For all you homeowners and builders in the Bay Area... If you're looking for ways to be more green and sustainable, a perfect place to start is PG&E's Energy Education Classes. THEY ARE FREE and instructed by professionals at the tip of the green spear. We've found them to be instrumental in our growth as a sustainable builder. Click the link below to learn more and do your part in keeping the Bay Area a leader in sustainability.
That's right I said it... We are currently bidding projects in the Tahoe area so make sure to spread the word! We can hardly wait to bring our brand of custom building and design to the greater Tahoe area. See you all on the hill!
Building an exterior deck over an interior living space brings a unique set of challenges, the most prominent of all being waterproofing. Our friends Peter and Richard asked us to rebuild their deck, which has been leaking for years. While we were at it, we decided to upgrade the doors, and add a cedar shade arbor to promote comfortability during the hot months. The waterproofing is a proprietary two-part liquid membrane that mechanically joins the wall waterproofing and door pans, creating a seamless, "one-piece" waterproofing system.
The result is a functional, cool and aesthetically pleasing exterior living space overlooking the bay that keeps the water on the outside of the house where it belongs.
Our lead designer, Rene Rabbitt, has submitted for another design contest (he won the last one)... Please "LIKE" below and get his votes up!!!!!!! This one's for best kitchen design!
DDC was fortunate enough to work with the School of the Madeleine in Berkeley, CA this past summer. The 8 classroom remodel was a great success... enough to garner praise from the Diocese. Read the article below:
We couldn't be happier to announce some new capabilities we've been playing around with.... VR is officially online!!!!
Would you like to have look around your addition, kitchen or bath in real time BEFORE it's built? Reach out to us to get a preview, the future is here.
A few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to be invited to One Workplace's San Jose headquarters design event "ONEder".
Wow did we have a blast... Everything we put our eyes on, sat on, touched and heard was a rendering of form and function in perfect harmony. It was a spirited group of people to get to spend a day with, and needless to say, we walked away inspired.
Among the speakers was David Kelley, founder of IDEO and professor and creator of the d.school at Stanford. We are truly living in exciting times... we are starting to care not only about how things look, but how they perform in society, where they come from and where they'll end up.
Thank you One Workplace for your invitation, we shall return to ONEder again!
Congrats to our very own Rene Rabbitt who has won the Chief Architect Design contest!!! Not only has he proven he can roll with the big dogs, he's also brought prestige to our organization. Thank you for all you do for our establishment Rene!!!!
They've made an appearance on our blog before... but they're up to something big so we felt it necessary to give some recognition to the folks over at FoodShift again for doing some amazing work right here in the Bay.
Please take a moment to check out their new Alameda Kitchen which will provide food and education to bay area residents!!!! DDC is proud to support an organization spreading awareness about our food, it's lifecycle, our tendency toward waste and our ability to consume more sustainably. Please Consider Donating, we'd really like to see FoodShift reach above and beyond its $30k goal!!!!
We are interested in bringing people on board who are looking to start or continue a career in sustainable building! Don't wait, these positions will go fast!!!!
We are mainly interesting in experienced tradesman, although we're willing to bring people on given the right attitude and drive toward sustainability.
You may email us through the craigslist posting or contact us directly through our website.
Looking forward to meeting you all!!!!!
We're pleased to announce the completion of the School of the Madeleine Project in Berkeley! Finished in time for classes to commence, the project was a rigorous, multi-prong rehab on 8 classrooms built in 1937.
We tackled several areas of the classroom environment including space, lighting, ventilation, sound and functionality.
One major concern was getting rid of the cloak room, which was a remnant from a previous era.
Removing this dividing wall opened the classrooms up to more floor space and allowed us to add a third teaching wall, plus storage to the area.
The panels that we added to the walls and cabinetry are not only tackable for pushpins, they're also acoustically rated, which will serve to lower the overall decibels of the classroom, creating a more intimate and focused atmosphere.
Several of the classrooms received new furniture from Steelcase which will further increase the classroom's adaptability. All classrooms received three teaching walls, new cubbies and an immense amount of storage, all behind either doors or magnetic whiteboards.
The instructor workstations are works of art in their own right.... Virtually any audio or video signal can be routed from them to the short throw projector in the front of the classroom. The computers are mounted using fully articulating brackets, catering to instructors' personal teaching preferences.
Finally we upgraded the lights, added automated blackout/sun shades and installed fans. The lights are much closer to natural sunlight than the old lights, and the system utilizes daylighting, which means they automatically dim when there is sufficient sunlight from the windows. The fans do wonders to keep the air moving around the school, preventing the "stuffy" feeling that many learned to live with in previous years.
We are proud to offer financing for sustainable projects though the CaliforniaFIRST program. Click on the logo above to be taken to the CaliforniaFIRST website and more information. Solar, heat and plumbing upgrades, insulation, windows/doors and skylights are just a few of the upgrades eligible for financing.
- In the U.S., buildings consume 65% of electricity produced and 12% of all potable water
- Building are responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
- Buildings consume 40% of raw materials globally
- 19% of electricity and 32% of gas in California is used to pump, heat and treat water
- It takes on average about 3000 gallons of water to manufacture one pair of jeans
- a 2000 square foot home uses up to 1.5 acres of forrest to fill its needed 16,000 board feet of material.
- Water consumption is divided as follows:
- Toilets consume 27%
- Clothes Washers consume 22%
- Showers consume 17%
- LEAKS 14%
- 40%-60% of water is used to irrigate landscaping
- HVAC ducting in a typical house has 15% duct leakage
What are we doing about this?
The EPA estimates that indoor air contains 2 TO 5 TIMES MORE contaminants than outside air. Considering that we now spend (on average) 90% of our time indoors, this might be a factor to take into consideration. The World Heath Organization is now estimating that indoor air quality is responsible for 3% of the global burden of disease. They've also concluded that up to 80% of all cancers are attributed to environmental factors, not genetic factors as previously thought. Whether you're planning on remodeling or building from scratch, it is encouraged to set aside a portion of the budget toward addressing IAQ (indoor air quality).
I was discussing materials selection with a client when they stopped me mid-sentence and asked, "wait, what is embodied energy?" I figure it's at least worth a quick mention in the blog, as it's a tremendously powerful tool to view materials selection and product consumption overall.
"Embodied Energy" is how much energy it takes to manufacture a product. The units are usually MJ/kg (megajoules of energy per kilogram of product) and kgCO2/kg (kilograms of CO2 emitted per kilogram of product).
The chart above utilizes illustrates how material selection can impact our carbon output as consumers. Here's an example:
For every ton of portland cement poured for a foundation a ton of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. For an average sized house in California that can be 300,000 lbs of carbon dioxide! Environmentally and financially speaking, it is much better to keep your foundation in good shape rather than replace it. Consider adding a french drain and waterproofing to an existing foundation to extend it's life dramatically.
What amazing design!!!... I love sharing these fabricators with the masses when I find them. This particular group is out of the Netherlands.
Wishing happy holidays to all who have supported us through our first year of business. May the coming year provide sustaining happiness and prosperity amongst you all and your families. We're looking forward to seeing you all in the new year!
2015 here we come!
These folks are really doing it.... Pressed denim scraps, blue stain pine, wheat straw, hemp, FSC certified wood chips, and sorghum straw products all look organic and sleek... Sustainable, whimsical, and easy to work with/fabricate... all aspects that make these products appealing.
I want to thank EVERYONE for the tremendous support and welcoming you've given to our fledgling company these first few months. It's incredibly rewarding to gain validation in our approach to building. Not only does it make sense to take the environment and a building's occupants into account, it's becoming increasingly mandated by local and state ordinances... FINALLY.
We know we all can build better buildings at a discount to the environment. Thank you all for sharing in our dream for a better future for our children and the environment.