EVstudio Wins a New Project From an Overseas Client

February 27, 2009

Earlier this week we took on a new client who is located in Turkey. We are designing a new construction, highly sustainable home for him in Arvada, Colorado. We’ll use the same electronic coordination tools with him that we use with our clients located in other states.

One of my Turkish friends pointed out that “EV” means house in Turkish.

Planning for Housing and Community Development

February 25, 2009


This post comes from Stephanie O’Hara, Planner Analyst for EVstudio. Immediately prior to joining EVstudio she worked for Jefferson County, Colorado for 6 years in various planning roles. EVstudio looks for planning opportunities in both the public and private sector:

While working at Jefferson County I developed the 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan which is a strategy for housing and community and economic development. The plan outlines goals, objectives and policies based on the housing and community needs for low to moderate income, homeless and special needs populations.

The plan was developed over 2 years with extensive community and stakeholder involvement. A technical steering committee was formed consisting of non-profit organizations that serve the target populations, representatives from participating jurisdictions and governmental/quasi-governmental entities involved in housing, and community and economic development.

The public was involved throughout the process. Numerous community meetings and events were conducted as well as a 30 day comment period when the final draft was completed.

Gene Dane and EVstudio Interview with Close-Up TV News

February 24, 2009


Gene Dane, the principal architect in our EVstudio Texas office had an interview today with Close-Up On America’s Business.  He was invited to talk about our experience with design build in connection with Vertical Ventures in Fort Worth.

The segment will air on a national network along with being included on their website. We’ll let you know more soon.

Fillmore Speculative Residence Framing in Process

February 22, 2009


The Fillmore Residence is a speculative house on Fillmore just south of Iowa in Denver. The framing is currently in process with the main floor complete and the above ground walls going in.

Magner Investment Duplex Ready for Stucco

February 21, 2009


The Magner Investment Duplex on Lowell between 23rd and 24th is almost ready for stucco. This is in Sloan’s Lake but outside of the area that was downzoned. This portion of the neighborhood is quite a mix of styles including old duplexes and flat roof buildings.

It looks like there are a few changes to the design that were made in the field so I’m interested to see how it turns out.

Available Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Design

February 20, 2009

We’ve all been hearing about the economic stimulus package and how the global economy will improve as a result, but most of us want to know how it will directly affect our pocketbooks. Well, there’s good news for those of you who are planning for new or remodel projects in 2009…

There were $17 billion in energy tax incentives enacted last October that were largely associated with solar equipment for electricity and hot water. Congress also extended a credit for installing energy efficient windows and skylights. There are also now tax credits for home wind power, geothermal systems and more, creating a strong incentive to move forward with your next big project.

In 2008, there was a $2,000 cap on the installation of solar equipment for the home. For 2009, that cap is removed and now homeowners can claim up to 30% of the installation cost as a tax credit (not a deduction, but a dollar-for-dollar credit). Bear in mind that there are also state credits available, so check out http://www.dsireusa.org for a state-by-state listing of these available credits. The federal credit may apply only after deduction of state credits, so be aware and make sure to have your accountant file all applicable forms.

Congress has also added a new tax credit of up to $4,000 for home wind power systems and a $2,000 credit for new geothermal heating systems.

As of 2006, congress had brought back a law allowing a $500 per filer lifetime credit for energy efficient home improvements. This can be anything from upgraded insulation to improved doors and windows (but be aware that windows alone are limited to a $200 cap).

So, there is indeed good news for those of you embarking on new projects. I encourage anyone starting a new construction or remodel home improvement project to look into these programs and have your CPA involved early on so you can quantify how much you may get back at the end of the year for doing things you may very well already have been planning on doing.

As architects, it is ever important to keep an eye on these constantly evolving programs as well. We can help to practically integrate these systems into the design of any project. There are similar incentives for commercial projects as well. If you are thinking about starting a new project, give us a call and let’s see what may be available for you.

Calculating Fire Resistance Ratings of Wood Assemblies Using the IBC

February 20, 2009

Architects and Contractors can spend a lot of time hunting for miscellaneous fire rated assemblies in wood construction. What you’ll eventually learn is that the easiest place to design your own 1-hour assembly is Section 721.6 of the International Building Code. The section details the procedures for calculating fire resistance of walls, floor/ceiling and roof/ceiling assemblies.

The total fire rating is determined by adding each component to reach a minimum total of 60 minutes. Fire protection rating is calculated from the flame side of the assembly and of course some assemblies have multiple flame sides.

Your wood framing members are required to be at a minimum of 16″ on center. When they are you get 20 minutes in a wall and 10 minutes with floor and roof joists.

Wall Finishes and their ratings:
3/8″ wood structural panel with exterior glue – 5 minutes
15/32″ wood structural panel with exterior glue – 10 minutes
19/32″ wood structural panel with exterior glue – 15 minutes

3/8″ gypsum wallboard – 10 minutes
1/2″ gypsum wallboard – 15 minutes
5/8″ gypsum wallboard – 30 minutes

1/2″ Type X gypsum wallboard – 25 minutes
5/8″ Type X gypsum wallboard – 40 minutes

3/8″ + 3/8″ gypsum wallboard – 25 minutes
1/2″ + 3/8″ gypsum wallboard – 35 minutes
1/2″ + 1/2″ gypsum wallboard – 40 minutes

Where that isn’t quite enough in wall assemblies you can add insulation for another 15 minutes. The spaces between studs must be completely filled with glass fiber mineral batts a minimum of 2 lb/cf or rockwool or slag material batts a minimum of 3.3 lb/cf or cellulose a minimum of 2.6 lb/cf.

Floors must have a subfloor of at least 15/32″ wood structural panels or 11/16″ T&G. Roofs must have a deck of at least 15/32″ wood structural panels or 11/16″ T&G and finished roofing.

There are quite a few additional rules for fire resistance so please ask questions.