Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Award Winning NH Lakefront Cottage Renovation

We were pleasantly surprised Saturday night at the AIANH Excellence in Architecture Design Award ceremony when our Lakefront Cottage Renovation project won TWO Awards:  The Merit Award and the People’s Choice Award in Residential Architecture!

Entries were judged on overall design excellence including aesthetics, clarity, creativity, appropriate functionality, sustainability, building performance, and appropriateness with regard to fulfilling the client's program. The entries were also previewed in the January/February 2011 issue of NH Home Magazine.  Winning entries will be featured in a future issue.

Residential Architecture: Lakefront Cottage Renovation
Architect: Jeremy Bonin, Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC
Merit Award and People’s Choice Award, Residential Architecture

Project Description:
Originally one of eleven cabins on “The Point”, the recently subdivided property left this and one other cabin in close proximity to the beautiful beach and lake. Removal of the ‘point’ cabin allowed for a meandering path from renovated cottage to the dock as well as substantially opening the view to the lake from the remaining cabin.

A newly exposed cathedral ceiling is warm and inviting as are the reused and repositioned windows and doors for capturing lakeside views and breezes. Salvaged and refinished from the cottage are framing lumber, T&G boards and floors. Finishes and materials are low or no VOC products and even the woodstove is a found item making a new home in this beautiful location.

With material reuse and minimal site impact as two principal goals throughout the design and renovation process, the resultant cabin provides for three seasons of comfortable lakefront access and family gatherings.

The 2011 jury was comprised of representatives from the State of Maine’s architecture community: James A. Sterling, AIA, Portland; Ellen Belknap, AIA, SMRT Architects, Portland; and Walter Arsenault, AIA, Fraser Matson Architecture & Planning, Falmouth.

Juror Comments: “Understated, simple, cost effective renovation. Excellent use of limited space. Restrained and authentic in use of materials and details. In some ways, this is the most appealing project …. maybe it speaks to the desire for simplicity in all of us.”

About The American Institute of Architects
For 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities make their visions real.
About Jeremy Bonin and Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC
Jeremy Bonin, a principal partner of Bonin Architects & Associates, is an award-winning architect and the author of TIMBER FRAMES: Designing Your Custom Home.  Jeremy has a special interest in sustainable design and green homes with a specialty in green building and renewable energy systems. 

Bonin Architects & Associates, led by Kimberly Bonin and Jeremy Bonin AIA NCARB LEED AP, located in New London, NH, is a national   architectural firm licensed in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Healthy Home, Healthy Family

There are many things you can do to make your home healthy.  A healthy home translates into better health for your family - as well as the environment.  Here's 10 ways you can make your house healthy, courtesy of the US Environmental Protection Agency:

   1. Clear the air.  Take the smoke-free pledge. Choose not to smoke in your home and do not permit others to do so. Small children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of secondhand smoke. Choose to smoke outside, if you must smoke. Moving to another room or opening a window is not enough to protect your children.

   2. Air quality.  Listen to local forecasts for ozone, smog and particulate matter. When levels are high, limit your outdoor activities.

   3. Rid your house of radon. January is National Radon Action MonthTest the level of radon gas in your home with a radon test kit. If the test result is 4pCi/L or higher, takes steps to reduce radon.

   4. Some household products are toxic. Use with caution! Look for alternatives to pesticides and household chemicals. If you must use them, always read the label and follow directions exactly. Always store them in high locked cabinets and in their original containers.

   5. Check for carbon monoxide.  Check that all potential sources of carbon monoxide, such as space heaters and wood stoves, are well-vented and in proper working order. Never idle the car or lawnmower in the garage, or use propane heaters in tents!

   6. Water, water everywhere.   Know the quality of your drinking water. If you have a private drinking water well, test it periodically.

   7. Get the lead out.  Avoid potential sources of lead. If your home was built before 1978, have your home tested for lead paint. When remodeling or doing home repairs, be careful that you do not create lead dust. Keep children visiting your home away from lead hazards.

   8. Keep mercury from rising.  Limit your intake of specific types of fish with high levels of mercury. Have a mercury-free home-find alternatives to mercury thermometers or mercury used for cultural or spiritual practices.

   9. Too much sun is not much fun. Cover up, use SPF 15 or higher sun screen, and stay out of the midday sun to avoid damaging UV rays. Talk about the weather. Make a plan for temperature extremes-keep food, fluids and clothing stocked for extreme cold or heat, think of public places to go to escape the extreme temperatures, and identify who you can call for help if you need it.

  10. Wash your hands of it.  Keep the dirt outside. Remove shoes at the door. Wash your hands to keep dirt that might be contaminated with lead, and pesticides off you and your kids.