March 2020 Under Construction

St. Simons Island

We designed this St. Simons Island house around this fabulous Live Oak. The clients wanted the house to gently fit into the neighborhood unlike some of the recent new homes that over power the street.

The swimming pool is raised to be level with the first floor. This creates privacy from the road and maximizes the great view over the marsh.

The bookmatched stone fireplace is stunning.

Fripp Island

What a great view!


Jane's Architect Magazine Article on Climate Action

Jane has written monthly articles for The Beaufort Gazette for years. Now she's got a bit of a larger readership. As AIA president, Jane has a monthly article published in Architect Magazine, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects . Her January article is called "Being What Happens, solving the climate crisis is about using our specialized skills." She urges others in the architectural profession to heed the call of activist Rebecca Solnit and "Don't ask what will happen. Be what happens."

Jane has pledged to use her year as president of AIA to, first and foremost, to advocate for solutions to the climate crisis. She and Michael are currently attending AIA Grassroots conference in New Orleans, where the AIA's comprehensive Climate Action Plan will be released.

An excerpt from her article:

The comprehensive Climate Action Plan set for release at the Grassroots Conference next month will expand on good work already underway. Through AIA’s partnerships with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Climate Mayors, we’re making inroads to ensure sustainability and resilience are prioritized in cities throughout the nation. Our advocacy for building codes and climate policies at local, state, and federal levels is driving action. AIA’s coordination with building product manufacturers and other industry stakeholders is highlighting the imperative of sustainable materials and practices through every aspect of the built environment. And it’s all supported by programs that supply AIA members with the tools we need to lead and to serve as true citizen architects.

Here is a link to the full text. 

Tom, Benjie and I are holding down the fort at Frederick + Frederick, immensely proud of Jane's advocacy. We hear its not all  hard work down in New Orleans (it's almost Mardi Gras, after all), so we're a teeny bit jealous too.

New Orleans
Jane, hamming it up at Grassroots in New Orleans, on a tour of a Mardi Gras float warehouse.

 

 

 


Inauguration Festivities

Jane was welcomed by 2019 AIA President Bill Bates at her inauguration as the 96th president of The American Institute of Architects. The entire family and office traveled to Washington, DC to celebrate. Jane gave a speech that Benjie recorded here. Afterwards everyone enjoyed dancing the night away. David Lauderdale with the Island Packet wrote a great article about Jane.


Jane inaugurated as the 2020 President of The American Institute of Architects

WASHINGTON – Dec. 16, 2019 - The American Institute of Architects (AIA) inaugurated Jane Frederick, FAIA, as its 96th president on Friday, Dec. 13.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to join the distinguished line of presidents who have led the American Institute of Architects,” said Frederick. “As I step into this role, I’m asking what will happen for us in this next year. At this moment in the world’s history, the answer couldn’t be more clear, that 2020 must be the year architects assert our leadership and have a meaningful impact in climate action.”

Frederick has held a myriad of leadership positions at the AIA, including serving as the AIA 2019 first vice president; South Atlantic Regional representative on the Strategic Council; at-large director on the National Board; and president of AIA South Carolina. Additionally, she has served on the AIA Small Firm Round Table Executive Committee and NAAB Accreditation teams. She has also chaired numerous local planning boards and is a Liberty Fellow.

Her award-winning firm Frederick + Frederick Architects—where she is a principal—in Beaufort, South Carolina, specializes in custom residences and has earned 18 state and local design awards. It was honored with AIA South Carolina’s 2017 Firm Award as well as Southern Living Magazine’s Best Renovation of 2009.

Frederick earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University. She is licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and also holds LEED AP certification.

AIA elects its presidents (who are volunteer leaders within AIA’s membership of 95,000) on an annual basis. Frederick will serve as the Institute’s president until Dec. 4, 2020. Complete details of AIA’s leadership are available online.

About AIA

Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.


Thomas Rhodes House wins AIA Honor Award

At the AIA South Carolina annual awards banquet on September 26, 2019, Frederick + Frederick Architects received an AIA Historic Preservation Honor Award for the Rhodes House located at 314 Laurens Street in downtown Beaufort. The Honor Award is the highest honor that the American Institute of Architects South Carolina Chapter can bestow upon a South Carolina architectural firm for historic preservation. The award is given in recognition of design excellence.

The house was originally built in 1790 and was owned by the Rhodes family prior to the Civil War. Oral history recounts that Clara Barton stayed in the house when she came to Beaufort to provide relief after the 1893 hurricane. The primary structure is a classic I-House form, one room thick, raised foundations, tall ceilings, with double front porches on the southern elevation.

Cheryl Morgan, FAIA, jury chair said, This is historic preservation done right! The fine design of the original house shines through and nothing in the plan adjustments distracts. They only make it a much more livable house.

Read more about the Thomas Rhodes House here


Heritage Tourism

In my role as president-elect of the American Institute of Architects, I recently led our delegation to the Union of International Architects’ forum in Baku, Azerbaijan. The focus of the forum was mass tourism in historic cities. The information was very practical for our historic town of Beaufort and the expected increase in tourism for the National Reconstruction Monument as well as general tourism on Hilton Head Island and the rest of Beaufort County.

Richard Engelhardt, Professor of Architecture, University of Hong Kong, and former UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific, posed three questions that the forum set out to answer:

 How can you protect the authenticity and historic integrity of the city?

There needs to be a data driven integrated approach to tourism that local governments can use to make rules and regulations to manage tourism. Engelhardt said that one of the most important steps is that the city’s heritage plan and tourism plan have to be incorporated into one cohesive master plan. Nagore Espinosa, CEO at in2destination said that a successful tourism development plan includes all the systems in a city; transportation, health care, city planning, and emergency planning.

How does tourism add to the betterment of the community without compromising the significance of place?

Espinosa emphasized that tourism is a happiness business for tourists but more importantly for the residents and that “We cannot manage – what we cannot measure.” Tourism management based on data allows local government to enact regulations and provide the necessary resources to protect both the significance of place and the residents. Engelhardt stressed that the tourism industry has an obligation to the community and needs to invest in the restoration and maintenance of the heritage sites and natural resources; this should not be on the back of the local or national government.

How do you integrate tourism infrastructure into urban planning?

Engelhardt expressed that the carrying capacity of the infra-structure has to be realistically determined and incorporated into the plan. The local lack of infrastructure integration with tourism planning is visible every Saturday on the clogged highways heading onto Hilton Head and Fripp Islands for the weekly rental turnover. By staggering rental weeks to start on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday the traffic could be reduced by a quarter as well as alleviating the crowded grocery stores.

Bálint Kádár, Assoc. Professor Budapest University of Technology and Economics spoke on the importance of understanding how tourist and residents interact in the city. He measured urban tourism by the quantification of geo-tagged photographs from open source data gathered from Flickr over a ten year period. People were categorized in three different groups:

  1. Tourists were identified by spending 3 or 4 days in a city and never returning. Sites visited mainly by tourists were coded red.
  2. Locals were identified by taking photographs over multiple months and years in a city. Locals’ locations were tagged green. Sites visited by equally by tourists and locals were tagged white.
  3. Long term tourists were identified by taking photographs in a city over several weeks or months and then leaving for extremely long periods of time. They were also coded red.

He used the data to compare Vienna and Prague because they have similar number of tourists every year. Each city had around 30 popular sites. In Vienna, there were 15 sites mainly visited by locals and 3 mainly visited by tourists with the balance visited equally by tourists and locals. The research showed the complete opposite in Prague with 15 sites dominated by tourists and 3 by locals. In Prague, locals no longer have access to their heritage sites. The authenticity and historic integrity of the city is lost when tourists take over the heritage sites and the city itself.

This tourist takeover can be mitigated by expanding the carrying capacity by including cultural activities such as plays and concerts as well as promoting outlying areas from the typical tourist sites.

In Beaufort County’s current strategic plan there is a goal of expanding heritage tourism. As citizens let’s insist that the County develops a data driven plan that is coordinated with all the municipalities and the military to  ensure that the tourism industry is creating happiness for both the visitor but more importantly for us, the residents.

 


Exterior Spring Island Architecture

Construction Update- Hilton Head Island, Spring Island

Long Cove Club Renovation, Hilton Head Island

Iron work by Ahern's Anvil

This custom rail is being installed in the major renovation happening in Long Cove in Hilton Head Island. Sean Ahern of Ahern's Anvil is the blacksmith. I visited his shop in Charleston a while back and was super impressed with his work. I'd recommend checking out his portfolio at  http://www.ahernsanvil.com/ to see beautiful and unique ironwork.

Here are a few more photos of the Long Cove House. It's a major renovation of an existing house, but it is going to be like a new house when we are finished, we have touched every room. The house will be updated and so much more functional after the renovation. Our clients often grapple with whether they should renovate an existing house, or tear it down and rebuild. We usually find that it is less expensive to renovate, even if the renovation is extensive. It is more sustainable, also!

Port Royal Plantation, Hilton Head Island

This house has incredible marsh views and lots of windows to capture those views. The style is clean and contemporary, but it still reflects lowcountry architectural traditions. I can't wait to see this house furnished!

 

Spring Island, Beaufort, SC

We've shown you this gem on Spring Island a good bit lately, it's just so pretty! We are looking forward to getting a professional photographer in, once the landscaping and final punch list items are completed. This house has about 10 kW of solar panels on the roof and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery for back-up storage. We can't wait to find out what the power generation is like after the owners have been using it awhile. Interested in more information about rooftop solar? Check out our post here. The landscaping here is by Thomas Angell of Verdant Enterprises. We enjoy working together and have a similar mindset about keeping the site native and natural and fitting the house into the site (rather than vice-versa).

St. Simons Island, Georgia

The house on St. Simons is looking really great. This is another project that we are collaborating with Thomas Angell of Verdant Enterprises on. We just love how that giant oak camouflages the house. The maple front door and the cypress ceilings are very handsome, its so exciting to see finish materials on the house!

 


hurricane damage

Designing to mitigate hurricane losses

As we enter into hurricane season, many people ask, "How can I build to mitigate hurricane damage?" Historically, we have worried more about hurricanes with high winds but Hurricane Florence proved that category 1 storms can be just as disastrous. Eight people in South Carolina died, property damage was over $607 million, and more than 2,000 homes were lost to flooding.

When building a new house there are three critical concerns in the design and construction in hurricane prone areas that address the simultaneous impacts of wind, rain, and flooding.

Keep the building from blowing away

The building must be tied together from the roof rafters to the foundation. The most common method employs hurricane clips and tie rods. The building must be designed to withstand wind shear which can be accomplished with plywood sheathing if there are limited amount of openings in the walls. Walls with large openings often require steel framing to withstand the wind shear.

Windows and doors need to be protected from flying objects. The simplest but not the cheapest is to install impact rated windows and doors. Other options include hurricane rated shutters, PVC coated woven fabric such as Wayne Dalton’s Fabric-Shield® or plywood panels cut to fit the openings and fastened as per the building code.

The exterior finishes should be rated to withstand hurricane force winds and be installed securely to the structure as per the manufacturer’s recommendation to meet the tested installation.

Keep the rain out

Keeping rainwater out of the building is fairly straightforward but only if design decisions are made to address it. As the building scientist William Rose observed, “If it doesn’t get wet…it can’t leak.” Thus, large overhangs help keep the building dry by reducing the amount of water flowing down the walls by a minimum of 50%.

Field experience shows that water leakage around doors and windows is very common. Therefore, sill pans and flashing are essential. Flashing has two distinct purposes; it keeps water from getting into the wall through joints and it guides water back out of the wall when some leakage does occur.

All exterior cladding will allow some moisture to pass through. The best way to capture the water and direct it out of the wall system is with a drainage plane which is a waterproof layer on the exterior of the wall sheathing. For the drainage plane to work correctly there is an air gap to promote drying. Likewise, a secondary roofing membrane will keep water out if the primary roof material is compromised.

Crawl spaces must be sealed against water leakage, humid air infiltration and vapor permeation from the earth. Closed crawl spaces do not have vents to the exterior. They are insulated at the perimeter wall.

Drain water away from house by using gutters and sloping the ground away from the building.

Prevent flood damage

The most important consideration is to elevate the structure and mechanical systems to minimize its contact with flood water and a potential storm surge. The new flood maps that will soon be adopted in Beaufort County are lowering the flood heights in many areas. It may be prudent to place your house at the current higher requirement because of rising sea levels.

Crawl spaces located in a flood zone need hydro-static vents to prevent flood waters from collapsing foundation walls. The hydro-static vents will allow flood water to enter and exit the crawl space. Charleston based Flood Flaps® provide a tight seal for a closed crawl space.

Finally, use materials that tolerate soaking and can easily dry.

 


Construction Progress April 2019

We are getting close to finishing some of our projects under construction...so close that the protective layers are being removed from the interior finishes. This is always an exciting time. Check out the construction progress in the photos below.

Spring Island

St. Simon's Island

Factory Creek

Brays Island Renovation

Factory Creek 2


The Case for Resiliency

Credit NCDC.NOAA.org

According to NOAA, since 1980, the US has sustained at least 241 weather and climate disaster where the overall damage exceeded one billion dollars. Hurricanes are a combined 919.7 billion in total damages with an average of 21.9 billion per event. The other natural disaster in order of costs are drought, wildfires, flooding, freezes, winter storms and severe storms. The South and Southeast regions experience higher frequency of billion dollar disaster than other regions. In 2018 natural disasters cost the US $91 billion dollars.

Despite the evidence – we are ignoring the consequences of building in vulnerable places.

According to the National Institute of Building Science's research found that mitigation funding can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs, for every dollar spent on hazard mitigation. They also demonstrated that investing in hazard mitigation measures to exceed select building code requirements can save the nation $4 for every dollar.

They estimated that implementing these two sets of mitigation strategies would prevent 600 deaths, 1 million nonfatal injuries and 4,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Resiliency is similar to sustainability but there is a difference. Sustainability is reducing a building’s impact on the environment and resiliency is reducing the environment’s impact on a building or community. Generally, sustainability initiatives are add to a building’s resiliency but some resiliency requirements are not as sustainable, especially when they are creating redundancy.

Resilience is about surviving and thriving regardless of the challenge, whether it is a chronic stress or an acute shock. Chronic stresses weaken the fabric of a city on a day-to day or cyclical basis. They include issues such as global warming, poverty, homelessness and aging infra-structure. Acute shocks are sudden sharp events that threaten a community. Often acute shocks are weather related but they can also be human induced such as an act of terror.

Four Kinds of Resiliency

Climate Resiliency

Architect, Lance Hosey identifies four kinds of resiliency. The first is Climate Resiliency which is reducing the environment’s impact on the building. Depending on the anticipated hazard buildings and landscapes may be protected or hardened against the elements to withstand hurricanes, floods, and fires. Other options include adapting or retreating.

In the case of rising sea levels the options of protecting is building levees or other “hard” methods, accommodating would be raising structures or using “soft” or natural protection measures such as wetlands restoration, and finally retreating would be accomplished by moving or demolishing flood-prone buildings.

This is a huge issue for us because the southeastern US alone represents nearly 70% of the entire projected populations at risk.

Functional Resiliency

The second is Functional Resiliency.  This includes the systems where the building is still habitable and functions. Current standards and codes focus on preserving lives by reducing the likelihood of significant building damage or structural collapse from hazards But they generally don’t address the additional need to preserve quality of life by keeping buildings habitable and functioning as normally as possible, what we call ‘immediate occupancy.

Community Resiliency

The third is Community Resiliency which focuses on municipal and neighborhood resources that help people bounce back to normality or better.

The National Institute of Standards & Technology’s Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems (Guide) provides a practical and flexible approach to help all communities improve their resilience by setting priorities and allocating resources to manage risks for their prevailing hazards.

Aesthetic Resiliency

The fourth is Aesthetic Resilience which is best described by the Senegalese poet Baba Dioum, “In the end, we conserve only what we love.”