Feb 22, 2011

Become an architect...

in less than 10 minutes..!
 Ok, it typically takes less than 10 years. 
But this one is a fun shortcut.

Feb 21, 2011

Replacing Existing Single Pane Windows

Good old windows, charming but drafty. To fix the problem, we hear the solution is to replace them entirely. Sure a single pane window doesn't offer the best U-value available, but don't to run to the closest hardware store just yet.

A double pane window sounds more energy efficient than its single pane counterpart. It became available in the 70's as an improvement and solution to the heat loss single panes represented. Nowadays, window solutions go above and beyond contractor grade. You'll find low emissivity glass, tinted windows and triple pane fenestrations with argon gas, just to name a few. All with the promise to keep your heating bills low. But exactly how much will you save?

The average window and installation runs for 400 US dollars. Is it worth the investment? That depends how long you are willing to wait. We have run into this very interesting article that you should read before tearing out your old windows. This article does the math and suggests that the ROI is well over 20 years. We assure you you'll think twice before going for this big investment. Adding storm windows sounds just a good.

PD. To play devil's advocate, we can argue that getting new windows will greatly increase the curb appeal of your home, increase the potential sell value of your home and get you a tax credit in 2011 when using Energy Star labeled windows... Something to think about. 

Ongoing JCAHO News

For JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) updates, news and related subjects online, this website comes useful.

Feb 18, 2011

Floating Fireplaces

Most likely you are in the middle of winter, just like us, waiting for those sunny and green days again. Sadly, a few more cold gray days are still ahead. To keep you warm, we have found these beautiful and iconic fireplaces:

GYROFOCUS by Focus Creation. This made-in-France model was designed by Dominique Imbert in 1968. The signature model has been voted one of the "World's most beautiful objects". With a Jetsons feel-like style, it is the fist fireplace of its kind: wood burning and pivoting. 

TURN by Conmoto. Also a wood burning and ceiling mounted fireplace, it rotates 360 degrees as its own name suggests. One additional feature that makes it different from the Gyrofocus: a floor support, which can be added for a more solid structure. A simple line German model with a contemporary look.

Both great alternatives to help you cold with these winter days. Also ideal solutions when you are in search of something different, eye catching and non traditional.
Stay warm!

Feb 17, 2011

Please Welcome Barbie Architect!

Barbie can be career oriented too. This time she is an architect ready to inspire little girls around the world. To prove she can tackle the responsibilities of the profession, she comes in black frame glasses, a city line printed dress, a white hardhat. Personally, I would have chosen a more business like attire, or the classic all black architect suit. But Barbie stays true to her (blonde) roots, and love for pink. Good for her. This architect is part of the "Barbie I can be" series and will be available this fall.

Feb 3, 2011

Saving down CAD

Ever received a CAD file that you just can't open? More likely than not, it is saved in a newer version of AutoCAD. Before calling your consultant or client for a "down saved" version, download DWG TrueView by Autodesk. If you are running on a 64 bit version, click here.It's free and easy. Open your file with this program and save it down to whichever version of CAD you currently have in your computer.