The Green Builder in Little Rock, AR

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Home Design / Custom Build / Live in a Green World near Little Rock, AR

Pest Control of Homes in the colder winter months of Arkansas

December 14th, 2011
Roach on wood

Roach on wood

Homeowners combat pests throughout the year—especially during the colder winter months when pests try to move indoors.

As a new-homes professional, you can help keep pests out of homes year-round while reducing the need for harmful chemicals, which are a concern of many homeowners—especially those with small children or pets.

The Indoor airPLUS Construction Specifications includes two guidelines for Pest Management:

  1. Seal foundation joints and penetrations, including air-tight sump covers.
  2. Install corrosion-proof rodent/bird screens at all openings that can’t be fully sealed.

Employing these two simple strategies during construction will help your customers avoid pest problems and use fewer harmful pesticides.

To see the full, detailed construction requirements for Indoor airPLUS Pest Management, click here.

Wineroom excavation in the Heights

August 8th, 2011

How best to use a basement?  Make it a wineroom of course.  One client in Little Rock, Arkansas is taking full advantage of his basement to store his wine at the correct temperature and provide a relaxing place to taste it.  The house is stone, so the wineroom’s walls will be of similar mass and color.  We have played with various floor finishes such as Italian marble and brick pavers.  The grande descending stair has gone through transformations of steel and glass to castle stone.  In the end, it will all be lit with high end lighting to display bottle, stone and Chihuly.

Schematic sketches for the stair and ceiling.

Glass front cabinets display wine by fiber optic lighting in the wine tasting area.

The wine storage room is highly temperature and humidity controlled and includes a work table for opening crates.

Wine dinners

An option for a wine dining room.

The before shots of a major renovation near Pinacle.

August 2nd, 2011

Shop now. Master bath to be.

Garage and shop now. Family room to be.

I love the beginnings of a project.  The existing conditions tell you nothing of what the remodeled space will look like.  You have to squint and imagine.  I scratch out plans and show them to the clients, but the project tells the better story.  Piece by piece, we remove the old structure.  Element by element, we weave a new architecture.  We plan on a warm contemporary feel.  We want to choose green materials and energy strategies.  Still, the reality of the project is the actual work. Only the studs and openings feed back to our sense of space.  They inform us on what to do next.  They lead my design in new directions.  I can’t wait to see how the story progresses!

I’m At Home in Arkansas

July 7th, 2011

The Green issue of At Home in Arkansas is out online and it features an interview and portrait of yours truly.   Photography by Nancy Nolan.

Mod Backyard Garden Pavillion Remodeling

July 1st, 2011

The rental apartment behind the house does not have to be second hand architecture. Here is one design that takes the small living space of an apartment attached to the garage, and makes it into a modern garden pavilion.

This was behind my house in Houston.  Originally, the apartment was dark and dank. I wanted an architecture studio and guest house that was green and lush.  We opened up the bathroom and kitchen with floor to ceiling windows and wrapped it with a fenced garden. Now, light pours through the windows onto the shiny new materials of the bathroom and filters through the sleek kitchen into the open plan living room. On the floors we installed cork to make the space warm and soft and cozy. In the bath, we installed black tile to contrast the brightness and in the shower, we used polished river washed pebbles to massage the feet and give you more of a feeling that the bathroom is outside and spa like.

The quarters were upgraded with new privacy fences made from cedar and Brazillian cherry culls from another construction project.

The studio has cork flooring and an open plan.

 

The open kitchen is mostly from IKEA.

River wash pebbles line the shower floor.

Rennovation and update of Georgian House in Houston

June 29th, 2011

EcoHouse has just finished a remodeling of a brick home in Houston, Texas. It needed some updating and general repairs and some basic painting. The old windows were leaky and needed badly an energy upgrade to Low-e Argon filled vinyl windows and the doors needed weather striping. We insulated the attic and made a variety of weatherization improvements. Mostly, we gutted the kitchen and bathrooms and built new kitchen and bathrooms. The quarters or garage apartment needed serious work. We gutted the entire apartment and added a new kitchenette, fenced yard and fully glassed bathroom.
The house is for sale now . See listing.

 

We added a stone path and all new EnergyStar windows and peach paint to reflect the peach and apple orchard up front.

 

The whole house was refreshed with Sherwin Williams antique white wall paint with no VOCs. French doors were added.

We gutted the kitchen and job-built cabinets and laid granite tile counters. A new French door leads to a new covered patio.

New stainless steel appliances and a wine rack.

Glass front cabinets on either side of sink allow for display.

Full pantry cabinets and a powder room are off to the side.

We cleaned up the brick and replaced old square windows with full arched windows to open up the sunroom.

Both upstairs baths were gutted and retiled and refitted with cabinets and fixtures.

Martha Stewart provided the mirror over new, real granite counters.

The soaker tub was replaced and crema marble added.

 

Couple makes designs for sustainable living.

June 6th, 2011

Now here is a fun project. An Army barracks?  No, a prospective home. The inspiring couple behind this idea want to make all the right housing choices to utilize green ideas and educate others on how sustainable and green one’s house can be.  They have purchased a 40 foot by 80 foot Quonset Hut from SteelMasters. These can be used as airplane hangers, storage buildings, or emergency structures.  They intend to live simply and comfortably in one as their home.  The Quonset Hut will come to the site ready to be lifted in panels onto the foundation to form the structural shell of the house.  These panels are developed from the World War II units that were used throughout the war effort and are still used today.  EnergyStar has approved these structures as an exemplary building material and method.  Its galvalume finished steel shell is reflective as a radiant barrier and is made of mostly recycled material that in the end can be reused or recycled again for that cradle-to-cradle effect.

The couple has come to EcoHouse to make their simple living choices  as effective for being green as for sharp looking aesthetics.  There are many ways to use the panels to configure a home and we will be exploring several to find that perfect site placement and solar orientation.  The site is 11 acres in the Mountains of Arkansas near Russelville.  They were careful to find land with good soil for landscaping and a great view from the top of a gentle ridge.

We will be busy getting the design together and exploring systems and material choices to achieve strength, tightness, health and responsible living in their new home.  Look forward to design sketches.

Hillcrest guest house remodeling

May 29th, 2011

A client in Hillcrest has a very special guest house that needs a little updating.  The lead paint on the siding is special indeed and will require special handling according to EPA standards.  EcoHouse will remove and rebuild the guest house on the same foundation to preserve the yard and the oak tree roots.

Look for design sketches and progress pictures as we remodel.

Springtime porch with movie

May 6th, 2011

We developed the springtime porch design.  This Federal styled house demanded a rear porch that followed its symmetries and simple grandeur.  A seating area and outdoor fireplace was centered on the interior living room, one corner is canted back to allow for vehicular traffic, while double columns resolve the geometry to center the door.  Detailing with stained  concrete, matching brick and herringbone chimney caps gives the addition a sense of belonging to the original house and tries to uplift the original design with openness and dignity.

 

Outdoor fireplace in porch addition.

Porch addition seen from backyard

Want to see the design in motion? Welcome. See the movie on YouTube. Come on up to the porch and have a seat beside the fire. Coffee?

Also, you can look back to the original design sketch.

 

Screen porch in Heights under construction

May 2nd, 2011

A while back, we designed a screen porch and deck addition to a Heights home in Little Rock.  The structure has been under construction and it is beginning to take form now that the masons have started adding brick to the timber frame.  The interior of the porch boasts a full brick wall for outdoor kitchen and a full masonry wall for a fireplace.  The bead board and exposed rafters are installed along with the gluelam structural beams.  The floor is herringbone brick pavers.

Cantilevered beams for the deck were engineered and custom fabricated in steel in order to leave as much of the yard free of columns.

See the design movie on YouTube