Energy Conservation

For the first 27 years that we lived in Beaufort, we evacuated two times, for Hurricanes Hugo, 1989 and Floyd, 1999. Every year since 2015, South Carolina has had a hurricane or tropical storm come ashore, Joaquin, 2015, Matthew, 2016, Irma, 2017, Florence, 2018 and Dorian. According to NOAA and NASA the five hottest years on record are the last five years and the need to reduce carbon emissions has reached a tipping point. The Washington Post reported last Wednesday that dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world.

In 2005 the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2030 Challenge set in motion the development of programs, codes improvements and other  actions to reach net zero carbon emissions in new buildings by the year 2030. In the United States buildings consume almost 40% of the energy used. Through the 2030 Challenge carbon emissions have leveled off even though the U.S. continues to add about 3 to 4 billion square feet to its building stock every year. We are making progress but not enough so this month the AIA called for its members to exponentially accelerate the decarbonization of buildings, the building sector, and the built environment.

Frederick + Frederick has reduced the energy used in our recent projects by 61% over the typical house in Beaufort County. This is progress but in addition to more efficient operations we must reduce embodied carbon, too. Embodied carbon includes greenhouse gases generated in the extraction, manufacture, transport and assembly of materials. Savings in embodied carbon are immediate and can be achieved by reducing the use of materials overall – for example, by retrofitting an existing building instead of building new, by minimizing the materials needed to do so, by using low-carbon materials for the remaining needs and installing recycled or locally made materials.

In South Carolina, municipalities and counties are restricted from adopting their own building codes and must enforce the mandatory codes adopted by the state Building Code Council (BCC). The International Energy Conservation code (IECC) currently in use in the state is the 2009 version. Research shows that if the BCC adopted the 2018 IECC energy use per home would be reduced by 25% and homeowners would save over $500 per year on energy bills.

We must not stop with the adoption of the 2018 IECC but insist on one of the most effective measures for widespread carbon reduction; a zero-net-carbon (ZNC) building code. A ZNC is a building energy standard for new building construction that integrates cost-effective energy efficiency standards with on-site and /or off-site carbon free renewable energy sources.

To reduce carbon emissions, we need our government leaders to adopt stricter energy codes but until that is accomplished we each should do our part.


AIA South Carolina

2017 AIA South Carolina Firm Award

The AIA South Carolina Board of Directors awarded Frederick + Frederick Architects with the 2017 Firm Award at their annual awards banquet on April 21, 2017. The Firm Award is the highest honor that the American Institute of Architects South Carolina Chapter can bestow upon a South Carolina architectural firm. The award is given in recognition of design excellence and contribution to the profession of architecture that has made a lasting influence on the practice of architecture in South Carolina.

Kate Schwennsen, FAIA, Director + Professor, Clemson School of Architecture, wrote in her nomination letter, “Frederick + Frederick is unquestionably a Small Firm with Big Impact, and a firm that many other firms look to for exemplary practice. The design excellence of their body of work has been widely recognized … But perhaps what is most uniquely important about Frederick + Frederick, the raison d’etre of their success, and the thing from which other firms could learn the most, is their innovative and supportive firm culture. They are a family-owned business that sincerely treats their employees like family. Jane and Michael moved to Beaufort to enjoy the lifestyle there … [and] so they do.”

Principal Jane Frederick said that they are humbled and thrilled to be recognized by their peers. “We would not be where we are today without all the fantastic clients who have made our work possible.” The Firm Award was first conferred in 1993 and Frederick + Frederick Architects is the tenth firm to receive the recognition in the awards 24-year history. Frederick + Frederick is honored and delighted to be the 2017 AIA South Carolina Firm Award Recipient.

 

Read about other recognition for our firm here.


Baku Zaha Hadid

Heritage Tourism

Heritage tourism in Baku

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. You can check your property at FEMA's website for the preliminary maps. 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.

Hurricanes are an inevitable threat in the lowcountry, but by building appropriately, the impact to homes and buildings can be minimized. Read more about Resiliency here.


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.”


2019 Kitchen Trends

White kitchens and subway tile have been in the rage for most of this century. 2019 kitchen trends show homeowners moving away from all white and instead we are seeing the rise of color, texture, and drama with an added emphasis on the functionality of the space, cabinets, and materials.

Cabinets and Storage

Many kitchens do not have as many wall cabinets as was once popular, which adds an open and airy feel. Full wall storage cabinets and large pantries have replaced them. Cabinets in deep rich hues of blues and greens are very popular. Cabinets of different colors are also seen with dark base cabinets and lighter wall cabinets. The amount of open shelves is minimized to only display decorative items, not everyday items.

Large pantries serve as additional work space with a second dishwasher and sink. Small appliances are located in the pantry for a clean open look in the kitchen. Pantry storage is a combination of open shelves and cabinets.

Countertops and Backsplashes

Color, texture, and drama are all visible in the backsplash. Book-matched stone slabs running from the countertop to the ceiling create a beautiful look that is easy to clean. Encaustic cement tile in bold colors, traditionally seen in Europe, is all the rage. Non- rectilinear tile, such as scallop shapes and circle add an interesting texture.

Stone slabs with a lot of color and movement are showcased on islands with complementary plainer slabs on the other countertops. Waterfall countertops add a clean modern vibe to the kitchen. Quartz which is a manufactured material is sought after for its durability and wide color palette.

Appliances

Recently, the only colored appliances were the super expensive brands of la Cornue and Aga. KitchenAid’s introduction of colored ranges makes them more accessible and more popular.

This Berkeley Hall kitchen incorporates many of the 2019 kitchen trends. The book-matched walnut cabinets add warmth and visual texture. A full height storage wall replaces traditional base and wall-hung cabinets. Open shelving is now being used for decorative items instead of general storage.  The backsplash is a continuous slab that runs from the countertop to the ceiling. The design allows for the couple to work together in preparing a meal. The husband works in the cooking zone, while the wife is the sous chef in the cleaning zone. See more of the Skwarek's house in our portfolio.


Wexford Renovation, North Elevation

On the Boards with a Wexford Renovation

Wexford Renovation

This Wexford house was on the market for two years before our clients purchased it. It has some issues including: The house is very dark inside. The kitchen is small for the size of the house. The pantry is very small. The master bedroom has the smallest closet that I have seen for a master suite. There is a bedroom past the master bedroom that invades the privacy of the master bedroom. One of the garage bays cannot be backed out of without hitting the gazebo. The front has no curb appeal.

Existing Plan

Wexford Renovation existing floor plan

Wexford Renovation Plan

In the new Wexford renovation we updated the front of the house by removing the small front porch and the weird windows on the front of the garage. We moved the garage doors to the front to break up the huge unarticulated mass of the garage. The addition of the small roof over the garage further breaks up the large mass. We opened up the inside to one large great room with new large sliding doors on the view. The kitchen expanded toward the gazebo and we removed the blank walls of the gazebo that face the street. We added a breakfast area on the view. We converted the den into a bedroom and turned the old guest bedroom into the master closet. Not shown is the second floor with additional bedrooms.

Wexford Renovation new floor plan

 

Existing House


Under Construction- December

While other parts of the country put construction projects on hold so they can dig themselves out of the snow, our projects are moving full-steam ahead! See the latest site visit photos in our December construction update.

Benjie went down to St. Simon's Island for his first site visit there this week. We are excited that this project is getting started. And we approve of dog-help on job sites!

Spring Island

The Spring Island house is coming along very nicely. Currently, Esposito Construction is installing interior trim and wood floors. They are going to begin installing cabinets and tile next week.

Port Royal Plantation

There has been good progress at the Port Royal Plantation house. I love the front elevation, its really going to look great with a bright red front door!

 

Long Cove Renovation

Our major renovation in Long Cove has drywall hung and they will begin installing trim soon.

Factory Creek House

All the drywall is hung in the Factory Creek House and the painters are beginning to prime the walls. The views from this house are stellar, the clients are going to love having all those windows!

Factory Creek House 2

This Factory Creek house should be finishing up soon.

Brays Island Renovation

We are counting the days until this renovation is complete.