Colleton River preliminary design

We presented the preliminary design to a client building in Colleton River, in Bluffton, SC. They have a gorgeous view of the Colleton River, as well as many beautiful Live Oak trees.

The goal of the design is to preserve all the Live Oaks and maximize the view. Here are the drawings:


November Construction

Phase 3 of the Kessler Residence

The Art Studio/ Guest House is pretty much finished. We enjoy working with Esposito Construction and appreciate the quality of construction they deliver. See the rest of this project here.

Brays Island Renovation

Currently, they are working on painting, carpentry, hvac and roofing. The project is about 70% complete.

Fripp Island

The house is getting very close to completion. I just love how the morning light fills the room and makes the walnut media center look so pretty.


Climate Change Risks

Katherine Kokal of the Island Packet recently reported that Beaufort County ranks number one in the United States for climate change risks.

This assessment came from the data from the Rhodium Group and was analyzed by ProPublica and the New York Times Magazine. Beaufort County tops their chart of the risk caused by compounding calamities, including heat, wet bulb (how heat and humidity collide), farm crop yields, sea level rise, and economic damage.

You might wonder what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Many people do not know that 40 percent of energy in the United States is consumed by buildings, so there is a huge opportunity for building owners to make a meaningful impact. Architects around the country are contributing to significant reductions in carbon emissions by participating in the American Institute of Architects 2030 Commitment.

The 2030 Commitment is a platform for architects, engineers, and owners to work together toward the architecture and design community’s goal of achieving a carbon neutral built environment by the year 2030. The 2030 Commitment aims to transform the practice of architecture to respond to the climate crisis in a way that is holistic, firm-wide, project-based, and data-driven. 829 companies have joined the program.

Reporting firms in 2019 recorded 3.3 billion gross square feet across more than 100 countries. That’s nearly the size of New Mexico. And they achieved a 49 percent reduction in predicted energy use intensity – the greatest reduction in the program’s history.

Even small firms can make a big impact. I can confirm that firsthand. Our small residential firm reported a 75.6% reduction last year. Most of our clients do not ask for their projects to be sustainable, so to reach the 2030 commitment goals we have a dual approach.  First, focus on passive strategies such as building orientation, fenestration, and roof overhangs that minimize energy needs. Then use best practices in building science for hot humid climates with the correct detailing of drainage planes, air sealing and HVAC designs.

The second approach is harder because in our hot, humid climate we cannot reach 2030 commitment goals without on-site power generation. Many of our clients think that they want a back-up generator because of hurricanes. They usually opt for solar power when we make the case that, with the addition of a power wall of Tesla or SunVault batteries, they can store power for emergency use without a generator. With the Federal and State tax credits, and net metering, the payback is usually around 7-9 years. And that does not include the savings from not purchasing a nasty loud generator.

According to Architecture 2030, as much as 50 percent of a city’s greenhouse gas emissions can be produced by fewer than 5 percent of that city’s buildings.

One building, one project at a time really can make a difference.


September Construction

Cane Island

Framing is best phase of construction for dramatic progress photos! See the design of this house here 

Fripp Island

This beach house is getting really close to completion. How great do those sleek sunpower pv panels look?! These owners are so excited about their new house, which is our favorite thing ever!

Port Royal, Union Church

The renovation of historic Union Church is moving right along. The drywall is hung and the windows have been uncovered, it is a beautiful space!

Butterfly Dogtrot

I am loving this dogtrot cottage with butterfly roofs! The first design for these clients was this “Lowcountry Cottage” but I think what the design morphed into will be even cooler than the preliminary drawings.


OTB- September

We’ve presented preliminary designs to a few clients recently. The first two are new houses, and the third is a renovation.

This house is in Summerville, South Carolina. The client requested a modest sized house that is exceptionally strong. We are designing it to withstand 200 mph winds. The windows are protected by sliding shutters made of corten steel.

Next is this cottage, on Harbor Island. This is an upside down house- the main living areas are on the top floor and the  bedrooms are on the first floor. This enables the owner to enjoy the best views from the areas where they will be spending the most time. The lot has the beach on one side and the marsh one the other, so the views from this top floor are going to be incredible.

This small house is on a beautiful piece of property on Wadmalaw Island, in Charleston County. Our proposed design increases the area on the first floor by moving the exterior walls to the edge of an existing wrap-around deck. A dormer is added to increase space and light available in the loft. A swimming pool is added, along with a carport and a plan for a future guest house. A perfectly relaxing retreat!

New Layer Proposed First Floor Plan Proposed Second Floor Plan New Layer Existing First Floor Existing Second Floor


On the Boards in August 2020

We’ve got some great projects on the boards. Here are three projects in preliminary design. We have a couple bigger projects in the works too, but they are not quite ready to show you. The gate above is a detail for a project that is under construction.

The Camellia

First, here’s our popular Camellia plan book house, with some revisions for a young family. Our “Close to Custom” plans are always modified to better fit the lot and the clients. This version of the Camellia is raised up out of the flood plain, which gives the owner space to park beneath the first floor.

Cat Island Landscape and Hardscape Additions

This is a house we did a big renovation on probably 20 years ago. The new owners are adding a pool, exercise room and cabana so that they can take full advantage of the views from Cat Island.

cabana section

St. Helena deck improvements

This house on St. Helena Island has an awesome view over the Harbor River. The clients came to us with the request to add to the outdoor space. We designed a butterfly roof to cover the outdoor dining area.


June Construction Progress

Union Church

Renovation and Addition to Historic (1870's) Union Church in Port Royal, South Carolina.

brickbeam

 

Cane Island House

The majority of the masonry block wall construction for the house portion of the project is complete. It is always exciting to see vertical construction. With the foundation formed, the house is really being to take shape! Want to see the design? Revisit Cane Island House when it was still on the boards.

foundationcane island south carolinacmu wallPalmetto Bluff Guest House

This is a guest house that is going on a Palmetto Bluff house that we designed. See the Kessler Residence in our portfolio here.

The exterior walls and doors are installed and the contractor is installing air tight sealant at small gaps in the building envelope to ensure the house is tight.

palmetto bluff guest housepalmetto bluff constructionpalmetto bluff

Fripp Island Beach House

 


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

Fripp Island beach housefripp island constructiondecking install

Cane Island

This project is just getting started

cane island construction photossite work cane islandcane island construction


2030

2030 commitment

Jane is one of a number of architects interviewed for this article in Architectural Digest. She talks about AIA's role in combating climate change and reducing carbon emissions, such as the AIA 2030.

"Some firms have been grappling with these larger questions for years, while others have yet to take them into consideration at all. In 2006, the nonprofit group Architecture 2030 issued the 2030 Challenge, which seeks to make all new buildings, developments, and renovations carbon-neutral by 2030. The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2030 Commitment brings together firms to work toward this challenge, evaluating each reporting signatory firm’s entire portfolio and collecting data on the progress being made. According to AIA President Jane Frederick, 252 out of 600 signatory firms reported data in 2018, and the reported projects had an overall predicted energy-use reduction equivalent to avoiding 17.7 million metric tons of CO2 emissions."

In our office, we are working on getting all of our energy data reported to the design data exchange for the 2030 commitment, we will blog about those results in the near future.

If you are an architect, is your firm a signatory? Are you reporting? If not, why not? Sign up here!

Read the article in Architectural Digest here:

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/climate-change-design-architecture

Jane is currently at Carbon Positive '20 Conference and Expo. I am sure she will come back with inspiration and knowledge that will help us continue to improve in our goal to reduce the carbon footprint across our portfolio.


roof terrace

Long Cove Club Renovation

BIG changes at this Long Cove Club house on Hilton Head Island! Slide to see the before and after transformation.

 

The front exterior was refreshed by raising the existing porch roof, replacing the existing columns with new columns, all new windows, a new front door with sidelights, cable rail on the stair rail and new landscaping.

The new stair rail, by Sean Ahern of Ahern’s Anvil is so much more elegant than the existing. And who wants the HVAC return to be the first thing you see when entering the house? Not us- relocating it definitely elevates the space.

The kitchen is much brighter and more open than before, with a huge island and beautiful cabinetry.

The old pine media center just screamed 1990’s. Here the shelving and fireplace are updated for the 21st Century. Large lift and slide doors bring lots of light in and connect the interior living to the exterior.

This is where this family is going to be spending all their time! Hilton Head Living at its finest!

New outdoor living area with roll down insect screens, new brick fireplace, new roof terrace with insane views over the marshes of Broad Creek, accessed by a new spiral stair. The pool was redone, an outdoor shower added. Replacing the existing rail with cable rail really makes a huge difference!

The team and the clients are HAPPY! Thanks to Esposito Construction and to our FAB clients! What a fun project this was!

Sometimes people think that building a new house is the only way to achieve their dream home, but we are here to tell you, that sometimes a renovation is the way to go. It can be less expensive and more sustainable to rework an existing house. This Long Cove Club renovation is proof. Check out this major renovation on Fripp Island for another example of a transformative renovation.