Does my attic have enough insulation?


This time of year we always add a blanket to our bed to stay warm at night. It is cold! In order to have a more comfortable home and improve your energy-efficiency, you should add a blanket to your home as well. The code minimum insulation allowed in new construction is R-38. As you can…

9. Samuel Mockbee #105architecturalinspiration


Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee December 23, 1944 – December 30, 2001 At a time in my professional development where I was questioning my purpose in the industry, I found an architect that changed my future. I attended a lecture at the University of Virginia given by an architect named Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee. From the website http://www.samuelmockbee.net: Samuel Mockbee…

Smithland Road Custom Home


We take a variety of approaches for our custom home projects. On the Smithland Road Custom Home, we worked for the builder, AM Yoder and Co and had a limited number of interactions with the client during design. We are only observing on occasion during construction as our services were for design only. The design-build approach…

8. Chicago Theatre Marquee #105architecturalinspiration


The Chicago Theater is an icon known around the world. Unfortunately, on my only visit to Chicago I did not have the opportunity to tour the building. However, I did get the chance to see the nearly six story high sign / marquee hanging on the front of the building. There are a handful of buildings…

Green Term Defined: Erosion


Erosion is the removal of soil and rock by water from one location to another. Erosion is also when wind moves soil from one location to another. Erosion is a natural process, although human activity can have an increased impact on the rate at which is occurs. Excessive erosion impacts soil quality, stream and river issues, and airborne…

Harrisonburg Architect named “Best of #Houzz” for the fourth year in a row


The Gaines Group, PLC of Harrisonburg, VA Receives “Best Of Houzz 2015 Award”  Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World Harrisonburg, Virginia, January 25, 2015 – The Gaines Group, PLC of Charlottesville and Harrisonburg Virginia has been awarded “Best Of Houzz”…

7. The Aqua Tower in Chicago #105architecturalinspiration


This 82 story tall Chicago mixed-use residential building  has a fluid contour facade creating unique balconies for every apartment. The Aqua Tower includes floor-to-ceiling windows, clean lines, and Chicago’s largest outdoor recreation deck.  The structure was designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects with James Loewenberg & Associates as the Architect of Record. The form of…

Albemarle County Custom House – Update


Work continues on this house designed for a lifetime in Northern Albemarle County just north of Charlottesville. From the no-step entry to the high-performance design elements, careful thought was put into this design solution.  Careful consideration was made to set this home on the site in a way that it blends with the surroundings. The…

6. Hatch Show Prints #105architecturalinspiration


When you see good design you know it immediately, Hatch Show Prints are good design. I have always loved old playbills but never spent time thinking about how they were created. That is until I visited Nashville and discovered for myself what you probably already knew before me. The Hatch family started printing handbills in…

Green Term Defined:Formaldehyde


Formaldehyde: A gas used widely in production of adhesives, plastics, preservatives, and fabric treatments and commonly emitted by indoor materials that are made with its compounds. It is highly irritating if inhaled and is now listed as a probable human carcinogen. Some products that you might expect to contain formaldehyde in your home include paper towels,…

5. Lighthouses #105architecturalinspiration


One of the first known lighthouses was built in Alexandria, Egypt marking the entrance to the city’s harbor in 285 BC. Lighthouses at this time were harbor lights serving as homing beacons to bring ships safely into port. As sea traffic increased in the 17th century lighthouses were constructed to warn ships of dangerous reefs,…