The 4th Annual Climate Adaptive Design Symposium is happening this week at The Collider. This year’s conference theme is “Deep Retrofit” – renovation of existing buildings to promote sustainable design. The two-day event begins on Thursday evening with a lecture that is free and open to the community. Friday’s conference is geared toward design and construction professionals. Six credit hours of professional development will be offered for Friday’s conference and one credit hour for Thursday’s lecture. Continuing education credits will be provided upon request. The conference is a collaboration between the AIA Asheville and CASE Consultants International. See below for a full schedule

  Our Craven Gap Residence has become the first home in North Carolina to earn Zero Energy certification from the International Living Future Institute. Part of the Living Building Challenge, Zero Energy Certification is the most ambitious of all energy certifications, requiring actual, rather than modeled, performance. This means to receive certification, the Craven Gap residence had to be operational for at least twelve consecutive months prior to evaluation. “Energy efficiency has come a long way the past 20 years, and zero energy buildings are the new goal,” said Duncan McPherson, Principal of Samsel Architects and lead architect on the project. “The

Our Old Fort Cabin is featured in a brand new book called The Family Cabin by Dale Mulfinger. The book is a 300-page collection of cabins throughout North America and stories from the families that live in them. We and our clients are happy to be chosen to be part of the book. It is available from Taunton Press or can be ordered on Amazon. Old Fort Cabin The homeowners of this cabin are passionate about fly-fishing, so when they found property with a designated trout stream, it was a natural fit. We developed a design that allows them to experience both

This spring marks three years since the Samsel Architects studio has been using solar power. In early 2014, a series of solar panels were placed in service on the roofs of 60 and 64 Biltmore Avenue, with four large photovoltaic (PV) arrays cantilevered off the building. The four cantilevered panels are visible from street level and make a powerful statement that our community embraces sustainability and innovation. Our unique solar installation, by Sundance Power Systems, is the result of design challenges that were posed by a roof with many obstructions and limited space. Mounting fifty-seven of the one hundred and seventeen modules

Our studio recently hosted a group of students from Appalachian State University to provide feedback on their Race to Zero entry. Race to Zero is an annual student design competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy intended to inspire college students to create market-ready, creative design solutions for energy-efficient homes. Before the students submit their final design, they will spend months brainstorming, designing and getting crucial feedback from professionals who are already achieving “green” design - which is where we come in. Andrew Windham, Assistant Professor of Building Science and the team’s faculty lead, asked us to weigh in on

Our Fontana Lake House was recently awarded a 2016 Merit Award from AIA North Carolina. This state award is given out every year to recognize quality in residential design. The Fontana house is LEED Gold certified and serves as a serene retreat for a family of four. It is situated almost at the water’s edge with generous views of the lake, the surrounding forest, and the passenger train bridge in the near distance. The home’s design was inspired by its surroundings. It blends into the wooded hillside through use of a neutral color palette and natural materials. Inside, simple forms and

Samsel Architects is proud to say we received a gold rating in Asheville’s Green Workplace Challenge! The Green Workplace Challenge is a self-assessment tool for any local business to evaluate their environmental impact and is a great resource for gathering new ideas. The program awards ratings of bronze, silver, gold and platinum based on high levels of achievement in four categories: Employee Involvement & Community Outreach Energy & Water Waste & Consumption Transportation The ability to quantify environmental responsibility allows us and other local companies to measure and improve performance. We hope to use the tool to continually update our practices

The WNC Green Building Council will be hosting CiderFest NC 2016 this weekend. This is the fourth year for the cider tasting event, and it will feature local food, live music and, of course, great ciders! This year's event will be held along the French Broad River at the Salvage Station – 468 Riverside Drive, on Saturday, October 15, from 1 – 5 PM. From cider lovers looking to sample sips from some of the nation's best craft cider and mead makers, to families looking for kid-friendly fall activities, to area residents interested in supporting and learning more about sustainability,

The Western North Carolina Green Building Council (WNCGBC) recently introduced a new program called Green Gauge. This simple program assesses how green an existing home actually is. It is the perfect comparison tool for buyers or sellers of green homes or for homeowners needing recommendations on how to make their home healthier and more efficient. Green Gauge participants receive recommendations for energy upgrades as well as an estimate of how these improvements can reduce utility bills and improve their Home Energy Score (HES). The HES is an energy-rating system from the U.S. Department of Energy that measures your home’s energy performance.

We are delighted to announce that our Fontana Lake House won Fine Homebuilding Readers’ Choice Award! Thank you to everyone who voted for our project and helped us to get to number one! This LEED Gold certified home serves as a serene family retreat and is situated almost at the water’s edge on Fontana Lake. The home’s design was inspired by its surroundings and uses a neutral color palette and natural materials. Inside, simple forms and clean lines are used throughout to create a peaceful atmosphere for this family to enjoy. Abundant windows and a glass-enclosed breezeway connecting the two sides