Tell us about yourself and how you got started in construction?
I began working in construction while studying architecture at the University of Colorado Boulder. It was a very impactful and educational extracurricular activity to my design degree. I learned a great deal and rely on that experience heavily now that I am a licensed architect.
What are some of the largest obstacles in the construction process that you have found?
A couple of significant obstacles for many homeowners hoping for a modest remodel or addition project is the permitting process and the added cost of code-required energy efficiency requirements. The permitting process can seem like a nuisance or headache, but it really can go smoothly and contribute to a quality project!
Taking a project from ideas on paper to reality takes a huge team effort, and the permit process can act as a way to assemble those players, get everyone working towards the same goal, and ensure that the completed project hits budgets and exceeds expectations.
Similarly, many people only focus on the added costs of the code-required energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. But, it’s important to keep in mind the profound impact those measures have on our City’s, State’s, and Nation’s vision of a greener and more energy independent future.
What is a typical day (or week) like for you?
I am a one-man, full-service architecture firm, so I get to do a little bit of everything every week! I am often presenting 3d models to clients over Zoom, walking a steep site in the County to find the best view corridors, crawling around in a crawlspace with a structural engineer for a remodel project, or I’m at my cabin studio sitting at the drafting table or in front of the computer.
What do you like most about your work?
I enjoy finding creative and beautiful solutions to complex problems. I love feeling the client’s excitement when they understand that we are making the best design decisions to achieve their project goals. And I love working with builders to turn those ideas into reality.
In your experience, what are the largest hurdles in achieving compliance with energy codes?
I think that the largest hurdle to energy code compliance is cost and, unfortunately, I think that this has a greater impact on smaller, more modest projects, and older homes.
What areas do you serve?
Most of my work is new residential and major addition/rennovation projects in the City and County of Boulder. But I also work in Denver, Summit County, and have even designed projects in California and as far away as Columbia!
What hobbies do you have outside of your business?
I’m an avid skier, rock climber, and backpacker…those activities are what drew me to Colorado from the East Coast and I love that I can still find new adventures in the mountains even after 20 years of exploring.
What’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Through my website, www.HeartwoodArchitecture.com.