As the poet wrote, “The world is too much with us” lately. It’s easy to feel despair in the face of social upheaval, natural catastrophe, and economic hardship. Many of us struggle to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but need an infusion of optimism in these troubled times. [Read more…]
WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE: Reflections on House and Home
It was a shock when most of eastern Vancouver Island entered Level 4 drought conditions in the very first week of summer. This was unprecedented in BC. In Courtenay and Comox, Stage One watering restrictions had already been put into effect a month before,. The Sandwick Waterworks District in north Courtenay had moved quickly to Stage Three. It’s a certainty that the watering restrictions will remain in place through September.
Unfortunately, restrictions have a limited impact on consumption habits. [Read more…]
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…]
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…]