May 3, 2016

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.

March 28, 2016

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 Condominium Association, said the new townhouse will be built in cooperation with the owners of the three condominiums that will be built in a single townhouse on the lot.

Architect Evan Mathison said two of the three units will be of a "zero-step" design thanks to the sloping lot. One of the units will be accessible from the street level while a second will be accessible from a ramp that leads from the rear of the lot."

March 13, 2016

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:

  1. Energy usage
  2. A modern use of space
  3. Being on the water
  4. Use of light
  5. 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 house?

Share your answers in our comments section below. We'd be curious to learn what is important to you and how you view energy.

February 26, 2016

“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

February 17, 2016

Building or renovating a home is a very personal experience.

Excerpts from our "Ask the Expert" segment with Shelley Irwin on December 17:

Q: How closely do you work with the families during a home renovation or new design?

A: Building or renovating a home is a very personal experience. We work to discover what’s mportant to them. We ask a series of questions to fully understand their needs. We want to know what each room is used for and at what time of day. From the answers we develop a few options with various rooms and layouts. We present those options in the form of physical models on a small scale. Once we settle on a design we develop that model on the computer, both in 2D and 3D, it’s important for people to see what their house is going to look like when we’re done.

Let's look at an example…