Spare the Planet. Walk to Work.

We talk a lot about HOW we build, but we don’t often talk about where. We certainly favor building sites that offer good solar access, and we tune the building to take advantage of those “free gains.” But our clients come to us having determined and invested in where they want to live. We then design and build in a way that favors that site. A building’s location has implications for energy use and the owner’s carbon footprint well beyond how it is designed and built. We have designed and are preparing to build a new home for two UConn biology professors in which the answer to “Where?” assures that will be a lighter load.

ravine-road

Living in nearby Willington they sought a location close to the campus but with the rural qualities that draw folks to live in Eastern Connecticut. They had the good fortune to find and purchase land on Ravine Road in Mansfield, a dirt road thru farmland that connects to a road running directly to UConn.

ravine-road-pano

We’ve designed a 1900SF Farmhouse with a master suite on the lower floor and two bedrooms on a modest second floor. The south facing upstairs bedroom will be used as their office and overlooks the ravine valley. You could be in Vermont! The home will be built to Passive House standards including triple glazed Tilt Turn windows that are familiar to them and they prefer. The plan includes a one car garage with room for bikes. They are looking forward to relying less on their car and more on those bikes. Having walked the road, it sure seems like a pretty idyllic way to realize our favored equation:

 

Better Home. Better Life. Better Planet!


A BLOG SAMPLER

A random sampling of past blog posts in the domains of discovery, design, craft, and performance



THE BLOG LIBRARY

Live Better Electrically

Live Better Electrically

The “All Electric Home” and the “Condominium” were modern ideas in the early 70’s. Just behind Elizabeth Park in West Hartford three of these new “condo” apartment buildings were built in 1973. With the motto “Live Better Electrically” the utility provided incentives...
How much is enough?

How much is enough?

Designers do best when they understand their clients fully, empathize with their intentions, and transcend what they expected was possible. This means not just distinguishing between what they say they want and what they actually need, but why they want and need it....
Our Energy Load is Our Legacy

Our Energy Load is Our Legacy

Every home is the physical expression of what home meant when it was first built. They take their shape, adopt their style, divide up their interiors in ways that made sense then. This includes their size, how much storage they might have, even how people came and...
The Tiny Test: Learning from Living in 165 SF

The Tiny Test: Learning from Living in 165 SF

I learned a lot from my night in a Tiny House. I know; that seems like hardly enough experience to form a reliable impression. Bear with me. My son Jesse likes to give experiences as gifts. Thus my wife Barbara and I just spent the night in a tiny house in the New...
Building for Affordability

Building for Affordability

What makes a building project “affordable?” Every design process begins by establishing goals and discovering boundaries. Goals are the problems we hope to solve. Boundaries are the constraints we expect to work within. Within each of these conditions is the...
The “Just Right” House

The “Just Right” House

Designing and Building “Just Right” for High Performance and Affordability We designed and are in the midst of building a new home in Cheshire that aims to achieve high performance and affordability by integrating today’s most advanced building practices with lessons...
Reduce Then Produce. Doing Solar Right.

Reduce Then Produce. Doing Solar Right.

ANSWER THE QUESTION When you contemplate getting the energy your home requires to provide comfort from the sun you learn pretty quickly just how precious that energy is. You come to this realization when you ask, “how much energy do I use?” It is that same...
The 5 Great Spaces Every Home Deserves

The 5 Great Spaces Every Home Deserves

YOU'RE INVITED Better Home. Better Life. Here’s the premise: I’ve spent more than four decades working with people in Greater Hartford and the Farmington Valley to make their good homes better. In that time I’ve come to recognize five recurring themes in that...
Welcome to Wolfworks 3.0

Welcome to Wolfworks 3.0

In 2009 the bottom fell out of the construction industry. We finished the projects we had and it was a full year before we were building again. During that time I had to come to terms with what remained. The answer was simple: Decades of experience designing and...

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Imagine chairs, tables, and desks literally grown in a factory in upstate New York in a week. Mycelium, “nature’s glue,” binds together agricultural substrates to make natural foams and particleboard—just like the furniture all around you, but grown. Ecovative Interiors is a line of completely grown products for the home and office. ... See MoreSee Less

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