Friday, April 22, 2016

How to Make Your Home More Green



In honor of Earth Day, we thought we would share a few simple ideas we can all do to make our homes greener. Experts say that simple changes in your everyday life are all it takes to make your home better for the environment.

Here are a few ideas worth trying:
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs: These bulbs - now available to fit many light fixtures - use just a quarter of the electricity of regular incandescent bulbs. Plus, they last up to 10 times longer.
  • Turn off the lights: If you or others in your household are forgetful, install movement sensors so lights only activate when needed. Another way to save energy is to install automatic timers for lights frequently left blazing in empty rooms.
  • Set cooling and heating temperatures correctly: Your refrigerator and freezer are probably the biggest electrical energy consumers in your house. Take steps to make sure they're not working harder than necessary. Fridges do their job at around 37 F. Freezers set at -3 F keep things nice and frosty. Be sure to close the fridge and freezer doors. Leaving them open for just a few extra seconds wastes a lot of energy. Get an electronic thermostat so your furnace heats your home to a lower temperature while the family sleeps and returns it to a toastier temperature before you get out of bed. In the winter, set your thermostat at 68 F in the day and 55 F at night. In the summer, keep it at 78 F. Water heaters work most efficiently between 120 and 140 F.
  • Get unplugged: Electronic appliances, including TVs, computers, and CD players can consume almost as much energy when in standby mode as they do during the relatively small amount of time they're being used.
  • Use appliances efficiently: Wait for a full load before turning on the washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher. Clear the lint filter after every dryer load and air-dry clothes when weather allows. Use the air-dry function on your dishwasher. Preheat your oven only when necessary.
  • Let the sun shine: The cheapest and most environmentally sound heat and light source is just outside your window. Open blinds, drapes, and shutters to let solar energy warm and brighten your home naturally.
  • Stop leaks: Plug, insulate, replace, repair, caulk, or seal to make your home as leak-proof as possible - and watch your utility bills drop.
These ideas are from 25 Way to Create a Green and Healthy Home, for the full list click here.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April is Colorado Architecture Month!



Every April The American Institute of Architects Colorado Chapter celebrates Colorado Architecture Month. They, together with support from other organizations, produce a series of public events throughout the state which highlight the importance of architecture in our every day lives and encourages the community to see why design matters. To check out upcoming events click here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Denver Joins Several Cities Requiring Electrical Vehical Readiness For New Homes


After an 18-month process, Denver City Council approved Denver's new building code 12-0 on Monday. Under the new code, new buildings are expected to be 25% more energy efficient while loosening the reins on renovations and repairs on the existing building stock hopefully expanding preservation. Denver specific codes now require garages on single family and duplex dwellings to have the proper electrical wiring to support electrical vehicle plugs. This will make it easier and cheaper for more residence  to charge electrical vehicles at home. Homebuilders opposed the electric vehicle readiness requirement voicing concerns about the growing cost of construction, but the new code passed unanimously anyway. The new building code will take full effect in six months. How will these updates directly affect us? Here are a few examples:


This change took place in the 2012 IRC and is carried into the 2015 IRC, but will affect cities that are going from the 2009 IRC
·         R806.2 - Minimum area of roof ventilation: the code changed the required ventilation minimum and maximum of upper roof vents compared to lower roof vents.  The 2009 IRC allowed between 50% and 80% of ventilation to be on the upper roof.  The 2012 & 2015 IRC changed this to a much lower range between 40% and 50% of ventilation to be on the upper roof.
How this affects our work:  This may not directly affect how we design our roofs but will significantly change how we show our upper and lower vents on our roof plans.  Because the IRC went from allowing a minimum of 20% (2009) ventilation in the lower portion of the roofs to a minimum of 50% (2012, 2015), if we don't have enough soffits to put the ventilation (houses with a lot gable roofs), we are forced to show, and builders are forced to install, cut-in vents at the soffits or install a low profile o-hagin vent that is significantly larger than the upper roof vents mathat are being installed, thus affecting the way a house looks.
               
This change took place in the 2015 IRC 
 R302.13: Fire protection for floors: the code changed so a 1/2" gypsum wallboard membrane, 5/8" wood structural panel membrane or equivalent must be installed to the underside of floor framing member. There is an exception that says that floor assemblies located directly over a space protected by an automatic sprinkler system don't need to conform to this section.
How this affects our work: The only thing that we need to consider is making sure how plan notes state this.  This will affect our builders more in that they will have to absorb the cost to install this material in their unfinished basements or sprinkler the floor.
  
This change took place in the 2015 IRC
·         R305.1: Minimum ceiling height:  Bathrooms, toilet rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches. (Previous codes, 2009 and 2012 called out a minimum required of 7 feet)
How this affects our work: We now have to show our bathrooms and laundry rooms at 6 feet 8 inches.  If our builders decide to go down to 6 feet 8 inches, it will affect our door sizes as well and make the space feel smaller overall.  This will affect how we design these already tight spaces.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Levi Stadium - Smarter Than the Competition


With the Denver Broncos traveling to San Francisco to take on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, naturally as architects, we wanted to check out where they would be playing. Go Broncos!!



 Levi’s® Stadium was designed by HNTB and built by Turner/Devcon for the Santa Clara Stadium Authority. The $1.2 billion venue has 1.85 million square feet, seats approximately 68,500 and features 165 luxury suites and 8,500 club seats. One of the most unique features of the facility is the green roof atop the suite tower on the west side of the stadium. The three solar bridges, connecting the main parking area to the stadium, will include hundreds of solar panels.


According to Time magazine, Levi Stadium is technically far superior to the rest. Contributor Tim Bajarin says, "Most people have heard of smartphones, smart cars and smart homes. Say hello to the smart stadium.Set in the heart of Silicon Valley, Levi’s Stadium — home to the San Francisco 49ers — is now the most high-tech stadium anywhere in the world.It’s in the center of the tech universe, of course, so it’s only natural that 49ers management decided to devote a significant sum of money to building high-tech infrastructure. The stadium will allow all 70,000+ fans to connect to Wi-Fi and 4G networks to take advantage of personalized services, making the event experience more enjoyable.
I had the privilege of attending the inaugural event at Levi’s Stadium, where the San Jose Earthquakes took on the Seattle Sounders in an MLS league game. About 49,000 people attended that event, well below the stadium’s 70,000+ seat capacity, so the game served as a dry run to work out some of the kinks. I also attended the first NFL game to be played in the stadium: the Denver Broncos came to town to help the 49ers christen the stadium in a preseason game on Aug 17. The first regular-season NFL game will be held there on Sept 14, and will serve as the official grand opening of the stadium."

To read more about Levi Stadiums tech advances click here.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Jim O'Connor Employee of the Year Award

Last year we unexpectedly lost our dear friend and colleague Jim O'Connor. To honor his memory Godden Sudik has started a new tradition. Evey year an employee who has demonstrated outstanding committed service and selfless acts of time and dedication will be honored with Jim's award. This year Alex Duran was awarded the Jim O'Connor Employee of the Year Award for always being a team player, just like Jim. Also, in Jim's honor the recipient of the award will receive two tickets to Rockies opening day since Jim never missed it. Go Rockies!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Solaire Wins National Green Building Award!


The NAHB’s Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards program highlights creative development concepts, innovative financing strategies, great design and superior management and marketing in the apartment and condo marketplace.
The Pillars awards are held in high esteem by top-level multifamily development companies, management firms and experts in the field. The annual competition is judged by a jury of knowledgeable peers, each having a proven record of success in various facets of the apartment and condo industry. Solaire won the 2015 NAHB Multifamily Pillars of the Industy Green Building Concepts Award! We are so proud of this project and want to thank everyone who contributed to its great success.



For a list of full winners click here.

For more information on Solaire click here.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A House of Horrors

H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle – 601-603 West 63rd Street, Chicago, Il
Architect magazine featured a very timely article on bone chilling homes with strange pasts and floor plans... The Murder Castle in Chicago, The Winchester Mystery Mansion in San Jose, The Sowden House in Los Angeles, and The Halcyon House Washington DC are all featured in the freaky article detailing their unpredictable pasts and haunting presents. To find out what makes these homes creepy and famous click here.