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towards PERMATECTURE... : design-based investigations into the interconnected natures of natural + built environments, and the evolving role of the architectural + urban designer in the early 21st century

a portfolio of works by :

william | penland LEED GA

towards PERMATECTURE... : design-based investigations into the interconnected natures of natural + built environments, and the evolving role of the architectural + urban designer in the early 21st century

a portfolio of works by :

william | penland LEED GA


1 : the art or science of building; [specifically] : the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones 2 a : formation or construction resulting from or as if from a conscious act b : a uniform or coherent form or structure 3 : a method or style of building




: an agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings so as to create highly efficent self-sustaining ecosystems

* definitions above cited from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary








UNDERGRADUATE ARCHITECTURAL + URBAN DESIGN liaise_ : Turkey Creek Community Center heal_ : Urban Youth Health + Wellness Center mix_ : Mt Holly Riverfront Village adapt_ : Firebird Arts : Center for Creativity + Social Justice upcycle_ : Riverway Galleries [+ Artist Shelter]

14 16 18 20 22

BUILDING ARTS : MAKING + CRAFT _making : Furniture Design _craft : Sorrell Residence

30 32

FREELANCE + CONTRACTED DESIGN _prefab : Woodhouse速 Woodcottages _re-use : Cole Residence

36 38

GRAPHIC ART[S] photo[graphy] process[ing] sketch[ing] render[ing] collage [making] brand[ing]

42 44 46 48 50 52

STUDIES : INVESTIGATIONS + PROPOSALS critique_precedent investigate_BLDG. systems validate_daylighting propose_sustainability

56 58 60 62


STATEMENT OF P U R P O S E Recent years have witnessed a notable increase in the scope [and depth] of conversations concerning the viability of our established building practices and land-use strategies, especially with respect to their sustained continuation into a future of increasing uncertainty, as well as a shifting geo-political and climatic environment. Humanity has already begun to reap benefits from the emergence of newly-discovered 'green' technologies and 'eco-friendly' insights, suggesting there exist reasonable measures that can be taken now in order to aid in a transition towards a future in which [more] sustainable practices are employed [in the design of our built environments] in hopes of curbing the negative impacts of our exploding human footprint. It has, however, come to light in recent years, that some ideas, touted previously as innovations of the modern age and solutions that were thought to one day help rid the world of its problems, [overcrowding, hunger, etc] are in some cases, the very source[s] of perhaps the greatest obstacles in the way of a sustainable human future. Many in the building industry are familiar with urban sprawl, a practice which, beginning in the early part of the 20th century, tempted many well-to-do urbanites to excape the dirt and filth of the city for the promise of a quieter, more idyllic lifestyle in the suburbs. This migration was not invisioned as a return to the agrarian ways of old, the jobs would continue to remain in the cities. The goal instead was the creation of a new landscape, a garden enclave where those fortunate enough to afford it, could own their own private piece of country paradise on which to raise children, and lay their heads at night, before returning to work in the city for the day. Fear, or perhaps misunderstanding of the encompassing 'wild', prompted a taming, a careful manicuring of this new landscape. Farm, field, and forest were torn asunder, replaced by uniform carpets of turf bordered in concrete on all sides, and planted in row upon row of cookie-cutter houses. The movement, iconocized by both the film industry and the media of the day, was proclaimed as a new 'American Dream,' and layed the foundations for a nationwide development strategy based on continuous expansion and resource depletion that continues to this very day.

It is easy to forget that this new 'American Dream' followed in the footsteps of one much older, that of pioneers and immigrants forging the most productive agricultural nation on the planet out of the wilderness in just a few short centuries. The agrarian landscape of this nation's past functioned in much the same way as a healthy natural ecosystem might: the typical farm was a small endeavor based on subistance; sustainability over time depended upon a diversity of species supported by a network of complex, interdependent relationships; food crops were intermixed with companion plantings, detering pests + disease while retaining moisture + nutrients; field crops were cycled [annually] to improve soil quality over time; waste material [from the fields] was fed to the livestock, whose waste was returned to the field as fertilizer; untouched wilderness areas were intermingled with the agrarian, allowing for adequate recharge, ensuring enough clean air and water for all, while providing vital habitat for wildlife [including key pollinating species.] Today, these practices are being utilized by a small number of permaculturalists, but around the time the city-dwellers began their exodus to the new suburbia, a handful of our most distinguished scientists discov-


ered how weapons of war could be used to increase crop production. The utilization of industrial pesticides and fertilizers provided drastic increases in yeild at a minimum of cost and effort, even on marginal lands, ultimately resulting in a second, slightly more obscure, form of sprawl to establish itself - industrial agriculture. This new system used the energy of countless organisms, dead for millions of years, to provide crops with chemical [based] nourishment, disease prevention, and pest protection; setting the stage for vast monocultures which, over the span of entire landscapes, function to increase the rate of fragmentation and disruption of natural systems. Diversification quickly gave way to specialization in a handful of species, livestock were relocated to feedlots in a failed effort in increase productivity, farmers were replaced by 'more efficient' machines, and the American breadbasket was grabbed up by multi-national conglomerates [who underbid the family farmer] with speculative intrests in controling the world's food supply. These two systems and the standards of our land use practices for decades are in no way sustainable. Since early childhood, I have been fortunate enough to experience [what I believe to be] quite a unique perspective from most in my generation regarding the relationships between mankind and the environments we choose to live in and create. Growing up on a small family farm on the outskirts of the Raleigh suburbs provided me with the opportunity to witness, to a small degree, the symbiotic, self-sustaining landscape of this country's rural past; one where our interaction with the land was much more mutualistic, in respect to the exploitative nature with which we approach it today. As a young man, the importance of this relationship wasn't always clear, but as the suburbs began to encroach on the farms and fields I knew as a child, I realized that the monatanous landscape that replaced them ignored the necessary biological functions of the land. Streams were channeled [some buried completely], wetlands drained, forests flattened, productive fields turned over and stripped of their topsoil. All to make way for 'progress' - the repitition of poorly-built 3500-sf shells on quarter-acre lots with granite countertops and cathedral ceilings. The practice confused me, there seemed to be little logic or reason [beyond profit] to support building in such a fashion. Looking ahead towards college and professional life, a voice inside me suggested that I might just be able to do something about it, if I could learn something about how we got here.

My undergraduate background [Bachelors of Architecture - UNC Charlotte CoA+A] introduced me to many issues critical to the long-term sustainability of our built environments and provided me with a wealth of knowledge regarding the responsible design of buildings and urban spaces which strive to improve quality of life and foster a sense of community, while also functioning conservatively in their consumption of limited resources [bldg. materials, energy, water, etc.] The education I recieved suggested to me that an increasing number of designers are beginning to approach the design of our built environment[s] from the perspective of long-term sustainability. Despite this improvement, it seems that a disconnect persists between the understanding of many regarding the collective impact our sprawling civilization already has on the balance of natural cycles, and the role we [as designers] are playing in continuing these land use practices over the span of ever larger and larger landscapes, with no end in sight. As designers of the built environment, I believe it is time we acknowledge that the human footprint doesn't stop at the edge of the site [or the edge of the city for that matter] but rather, it extends much farther into the landscape. The moves we choose to establish on any particular site have far-reaching consequences for the health and vitality of the [natural] systems we depend on. Humanity's expanding footprint is quickly approaching a critical point with regards to the collective impact that our predominant land use strategies are having on the natural systems our modern institutions are so inherently dependent upon. The scientific community is largely in agreement that [due to climatic change] the established paradigm will undoubtedly face incredible threats to it's continued existance over the ensuing decades. Despite this, many institutions continue to support a system that is based on illness, fostering an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality that refuses to look at the whole picture and take action, instead choosing to feign ignorance for the sake of profit. My goal [through acceptance into a graduate program] is to gain a greater understanding of responsible design strategies that can be employed across the landscape of our built environments in order to gain the knowledge that is necessary to help in building towards a sustainable human future where dense, walkable cities, productive rural areas, and protected natural spaces exist in self-sustaining balance. It is with [all] this in mind that I sincerelly ask for your consideration of acceptance.

William Penland, LEED GA P R O F E S S I O N A L R´ E S U M´ E

3716 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205

t : 919.434.1076

e :

w :

objective : Acceptance into a graduate-level course of study focusing on issues of Urban Design, Community Planning, and/or Sustainable Development

education : College of Arts + Architecture : The University of North Carolina at Charlotte [Charlotte, North Carolina] Bachelor of Architecture : focus on adaptive reuse strategies, brownfield redevelopment, historic preservation, etc. Bachelor of Arts in Architecture : Minor in American Studies : focus on issues of architectural design related to passive solar design, day-lighting strategies, natural ventilation, materiality, building systems, urban planning + mixed-use development, etc. Apex High School [Apex, North Carolina] High School Diploma

May 2009 May 2008

May 2004

experience : architectural design + building craft Apprentice Copper Roofing + Architectural Details Specialist Copper Innovations, Inc. [Mooresville, North Carolina] focus on design, fabrication, and installation of traditional copper + all-metal roofing systems, weatherproofing systems + custom architectural details [residential + commercial] Freelance Designer Penland Architectural Design [Charlotte, NC] schematic design, design development of additions + renovations : Cole residence : Durham, NC

Nov. 2011 to May 2012

Aug. 2011 to present

Sub-contracted Designer Woodhouse® The Timberframe Company [Mansfield, Pennsylvania] WoodCottages® Package : schematic design + design development of a package of five mini-houses w/ focus of design being based on ideas of prefabrication, super-efficiency, affordability + code compliance

Oct. 2011 to Jan. 2012

Digital Modeler, Apprentice Carpenter + Permaculturalist [in training] Mountain Works Sustainable Development, Inc. [Boone, North Caroliona] carpentry + construction [SIP installation, interior outfit, finish carpentry, etc] Sorrell Residence : Fleetwood, NC design development + construction documents : Sorrell Draft-wood residence : Fleetwood, North Carolina administrative assistance [production of permaculture site proposals to prospective clients, material takeoffs, etc.] restorative forestry, animal-powered logging + permaculture-based agriculture [limited 'in-the-field' assistance]

Oct. 2009 to April 2011


experience [cont'd] : architectural design + building craft summer 2008 Architectural Intern MBAJ Architecture, PA [Raleigh, North Carolina] design development + construction documents : '08 Bond Projects [additions, renovations + new const.] : Franklin Co, NC design development + construction documents : new Johnston County Community College Library : Smithfield, NC DRC Technician / Laser Lab Assistant UNC Charlotte School of Architecture [Charlotte, North Carolina] assist fellow students in operating laser-cutting machines for use in physical modeling of architectural design projects Summer Co-op Student Crowder Construction Company : Civil + Environmental [Apex, North Carolina] on-site construction + office participation of additions, renovations + new construction of Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Facilities project : Raleigh, NC

spring 2006 + spring 2007 summer 2005 + summer 2006

professional credentials + acedemic awards : LEED Green Associate Excellence in Critical Exploration Chancellor's List Dean's List

USGCB Professional Credential : July 2012 UNCC College of Arts + Architecture Book Award : May 2009 UNC Charlotte : Spring 2009 UNC Charlotte : Fall 2007, Spring 2009

affiliations : US Green Building Council - Emerging Professionals UNCC AIAS Freedom by Deseign American Institute of Architecture Students Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity

North Carolina Chapter : July 2011 - present project build team : Spring 2008 UNCC Chapter : 2005 - 2008 Gamma Lambda Chapter : 2005 - 2007

software proficiency : Autodesk AutoCaD 2004, 2008 [6+ yrs], Autodesk Maya 2008 [< 1yr], Adobe Creative Suite CS2, CS5 [5+ yrs], Microsoft Office Suite 2004, 2011 [â&#x2030;&#x2C6; 8yrs], SPOT 4.0[< 1yr], Google SketchUp 6, 8 [6+ yrs}, Google LayOut [1+ yrs], etc.

professional references : Angela Crawford Easterday, AIA : principal, MBAJ Architecture PA Charles Peck : architect, WoodhouseÂŽ The Timberframe Company Ian Snider : co-founder, Mountain Works Sustainable Development, Inc.

tel : 919.573.6403 e : tel : 570.549.6230 e : tel : 828.266.3379 e :




liaise_ heal_ mix_ adapt_ upcycle_


Turkey Creek Community Center course : second year studio : spring semester instructor : Josie Holden - Bulla, UNC - Charlotte project location : Turkey Creek, Mississippi primary foci : community identity, envirtonmental restoration project description : Turkey Creek is an historically significant, yet highly impover ished African-American community located just beyond the city limits of Gulfport, Mississippi. The community can trace its founding back nearly 150 years to the signing of the emancipation proclamaimation, when a group of newly-freed slaves decided to settle there. The community has historically consisted largly, of families living a subsistance lifestyle centered around fishing, and recreation on the creek that bears it's name, that is supplemented by small-scale agriculture. Sadly, this way of life has recently been made unsustainable due to development initiatives of neighboring municipalities, the expansion of the [adjacent] regional airport, pollution from nearby creasote plants and forestry operations, and channelization of the watershed itself. The result is a multi-faceted assault on those recourses the community has histrically depended upon for it's sustinance, and the continuation of its culture. The goal of this project was to design a community center [to be built out of readily available, affordable, and easily assembled materials] with the aim of serving as a liaison to the outside community as to the historical significance, and modern plight of this marginalized community, as well as to serve as a model for future growth that would be respectful of that history, and ecologically supportive [as much as is possible] of a subsistance lifestyle. The proposed design attempts to respect the residential scale of the neighborhood by splitting up the program into four masses, forming a linear axis that steps lightly accross the site on piers, connected by a boardwalk of locally-sourced timber, from it's entry on a main road to a creek-side pavilion at the rear of the site. The use of accessible, and affordable, building materials and technologies is prioritized in order to maximize opportunities for community involvment. Masses are framed in simple stick-built construction, clad with lap siding, or operable slats that open to take advantage of natural ventilation. Footings and foundations are of poured concrete incorporated with fly-ash, utilizing oyster shells as agregate, taking advantage of local waste streams through recycling methods.

east elevation


Streambank remediation seeks to find real-world solutions for reclaimation of the public commons, seeking to clean the community's main water source, re-create lost wetland habitats for fish, mammals, and birds. and restore the natural flow of the water channel for maintainence of the hydrological system into the future. Remediation of the site continues onto land through planting of native vegetative communities around the structures.


site plan


north elevation


Urban Youth Health + Wellness Center course : instructor : project location : primary foci :

third year studio : spring semester Carrie Gault, RA, UNC - Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina [5th St. @ 6th St.] urban infill, community-oriented development

project description : The ravages of

The goal of this project was to design a facility where area youth belonging to the Charlotte region's most marginalized populations could recieve the care they most desperately need. Proposed as an activator for an infill site in Charlotte's 4th ward, program consists of 4500 sf of healthcare and office space centered around a main courtyard, [inner sanctum] and includes a mental health center, a physical health center, and sexual health center. Patients can receive education, testing and therapy [among other services] depending on their individual needs.

[to Uptown Âť]

disease [both mental + physical] often disproportinately affect the urban poor more than any other population group. Sadly, members of this group are typically the least able to afford treatment for their various ailments, and thus the most likely to remain susceptible to illness, addiction, financial insecurity, etc. [due to high costs & lack of accessibility to quality health-care]

[Historic Elmwood Cemetary]

Sometimes individuals seeking care from centers offering similar services to those proposed by this project can recieve negative attention, or down-right harassment from groups with particular religious or political agendas. In extreeme cases, some individuals seeking care may be shamed into refusing said care or treatment. With this in mind, the driving force behind the proposed design, became that of creating a sacred space, an inner sanctum at the center of the project, an island of peace in the restless city, where illness and stress can begin to give way to healing and relaxation.

[Charlotte Gateway Center]

site plan





section : inner sanctum



sketch : 5th street perspective


site section


Mount Holly Riverfront Village course : fourth year topical studio : fall semester instructor : Deborah Ryan, UNC - Charlotte project location : Mount Holly, North Carolina primary foci : mixed-use development, urban infill, eco-tourism project : Mount Holly is a small suburban city located on the banks of description the Catawba river, west of Charlotte, North Carolina. Incorporated in the late 1800's, the downtown area still retains much of it's historic architectural character, consisting of a dense mainstreet area surrounded by historic mill villages, and though typical of many small towns and cities of the period in the southern piedmont region, is one of the few remaining places where such character can still be found. The city's historic nature, however, is arguably under threat; it's close proximity to the city of Charlotte has transformed this former textile town into a sprawling bedroom community, in jeopardy of loosing it's individual identity to that of a simple extension of the greater Metro-lina organism.

site plan


The primary goal of this project was to establish a link between the city and the neighboring river where none had previously existed, the reasons for which are two-fold; 1) to establish a model for future development in the underdeveloped riverfront area, and 2) to serve as a public gateway to recreational opportunities on [and around] the river itself. The proposal takes advantage of an old boat-ramp site adjacent to the river, as well as a major thoroughfare leading to the downtown area. The site's high-visibility, proximity to the historic downtown area, and lack of historic buildings on site, leave the door wide open for a modern mixed-use project, respectful of local vernacular, yet one that [hopefully] serves to act as a model for future development in the immediate area. Program includes 6000 sf retail space, a cafe/resturaunt with rooftop patio, 19 luxury condominiums, and a micro-harbor/ eco-tourism outfitter [canoe + kayak rental] space. Site improvements are a major part of the proposed design. Parking, and pedestrian access are improved, connections with local greenways are made, and a new town square is established at the main entrance to the site. An unnaturally steep, man-made riverbank [rip-rap, etc.] is remediated by a series of terraces planted in native riparian flora, collecting, slowing, and cleaning stormwater runoff from streets and buildings on it's way to the river. A microharbor provides mooring for passing vessels wishing to stop by town after a day on the water, while piers + docks provide public access for fishing, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, etc.

unit floorplans


F i r e b i r d A r t s : Center for Creativity + Social Justice course : fourth topical year studio : spring semester instructor : Carrie Gault, RA, UNC - Charlotte project location : Charlotte, North Carolina primary focus : adaptive re-use, transit-oriented development project description : Charlotte, like many places in the american south, is a city with foundations planted firmly in the american textile industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Despite increasing development pressure of recent years, there still exist places where the city's architectural character and history remain intact. Historic buildings harken back to an older time, but they also perform a much more valuable service by helping to establish a 'sense of place' and draw connections between past and present. The Chadbourn Mill, located about one mile north of uptown in Charlotte's NoDa [Historic Arts District] neighborhood, was at one time the headquarters of a company [Chadbourn Hosiery Mills, Inc.] which employed over 1,600 people in numerous mills spanning from Georgia to Virginia. For years the company flourished in Charlotte, until the textile industry began outsourcing manufacturing processes overseas, and like so many others, the mill eventually closed. The goal of this project was to reactivate the [at the time] vacant structure through the employment of adaptive-reuse strategies, transforming the building into an artsoriented community center, invisioned as a place of collaboration between, and providor of support, for artists from across the region, engaged in various disciplines, and of all age groups. It is also meant to serve as an activator for the neighborhood at large. A [future] lightrail station, located adjacent to the site across N. Brevard Street offers access to mass transportation, as well as an opportunity to help establish and influence the development of a future tranist node. Program includes all classroom, practice, and exhibition space[s] required to facilitate the production of visual, musical and theatrical art[s], as well as necessary support services, and is arranged around a central circulation corridor punctuated by three pavilions or 'nodes of mixing' which operate as both as collaboration + meeting areas, as well as


entry-level plan

basement-level plan light wells, serving to collect and disperse much needed natural daylight into the dark industrial interior. Program is divided by use of [adaptable] translucent partition walls. Spaces are defined, while at the same time, varying degrees of transparency allow the passage of light between interior walls, helping to reduce day-time energy demand while providing a visitor with a masked [if slightly voyeristic] view of the movement[s] or action[s] occuring inside individual spaces.


Riverway Galleries [+ Artist Shelter] course : instructor[s] : project location : primary foci :

fifth year comprehensive studio : CAP document Chris Beorkrem, Jen Shields : UNC - Charlotte Asheville, North Carolina adaptive re-use, historic preservation, environmental restoration, community-oriented development

project description : Asheville is a city located at the confluence of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers in the western part of North Carolina. Historically, these two rivers, in conjunction with the Western NC Railroad, which shadows the rivers, snaking parallel the riverbank, for over a mile at their confluence, collectively served as the main transportation arteries for people, goods, and services into, and out of an entire region. Together they facilitated the establishment of textile mills [and mill villages] in the areas between the river[s] and downtown areas, transforming the once small mountain town into a veritable city [at one time the 3rd largest in the state]. The crash of 1929 and subsequent Great Depression hit Asheville especially hard, the mills were forced to close, and a once prosperous, industrial riverside district fell into disrepair. When the local economies finally regained their feet, the automobile and interstate highway system had replaced the rivers and railroads as the preferred mode[s] of transportation, and [for nearly half a century] the riverside district was cut off, fragmented, and largely forgotten by the city it helped to build. Today there is a new movement afoot in Asheville's riverside district. Artists are transforming the old mill buildings of the 'River Arts District' into open studios + exhibition spaces. Visitors walk straight into the working studios of painters, potters, wood workers, metal sculptors, glass blowers & more. There exists a tangible neighborhood identity, a culture that seeks to promote an environment that is conducive to these artistic endeavors, that relies on community support, that fosters community interaction, that respects the history of the place, and seeks to maintain its unique character into the future.


site section

site plan The goals of this project were to support the existing neighborhood culture of the River Arts District by providing the aspiring [sometimes struggling] artist with affordable studio space, exhibition space and housing options, as well as to activate a future community node on a reclaimed brownfield site with small-scale mixed-use retail in combination with a community center. The project takes advantage of the historic Asheville Cotton Mill's two forgotten remnants and a vacant lot adjacent to the Cotton Mill Studios and Chesterfield Mill sites. The sculpted ruins of the industrial-age remnants are structurally reinforced to become galleries and exhibition space[s]. They are spanned by a wood-decked plinth on concrete piers, upon which stacks of upcycled shipping containers [remnents themselves] are supported, rising safely above the frequently inundated

Riverway Galleries [cont'd]

floodplain. The [unimpacted] surface is replanted with native riparian plants, except directly under the stacks/plinth where permeable surfaces provide necessary space for parking and vehicular access. The container stacks, along with all exterior circulation paths/balconies, operable shading screens, and rooftop solar installations are assembled as a 'kit of parts', seeking to maximize the utilization of mass-production as a solution to speed and ease of construction as well as to minimize cost. Exterior [container] surfaces are covered with insulative paint to act as a reflective thermal barrier, while interior surfaces are furnished for daylighting, wired for electricity + internet, plumbed, and insulated to allow for the maintenance of thermal comfort. Interiors are left as a blank canvas, envisioned to be 'tagged' over the life of the structure by the transient occupants who will utilize them. The juxtaposition of the new industrial element with the old connects past with present and grounds the project in it's place. The utilization of the new element is intented to fit with the neighborhood aesthetic while doing something that is [structurally] new and different in the region. It is not, however, intended to blend seamlessly in with the existing fabric, but rather to begin to define what the new fabric of the neighborhood [might] become in the future.



BLDG. [arts] : M+C



making_ craft_


FURNITURE DESIGN : Woodworking course : instructor : primary foci : project description :

Furniture Making Richard Price, UNC - Charlotte connections, joinery, materiality, finishes, quality

Humans have been engaged in the craft of furniture making for thousands of years. It's introduction can be traced back to the most basic utilitarian gestures of tool-making [creation of a place to sit, a place to lie down, a place to store food, etc] however, it did not take long for our species to transform these simple gestures into something more creative. Out of this transformation emerged a constantly-evolving art form most societies are still engaged in today, one which until recent years had long-since been a staple industry in the western piedmont and eastern mountain regions of North Carolina. The goal of this project was to design and construct two pieces of 'modern' furniture that draw inspiration from the details [proportion, joinery, material chioce, etc] which embody the popularized arts and crafts + craftsman style movements of the late 19th + early 20th centuries in an effort to sharpen students skills in woodworking craft. The finished objects[s] utilize various materials including regionally-sourced black walnut and white ashe timber, figured ashe veneers, and furniture grade plywoods, adhesives, finishes, etc. Processes involved include sizing + surfacing of materials, the utilization of mortise + tennon joinery and bridal joinery, the installation of hardwood inlays, and veneer applications. A 'modern' twist seeks to lighten [visually] the bulk of the 'craftsman' proportions by implementing a design centered around the use of 'floating planes'. For use in the coffee table, solid brass spacers are milled and inserted between table surface and structural support. Bolted together, they break up the silouette, allowing for [ever so slight] reflections and highlights to reveal the intricate understructure. Traditional corner supports migrate to the midpoints of each side, further emphasizing the floating nature of the table surface. Similarly, the nightstand dispays an operable box, that in keeping with the aforementioned theme 'floats' between over-simplified walnut supports. Brass inset hinges and door hardware are used to complete.



DESIGN-BUILD : Carpentry + Construction project title : project location : supervisor : primary foci :

Sorrell Residence Fleetwood, North Carolina Ian Snider, Mountain Works, Inc. adaptive re-use, draftwood construction, thermal efficiency, life-cycle cost analyses. etc.

project description :

A professor once told me, "The greenest buildings are those which are already built," however, sometimes the needs of a building's occupants exceed the capacity of the existing structure as is. In such a situation, the [next most] 'greenest' option is renovation, adaption of the existing condition so as to re-use it in such a way that helps to achieve the occupant's needs + vision, while minimizing waste, energy, and material usage. The Sorrell Residence, represents one example of what an implementation of a holistic approach toward adaptive-reuse strategies in residential structures might look like. The hollow walls of an existing single-story CMU house are reinforced to be used as the foundation for a vertical addition. A timberframe superstructure of locally sourced, selectively harvested, draft-wood timbers is constructed above, wrapped in Structurally Insulated Panels [walls + roof], and roofed with metal. High efficiency glazing is used throughout. Locally sourced draftwood is used for all exterior siding + soffit, all interior paneling, hardwood flooring, and cabinetry. Salvaged red oak, decking from the original roof is resurfaced and used as trim for baseboards and interior doors + windows. River rock used to face the centrally-located chimney is gathered by hand from a nearby mountain-side stream, and recycled tile is used for kitchen countertops and in bathroom showers. Two decks, are constructed, again entirely of locally-sourced draft-wood, this time of Black Locust [natually weather and rot resistant] and treated with a natural tung oil + beeswax sealer. Passive methods for thermal comfort are considered. Utilization of the structure's south-facing orientation is maximized with large expanses of high-efficiency glazing, serving to promote solar heat gain in cold winter months, while casement windows catch cool mountain breezes, allowing for natural ventilation in summer months.

Âť timberframe structure



SE perspective

SW perspective


D : F+C



_pre-fab _re-use


Woodhouse速 Woodcottages

project title : supervisor : primary foci : project description :

Woodhouse速 Woodcottages Home Package Charles Peck, Woodhouse速 Timberframe Company efficiency, affordability, mass production

A Pennsylvania based builder of custom & luxury timberframe homes approached the designer with the intention of producing a package of five [pre-designed] 'micro-houses' ranging in size from 800 sf to 1400 sf, which could be mass-produced in their in-house facility and sold as 'kit homes' to clients accross the country. Project scope includes schematic design + design development of four single-family, and one multi-family, residential unit[s]. All [proposed] solutions are compliant with international building code for residential structures. Special care and attention were paid to reducing square footage & material usage to minimal levels, while maximizing the usable area of the interior volume[s].

1200 sf 損


800 sf »

1000 sf »


Additions + Renovations : Cole Residence



project title : Cole Residence project location : Durham , North Carolina client[s] : Mike + Janie Cole project type : Adaptive Re-use : Residential Additions + Renovations project description : A private couple approached the designer with the intention of renovating a 1950's era concrete block and brick-clad house with a major addition which would effectively double the usable floor area of the dwelling, while allowing for the adaptation of the existing structure to meet their current needs. Project scope includes schematic design, design development, and basic construction documents. Solutions presented are designed in accordance with international residential building code. Special care is taken in finding a visually-appealing solution which utilizes the existing structure with minimal impact, that is respectful of local vernacular, and that optimizes conditions for passive solar heat gain & natural ventilation, all while maximizing opportunities for increased efficiency [through the use of energy-efficient appliances, lighting solutions, insulation, etc.]


GRAPHIC [arts] :



photo[graphy] process[ing] sketch[ing] render[ing] collage [making] brand[ing]


Capture : objects + landscapes



water tower color study

Portrayal : editing + manipulation


upcycle NoDa




Depiction : ideas + visions



Using Maya : reflectivity + luminescence






collage [making]

Representation : layered storytelling

williams - tsein precedent

Âť garden city charlotte



bridging landscapes



Design : logos / brand identity

» upcycle NoDa



penland architectural design




fox hollow farms





critique_ investigate_ validate_ propose_


Prospect Terrace

project title: course : instructor : project description :

CRA Case Study : Prospect Terrace Climate Responsive Architecture John Nelson, UNC-Charlotte

In an effort to curb the malicious effects of 'greenwashing', those of us in the green building industry must critique the work of our contemporaries, helping to keep our collective skills and understanding at the cutting edge, continuously striving to increase building efficiency, and quality of life for those who will inhabit the spaces we create.


Located on an infill site in Asheville, NC's WECAN neighborhood, Prospect Terrace is a 17-unit, residential development of mixed housing types designed by Mathews Architecture and constructed in conjunction with Mountain Housing Opportunities. The purpose of this study is an inquiry into the site-specific climate responsivness of the self-described 'green' project, a critique of the effectiveness and implementation of sustainable design and green building strategies utilized there-in, as well as proposed considerations/suggestions that could improve the project's responsiveness to localized climatic conditions. The project represents the first certified housing development under the NC HealthyBuilt Homes Program. Special care and attention were paid to selecting building materials and processes to improve occupant health both during construction and throughout the life of the home[s]. In addition, the units, consisting of [1+2 bedroom] condos and [2+3 bedroom] houses, are priced affordably from $95k to $140k, providing families and individuals with home ownership opportunities they couldn't otherwise have afforded.

solar exposure

section perpective

plan [existing]


The project utilizes advanced framing techniques, [recycled] blown cellulose insulation, sealed crawl-spaces and HVAC systems. Cement board siding, low VOC paints, recycled content decking and carpet, and bamboo flooring are used throughout. Some units include rooftop solar pv systems, solar hot-water systems, and rain water catchment systems.

AS-BUILT [Duplex Unit]


There are likely few, versed in the green building and sustainable development movements, who would deny the importance given to affordability, a mix of uses [in this case housing types], the utilization of infill sites, and the use of 'green' building materials, as can be found in this project. These moves constitute a concerted effort to create quality housing, which serves not only the future occupant[s], but also the community at large, by consuming fewer rescources, producing [at least a portion of] it's own power on site, and helping to reduce sprawl, while activating a neglected site and fostering community connections.

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Despite the positive, and quite effective measures taken by the project's creators, analysis of site-specific conditions finds the project [as built] lacks a comprehensive response to local climatic conditions. Attention paid to proper solar orientation, and a more thorough utilization of natural ventilation could drastically reduce energy consumption related to maintainance of thermal comfort by passive means, in both the winter and summer months, respectively. Additionally, installation of active solar, and rainwater catchment systems for each unit would be advised as the infrastructure is already in place, and are currently installed on some units.

investigate_BLDG. systems

Container Architecture

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BSI Case Study : Container Architecture Building Systems Integration David Thaddeus, UNC - Charlotte

Design is never a static process. To maintain professional relevance, a designer must constantly be investigating emerging trends in order to stay on the cutting edge of his or her field.

An interesting trend has been steadily picking its way into the design industry's mainstream in recent years. Designed objects [even buildings] are being produced out of repurposed, or upcycled [found] objects, often remnants of our industrial infrastructure, which are, in many cases, produced using suprisingly high levels of embodied energy, which likewise require comperable energy inputs to recycle using conventional methods. This building systems case study delves into the emerging architectural trend of upcycling used ISO shipping containers as an architectural element. An argument is made in support of this particular use of the object as preferable to conventional recycling. Precedents are introduced, placing particular emphasis on various, distinct uses of the object as a building block, a part of a larger structure, and how it can begin to define space within said structure. Inquiry is made into: standard size[s], load/ stacking capacity, container-to-container connections, framing solutions for window + door openings, and interior outfit.



Riverway Galleries + Artist Shelter

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Daylighting Case Study : CAP Document Daylighting Seminar Dale Brentrup, UNC - Charlotte

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Daylighting, the utilization of natural light to illuminate a space through the use of specifically placed windows, wall openings, and reflective surfaces, can have a dramatic impact on the nature, quality, and performance of an interior space. Proper implementation of daylighting strategies has been shown to have numerous positive impacts including, but not limited to, increased human productivity + performance in the classroom + workplace, increased building efficiency, reduced overall life-cycle costs, and more. The building block of the ISO shipping container, while structurally capable of supporting incredible forces is not a space one would describe as comfortable to inhabit. The dark confines of the long, low metal boxes soak up what little light enters from the doors which open at either end. The uninsulated boxes provide little in regards to thermal comfort. In short, to become a viable architectural element, the container needs some work. The solution illustrated in this study is multifaceted, and attempts to transform the cramped conditions of the ISO container into habitable space. The interior is outfit [sides, top + bottom] with lightly-colored wall panels backed with rigid foam insulation, serving to reflect light across the space while maintaining levels of thermal comfort. Some interior walls are activated with windows, or even removed completely in order to break open the regimented box, and provide a mix of spaces for differing uses. The trend continues to the 'ends' of the container where the oversized doors are replaced with high-efficiency sliding-glass openings, which then spill out onto exterior circulation balconies. Clearstory windows are added where appropriate, and a 'daylighting core' serves to bring additional natural light down from the rooftop terrace through the central container stack by use of skylights. The main container mass [and circulation balconies] are then wrapped with an operable vertical shading system, allowing occupants increased control over the solar heat gain and glare associated with the building's east-west orientation.


Permaculture Site Design

Over the past few years, sustainability has become the buzz-word with regards to the immediate future goals of the building industry. Sustainability however, comes in many shapes and sizes. Some would argue that at the pinnacle of an understanding of sustainability lies a comprehensive understanding of, and a systematic approach toward the implementation of, strategies based in the principals of permaculture design.

Permaculture design seeks to integrate human activity [either on a specific site, or across an entire landscape] with natural systems so as to create highly efficent, self-sustaining ecosystems. Inspiration is drawn from the interconnective relationships found in these diverse [self-sustaining] ecosystems, and understanding ultimately dirived, that is then translated physically into any human interaction with the site and surrounding environment. A permaculturalist would look to natural processes and see that [in healthy ecosystems] the elements are always in balance. Among other things, nature, depends on the elemental inputs of clean air. fresh water and healthy soils, it never allows any one species to dominate [for too long], it always prefers biodiversity to monoculture, it continuosly attempts fill every availible niche, it always cleans up after itself, and lets nothing go to waste. There are some who might argue that largescale implementation of permaculture-based design principals would prove antithetical to the current, profit-driven, global economy and geo-political systems. While this perspective may prove valid for specific economic sectors [agricultural monocultures, clearcut forestry,


mountaintop removal coal mining, etc.], or for particular land use strategies such as urban sprawl, I do not believe it to be irreconcilable. It might conversly be argued that, we are already seeing the beginning of the breakdown of nature's support systems [for the production of clean air, fresh water, and healthy soils], if current trends continue [of population growth, climate change, etc] we must fundamentally change the way in which we view human interaction with the environment, we must move away from being apart from the natural world and toward an active participation in it. The projects introduced on this page represent examples of proposals for the implementation of permaculture-based site design in two micro-watershed homesteads in the mountainous regions of western North Carolina. Produced under the auspices of Mountain Works Sustainable Development, Inc. the documents propose site-specific considerations for implementing permaculture principals ranging from, but not limited to: GIS analysis, restorative forestry practices, earthwork installation + rainwater management, organic gardening, animal-assisted agriculture, on-site energy production, establishment of wildlife habitat + silvic gardens, and promotion of sustainable + natural building techniques. The goals are to educate the client[s] as to the importance of a comprehensive approach to permaculture design, to establish a systematic plan that is specific to the economic and ecological needs of both the client and the ecosystem, and to implement said plan in a fashion that fosters and sustains the health and productivity of the system [as a whole] well into the future.

little horse creek permaculture village


65. heart rock hollow


william | penland towards PERMATECTURE...

towards PERMATECTURE...  
towards PERMATECTURE...  

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