Place, Race and Finance

Originally written as a letter to Barrie City Council, June 10, 2020 I am writing in the context of the increasing pressure for everyone, including place makers, to consider the deep social impacts of urban design and architecture on the well being of citizens. The recent #BlackLivesMatter protests demands across the board reforms that I … Continue Reading

Robot Architect

If anyone had told me last year that starting in 2018 I would be using a robot to create measured plans of existing buildings, I would think that either a) they are whackos that over-estimate the capabilities of current technology or b) they must assume that I have unlimited funds to buy such equipment.  Neither … Continue Reading

Residential Fees

When shopping around for professional services, it’s important to qualify your project requirements by answering a few key questions such as; What is the ‘going rate’ for an Architect? Aren’t Architects too expensive* to use for a simple house? Can’t I just hire a draftsperson to draw up my home? I’ve designed my home already, … Continue Reading

A Note on Passivhaus vs. R2000

I have lived and practiced green design in Germany, and I witnessed the introduction of the WSVO (Waermeshutzverordnung) firsthand in 1994. These were mandated changes to the levels of insulation required to be placed in the walls, roofs and floors of new buildings. At the time of my first R2000 build near Stuttgart (1996), I … Continue Reading

Tiny Homes – Are They Legit?

      Tiny homes are everywhere in popular media and the internet, and the meme has persisted for well over a decade now. With click-bait headlines like, “Man Builds Tiny Log Cabin For $500” and “You Can Turn A $2000 Shipping Container Into An Epic Off-Grid Home!” we get seduced into believing that if only we … Continue Reading

The Eco Trailer Park

While smart growth and eco-developments have become part of the mainstream planning dialogue, trailer parks demonstrate a form of sustainable infrastructure and development patterns that already exist. The oft-snubbed trailer park is probably the most overlooked form of sustainable and affordable housing, a true diamond in the rough. With a little help from green design, … Continue Reading

Reinventing the Trailer Park

In 2009, Lisa Selin Davis wrote for Grist.org, which the Guardian subsequently picked up – article here –  about my vision for a greener trailer park – which I see as the future of suburban development for a number of reasons; the footprint is lighter on the earth, there is no disruption of landforms, infrastructure … Continue Reading