Residential Green Architecture - Frequently Asked Questions Part 2

December 26, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

There's lots of talk about green building - but what does it really mean for your project?  We've been impressed with many improvements in our industry that have come from the sustainability movement, often referred to as green building.  However, not everything that's promoted as green makes sense.  Here is the second half of my article on residential green architecture and the frequently asked ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Tip -- Houzz.com

November 26, 2012 by: Eric Mac Inerney

If you are thinking about remodeling or building a home, you ought to give Houzz.com a try.  It is a repository of 800,000+ pictures that various people have uploaded to the site.  With this you can browse and find spaces you like and create idea books that you can share.  One of our recent clients used this a lot both to help her understand what she wanted and to communicate this infromation to ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Technology

Sustainable Water Solutions - Green Outside Your Building (Part 2)

November 13, 2012 by: Aurora McClain

Last week I dicussed options for reducing the amount of water that you use inside your house through adapting your habits and installing fixtures or appliances that are more efficient. This week we need to talk about what goes on outside, because a lot of the water that you use never actually enters your house but instead gets used for irrigating landscaping. This water has been processed to make ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Deisgn

Sustainable Water Solutions - Green Building (Part 1)

November 2, 2012 by: Aurora McClain

  GREEN BUILDING As the newest member of the Heimsath staff, I have been offered the opportunity to share some of my interests through this blog. Since I am particularly interested in green building, I wanted to kick off with a series on sustainable water solutions. A little background may be helpful to explain my interest in sustainability. I grew up on a farm in Vermont where waste was closely ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Green Building - Frequently Asked Questions

October 5, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

Many of our clients are interested in green building but still are not sure if it is worth it.  Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about green building:   What is green building?  Can it be practical? Green building, or sustainable design, refers to a growing concern with maximizing efficiency and reducing waste and energy consumption.  While many ideas are still in ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Sustainable Deisgn

Residential Sun Shades - They're Inexpensive and They Work!

September 23, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

In our hot, humid climate, the best way to beat the heat is to get some shade.  For residential architecture, porches, awnings, and trellises are the classic shading devices.  There also are tents, and canopies that use fabric materials for shading.  A relatively new product, the sun shade, or sun sail, offers good architectural solutions that are permanent, inexpensive and very flexible. For our ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Sustainable Deisgn

Residential Solar Panels -- A First Report

April 9, 2012 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Solar Panels on the Front roof Area There is a 5.76 KW solar array on the Purple Heron House.  Given that the house is a 5-star rated (or will be when Autsin Green Building finishes its process), we looked into Solar as a way to make the house even more effiecient (with the current efficiencies of the solar panels, it is usually better to conserve first and then look to generation).  At the time ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Technology / Architects and Construction / Sustainable Design

LED Lighting Comparison -- Using It NOW!!

December 11, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

LED lighting is improving in comparison to other technologies.  When we consider light output, color temperature, and color rendering, the LED lights are an equal or better choice (if you don't know these terms, here's a link to my article on lighting technology).  It is well past the time where this is really newsworthy, but I would like to share some of the latest ways we have successfully ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Curved Wrought Iron Fence -- Residential Design Tips

September 30, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

We went to my parents house for dinner and a swim. While the kids were in the pool (Grandma and Karen were watching them), I went down looked at the new fence my Dad is having built (he would have made a good architect) and thought I would share it.  As you may know, code requires a fence around a pool to keep random people (especially young kids) from getting to the pool and accidentally falling ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction

Residential Acoustics & Soundproofing -- Residential Design Tip

September 25, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

You don’t hear (pun intended) much about residential acoustics unless you are talking about houses in airport flight paths or along busy highways.  However, during a recent interview for the Chicago Tribune, I starting thinking about sharing what we know about sound issues in residences.    Even if you don’t have offensive noise generation outside of your house, it is entirely possible you may ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction