The 2020 Green Building Directory from Green Built Alliance features an article about biophilic design written by one of our staff members, Margaret Chandler. Biophilic design is a design principal used to reinforce connectivity to nature inside a building through thoughtful space planning. The feature details our approach to biophilic office design in our renovation of Eagles Nest Outfitters headquarters in East Asheville. From the article: "The opportunities for biophilic architecture in an industrial office park are not as limited as they might seem. Eagles Nest Outfitters, an Asheville-based outdoor company also known as ENO, had outgrown their downtown Asheville location and

Our client, an avid outdoorsman and environmentalist, came to us with a unique piece of land in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Our shared vision for this modern cabin design was to minimize the impact on this fragile ecosystem. The building site is within a dense red spruce forest at 5,700 feet elevation. The evergreen forest and high elevation create a micro climate and habitat that supports rare species of flora and fauna. The design concept began with concealing the visual impact of the cabin as much as possible. We placed the cabin downhill, away from the parking area and preserved a

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

  This light-filled modern farmhouse in Mill Spring, North Carolina serves as a relaxing refuge for its owners. The home is tucked in the countryside on a horse farm with rolling pastures and beautiful mountain landscape. Our clients wanted a home that would be cozy for them and their dogs but could also maintain a comfortable feel when hosting extended family and friends. Our clients chose the Polk County property for the existing horse facilities on site, as well as the broader equestrian community near by. There was an existing house on the property that was beyond repair which gave us an

The 2017 Green Built Alliance Directory hit newsstands recently and includes a feature written by one of our own, Margaret Chandler. The article details how our office put together a sustainable action plan following the installation of a solar panels on our roof. After the panels were installed, we wrote a Sustainability Statement, a formal policy that outlines our studio’s commitment to a more sustainable future. This policy guides our employees on their day-to-day in order to raise their awareness of our environmental impact. It includes recycling and composting, and an office supply purchasing policy that favors local products. We

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