustain our natural resources.Read More
Well-designed buildings, in commercial and residential architecture, are well integrated with its site and use design approach that promote coherence between a building and its natural surroundings. Thus a building and its setting become one unified composition.Read More
Garages are loaded with an untapped potential and can become more than a space to hide the junk. With relatively small budget, diligent planning and a few simple steps, any garage can be transformed to a very useful and pleasant workshop space that can also add value to your property.Read More
We recently completed a trip through Canadian Pacific Coast (mainly inland British Columbia and Vancouver Island). During our trip we searched for an interesting architecture than can serve as an inspiration and a reference for future projects.
With its lush forests, rugged coast and long rainy season, the Pacific coast has developed a style that is informal, organic, rustic and above all eclectic.
Here, we noticed overlapping elements of architecture:
- Design as a tribute to nature makes use of an open floor plan and native materials--both significant elements of early regional Modernism
- The decor often reveals nuances of Japanese design or Scandinavian design
- Clean-lines, light, natural materials, and neutral tones combined with bright colours
While the styles vary, sensitivity to the environment and a desire to accentuate the natural beauty of the region lie at the heart of almost every design
We love this style here are some photos. Enjoy!
Sustainability doesn’t have to be a buzzword. By implementing well thought out design strategies in commercial and residential design and construction, we can make very meaningful, earth friendly, and resource efficient improvements that will also contribute to much healthier living environment and more efficient maintenance practices. The greatest sustainability gains can be achieved through well planned design even before the construction begins.
Sustainable design provides authentic, sensual and tactile experience that is grounded in what is real - what we experience through our senses. As such, sustainable design is less focus on abstract, instead it references cultural history, natural world, diversity in colours and textures, simplicity and honesty.
In addition to engaging traditional sustainability tactics such as energy efficiency, daylighting, and the use of healthy materials, the following are key to sustainable design approach:
- Resource efficiency - a fundamental strategy for resource-efficient building is to build less square footage, use smaller quantities of materials and design the smallest footprint possible
- Source reduction - use of materials that reduces the amount of toxicity of garbage generated and overall waste disposal
- Low impact building materials by reducing use of nonrenewable natural materials, materials reuse, recycling
- Rapidly renewable materials with harvest cycle of 10 years or less
- Climate-specific construction materials, regional products, consider life-cycle cost
- Durable and timeless design
Here are example of some inspiring projects that adhere to sustainable design principles:
The sustainable design features includes: opening of walls, changes to layout to maximize the use of daylight and to reduce energy consumption, LED lighting, use local materials and natural finishing, to achieve durable, simple, low maintenance and timeless design.
The project received LEED Platinum/Net Zero certification and features high performance air-to-air heat exchangers; photovoltaic panels for electricity; solar thermal panels for hot water; ultra low flow/dual flush fixtures for water conservation; LED lighting; radiant heating; and IPE rain screen siding.
The sustainable features include: open floor plan to maximize natural light, clerestory windows, natural, simple elements, and timeless design.
Sustainability feature: constructing a green roof that you can potentially intercept a major portion of the storm water runoff before it gets to the impervious areas on your site. It also lessens the load on other sustainable systems you may be using, like rain gardens and permeable paving.
Resources and Photo Credits:
Sustainable Residential Interiors By Stelmack, Annette
More and more commercial products are making it into residential homes and are changing the way consumers looking at building new or renovating homes.
Due to a growing number of homeowners working from home, workplace products and technologies are being used in residential construction. Commercial spaces, rental prices, and long commutes, have made working from home more attractive. We recently finished a project building a recording studio in a residential new inner-city home.Read More
Industrial influenced design is not only super cool, but also, one may argue, environmentally-friendly and sustainable. Find out more what are the key principles of industrial design and how to apply them.Read More
What is about some houses that makes us long to live there while others leave us cold? What is making even some very modern houses warm and inviting yet some other cold and almost sterile-like. Jeremiah Eck, leading residential architect, in his book Distictive Home identifies the four qualities that can turn even the most ordinary house into a charming, warm and memorable home: good siting, well-designed floor, elegant exterior architecture, and details that transmit an enduring sense of warmth and quality.
To achieve this balance, many are turning to the history and tradition of their own for inspiration in "old house" - themes that will inspire and preserve a sense of place and the feeling of "home." Here are some great examples of well designed and renovated older homes that achieved both modern yet charming and timeless appeal:
Resources and Photo Credits:
The Distinctive Home: A Vision of Timeless Design Paperback – Bargain Price, April 11, 2006 by Jeremiah Eck
The essence of of eco design is efficiency, both in terms of energy and use of resources. The most elegant solutions arise when all the elements of design and construction are properly integrated: in eco design it is how everything works together that really matters. In one sense, eco design is a way of going back to first principles of building. In these styles-conscious times, it is easy to become obsessed with the latest trend and forget that the purpose of a house is to provide shelter.Read More
Designing and building your own home theater can be a fun process whether you have experience in design and decorating or not. However, building a home theater can also become a complicated undertaking that can lead to costly mistakes. To avoid them we listed a few simple rules to help you build your private home theater without a hitch.Read More