Harmony Square Dairy Queen – possibly the greenest DQ in the country


A fast food restaurant is not often thought of as a “green” building. However, when Jane and Michael Blackburn approached their future store that is exactly what they asked for from us. Mike said “this is a locally owned business, we care about our community, and we want to impact the community and the environment…

Chesapeake Western Depot project updates


Work on The Depot continues and Jim and the guys are making tremendous progress. The electrical, plumbing, and mechanical rough-ins are all done. The structural flooring repairs are done. The insulation is installed in the attic. The warehouse roof is being rebuilt and brick cleaned from the fire damage. These past few weeks the project…

Green Term Defined: Energy Audit


Green Term Defined: Energy Audit An energy audit is an inspection that looks at energy flow in a building. The objective of an energy audit is to identify things that can be modified to reduce energy usage and increase comfort and safety for the occupants of the building. An energy audit usually involves a blower door…

Designing with passion and purpose for the children


Designing with passion and purpose for the children Working on designs for every client is a task that I take very seriously. I want all of our projects to be healthy places to live, work, and play. They should be energy-efficient and durable for the preservation of future generations. However, designing a project that primarily…

Green Term Defined: Energy Use Intensity (EUI)


Green Term Defined: Energy Use Intensity (EUI) Energy Use Intensity is the “miles per gallon” of your commercial building. You simply divide the total energy consumed by the building in one year (measured in kBtu) by the total gross floor area of the building. The lower the EUI the more energy-efficient the building. The EPA…

On the Road Collaborative Sustainable Farm House Tour


On the Road Collaborative Sustainable Farm House Tour This past week our On The Road Collaborative student group had the opportunity to tour a sustainable farm house under construction. Eric Beck, Beck Builders, was our tour guide and helped the students understand the career of a builder. The students had lots of questions and the tour…

SVBA Home and Garden Show


The SVBA Home and Garden Show returns to the Rockingham County Fair Grounds this April 9-10 and this year ADMISSION IS FREE. The annual event that attracts exhibitors from cabinets suppliers and landscapers to contractors and architects is your one stop shop for all things construction. If you are thinking about renovating a kitchen, adding…

Why does architectural design cost so much?


Why does architectural design cost so much? I have written about this in the past – the most common question I get is how much does architecture design cost? It is a difficult question to answer so I completely understand that clients do not know what to expect. Perhaps a better question is what is architectural design…

Chesapeake Western Depot Warehouse Renovation


Chesapeake Western Depot Warehouse Renovation has begun. While work continues on the office portion of the Depot, the roof and trusses are being repaired in the warehouse space. The majority of the fire damage in the building exists in this space. The entire roof is being replaced and many of the trusses will need major…