mutterings

philosophy and process

By | mutterings, working with an architect | No Comments

Process is a moving target. It changes based upon so many variables, not the least of which is the client. Lately, I’ve been thinking about all my past work and how, to some extent each project represents where I was at that point in time but mostly, every project represents the client much more than myself in terms of philosophy,…

Read More

If you want your house to breathe, give it a set of lungs.

By | bad ideas, education, mutterings, Passive House, super insulated, working with a builder, working with an architect | One Comment

I had another comment recently from a builder who wants to build a house that breathes. I started to reply in an email and then decided to put it hereon the blog instead. What we are doing nowadays in the world of high performance homes is based on studying hundreds of thousands of houses built in the last half century…

Read More

Grumpy architect time

By | bad ideas, good ideas, mutterings | 3 Comments

From the facebook page Grumpy architect time: 1.If your house is adequately insulated there should be little temperature differential between the ceiling and the floor. 2. Adequately differs from code. Remember, a house built to code is the worst house you can legally build. 3. If you choose not to build an Energy Star certified home please give your poor…

Read More

Why Hire an Architect ?

By | ego, mutterings, working with an architect | No Comments

An older post buried away and re-posted here today for ya’all with some extra muttering added. As I have mentioned before, much of my work is for people who would never have gone to an architect in the first place, thinking that they could never afford it. Designing a custom home for someone is an incredibly complex endeavor. You can…

Read More

Miscellaneous Musings

By | affordable modern, education, mutterings, products, projects, super insulated, traditional vs modern, working with an architect | 3 Comments

I am working on this new small greek revival in Maine. Not the high style Greek Revival with huge columns like you see on banks and government buildings but the small, simple style that is so ubiquitous in New England and doesn’t get much attention but everybody knows. I’m designing it to “pretty good house” standards. It is for a…

Read More

Nostalgia as a design influence

By | mutterings, working with an architect | 8 Comments

(Grumbly architect alert) Nostalgia is a powerful design influence for most clients. I find it interesting that otherwise artistic and creative people get all conservative when considering their own houses and I think a lot of this is due to a sense of nostalgia and a search for an emotional connection to something from their past whether real or imagined.

Read More

Occupant Behavior puts a kink in the calcs

By | mutterings, super insulated | No Comments

From Martin Holladay on Green Building Advisor in an artivle titled “Occupant Behavior Makes a Difference” Engineer things all you want but when you put Americans into a house the metrics tend to change. This is pretty funny. It didn’t take long to figure out what was driving the high energy bills. “There is a very large plasma TV, plus…

Read More

On Being a perfectionist

By | business, mutterings | 4 Comments

The idea of architect billing for their services as a percentage of construction cost has, in the past, struck me as inherently unfair but increasingly, I am seeing the merit in that method of compensation. In my own experience, when building hourly, this leaves the opportunity open to pick and choose from my services as one would a drafting service….

Read More

Time will tell – Architectural history in the making.

By | mutterings | No Comments

Here in New England everyone seems to like to build neo-Greek revival. The original Greek Revival was referencing the original Greek. The first revival was far away from the original in form as well as geographical location and had its own set of clearly defined rules set out in builders guide books. The neo-Greek revival tries to copy the second…

Read More

Contact

Robert Swinburne Architect, LLC AIA, NCARB, CPHD, DAD bob@swinburnearchitect.com 802.451.9764
Browse Home Office Products on Houzz- For Example: