The Gaines Group 2012 in Review

As 2012 draws to a close I sit here thinking about what we have accomplished at Gaines Group architects, what we have left to get done, and the potential for our future. Unfortunately, the construction economy continues a very SLOW recovery and we continue to be faced with hard financial decisions. Our firm was fortunate through the last five years to retain all of our employees, even adding an intern position to the Harrisonburg office, but that has not been without sacrifice. Our clients have continued to show faith that our work adds value to their projects through healthy, energy-efficient, and durable design solutions, but those projects have come with tighter design scopes and shorter development timelines. Our planning process has been embraced by clients looking to renovate their basements, add decks, remodel bathrooms and kitchens, build new homes, develop commercial ventures, and even a couple of warehouses and industrial facility remodels. To say the least, we have a broad reach of projects and clients from all backgrounds. I hold fast that 2013 is the year that we emerge triumphant knowing that we have survived and will have the opportunity to serve many more happy clients for years to come throughout Virginia.

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Some of our successful ventures in 2012 are listed below include:

1. Participating with many different community organizations giving presentations on green building, building science, social media, solar power, rainwater harvesting, and healthy environments. Our venues included the Spotswood Garden Club, James Madison University, University of Virginia School of Architecture, UVA Darden School of Business, Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, Shenandoah Valley Builders Association, Massanutten Technical Center, Department of Energy, and the Construction Specifications Institute.

2. The construction of our Crossroads Farm Custom Home was completed in February with some final punch list items left to get done. This energy-efficient home features vegetated retaining walls, a rainwater harvesting system, a high-performance HVAC system, self-cleaning windows, local materials, and a high-performance insulation package.

3. We participated in the SVBA Home Show, BRHBA Home Show, SVBA Green Expo, and Green Innovations Tour, and enjoyed many discussions about building science, healthy living, and energy efficiency.

4. Promoted buying and shopping local for all the locally owned businesses in Harrisonburg and the surrounding area.

5. Advocated for energy audits so everyone can save money and live healthier.

6. Promoted awareness of our strategy to design homes for every ability through Aging in Place design measures.

7. Celebrated 25 years in business!

8. Worked hard to support our community giving time to Charlottesville Habitat, Greene County Habitat, SVBA, BRHBA, HR Chamber of Commerce, HR Green Network, Parkview Church Creation Care Building Committee, and EMES PTF.

9. Was named the BEST of Virginia Architectural Firm in Harrisonburg for 2012 by Virginia Living Magazine.

10. Was named Best of Houzz 2012.

11. Ushered in the first-ever Harrisonburg Parklet Project into Downtown with the help of Eddie, Suzi, and Regan!

12. Completed design of projects including basement renovations, deck addition, kitchen renovation, bathroom renovation, a couple of garages, several custom homes (Crossroad Farm) (Dayton) (McGayesville), multi-family projects, commercial business renovation, commercial facility, warehouse space, and industrial renovation and addition.

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