Gaines Group Architects
rotten wood wall

Little Things to Make Your Home Better

Sometimes the little things in our homes aren’t designed at all. I have the opportunity on occasion to share my experiences with students from all levels – Kindergarten to Graduate Students. Recently, I was invited to the Department of Energy to talk building science...
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air gaps at corners

Building Science: Why Does it Matter, and Why is it Left Out So Often?

The profession of architecture is often looked at through the lens of television or magazines – how to make buildings beautiful. However, that is not the true work that is done by architects. Beauty is a minor part of the equation. It is the part of the design process that...

Stop making your home less comfortable by spending money on the wrong things

Installing a bigger badder Air Conditioner is not the best way to get your house comfortable in the summer. Although many HVAC “pros” will try to sell you one. I have heard all the solutions that have been pitched to you by salesmen with the best of intentions. There...

Hire an Architect Not Only For Aesthetics, But For Design

“A rotary phone is to codes compliant building as a smart phone is to a high performance building…” When you are thinking of your next project, hire an architect. Buildings are complicated, perhaps the most complicated and expensive machines you will ever...

Get to know “Milton Matter of Ivy Tools” Friday Featured Local Business

 Give us some background on your company. What do you do and why do you do it? Ivy Tools supplies instruments to test and diagnose issues of building performance. These tools enable contractors, inspectors, energy auditors, HVAC technicians, and homeowners to answer tough...

Green Terms Defined: Green Building (Part 1)

There are many definitions of what green building is or does. Definitions range from a building that is “less bad” than the average building in terms of its impact on the environment to a building that is  “high performance.” My definition is a home /...

Your health depends on it – Healthy Indoor Air Quality

As we learn more about building science homes are being built tighter through good construction details. This is a GOOD thing. The new worry is that many products used in homes off gas chemicals known in the industry at Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). These chemicals...
yoga studio design

Harrisonburg Bikram Yoga Studio design

We were contacted by a small business owner in Harrisonburg that wanted to start a new venture in town. I was familiar with the type of studio she was looking to create, but had never experienced it first hand. Her goal was to start the first Harrisonburg Bikram Yoga Studio....

Citizen Architect – Design Matters

I believe that as an architect I have an ethical duty to design solutions that are energy efficient, durable, and healthy. It is my job to understand the materials that are available in the market today, know how to use the materials effectively, and to know the impacts on indoor...

Do you have an energy problem at your home?

  Is your home energy-efficient? Is the indoor air quality healthy? There are clues that you can look for to help determine how your home performs. For instance, if you have to dust weekly, then you are probably breathing glass fibers from your insulation filter. I have...