Program and Site Design
We review the site with respect to solar access, views, winds, natural vegetation, circulation, and exterior rooms. We discuss your needs and wants, examine the site requirements, and then blend together some basic concepts. You may be pleasantly surprised when you see the many concepts and ideas available to you. Finally, we help you define and understand the project costs, and together we develop a workable budget.

Existing Structures Review
We examine existing structures to determine their condition, usefulness to the client, and flexibility with the project.

Preliminary Design
We present a set of simple design drawings and a materials list. We use these documents to review the plan, section, elevation, materials, and energy systems, and then we revisit the budget.

Design Development
This phase develops specific details of the preliminary design.

  • Healthy Construction
    We compare your design preferences and health history with health-related aspects of construction. Considerations include long-term indoor air quality, construction health hazards, environmental manufacturing, product quality, compatibility, and budget.
  • Construction Types
    We determine which type of construction is best for overall site and project criteria. We consider design, site, environment, and energy. Sustainable and recyclable systems include ICF (insulated concrete form) walls, earth walls, straw-bale walls, and SIPs (structural insulated panels).
  • Energy Design
    We evaluate the building's total energy cost, and calculate solar gain and preliminary heat loss. We suggest the latest in conventional heating / cooling systems combined with passive solar design.
  • Interior and exterior elements
    We design the bathroom and kitchen, and define interior elements such as electrical and mechanical systems.
  • Cost estimates
    General and sub-contractors develop cost estimates for final design review.

Construction Documents
We complete a full set of construction documents for all aspects of the design, permits, bidding, and construction. These documents define architecture, structure, mechanical and electrical systems, interior design, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, color selections, and specifications. The complexity and length of this phase depends on required services and client needs.

Bidding and Contract Consultation
These services include preparing bid packages and administrating project bidding. We review the bids, then advise the client of bid contents and contract preparation.

Construction Consultation
With these services, we represent the client during the construction phase. Services can include reviewing work completed, reviewing payment requests, preparing change orders, reviewing project decisions, and providing progress updates.

Post-Construction Consultation
We review the completed, occupied building for the client, with consideration for design, construction methods, material durability, and systems performance.

Workshops are a fun way to build community and feel connection with your home. We offer a wide range of hands-on programs, where you and your friends can learn to build with straw bales and other natural materials.

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