WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE: Reflections on House and Home
In our culture, a lot of value is placed on the DIY ethic, in which it seems we’ve empowered everyone to do just about anything. The result is that people aren’t always prepared to value expert opinion, but instead engage with experts as minimally as they can. This is due partly to the widespread idea that all opinions have equal validity – especially when it comes to the world of design. [Read more…]
Ten years ago, we were contacted by a client in California who wanted to buy a modified ‘Purcell’ stock plan from us. After customizing the plan to his specifications, we sent off the drawings. The build went ahead, Craig was installed in his new home, and all was well — or so it seemed. [Read more…]
Today I spent six productive hours in a workshop focused on strategies for housing the aging population in our rural areas. The event was co-sponsored by Island Health and the CVRD, and was hosted by my home community, Creekside Commons Cohousing.
Many rural homeowners are getting to the point in life where continued upkeep of their properties and buildings is too much work. However, relocating to town would take them away from neighbours, the landscape and a lifestyle that they still love. There’s an obvious need for housing options that embody these rural values through the later-life transition, especially as people lose their ability to drive. [Read more…]
The other day I touched base with an architect colleague who shares my passion for sustainable design. We lamented the fact that despite the growing certainty about the very real consequences of climate change and environmental degradation, green building hasn’t taken off as we’d hoped it would in this country. As one example of this: back in December 2013, when I took my Passive House training, there were about 40 projects built or in planning in Canada. A quick online search of the PH database reveals that now, two years later, there are only 15 built Passive Houses in Canada, (while 371 have been built in the U.S.) – disappointing numbers, to be sure, and indicative of a movement that’s lost its momentum. [Read more…]
Three years ago, Roy deVries approached us about helping him to design a future-friendly new home in Kaslo, BC. He affectionately nicknamed it the Damn Near Passive House because strictly speaking, it was not intended to be a certified PH design. However, we set out to make it come as close as we could. [Read more…]