We can single-click a double-click

As an evolved homosapien, the goal is always to do the heavy lifting with your brain.  “Work smarter, not harder” is the familiar adage. At our office the need for manual labor is relatively light, so this applies mostly to the areas where we spend the bulk of our time - on the computer.  Clicking. There’s so much clicking. Clickity click click clickclickclick. Each of those clicks is a decision, each decision a tiny infinitesimal finger fluctuation.

The other day I learned that former Haven-DW nerd Stephen had taken the time to program the mouse to achieve a double click with one click.  And that’s most amazing thing I’ve ever heard. This resonates so deeply with nerd culture that I’m afraid I risk alienating most of our readership with this concept leaving the effective audience to mostly myself and members of Haven, who will likely give this a cursory read.  I’m going to dive into this anyways because I just cannot help myself.

The act of double-clicking is just about as old as modern computing. It signifies a decision.  It takes two actions to communicate the decision to the computer. One finger twitch, then less then 500 milliseconds later, another.  If you’re too slow, no decision is communicated. All modern computer users are so used to this convention that achieving a double-click isn’t particularly difficult.  But it does take more effort then a single click. So much of what we do in Sketchup requires a double-click, that it can get somewhat onerous. Here’s where the fancy mouse kicks in.  

 This genius selection system is why we click so so much. (image: dummies.com)

This genius selection system is why we click so so much. (image: dummies.com)

Your typical mouse only has two or three buttons.  But we use these fancy mousies which allow all the buttons to be programmable to different actions.  So we have one of the buttons execute a double click action. BOOM SINGLE CLICK = DOUBLE CLICK. And it gets worse. Sometimes we need to triple-click.  You can single click a regular click and then click the double click click and it will equal a triple click click click! You can go crazy if you want and program the mouse to repeat clicking every 500ms as long as you hold the button down and that gains you essentially the ability to “infinite-click” with a single click.  You can just sit there holding down the button while the mouse is just working so so hard clicking the heck out of itself until you are done achieving stuff and then you can get up and take a break having worked so smart and not hard.

 A screenshot of my settings.  Obviously I use "jump" and "grenade" pretty often.

A screenshot of my settings.  Obviously I use "jump" and "grenade" pretty often.

I mean, if productive work were as simple as just clicking.  But that’s the point. The work we do is mostly mental. We need to spend our energy making decisions with our brains and the computer should more or less execute those decisions with minimal effort.  By streamlining the work we do, reducing clicks or whatever, we spend more of our time thinking about the design and less time thinking about how to make the software obey.  

Are you ready to go get a new mouse and double your productivity?

Open House Recap!

Did you come to our open house?  It was HavenDW's 10th anniversary and also our new office ribbon cutting. Here's a fun recap if you missed it. For those who attended, I put some behind the scenes commentary too. 

 Amy! hurry it up, can't you see there's a big line down the stairs? Also, Ben Mann artwork!

Amy! hurry it up, can't you see there's a big line down the stairs? Also, Ben Mann artwork!

Party Prep: Two weeks before, Sean was making it rain at every event he attended with invitation flyers.  Brenda and I were forcing them on WYPS kids and Amy maybe handed some out at GAC? Point is we tried to get the word out.  The flyer was also attached to every outgoing email ensuring that for two weeks everyone we write with started running out of data in their inbox.

I know this will come as a shock, but there was a bit of prep work to do to make the place perfect.  There's a facade that everyone does for a party.  Pretend that your place is always spotless and stylish and having everyone over wasn't that much work because life is just so easy for the beautiful.  Obviously, there's a lot of work that goes on in the background to make that story plausible, even for the pros at HavenDW.  It was several days of cleaning plus the preceding weeks on and off of projects to get the place up to Sean's high standard.

 Our awkward family photo.  I was hoping we'd do a motivational team pyramid instead

Our awkward family photo.  I was hoping we'd do a motivational team pyramid instead

It's hard to know what to do when your photo is being taken.  Obviously these guys made the right call.

One of the best moments for me came a half hour before the party was scheduled to start.  We were all prowling the space, decorating redecorating each other's decorations. That's the challenge of having four people who are passionate about design, everyone sees the world slightly different and everyone wants the place to look its best, thus it was a forever redecorating loop.   My own personal passive-aggressive style was to attempt to hide items which I considered unstylish.  I wanted minimalism so I was quietly trying to hide all tchotchke. But I guess others were looking for clutter to make the place homey and so no progress was really made to either pursuit.

Upstairs where the real party was at for some reason.  Most of the food was downstairs

Doors opened people came!  We were so excited to see the community response.  It was great to have everyone in our space chatting it up and looking so good.  A big thank you to everyone who attended. Halfway through the night we all went outside in the rain and did the ribbon cutting thing, MR Mayor and Sean sharing the big kid scissors for the fancy moment.  Thanks to everyone who said some nice things at that toasty moment.  It was all very wonderful but the wind and rain were working hard and this encouraged everyone back inside for more food and prizes?  I think we were trying to do a regular door prize drawing but at some point it dissolved/we forgot about it. There might be some prizes which are retroactively awarded to some unsuspecting attendees.

 Action shot! Look at those huge scissors. Also Sean's glee at being so close to the mayor

Action shot! Look at those huge scissors. Also Sean's glee at being so close to the mayor

8:00 party was mostly done. A couple of people hung out late until they realized they might get looped into cleaning up and made an escape.
High fives all around good job HavenDW staff! Can we do this every month please?  Thanks to all who helped us celebrate and for supporting our new location on 5828 2nd. We're looking forward to seeing you again soon.

 Good night Haven! Thanks for a great party.  

Good night Haven! Thanks for a great party.  

A big thank you to Rebecca & Judd Greenwood for taking these photos. 
www.greenwoodsphotoarts.com

Inside Haven's new office with Haven's newest member

Hi, I'm Isaac, Haven's newest member.   It's Sunday and I'm alone in the office, which is great time to take some pictures of our digs and introduce myself.  

About me: I've been a 3D modeling enthusiast since 1995 when I got started using Truespace and drafting with Turbocad. I spent a lot of time using animation software such as 3DS Max and Bryce before going to Western Washington University and studying art and communication.  Fast forward- I worked as a graphic artist for School Specialty, then drafter and eventually design engineer for Zodiac Aerospace, designing airline furniture.  I've always been a big fan of architecture so when I saw an opportunity to join Haven I wanted in!

Enough bla bla I have images of the inside to show off!

 I was trying to take one of those cool "pretend I'm working" images like the rest of the team has on the  bio's  page.

I was trying to take one of those cool "pretend I'm working" images like the rest of the team has on the bio's page.

Walking in the door. Usually Amy could greet you but it's Sunday so no.

 The reading nook with our first office plant! (no name yet)

The reading nook with our first office plant! (no name yet)

 the upstairs nerdery

the upstairs nerdery

 light! windows! butcher blocks! 

light! windows! butcher blocks! 

 yeah yeah yeah glass

yeah yeah yeah glass

 Open layout between upstairs and down makes it easy to yell to each other

Open layout between upstairs and down makes it easy to yell to each other

 Conference room. We're working making this look less legal and more party

Conference room. We're working making this look less legal and more party

That's it!  Thanks for checking out our office and letting me say hi.   If you want the real tour, come on by.  We always love guests and we'll be having an open house in March to give you an official reason to visit if dropping by random isn't your thing. 

Haven Has A New Home

Haven is officially in the new office!  Tenants have moved in their spaces as well and have been patient while improvements continue around the site.  Landscaping and fence building was done last weekend by the team.  Glass has arrived to finish interior railings and take place of the OSB that has served it's purpose to achieve temporary occupancy.  Other improvements will continue as we settle, but it feels great to be in the new space.  Look for details on an open house to come in the Spring.

Check out the progress photos of the project with the link below and be sure to come say hello at our new space.

The Dilemma...

The Dilemma…

When should you be concerned about that bold choice you’ve made for the exterior of your home? You’ve found that color, the one you’ve had so much trouble finding and now you’re concerned you might be going too dark or bright, you may be taking on too much of a risk, what would the neighbors think if you painted your house black or Orange!?! Oh goodness, what if you chose Black & Orange!

Not actually as crazy as it sounds, I’m actually quite fond of it!

 The question is, is this your forever home? If not, how long do you plan on staying? Are you planning to do something that simply cannot be undone? Are there CC&R’s in your neighborhood?  If this is your forever home, then throw away your concerns! Of course you can’t do anything that will compromise the structural integrity of your building, but other than that, the only opinion you should care about it yours! (and well, I suppose that person that likely shares the mortgage with you!) If you live in a neighborhood with CC&R’s then you will need to comply with those rules, but you can still get plenty creative and express yourself even within the confines of rules!  I told my husband I wanted a life size ballerina giraffe sculpture in our front yard, he looked at me like I was crazy, but again, it’s my house too and I really don’t care if the neighbors think it’s weird, it would make me happy!  However, if you only plan to live in this home for a short period of time you may want to think about keeping your bold choices to elements that can be easily changed out for a palette that is more monochromatic or art installations that you can take with you when you leave (that is, if the new owner doesn’t want them!). Go ahead and paint your house a rainbow with a leprechaun mural, but when it comes time to sell, maybe leave an option for home buyers to repaint, and on your dime…                    But who knows, maybe the whole block will catch on to your kind of awesome!

The question is, is this your forever home? If not, how long do you plan on staying? Are you planning to do something that simply cannot be undone? Are there CC&R’s in your neighborhood?

If this is your forever home, then throw away your concerns! Of course you can’t do anything that will compromise the structural integrity of your building, but other than that, the only opinion you should care about it yours! (and well, I suppose that person that likely shares the mortgage with you!) If you live in a neighborhood with CC&R’s then you will need to comply with those rules, but you can still get plenty creative and express yourself even within the confines of rules!

I told my husband I wanted a life size ballerina giraffe sculpture in our front yard, he looked at me like I was crazy, but again, it’s my house too and I really don’t care if the neighbors think it’s weird, it would make me happy!

However, if you only plan to live in this home for a short period of time you may want to think about keeping your bold choices to elements that can be easily changed out for a palette that is more monochromatic or art installations that you can take with you when you leave (that is, if the new owner doesn’t want them!). Go ahead and paint your house a rainbow with a leprechaun mural, but when it comes time to sell, maybe leave an option for home buyers to repaint, and on your dime…                  

But who knows, maybe the whole block will catch on to your kind of awesome!

6 Steps to Consider for Project Planning

Step One: Budget

No matter the size of the project, an appropriate budget should be the first thing you establish, for all projects you can do this yourself. During this preliminary stage, through careful research you can establish an initial project budget, then once the project design gets moving along you can contact a local contractor for more a more accurate budget.

Step Two: Feasibility Study

Can your project be accomplished? While your project may sound like an amazing idea, that doesn't mean it's feasible, like commercial ventures in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Although it sounds great to be able to walk two doors down to the grocery store, in an established residential neighborhood, it is highly unlikely it would ever be permitted by your jurisdiction! Do your research first, or hire a professional to do it for you. Spending a little time and/or money now could save you from going down the wrong path in your investment.

Step Three: Contractor or DIY?

You may not have a choice about which route you take, but either route you need to know exactly what you're signing yourself up for. From financing, to permitting, to ground breaking and beyond, it may all be your job. No matter what though, you need to be clear on who's responsible for what, because soon your contractor will be on your speed dial and talking to them will likely become a daily routine. Be sure to interview several contractors, getting along with all parties involved will help to ensure the success of your project.

Step Four: Design

Depending on the scope of the project and your own abilities, you could execute this yourself. However, depending on the complexity of the project you may want to consider interviewing and hiring a design professional. This nominal cost should result in a better design and help avoid extra costs as your project is being built. Keep in mind, there are many types of projects that by law require the stamp of a professional thus ensuring the safety and welfare of the occupants.

Step Five: Permitting

This may not even apply to your project, but it does apply to most. This step is integral and should be started as soon as possible. Depending on your jurisdiction, and the complexity of your project, this process could take just a matter of days, to months, to quite possibly even years, the whole time costing you time and money. Doing a thorough Feasiblility Study should inform you of the task you have ahead of you at your planning and development departments.

Step Six: Ground Breaking!

Now, this might not be a very big deal for some, as they are now set to build their backyard chicken coup, but for many others, this is the project they've dreamed of for years and now they're finally going to watch (or literally make) it take shape. This can quite literally be the most exhilarating, and exhausting, months, or even years, of your life. Although this is a momentous occasion and worthy of celebration, you should be sure to take the time to mentally prepare yourself for the task ahead as it will likely test you. Many people come out of it ready to start their next big project, like both Sean and I, however, just as many come out with more grey hair, or less hair(!), and a tremendous sigh of relief and thanks that it's finally done and they'll never have to go through it again! Whatever the outcome of your emotional state, in the end, you will be overjoyed that it is all over and done with, and, if you took the proper steps, it will have been a successful and far more enjoyable process. Keep in mind why there even is the saying, "On time and under budget," and why it's regarded as such a good statement to be able to make!

After all these steps have been taken, or taken into consideration, I hope you are able to enjoy your chicken coop, remodel, new house, or maybe even your new grocery store, or at least the profits from your well thought out venture for years and years to come, I know I will!

Landscapes

Buildings are generally comprised of straight lines and measurable distances to discrete points. In the design of buildings, we generally do not get to work with curving shapes very often because of this. For a recent small project, we were asked to create a landscaping plan which contained a large amount of curving geometry.  This was a bit of a learning process but the final result will give the owners a very organic backyard space where they can enjoy their beautiful gardens and tall trees. 

 
 

Haven’s New Workshop

 Haven's future office on Second Ave in Ferndale, Washington.

Haven's future office on Second Ave in Ferndale, Washington.

Haven Design Workshop has been in the process of creating a new office space for the past few years.  While it has taken some time to find the right site that would accommodate the new workshop and living spaces, the goal is closer to being constructed.  

Since purchasing a corner lot in Ferndale on the corner of Second Avenue and Eaton at the end of 2015, the team has been working out the specifics.  The new office, with 1,000 square feet will be an upgrade from our current 500 square feet of workspace.  Though we’ve been able to make it work comfortably, the larger space will allow for a separate conference room from the work space, more storage space, and more work space for each team member.

There will also be three townhouses, and two lofts as part of the project.  Each unit will be about 1,250 square feet and have an open living area with kitchen, eating, entertaining space, and deck/patio, and three bedrooms and two baths.  The two buildings, each containing three units, will form a central court. 

  Building 1 First Floor Plan_(1) Office Entry (2) Reception (3) Office Bathroom (4) Conference Room (5) Townhouse Covered Porch (6) Entry (7) Bathroom (8) Living (9) Kitchen (10) Dining (11) Storage

Building 1 First Floor Plan_(1) Office Entry (2) Reception (3) Office Bathroom (4) Conference Room (5) Townhouse Covered Porch (6) Entry (7) Bathroom (8) Living (9) Kitchen (10) Dining (11) Storage

  Building 1 Second Floor Plan (1) Office Library (2) Workspace (3)Townhouse Bathroom (4) Bedroom (5) Laundry

Building 1 Second Floor Plan (1) Office Library (2) Workspace (3)Townhouse Bathroom (4) Bedroom (5) Laundry

With construction projected to start this fall, Haven is hoping to be in their new space with the next year.

 

 

 

The SketchUp to Layout Difference

Haven switched to using SketchUp and Layout for both the design development (DD) and construction document (CD) phase back in 2008, after lack of enthusiasm with 2D drawing programs.  The programs are intuitive to use and backed with friendly customer service, and they allow us to accurately model the entire project. This helps to convey the experience of the space to the client before construction is even begun.  We’ve realized the benefit of using SketchUp for a long time.  What we didn’t realize until attending SketchUp Basecamp this year was how few people are using Layout to create their drawing sets, especially construction documents.   

SketchUp is an easy to use 3D modeling program that is widely used by a variety of disciplines.  Layout was made to create drawing sets from this 3D model.  By setting up scenes in the model and importing this into Layout, you can even create an intricate set of drawings like construction documents.  This keeps the drawings accurate and allows opportunity to visually portray the feeling of the space while containing technical information as well for contractors to build from.  

Below is an example of the difference of using Layout. The first two images were drawn with Layout and the second two images are from a 2D program that we previously used.  While both are beautiful in their own right, using Layout certainly helps add depth to the drawings.  Everyone has different abilities of being able to visualize a space from looking at a flat 2D drawing.  By using a variety of 2D and 3D scenes, we're able to convey the  character of the space.   

 The floor plan of a custom residence that contains a lot of technical information, but also  begins to convey a sense of the space.  

The floor plan of a custom residence that contains a lot of technical information, but also  begins to convey a sense of the space.  

 A couple of sections through the same custom residence as above.  By layering scenes on top of one another, Haven is able provide sections to scale while also giving depth to the space.  

A couple of sections through the same custom residence as above.  By layering scenes on top of one another, Haven is able provide sections to scale while also giving depth to the space.  

 The floor plan of the 'Aldergrove Residence' drawn in a 2D program.

The floor plan of the 'Aldergrove Residence' drawn in a 2D program.

 The elevations of the 'Aldergrove Residence' drawn in a 2D program.

The elevations of the 'Aldergrove Residence' drawn in a 2D program.

Moving Right Along!

Sean's personal residence is coming along very quickly now! In these latest photos you can see all the walls are up, the rain screen is nearly finished, and the roof is on! There has been much progress as well since these photos were taken just over a week ago which has now gotten the home to the lock up stage! They are on target to have the home finished up and move in ready by the beginning of this next school year! It has been so great watching the progression of this innovative, yet still traditional home!

 Hegstad Residence, front and south side of the home. With the Zip System sheathing this new Net Zero home is both literally and figuratively GREEN!  

Hegstad Residence, front and south side of the home. With the Zip System sheathing this new Net Zero home is both literally and figuratively GREEN!  

 Back and south side of the home

Back and south side of the home

 Upstairs common space/play area with views to the south of the trail that leads to the 2 1/2 acre park that sits just behind the home!

Upstairs common space/play area with views to the south of the trail that leads to the 2 1/2 acre park that sits just behind the home!

 Upstairs loft space for the kids. It's rather cozy at only about 4 1/2' at its' peak, but approx. 12' deep, so a perfect size for a couple of kids to sit and read books and have sleep overs!

Upstairs loft space for the kids. It's rather cozy at only about 4 1/2' at its' peak, but approx. 12' deep, so a perfect size for a couple of kids to sit and read books and have sleep overs!

All Hands on Deck!

At just past the framing stage on Sean's personal residence he decided it was time for us to get out from behind our desks and get our hands dirty! We had long since planned to assist in the build of Sean's home so as to better understand the construction process in order to improve our working drawings. The time has now come and it was a great change of pace! We worked on the rain screen on his home which was explained in detail in our last blog post and will be back in two weeks to continue our work!

 Our Technicians Brenda (L) and Stephen (R) applying Zip System flashing tape to seams.  

Our Technicians Brenda (L) and Stephen (R) applying Zip System flashing tape to seams.  

 Our Technician Stephen (L) and our photographer Jim Smith (R) installing a bug screen for the upper portion of the rain screen, which was also installed on the bottom of the wall.

Our Technician Stephen (L) and our photographer Jim Smith (R) installing a bug screen for the upper portion of the rain screen, which was also installed on the bottom of the wall.

 Our Officer Person Amy (above) and our Technician Brenda (below) installing pressure treated 1x4 boards for the home's rain screen

Our Officer Person Amy (above) and our Technician Brenda (below) installing pressure treated 1x4 boards for the home's rain screen

Our Affordable Traditional Net Zero Haven

Part 2: What it means to be Net Zero and how this will be achieved in the Hegstad Haven

There are many defining factors that go into creating a Net Zero home, today we will take a deeper look into the home's exterior walls. Firstly you need to create an efficient envelope, this is done with the use of extra insulation, thicker walls, and the reduction of thermal breaks throughout.

To get the higher quality envelope we made a thicker exterior wall, however, we needed to make the construction as affordable as possible. In order to meet this goal we first started with you typical 2x6 exterior stud walls at 16" on-center, as framers can build these walls efficiently. On the exterior side of this wall we have added 2x4's running horizontally at 2' on-center. By adding these we have given added protection against thermal bridging on this portion of the envelope. Next we added a Zip-System sheathing to the exterior instead of plywood and building wrap, doing this does not give added R-Value, but instead gives a much higher resistance to any water penetrating through this layer as the sheathing is factory coated with a water proofing membrane. On the exterior of the Zip-System there will then be a rain screen for added protection against moisture becoming entrapped within the walls. The rain screen also helps to further reduce thermal transfer and since it is very simple to construct it does not have a nominal effect on the overall cost. Finally, there will be hard board added with wood siding to complete the exterior finish. Overall this will make the exterior walls approximately 8 3/4" thick, not including interior drywall. Now, prior to adding the interior drywall the cavity of the wall will be filled with High-Density Cellulose. This was chosen over traditional fiberglass insulation for several reasons, one being that spraying in the insulation coats the 2x6's and 2x4's and all their joints, which is where the majority of your thermal bridging occurs. Another reason for choosing High-Density Cellulose is that it is only 4 PSF. Typical fiberglass insulation is heavier and eventually starts to sag under it's own weight, creating entirely uninsulated cavities at the top of your walls! Lastly, it is made of, up to, 85% recycled materials, helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the new home. All this forward thinking will bring the envelope of the home to an insulation value of R-27, rather than the standard R-21, making the exterior envelope of the home very well insulated with little to no thermal breaks and little to no chance for moisture to become entrapped in the walls, which is of extreme importance in our moist climate!