Residential Design

VOL2 2019

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Edge of Tomorrow A significant turning point came when Scott accepted the commission for Edge House. It was both a commission and a challenge, he recalls. "It was in 2007, and it changed everything for us. The client called us up from Germany and said, 'You are going to design a house for us.' His brief to us was, 'I want a house that is a model of sustainability. I have reviewed your green building codes, and I laugh at them. I want this house to be the greenest house in America." Scott, who had educated himself on everything from straw-bale to net-zero, was happy to accept the challenge— especially with a shaky economy looming on the horizon. The design came together nicely, but, midway through construction, the first build- er began to self-destruct. "He was a criminal," says Scott. "A criminal who actually went to jail. The owner fired sign. In 2020, he says, every house in Denver will have to meet the equivalent of LEED Gold. "Ten years ago, we were out there on the fringe. There were architects who had green building in their DNA, like James Cutler, but they weren't concerned with certifica- tions at the time. In the green building world, the saying goes, 'you get what you verify.' The architects and builders who led the way in green design insist- ed on verification and certification to keep the bar high." Scott has been an important one of those leaders. In the early years of his architecture-only firm, he made it a point to attend every reputable confer- ence on sustainability he could find. By the turn of the millennium, his firm was winning local and regional awards for green design and he was teaching others how to do it right. Every time a project garnered attention for design, he insisted upon discussing its high- performance aspects. He documented them on the website as well, in great detail. "We had beautiful wrappers, but they contained energy-, water-, and material-conserving measures. We got good at telling that story." him." Another builder finished the job. This experience spurred Scott to start his own construction company. "Here we had this great house on the verge of being destroyed by a bad con- tractor. And I already had folks in my office who dreamed of the design-build, master-builder model. I even had a guy in my firm, Brandon David, who had started as a builder and then become an architect. It was 2008 and work was running out. I turned to Brandon and said, 'we either have to do more on the buildings we do, or we have to let peo- ple go.'" Brandon, who has degrees in architecture and environmental design, was gung-ho, and is now Skycastle's co-owner and general contractor. Get There First Once finished, Edge House gained trac- tion fast. It achieved LEED Platinum, won Green Home of the Year from the Colorado Home Builders Association, First Place in the Colorado Residential Sustainable Design Awards, in addition to great coverage in the mainstream press. The timing was perfect for the new design-build firm to capitalize on the exposure. And the Skycastle team Previous page: Rodwin Architecture and Skycastle built Gunung Mas as a passive and active solar ranch house. Edge House (left) attained LEED platinum. Deck House (above) is another Rodwin/Skycastle design-build. "I have reviewed your green building codes, and I laugh at them." —a Rodwin client 24 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 2, 2019 PRO-FILE BUILD

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