Residential Design

VOL.3 2018

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

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share drawings by passing 5ΒΌ floppy disks back and forth. We switched to REVIT in 2007 and found its 3D models to be very helpful for our clients in understanding the design. Last year we started using virtual reality. We set up a VR experience room where we and our clients walk through our buildings. It affects our design process by speeding up the design development phase because we can immediately "see" areas that are not working well. Plus, clients love the VR experience. We still begin the design process with sketches on paper. Our initial presentation to clients are hand drawings with watercolor. We find that the sketches are more approachable for our clients because they are loose and appear easier to change. Often, they are sketched over a rough REVIT model. WC: For me in practice and teaching, new technologies such as digital fabrication have changed the tectonic approaches of both design and assembly. Now architects have much more power to influence the final craft and processes in construc- tion. We need to continue to partner with companies like Branch Technology in Tennessee, where cutting-edge carbon fiber technologies are emerging and parametric design and construction are being reformed. We are currently working on a house with this group. How do you break the boundary between architects and non-architects? How do we change people's impression of architecture as the ivory tower, and make people realize the value of architecture? JF: Communication is the key. Through my leadership on the Public Outreach Committee, we are raising the public's awareness of the profession and the value that architects bring to every project and initiative. One tool is our AIA Message Book which helps members communicate four key concepts: architects are partners in the design process, architects strengthen society, we are problem solvers, and architects transform communities. The committee members and na- tional staff have trained architects throughout the country on using the Message Book and are receiving great feedback. For the past nine years, I have written a monthly column for our local newspaper on design, construction, and the im- portance of improving the built environment. Through telling personal stories, I connect with the readers. I recently wrote an article about home security systems and started by telling that our house was broken into on Christmas Day, when we had gone to an oyster roast for a couple of hours. Afterwards, a number of people stopped me in the grocery store to discuss the break-in, home security systems, and what they should do at their house. WC: I really don't think there is a boundary now. It is now a very porous boundary, mainly because of the intense interest the public has in architecture and design. For instance, Dwell magazine and Modern Atlanta are both examples of the pub- lic's interest in design. Modern Atlanta is a program run by the public, in partnership with the AIA, where more than 5,000 people participate in a home tour and annual design festival. I think if we continue to create programs with the design-savvy public on our boards and engaged with us in strategic plan- ning, then the boundaries will continue to evaporate. In reference to sustainability and energy independence, how do you balance your responsibility to the world with your responsibility to your clients? How do you reconcile with your clients when to use new technologies in your design? How do you implement environmentally friendly technologies in your architecture? JF: Southern vernacular architecture was based on sustainable design ideas, and the principles still apply today. Hurricanes, heat, and humidity are natural parts of our environment, and the houses we design must have this in mind. Large porches on the south facade keep out the hot summer sun; deep overhangs protect the walls and windows from rain and can block the harsh summer sun; single-width rooms provide cross venti- lation and natural light; high ceilings keep the rooms cooler in the summer; exterior window shutters provide protection from high winds; and a raised first floor protects you from flood waters. Our clients want durable, resilient buildings that stand up to our harsh climate, which creates an alignment of our responsibilities to our clients and the world. South Carolina has favorable net metering regulations, so we can easily make the business case for photovoltaic systems. We are using Tesla Powerwalls instead of generators for backup power. Our clients are excited about this new battery technology because generators are huge, noisy, and high maintenance. Above: Frederick + Frederick specializes in modern interpretations of low-country architecture, which is well suited to the hot, humid climate of their Beaufort, S.C., hometown. Photo: John McManus 43 VOL. 3, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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