When initially researching passive solar design, Kelly happened onto an informative renewable energy You Tube video. The speaker, Christi Weber, just so happened to be a passive house designer who just so happened to work for a Madison-based architectural firm, Design Coalition, Inc (DCI). It didn't take long to connect the destiny dots. If we wanted to build a truly passive solar/net-zero home, we would need expert assistance. Christi, and partner Lou's like-minded approach to sustainable construction offered the perfect starting point to our home-building journey.
In addition to designing the innovative wall & flooring systems, procuring a WI-based window/door manufacturer, and making our new home exterior exactly as we'd hoped... possibly the greatest gift DCI has given us is our contractor. Aldo Partners. Recognizing that few area builders (read, none) had ever constructed a residential structure to this degree of energy efficiency, they recommended an extensive interview process to find the right fit. We cannot thank DCI enough for both the process and the outcome.
Like buying the land, working with Aldo Partners has simply "felt right" from the very beginning. Their mission, Design-Build-Sustain, obviously jives with ours. But well beyond that Aldo Partners has provided the steady guidance, openmindedness, and engineering acumen an endeavor of this scope requires.
Frankly, we had significant sticker shock when the original pricing came back. Andy & Tim committed themselves to making this project work within a budget we could live with. We were not willing to compromise on any energy-efficiency aspects of the house, including wall-system, high-density insulation, metal roof and water cachement system. We were willing to simplify interior finishes and fixtures while maintaining an emphasis on local, natural, repurposed material sourcing wherever possible. Andy & Tim met the challenge head-on and we could not be more satisfied.
The professionalism, responsiveness, and dedication Aldo Partners has exhibited at every stage of this project has been exemplary.
A close personal friend, Paul also owns a highly acclaimed Chicago-area design firm. Seeking his input on our new home felt akin to asking Bo Ryan to give our sons ball-handling lessons. OK, perhaps that's a stretch but Paul did design Oprah's closet, among other equally impressive residential and commercial spaces.
What began as basic floorplan review and general aesthetic consultation quickly turned into complete design oversight. Our hands were beyond full starting the farm and we needed help. Paul believed in our objectives and wanted to contribute, in his words, "to this special project." From millwork and fixture specifications to material and finish selections and everything in-between, Paul has dedicated his precious time and professional expertise. His understanding of the construction process, meticulous attention to detail, and keen artistic sense offer a truly comprehensive design service.
Not only is Paul an immensely talented designer, he is a true friend. We trust him implicitly to make our new home functional, authentic, and stunning.