Strategy

Getting Back to the Middle

We based parking requirements on absolute peak demand - so that even on Black Friday, everyone, by law, gets a parking space.  Developers were forced to buy more land, and provide worst-case scenario parking, for free, in order to build.  With more than ample parking everywhere, more people choose to drive for trips.  Traffic engineers note the roads are getting congested, and design larger, wider roads to provide capacity.

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Scaling Down Development

Scaling Down Development

There are a lot of problems with our current approach to residential development.  For something in such perpetual demand, it's amazing that the market has not been able to figure out a good way to supply it.  We need quality housing in large quantities.  Note, that adjective: quality.  As we saw in 2006, housing built with no attention to quality or sustainability of place is not truly in demand; it created a valueless bubble that then collapsed. 

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Renovating Without Plans? What DIY-ers Should Know!

Renovating Without Plans? What DIY-ers Should Know!

Design intent can be tough to convey; it is comprised of any number of ideas and goals, and all of the implications of achieving them successfully.  It can be tough for owners to express what your intent is if you’re not fluent in the language of building - and why should they be?  I can’t speak the language of medicine, or astronomy, and no one is expecting me to.

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Reimagining of a Habitat For Humanity Houseplan

Reimagining of a Habitat For Humanity Houseplan

This project is a great example of how a few simple customizations to any structure can add value, and that value is amplified when we avoid using the bulldozer as an 'easy' out to our housing needs.  The most sustainable solutions for new buildings are far and away those that involve repurposing and upcycling our existing stock of housing, and even our stock-plan builder home neighborhoods could become more interesting places if housing was allowed to evolve and grow in as unique a way as its inhabitants.

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Ingenuity of the New Orleans' Camelback

Ingenuity of the New Orleans' Camelback

Seems straightforward to many of us New Orleanians: build one story on top of another story, hold it back from the front of the home, clad it similarly to the rest of the home and voila - the silhouette of a camel's hump on a traditional Victorian home, one of New Orleans' most unique archetypes.

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