As we see it, healthy buildings are those with superior air quality. First and foremost, it is critical to prevent water infiltration and minimize thermal bridges (poorly insulated areas at the building exterior). This will inhibit the growth of mold, which is known to cause a variety of health problems. Purposeful ventilation is also essential, particularly in today’s tightly constructed homes. This is done with a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV), both of which are designed to introduce fresh air and remove stale air continuously, with minimal loss of a building’s heat or “coolth”. Many of our clients are surprised to learn that conventional heating and cooling systems provide no fresh air; they merely recirculate stale interior air.
Douglas R. Schotland Architect LLC is an award-winning design firm in Pennington, New Jersey. Since 2009, we have been providing intelligent, creative, sustainable solutions to a variety of residential, institutional and commercial design challenges.
Our work is energized largely by our belief that:
Great buildings have enduring value and provide their occupants a lifetime of comfort and enjoyment.
With buildings, it’s very important to get it right the first time.
We serve both our clients and the environment best by creating buildings that are comfortable, healthy, durable and energy-efficient.
Our role as experienced architects is to guide clients through the sometimes challenging building process, provide solutions and save money.
“Build Once. Build Well.”
We approach every project with a strong commitment to client satisfaction, beauty and artistic integrity, and a passion for detail, fine materials and exceptional workmanship. Let us collaborate with you to craft thoughtful and forward-thinking solutions that suit your site’s unique features and your individual tastes and goals.
Occupants of conventionally-constructed buildings often complain of draftiness, cold floors and walls and difficulty in maintaining comfortable temperatures. Yet these problems can be avoided with thoughtful design and construction. The building envelope should be thermal bridge-free, meaning that the interior spaces are isolated thermally from the exterior. This is accomplished via the correct detailing of wall, floor and roof assemblies and the selection of “thermally broken” components. Here, the value of solid architectural education, building science training and experience become clear.
Well-designed buildings will not only last far longer than conventional ones; they will be relatively trouble-free and inexpensive to maintain as well. Aside from fire, water is a building’s greatest enemy. If careful steps are not taken at the design stage to deal with water, the damage will begin before construction is even complete. In the absence of proper flashing, purposeful roof and gutter design, effective foundation drainage, and carefully-conceived wall design, water can wreak havoc on a building. Natural materials such as wood siding are especially vulnerable; care must be taken to ensure that materials that get wet can dry out quickly and easily. Many inexperienced designers and builders make the mistake of thinking that modern, rot-proof materials (such as PVC trim and cement board siding) will protect a building and render smart detailing unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth! Decay-resistant materials may actually exacerbate problems by concealing rot, thereby preventing it from being addressed. The cost of repairing damage caused by poor detailing will far exceed the cost of doing it right the first time. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.
Buildings in the U.S. consume 70% of the electricity produced and are responsible for 39% of the carbon dioxide emissions that are blamed for global warming. The typical building is incredibly wasteful of energy, but this need not be the case. As Certified Passive House Designers, we are uniquely trained and feel a strong moral and ethical obligation to create sustainable buildings that will help to reduce–and ultimately reverse–the effects of climate change. Buildings designed to the Passive House standard use remarkably little energy, cost very little to heat and cool and have minimal negative impact on the environment. Learn more about Passive House design here.
We are committed to strong client advocacy. We understand that many of our clients are unfamiliar with — or simply too busy to deal with — the intricacies of the design and construction processes. We strive to educate our clients, provide guidance and protect their interests. Above all, we do our best to make projects as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
We are pleased to announced that in January 2017, for the fourth consecutive year, we were awarded Best of Houzz. Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The firm’s work has also been featured in The Princeton Packet, The Times of Trenton, and most recently on the cover of Design NJ Magazine. Click here.