Monthly Archives: July 2011

Good Design makes for Unity – Good for us Humans!

Posted on July 30th, 2011 by

I had a conversation with a potential Design Build Team supplier the other day explaining a photo that Bill Bennett of Work Horse Images took of a home DBT designed for a couple in St. Mary’s, Georgia.

Look at the ceiling and the ceiling beams that carry structural elements into the kitchen.  The house is designed as a whole with structural beams and columns that match used throughout the house.  Sometimes we have seen a room addition just put on a home or a “new kitchen” built that has no connection with the rest of the house.
One of my favorite design elements is repetition.  In our home we have a central weight bearing beam that goes from the front to the back of the house.  There are columns with black steel beam brackets holding up the beam.  They are all alike as they go from room to room.
You want your eye to follow a path throughout the house that speaks of UNITY!

Aging in Place: Universal Design for your Life-long Home

Posted on July 29th, 2011 by

If you have never heard of the statement “aging-in place” it simply means any individual being able to live in their home and reside there comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level. For many homeowners, they want to experience the pleasure of remaining in their familiar environment throughout the remainder of their lives. That is why many more people are considering universal design home renovations, for the simple fact that they want the ability to enjoy their familiar daily rituals and the special events that enrich all their lives. It truly makes a difference when you can call your house a home for a lifetime.

Here are a few characteristics of Universal Design that are most commonly seen:

  • Standard light switches are replaced with easy to use rock switches
  • Driveways and sidewalks have textured surface in order to increase stability and traction
  • Wide doorways and hallways
  • Non-slip Floors
  • Decorative grab bars in shower/bath

If you are interested in learning more about how you can improve you Kansas City home with Universal Design, contact Design Build Team by calling 888.570.1828.

Photo Credit: Kristen Rivoli Interior Design via

Energy Star Rules for Dishwashers and Furnaces recently updated by EPA

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by

If you are thinking about a green home renovation or a sustainable new home build project, make sure you are aware of the new updates to the Energy Star Rules. The Environmental Protection Agency will be updating the Energy Star requirements for home dishwashers and furnaces as a part of the 20 revisions to product requirements expected in 2011.

Beginning on February 1, 2012, furnaces will start to display Energy Star seals appropriate to their particular climate zones. Another update will be effective starting January 20, 2012, on both standard-sized and compact residential dishwashers. These newer model residential dishwashers will need to be between ten and 30 percent more energy efficient than the conventional models in order to earn the Energy Star label. The EPA announced that this new update will make the future Energy Star models almost eight percent more efficient than Energy Star dishwashers today.

For more information on the recent Energy Star Rules updates, visit If you live in the Kansas City area, trust Design Build Team to design and build your green home. For more information, just give us a call at 913-722-1443.