The Media Cafe

New Leading Force Store Offers “Green” Solutions

New Leading Force Store Offers “Green” Solutions

An article published in the Yakima Valley Business Times, Dec 2014, featuring the Leading Force Energy and Design Center in downtown Yakima, WA.

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What Does it Mean to “Build Local”?

What Does it Mean to “Build Local”?

Most of us are familiar with the economic and environmental benefits of “buy local”: contributing to our local economy, minimizing the energy spent transporting our purchases, and supporting organizations capable of responding to the unique needs or desires of our community. If we expand this approach to building a home or small business space, it is clear that the same strategies apply – from obtaining materials from local and regional sources, to working with nearby designers who understand the local climate and lifestyle. The “build local” approach is also essential to accomplishing a more ephemeral feat: what architects often term a “sense of place.”

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Leading Force Energy and Design Center: A Space for Powerful Ideas

Leading Force Energy and Design Center: A Space for Powerful Ideas

There is a revolution underway in the building industry based on a simple, yet powerful idea: collaboration produces better results. This seems like an obvious truth. So why is it so revolutionary in the building professions? Isn’t this the way buildings are built?

As it turns out, it isn’t–at least, not historically. The traditional approach to building design and construction is what the American Institute of Architects (AIA) calls the “building triad” — comprised of the owner, architect, and contractor. This triad forms the top of the project hierarchy and additional subcontractors and specialists are brought into a project as needed. But this way of working is outdated. It fails to harness and apply specialized knowledge. It leads to inefficiencies, miscommunications, and missed opportunities.

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Upgrading a Mid-Century Classic

Upgrading a Mid-Century Classic

With the recent revival of the housing market, it is a great time to think about upgrading existing homes to improve their livability and longevity. We recently had the opportunity to recommend an upgrade strategy for a mid-century home in Bellevue, WA. Mid-century homes offer many desirable features and renovation possibilities. While surface updates are the most immediately appealing, energy efficiency upgrades are essential to the long-term sustainability of any home. We recommend getting started with an energy audit to identify the most effective strategies. Many mid-century homes are...

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3 Season Patio | Burien

3 Season Patio | Burien

This project includes renovations to two existing backyard patios to allow for three season use. The upper patio is framed by the house, an existing maple, and a rockery herb garden and will feature a new structure with a polycarbonate roof to provide full coverage with ample light.  The lower patio will center on the hearth, with new bench seating built into the hillside and an awning made of fabric sails, and a hot tub at the existing north-facing greenhouse location. Before The lower patio will be sheltered with new fabric sails Preliminary...

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Net Zero Home | Yakima

Net Zero Home | Yakima

We’re very excited to see this net zero home so close to completion! If you’re interested in low energy bills, you’ll want to check out this home. The site’s southeast facing slope overlooking the Yakima Valley set the stage for this passive solar design nestled into the hillside. Wide roof overhangs shade the indoor spaces in the summer, and allow the sun to assist with heating in the winter. Insulation types and R-values in the ceiling, walls, and floor were chosen for highly effective values. There is a ground source loop to provide year-round thermal comfort at almost no cost of...

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