Category Archives: Sustainability

MLive Article: This super-efficient house cost less than $200 to operate all summer long

Thanks to MLive and Jim Harger for writing and sharing this story about one of our residential projects: Deer Haven Residence. See images and project information HERE. CASCADE TOWNSHIP, MI – Architect Evan Mathison can go on for hours about all of the features he has packed into the sustainable house he designed for his family. Some are esoteric details that only architects will comprehend. Here’s one that everyone who pays the bills can understand: Mathison’s utility bills totaled only $193 in the four months between May and September this year. That includes air conditioning, cooking, laundry and hot water […]

MLive: This super-efficient home blends mid-century modern architecture

Thanks to MLive and Jim Harger for another great article! EAST GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Architect Evan Mathison and builder Matt Reinsma have combined the best of mid-century modern design and the latest in energy efficiency in the home they created for Todd and Kelli Mulderink. The decor may hearken back to the 1950s, but the methods and materials used to build the five-bedroom house are among latest advancements in sustainable design. Triple-paned windows and doors were imported from Europe and feature sophisticated locks and jambs designed to keep out the cold, heat and moisture. The floors are heated with […]

Talking about Sustainable Design with Eric Hughes of Image Design

Whether the project is commercial, residential or institutional, there is growing interest and passion about green, sustainable, energy-conscious design strategies.  For MMA, our clients are drawn to projects that are not only modern, but also connected to and responsible for the natural environment and healthy, livable communities.  Our focus on sustainability is shared by fellow-architect and MMA friend Eric Hughes of Image Design, who joined us for an open in-house discussion about the importance of sustainable design and practical applications for achieving energy-efficiency in every project. Sustainability has been a lifelong passion for Eric, particularly for residential design.  Inspired by […]

Hudson Valley Residence Project Design

Our “In-Progress Work” page is being continuously updated with residential, commercial, civic and educational projects that we are currently working on. Most recently we added a Hudson Valley Residence project. Located in Craryville, NY, the design features a cantilevered addition over the original structure to take full advantage of the mountain views. Stay tuned for more information about this fun and interesting project!

How Sustainable Should Your Space Be?

MMA Talks with Scott Branc of New Urban Home Builders We invited our partner Scott Branc, Principal of New Urban Home Builders for an MMA Talk. We’re currently working together on a large scale, modern renovation project in Kalamazoo. See more about that project HERE. Scott is an engineer by education and he described the fundamentals of his work as: building science, high performance construction and a passion for architecture. Our conversation focused on finding the right level of sustainability for each project and each client, based on a common approach that seeks the right balance of materials and performance characteristics for […]

Happy Window Reveal Party at “In Progress” EGR Residence

Happy Window Reveal to one of our special clients whose home construction is moving along in East Grand Rapids. Their super energy-efficient custom windows arrived on site last week and they were revealed once installed to the pleased birthday girl with a cake designed by Natty Em’s Cake Shop to look like the finished house! Matt Reinsma from Bespoke Homes organized the event and is doing an amazing job on the house. Follow the progress and view photos of a home under construction in East Grand Rapids at the new “In Progress” page here: East Grand Rapids Residence

Newberry Expansion News

Thanks to Jim Harger and MLive for sharing a bit about the Newberry Place expansion we’re working on. “Newberry Place, a 9-year-old co-housing community in the Belknap Lookout neighborhood, is expanding. The 20-unit community won permission from the city Planning Commission on Thursday, March 24, to build a three-unit townhouse on a vacant lot located east of the development, which was completed in 2008. The lot at 123 Newberry Street NE became vacant after the community purchased a dilapidated house on the property and had it demolished by the Kent County Land Bank. Marty Morgan, president of the Newberry Place […]

Innovative Client Shares 5 Most Important Things

We recently had a client email us a list of the five most important things in their residential project: Energy usage A modern use of space Being on the water Use of light Interesting interior spaces They went on to explain the energy patterns within the house; the rooms they go to recharge and the rooms where the most energy is expelled. We love that our clients are so insightful about their behavior and how they occupy their spaces in such an innovative way. What would your five most important things be?  What energy patterns do you see if your […]

“Instant Roof” goes up over SIPs

An “instant roof” goes up, according to one of the framers on site. This residential project is taking advantage of the energy efficiency and tight envelope provided by Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), rigid insulation sandwiched between two structural skin surfaces like Oriented Strand Board (OSB). The SIPs span glulam beams spaced 8′ apart, leaving beautiful exposed beams in the interior living spaces and big overhangs on the exterior. The sides of the home will be conventionally framed, while the SIPs were set on the main house in one day! See more in progress projects HERE.

A building should compliment its site and landscape.

Excerpts from our “Ask the Expert” segment with Shelley Irwin on December 17: Q: Do you do landscape design? A: We don’t choose actual plants but rather focus on the buildings connection to landscape. We are always thinking about the ground plane and how that relates to interior spaces and how the building interacts with the landscape. Once complete it should feel simple and like it was meant to be there. Q: Let’s talk about sustainability. A: Sustainability is a foundation of our practice. Everything we do has sustainability in mind ranging from energy efficiency to choices about materials and incorporating […]