Sunday, December 23, 2012

Support Continued Development of USA New Wall & Swedish Platform Framing

There has been great interest and discussion of these energy efficient wall designs and we have posted a wealth of information about them. Enough for almost anybody to incorporate these techniques into their work. In return we now ask for your support.

Our web pages about USA New Wall and Swedish Platform Framing have quickly become the most popular content on our web site. We're glad that this information is useful to you, and your interest supports our goal of seeing these walls broadly adopted in our housing industry. If you have learned something from this material, taken away new insights or determination to build better, if you have incorporated these walls or elements of these walls into your work or if you plan to, then we want to ask for your further support on a PWYW (Pay-What-You-Want) basis.

What is PWYW? It is exactly what it sounds like. If you've read about these wall designs you've likely already decided whether these designs will be valuable to you. How valuable is your call. Use the link below to make a payment at your discretion. Even if you only want to pay a little now you can always come back if your appreciation grows.

This support will allow us to continue to develop and promote these wall designs, and more importantly will alleviate me from seeking other more conventional and intrusive methods to fund development. This is not a donation and I am not a non-profit organization. But there is a wide expanse of possibilities between non-profit and a profit driven corporation. This is a cooperative effort and you can play an important part by contributing. I believe that energy efficient construction is the most important issue in housing for the USA right now, and that together we can make a difference by changing the status quo. These wall designs are here for you to use to that end and no matter what amount you choose your payment will help us continue to advance these goals.


The default charge is $1, but changing the quantity allows you to select any payment amount you wish. Simply change the quantity to set the payment amount you desire.

Thank you.


Although we have posted very detailed information on these wall designs, clearly some readers desire more guidance and more information than can be taken away here. We think that is great and we encourage you to contact us for Consultation. We are eager to help you incorporate this into your work or adapt these designs to what you are building.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Row-house concept - transverse stair plan

The goal to create a plan that worked at multiple widths has compounded into a plan that works in 2 story, 2 1/2 story, and even 3 story configurations. With two base plans and row-end conditions my mission has suddenly escalated into 48 different house plans.

Clearly the demand for all these variations will not be immediate, and it will be impossible to develop every one in advance of orders. The time to figure that out will come. Meanwhile lets look at the transverse stair plan version of the Row-house.

Continue reading "Row-house concept - transverse stair plan"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Row-house concept - looking back

As we've been experimenting with different row-house arrangements around the front vs rear kitchen location, we are finding that a second great organizational paradigm is an equally critical factor. This would be the matter of a longitudinal or transverse staircase.

What is important to us here is that we are trying to devise a plan that will work well in a range of lot widths. This is a limitation imposed by the mission to make a stock plan or a row house - a single design for multiple situations.

In traditional Philadelphia row-houses there are some common patterns. It is not unusual to be confronted by the stair just inside of the front door. In larger townhouses this actually was a benefit to later conversions to apartments. In smaller homes this longitudinal stair if closer to the rear would deposit you at the back of the house on the second floor. The net impact on the second floor was a double wide circulation zone at the rear of the house that reduced the available width of a rear bedroom. This is not prohibitive, but just a factor that has a greater impact on a narrow house.

This is an approximate floor plan of an 1800s era 3 story row house rented by a friend. It was completely rehabbed at some point in time, and the partitions and room uses are not original to the house.
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Saturday, December 01, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Recovery

ReBuilding Communities Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy has devastated miles and miles of shore communities, destroying homes, businesses, public infrastructure, and displacing thousands of residents, merchants, and communities. The state of New Jersey is currently under a state of patch and repair that has created a state wide rush in real estate for displaced citizens, and a mini construction boom in emergency repairs and board-ups. Incredibly this has gone completely against the prior trend and has hit a depressed construction community off-guard and unprepared.

What lies ahead is an unprecedented need to restore these communities, to rebuild with vision, and clarity, to restore the salient qualities of these much loved communities, and an opportunity to correct and improve deeply entrenched deficiencies. Thankfully it appears all involved are committed to taking a long view to these restorations, and it appears regulations and planning will be well considered before anything is rebuilt with haste.

Gregory La Vardera Architect has completed many projects at the New Jersey Shore, and thankfully none have been washed away.  As we look forward to the work to come it is our sincere hope that this can be an opportunity to improve the energy performance of all the damaged and affected buildings, and that a higher performance standard can be applied to the homes and light commercial structures that are rebuilt in the affected areas.

We are eager to apply our work in energy performance building systems to the work that is coming, and we offer our service to Home Owners, Builders, Code Officials, and other Architects that may be working on the ReBuilding. Working together we can implement a wide spread improvement to the building stock in these affected communities. We look forward to the challenges ahead.
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