In light of the recent wildfire crisis in northern Alberta, it’s a good time to examine the fire-resilience of your home. Vancouver Island is no stranger to this type of disaster; a massive wildfire in 1938 produced heavy smoke enveloping nearly two-thirds of the Island. With drought conditions increasing in severity each summer, there’s no reason to believe that it can’t happen again. [Read more…]
WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE: Reflections on House and Home
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…]
We’re always interested in achieving a more sustainable practice in our office. To this end, we’ve found a useful infographic that quantifies office-related emissions (viewable at the link below). This resource contains good suggestions for reducing your workplace impact. [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 involved in a home building project (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…]
At our small office, the quest for carbon neutrality continues, and what a complex task it’s proving to be! We’d agreed that the first and most obvious step would be to calculate our current footprint. This would give us a baseline against which to measure our progress over the remainder of the year. Hiring a consulting firm to come in and do the job seemed costly, so we decided to do as much research as we could to come up with a baseline ourselves. This is proving to be easier said than done. [Read more…]
Recently, in the wake of the COP21 meetings and the publication of the Paris Agreement on climate change, we posted a few ideas about reducing carbon impacts in this “post-Paris” era. At the top of that list was the suggestion to read “How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything” by Mike Berners-Lee. The book contains lots of excellent advice on how to contribute to the health of the planet. Freshly inspired by its message, my coworkers and I agreed to set out on a new adventure in sustainability: we would try to become a carbon-neutral workplace in 2016. [Read more…]