Sloping Lots & Challenging Project Sites
Sloping lots typically require a more creative foundation and structural design. They also require more carefully developed floor plans to make the best use of the project site.
Projects sites can be challenging because the location makes them more likely to be subject to natural forces like floods, high wind loads, seismic loads and fires.
Infill Homes on Small or Irregular Lots
Infill homes demand a response to their existing neighborhoods. This means the site design, building design and interior space planning have to be more creative to make the best use of limited space.
Irregular lots can lead to strange massing for houses so we do our best to balance the massing with a strong style and elements. This strategy creates emphasis on the parts of the house that you want guests to see (like the front entrance). This way, the massing isn’t the first thing people notice.
A family property can be small house used like a timeshare among family members, a larger house for gatherings or property with multiple houses. Since these homes aren’t constantly occupied, they need durable construction that requires little maintenance.
Family properties also need supporting spaces that you wouldn’t find in a typical house. For example, an owner’s closet is a small interior space that can be locked with a deadbolt that’s not keyed with the other locks in the house so only the owner has access. In family properties, we can used a series of these spaces that allow family members to store their items so the house doesn’t become cluttered with things from people who aren’t present.
Lake Homes & Mountain Homes
These homes have a unique relationship with their sites, especially if they’re adjacent to public lands or water. Both lake and mountain homes can present significant flood and wind challenges. Both are also view oriented so the interior space planning is laid out around the exterior amenities.
Since lake and mountain homes are often a retreat from urban life, their design needs to create a feeling of separation so you don’t feel like you’re just in another house. These homes may not be constantly occupied so they need durable construction that requires little maintenance.
Coastal Homes & Island Homes
These homes have a unique relationship with their environment because they’re typically subject to high wind loads and salt water corrosion. The combination of designing to resist corrosion and hurricane loads requires a completely different design standard that drives the interior layout and functionality. They’re also view oriented so there are a number of priorities to be addressed.
Building an island home often means working with limited material and labor resources. For our work in the Bahamas, we visited south Florida where the materials would be staged, containerized and shipped to the islands. Skilled labor crews may also need to be imported so an efficient design and proactive construction management are both critical – when the crews are coming in from other areas, you have to keep the work on schedule.
Municipal utilities like water, power and gas may not be reliable on your property. Off-the-Grid properties can supplement unreliable municipal utilities or be completely disconnected. Before designing active systems to replace utilities, it’s critical to design the house to be as efficient as possible.
We do that with passive systems and conservation to reduce the purchase cost, operation expense and maintenance of your building systems. Proper placement of the house on the property so it makes use of natural lighting, breezes and other amenities can have a huge impact on the reduction of active systems.
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