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 building homes that looked great, worked well, and feel good to be in (just look at our Portfolio). Nothing was different about what we had to offer. In fact, we were about to add considerable value to that equation.
In that interim I took a journey. I discovered the rigorous method of Passive House design and construction and the remarkable result; homes that were significantly different than anything being built at the time. Homes with levels of comfort, health, durability, and energy security that were both remarkable and unprecedented. It made me evangelical about sharing and showing what was possible, preferably with built results. I became a Certified Passive House Consultant. I started my “Future Friendly Home” blog and shared what I was learning and observing. Things would never be the same!
Janet Downey, an especially experienced and committed project manager joined me in 2010. Since then we have had the privilege to design, build, and retrofit homes to this standard of high performance, with several achieving net zero performance. A new benchmark for what’s possible has been set. We designed and built the first certified Passive House in CT in 2012 and that one and another in 2013 were awarded the Grand Prize in what is now called the energizeCT Net Zero Challenge. In 2014 we did the same for two existing homes. We’ll be sharing the stats and details about each of these projects on this new website. In 2013 Janet became a Certified Passive House Builder.
These accomplishments earned us deserved notoriety. I was sought out to speak about these project to interested groups, and people called to explore the prospect of building this way. Some did, but as many were deterred by the many challenges of building a new home in this new economy; land is expensive and so is infrastructure and so is new construction itself. And it can be even more challenging to make these strides on an existing home. Though there is a small premium to pay to lock in long term high performance and savings it is really just the fact that large projects (and these are relatively large projects) come at an expense that not everyone can afford. We’re working on that.
One result of this notoriety was that folks recognized us for building these high performance homes more than for the legacy of exceptional design and craft that was the hallmark of our many, many built project all over the region. We are now out to set the record straight and establish a balance between both accomplishments. We design and build homes of exceptional craft and lasting beauty that also happen to perform better than any home you have ever known (again, just look at our Portfolio). We hope you’ll recognize us for both and share that with others. We remain evangelical about what we know is not only possible, but should now be considered the essential way to design and build. Whenever we share this with others, that is the universal response: “Why isn’t every home being built this way?”
This website is the hub for that message. But it is not our only platform to share what we know and do. We are now active on Facebook, Houzz, and Pinterest. We invite you each to follow us both here and there. Our journey continues. We invite you to join us – in spirit certainly and hopefully, when you are ready, in practice.