As a coastal community, we’re fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse regions on the planet. The question is: how can we inhabit our waterfronts in a way that respects and preserves them? [Read more…]
As our car advances into old age, I find myself pondering the question of how to drive more sustainably. Ours is by no means the worst gas-guzzler on the road, but I would be happier with better mileage. Driving to client meetings and site visits will be a necessity into the foreseeable future, no doubt about it. So in terms of my carbon footprint as a driver, what makes the most sense? Do I keep and drive our aging (1999 model), 6-cylinder vehicle into the ground? Replace it with a newer, more fuel-efficient model? And if we take the latter course, should we opt for an electric car? A hybrid? I went online in search of guidance. [Read more…]
I’m back from a weeklong driving trip to visit clients and family, and it’s made me think about the meaning and costs of travel. There’s been a radical change in how I do things in the last few years. Back in 2010, Tanis and I took a hard look at our lifestyle choices — housing, food, travel, work — and how they affected our carbon impact. We wanted to figure out the biggest and most immediate ways to make a change for the better. [Read more…]
Everywhere you turn these days, there’s another story about skyrocketing house prices. To succeed in today’s superheated market, buyers need the mental and financial agility to make split-second decisions, offer more than the asking price, and waive all conditions on their offers to purchase. The current market seems to be flooded with wealthy buyers, including some from offshore, who apparently will pay anything for a place to park their money. Many dwellings are selling at tens or hundreds of thousands above the asking price. Sadly, a good number of them will probably sit empty as they wait to be resold for even more. [Read more…]
A little while back, we posted some thoughts about the client-designer-builder triad, with tips on building a smooth working relationship among all parties (http://johngowerdesign.com/a-matter-of-trust/). A successful collaboration can only be achieved with a clear understanding of everyone’s roles and responsibilities. In that first post, I wrote about the role of the designer in a project. Later, we shared some thoughts from Tavis Griffith about the builder’s role (http://johngowerdesign.com/in-their-own-words-the-builders-speak/).
Last, but by no means least, I’d like to focus on the client. What should you expect as your project goes forward, and what might be expected of you? [Read more…]