Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about architecture, design, construction, or something else? Find the answer here!

Please contact us if your ques­tion is not ad­ressed be­low!

What is your Design Process?

Design­ing your build­ing is fun!

We col­lab­or­ate closely with our cli­ents to real­ize their vis­ion for their pro­ject.  We em­ploy 3D present­a­tions to share design ideas.

  • We en­able you to real­ize your concept by as­sist­ing with plan­ning, ma­ter­i­al choices, struc­ture, & ap­pear­ance
  • We provide site plan­ning, ar­chi­tec­tur­al, struc­tur­al, ser­vice & in­teri­or design
  • Ex­plore your pro­ject dur­ing the Design De­vel­op­ment Phase us­ing our in­ter­act­ive 3D ex­plor­a­tion mod­el
  • We ad­vise on pass­ive & act­ive sol­ar and off-grid Net Zero and smart build­ings
  • We provide item­ized in­ter­act­ive Con­struc­tion Budget Ana­lyses for con­struc­tion cost con­trol
  • We gen­er­ate code com­pli­ant draw­ings of your pro­ject for Zon­ing and Build­ing Per­mit Sub­mis­sion
  • We provide con­struc­tion spe­cif­ic­a­tions, ser­vice lay­outs, and ma­ter­i­al sched­ules for your Work­ing Draw­ings.

Design Fea­tures

Tech­no­lo­gic­al ad­vances in­teg­rated in­to an en­ergy-con­ser­vat­ive design:

  • Net Zero design for build­ings that gen­er­ate all the en­ergy needed for liv­ing and in­teri­or com­fort
  • Pass­ive Haus en­ergy con­ser­va­tion through su­per-in­su­lated con­struc­tion with thermal breaks
  • Pass­ive Geo­therm­al design us­ing the earth’s con­stant en­ergy to heat & cool your build­ing all day all year without equip­ment or fuel con­sump­tion.

Achieve En­ergy In­de­pend­en­ce us­ing Pass­ive & Act­ive sol­ar heat­ing, cool­ing & power gen­er­a­tion.

Ex­ten­ded Ser­vices

  • Pro­ject Feas­ib­il­ity Study
  • Land Plan­ning
  • Value En­gin­eer­ing
  • Pro­ject Man­age­ment
  • Bid So­li­cit­a­tion & shop draw­ing re­view
  • Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment in­clud­ing change or­ders & con­tract­or pay­ment cer­ti­fic­ates.



What in­form­a­tion do you need to design my pro­ject?

In­form­a­tion gath­er­ing is the first step in ar­chi­tec­tur­al design.  

Cli­ent Data

  • ad­dress
  • tele­phone
  • email

Site Data

  • loc­a­tion & ad­dress
  • map show­ing ma­jor site fea­tures
  • site ac­cess
  • to­po­graphy, how the land slopes
  • soils re­port
  • site util­it­ies

Pro­ject Data

  • in­form­a­tion on how your build­ing will be used
  • list of spaces and their re­la­tion to each oth­er
  • pic­tures or de­scrip­tions of the style and type of design you prefer
  • con­struc­tion budget
  • con­struc­tion sched­ule

Code Com­pli­ance

  • loc­al or­din­ances and zon­ing set­backs and re­quire­ments
  • most USA re­gions ob­serve the IBC In­ter­na­tion­al Build­ing Code, and the IRC In­ter­na­tion­al Res­id­en­tial Code
  • oth­er spe­cialty codes & re­stric­tions


What kinds of build­ings do you design?

We design all build­ing types and ad­di­tions to all types of build­ings, and we also provide town plan­ning, com­mu­nity plan­ning, and site design.

  • com­mer­cial, re­tail, in­dus­tri­al & of­fice build­ings in­clud­ing town cen­ters and malls
  • space plan­ning & ten­ant build-out in ex­ist­ing build­ings
  • hos­pit­al­ity build­ings:  tour­ist vil­las, ho­tels, mo­tels, guest houses
  • com­mu­nity build­ings: med­ic­al, re­li­gious, com­mu­nity cen­ters
  • res­id­en­tial: single fam­ily homes, ex­ten­ded fam­ily com­pounds & shared liv­ing, multi-fam­ily apart­ments & mixed-use, af­ford­able homes, so­cial hous­ing, emer­gency hous­ing
  • for­ti­fied design for safe rooms, & for­ti­fied prep­per home designs
  • winer­ies in­clud­ing: res­taur­ants, tast­ing rooms, fer­ment­a­tion halls, bot­tling lines, cask and bottle stor­age

Our fa­vor­ite kind of design is en­ergy-ef­fi­cient and dis­as­ter-res­ist­ant, us­ing mod­ern ma­ter­i­als and meth­ods, in­clud­ing Ferrocement structures and en­ergy con­ser­va­tion prin­ciples:

  • Net Zero build­ings that pro­duce the en­ergy needed by oc­cu­pants, as well as power for char­ging their elec­tric cars
  • Hur­ricane, earth­quake, flood & storm surge res­ist­ant build­ings
  • Pass­ive sol­ar and geo­therm­al en­ergy design
  • In­teg­rated sol­ar elec­tric­al power gen­er­a­tion sys­tems such as with a Tesla whole house bat­tery
  • Build­ings with rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing, fil­ter­ing, and sol­ar puri­fic­a­tion.


Can you design a building in my area?

Yes, we have de­signed homes and build­ings all over the USA as well as in the Carib­bean and in Africa. 

We com­mu­nic­ate with our cli­ents over the in­ter­net.  We set up a private web portal ded­ic­ated to each pro­ject where doc­u­ments and cor­res­pond­en­ce can be safely shared.



How much do your services cost?

Nor­mally we charge for our ser­vices on an hourly basis.

This is a flex­ible ar­range­ment which al­lows cli­ents to con­trol design cost by do­ing some tasks them­selves, such as mak­ing sub­mis­sions for per­mits, etc.

Once we have dis­cussed the scope of design work with you we will be able to es­tim­ate design cost for your pro­ject.