The Sustainable Design Center

Bio-regionally Appropriate Architecture Collaboration and Planning for a Cleaner, Healthier Planet


We provide Architectural Design, Planning and Consultation with a commitment to Personal Service and Client Satisfaction.

Architectural Design: begins with a client meeting or meetings to determine the Project Scope (number and type of rooms, goals for energy efficiency, budget and size for example.)

Once the Project Scope has been defined, the Design Team (Client and Architect) work together to determine the best available options for everything from the building’s design and orientation to its style, wall systems, HVAC choices etc. (During this stage, many clients like to be involved in as much of the design process as possible while others prefer a more ‘hands off’ approach. We tailor our services to each client’s individual needs by providing information on the various systems and options available-often from previous project experience-so our client can be involved with and make informed decisions about the items they feel comfortable with. (We work to their Sustainable Comfort Level so to speak)

Once the Design has been worked out, we prepare the Construction Documents and help our clients choose an appropriate contractor. We work with the owner and contractor during Bidding to ensure the project meets its budget. We are also involved as needed during Permitting and Construction to answer any design questions, and to verify compliance with the construction documents and the Owner’s overall goals.

Planning: is based on a Bio-Regionally Appropriate Analysis incorporating Passive Solar Heating, Cooling and Natural Ventilation techniques to orientate individual buildings, subdivisions or mixed use projects for maximum ventilation and thermal comfort which lowers utility bills and life cycle cost while increasing the users overall satisfaction with the project.

Consultation: services include:

  •  Programming-specializing in green building concepts
  • Land Analysis for perspective builders (residential scale and larger)
  • Specification writing-with an emphasis on energy and resource efficient concepts and materials
  • Additional Services-We work with a number of different building materials (Wood, Metal, Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS), High Insulation Insulated Concrete Form Products (ICFS) and various types of Straw Bale wall systems. Each of these systems has its own unique requirements. With some of the less traditional options it is hard to find experienced contractors outside of particular locations. For those systems, we offer additional services ranging from list of contractors who can travel (for SIPS or ICFS) to presentations, resources, teaching workshops and wall raising supervision for load bearing and post and beam straw bale structures.

(Regarding Straw, We worked on our first straw bale structure in 1993 and have been actively involved with the design, construction, code and insurance related issues regarding straw bale construction since.)