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 -- 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

Energy Security and Energy Efficient Buildings

April 5, 2011 by: Ben Heimsath

You will have an energy efficient building or building program in your future.  I'm not making a wild prediction here.  Not possible?  Think of the efficiencies in cars over the past 10 years.  Who would have predicted that we'd actually have cars that get 20, 30, even 50 miles a gallon?  Would you guess we'd have hybrids and electric cars? Or that gas would go to over $4.00 per gallon? Our ... Read More

Sustainable Design

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

A Free Landscaping Idea - Salvaged Plants

March 15, 2011 by: Ben Heimsath

This past weekend, I was digging up tiny trees out on the family farm.  The overgrown clump near the tennis court had swallowed one too many tennis balls.  Two weeks ago, a crew consisting of my brother, my brother-in-law, my sister and their son initiated a massive hacking and clipping in order to thin the thicket.  But this weekend, I returned to claim my bounty for a free landscaping idea - ... Read More

Sustainable Design

Salvage or Demolition? One Creative Rehab = Two Garage Apartments.

March 9, 2011 by: Ben Heimsath

Salvage or demolition?  Too many times we've encountered the owners of an old building who tell us that some expert (engineer, contractor, architect) said the structure couldn't be saved.  The fact is, there are very few buildings that have been so neglected or deteriorated that they truly can't be saved.  There are many inventive ways to re-use or re-purpose a building.  You just have to stop ... Read More

Adaptive Re-use / Residential Design & Construction / Historic Preservation / Sustainable Design

LED lights - Options for Residential and Church Lighting Design

January 4, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

My wife and I are designing and building a new energy-efficient home. We are working very hard with our builder, Risinger Homes, to achieve a 5-star (highest) rating in the Austin Green Building Residential Program.  One major focus is how to make the lighting more efficient. In a future post, I will discuss some of the technical basics of lighting.  I've designed lighting for our churches and ... Read More

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