Earth Day

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day it is hard to remember what our plans for today were before we became house bound. This isn’t an ordinary year. COVID-19 has dramatically altered the rhythm of our days and will continue to reshape our lives in ways we can’t foresee. That can seem overwhelming, disheartening, and frightening unless we remember that we are not defined by the challenges we face, but how we meet them personally, professionally, and as citizens of the global community.

The fact is that despite the ongoing COVID-19 global health emergency and the grim news that it brings, it is still spring. It is still a time of rejuvenation and growth, and a physical reminder of the indomitable power of the human spirit to renew itself and to grow from adversity.

Some of the lessons learned could even have positive impacts over the long term – particularly when it comes to climate progress. Scientists have catalogued the sudden plunge in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the large-scale substitution of telework and staying home for commuting and travel. Of course no one would have chosen to reduce pollution under such tragic circumstances – and, thankfully, stay-home orders aren’t permanent – but the change does help demonstrate that dramatic environmental progress is possible.

Scientists also point out an instructive parallel between the pandemic crisis and the climate crisis: If you wait until you can see the impact, it is too late to stop it. Climate experts like Elizabeth Sawin, co-director of the think tank Climate Interactive, explain that “the public is coming to understand that in that kind of situation you have to act in a way that looks disproportionate to what the current reality is, because you have to react to where that exponential growth will take you.”

Jane wrote an Earth Day article for the April issue of Architect Magazine back in February BC (Before Covid 19). It now seems like it was last year.  Robert Ivy CEO/EVP of the American Institute of Architects and Jane co-wrote an article for Earth Day this week. She was also quoted in this Forbes article on why green building are more important than ever. Finally, another BC article from Architectural Digest on how the architectural industry is responding to the climate crisis.


Improve your home

Improve Your Home During Coronavirus

I was asked by Carolina Thorpe of the London Financial Times on how to improve your home during a lockdown for an article she was writing. My quote was the lede in the story found here. My complete response to her is below.

To deal with the anxiety caused by COVID-19 and the isolation we feel from social distancing, it’s more important than ever to make sure our living quarters are healthy both physically and mentally. Protecting health starts at the front door. The recommendation I received from an infectious disease specialist is to create a transition zone at the entrance to your abode where you can remove your outer clothing and shoes and disinfect anything you are bringing inside, including yourself. This transition zone should be easily cleaned.

For our mental health we can follow the advice of Ray Davies of The Kinks, A change is as good as a rest. It is almost impossible to start home improvement projects without any supplies, but you can assess how you use the spaces. While you’re stuck inside, document your daily routine and consider how the activity can be enhanced. Does your reading chair need to be moved by the window for great natural light? Can you set up an eating space outdoors to enjoy the beautiful spring weather? Do you need to carve out a small space for some time alone for exercising, yoga or meditating? This may be more of a challenge in small spaces, but don’t underestimate the impact of minor adjustments to improve your home.

Another way to freshen your space is to move your furniture and decorative items around. Redo your tabletops, bookcases, and – if you have one, mantel. Moving art brings a whole new appreciation of the work.

Finally, this is the perfect time to plan your home renovation. Spend some time on Houzz.com to create idea books to share with us. Our team is working from home and are available for a virtual consultation. If nothing else, visualizing a positive future can be a comfort in these tough days. Check out this recently completed renovation on Long Cove, Hilton Head Island for inspiration.

 


April Construction progress

Here are some recent construction photos from our job sites

Brays Island Renovationresidential constructionBrays island renovationCustom residential renovation Brays Island SC

Fripp Island Beach House Construction Progress

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Cane Island

This project is just getting started

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