Residential Green Building Tip -- Hot Water

August 20, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Here is the latest video blog post I did with Matt Risinger.  This time we are discussing hot water systems for residential construction.  In this post we talk about using an AO Smith Vertex tank heater versus a tankless water heater and using a demand pump and a trunk line system for hot water delivery.   Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Green Building Tip -- HVAC and Dehumidification

August 16, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Here is a video Matt Risinger and I shot for his video blog on Residential Green Building.  In this video we are looking at using as separate dehumidification unit to help control humidity and thus use the house AC units more efficiently. Here is a link to his blog.  He has lots of really useful information here--and if you look carefully, you can see more of me as well! Risinger Blog Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Green Building Design Tip -- Coaxing the Wind

August 5, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Given that is is August and Austin has hit 107 the last couple of days (not to mention over 100 for the past 19 days), I am not sure it will ever be used, but the new house has a couple of interesting features to help coax in a nice cool breeze. They probably work now, but that would basically turn the house into a convection oven... View of the house from the Southeast -- the direction of the ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Design Tip -- Hearth and TV

July 20, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

We often run into the problem of how to place the fireplace and the TV in a family room or living room so that you can arrange the furniture to focus on both properly (This is even more complicated if there is a view). Judging by many of the houses we walk through--lots of people are working through this issue.  One solution is to pick either the hearth or the TV to focus on and let the other ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction

Residential Tip -- Saving your Bacon with Video

July 14, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Right before they began to close up the walls in our house, I walked through the house with my Flip video camera and captured almost every wall in video.  The 15 minute long clip with some incredibly dry commentary by yours truly is not going to the Cannes Film Festival anytime soon, but it has its uses.  When the drywall installers come through and cover the walls, they occasionally forget to ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Residential Design & Construction

Residential Design: Solar Shade Studies

May 29, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Real vs. Study Shot of the Solar Shading on May 28 at 3:00      Part of designing green buildings, whether it be residential design or commercial design, is properly shading the windows so that you let the sun's heat in when you want it and block it when you don't.  Fortunately (or not, as we have already hit 100° this summer), in the Texas climate, it is mostly a battle to shade the windows.   ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Design -- The Difference a Truss Makes

May 22, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Residential Design:  The Difference a Truss Makes The two in-progress shots show the great room before and after the trusses were added.  The first shot is a much more modern open space; however, that was not the look we were going for in this particular house.  The second shot shows how the trusses make a more intimate space, without lessening the volume and connection to the second floor. When ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction

Residential Design -- Trim Details

April 9, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Much of what designates a home as modern style, craftsman style, victorian style, georgian style, etc. are the details--especially how the windows are treated, how the juncture where the wall meets the ceiling and where the wall meets the floor is treated, and how special items are done.  By the way, if you ever need a good book on this, pick up a copy of "A Field Guide to American Houses" by ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Construction --The Ties that Bind

April 1, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

  What is this?  A two-piece Hohmann and Barnard Masonry Tie! Why do I care?  Keep Reading! I am sure that most people look at a stone or brick facade and think not only of how aesthetically pleasing it is but how strong and stable masonry must be. Stone and brick are great materials for the exteriors of building—they require little or no maintenance, they are very durable, and the last forever. ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Codes & Permitting

Green Building Doesn't Have to Look Like That....

March 26, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Last week I was interviewing with a delightful couple about the possibility of designing a new house for them.  In our previous communications, the husband was very excited about the various green building techniques we could employ.  However, when we started discussing this in the interview, I noticed his wife was kind of shying away from the table.  It jumped into my mind that she was worried ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design