Philosophy

Our mission is to produce architecture that is both pragmatic and poetic: high-performance, sustainable buildings that are responsible to the community and the future; buildings that silently frame meaningful human experience and have a positive impact from beginning to end. Our work is place-based and contemporary, but we recognize our place in the continuum, looking to the body of work that precedes us for understanding and reference.

As individuals, we feel a deep connection to the natural environment, and consider ourselves and the built world as part of a connected system. We love the mountains and glaciers and forests. We value clean air, clean water and healthy natural ecosystems. We acknowledge human impact and are compelled to act. We believe that architects and builders, whose realized work may (and should) last for generations, have an ethical responsibility to minimize resource-depletion and mitigate effects on the natural environment.

And/And . . . And

We are committed to designing buildings that are beautiful, energy efficient, and environmentally responsible. We know this to be possible through rigorous analysis and implementation of feedback learned through that process, and it’s within our skillset.

We engage in analysis, optimization and feedback to shape our designs. We avoid rules of thumb and don’t settle for the status quo, recognizing that what we were taught might not be the best practice. We model heat transfer and simulate energy systems. We consider thermal bridges and calculate effective R-values. We strive to be on the forefront of technology and best practice. We do not design buildings that are obsolete upon completion (or soon thereafter). To that end, we embrace the goals and principles of the Passive House (Passivhaus) standard, the most demanding energy efficiency target in the world. We believe that lofty energy efficiency targets can be achieved by understanding that the whole truly can be greater than the sum of its parts. We are constantly studying, learning and implementing our findings.

In Brief:

  • We care.
  • We are conscious listeners and observers.
  • We are conscientious actors.
  • We practice because we can’t not.
  • We use our heads and our hands.
  • We are empathetic, curious and rigorous.
  • We seek elegant solutions, and work to realize them in the form of architecture.
  • We believe in physics, and understand that it has impact on human health and comfort.
  • We draw wall sections that are based in science and are beautiful.
  • We collaborate, and trust our collaborators.
  • We engage.
  • We enjoy the liminal space inherent in the act of creation.
  • We are aware that we make an impact.
  • We care a lot.

Services

Conceptual Design & Ideation
Master Planning
Programming
Design Development
Construction Documentation
Permitting
Construction Administration
Material Research
Energy-modeling
Net-Zero & Low-Energy Building Design
Passive House Consulting
Passive House Certification

Awards

2018

Award of Honor in Architecture
1619 Phillippi Net-Positive Passive House Office Remodel, Boise, ID

AIA Idaho 2018 Award of Sustainability in Architecture
1619 Phillippi Net-Positive Passive House Office Remodel, Boise, ID

2017

City of Boise Excellence in Design Award for Sustainability
1619 Phillippi Net-Positive Passive House Office Remodel, Boise, ID

2016

City of Boise Excellence in Design Award for Sustainability, Boise, ID
Ashtree Passive House, Boise, ID

Publications

2016

Family’s new Boise home is elegant, energy-efficient, Idaho Statesman