concept

2018 AIBD Award Winners

We’re filled with energy and excitement after coming back from the American Institute of Building Design’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia last week! Not only are the AIBD conferences a wonderful time to connect with colleagues and gain fresh inspiration, but two of our founding members of Rocky Mountain Plan Company also received awards for their work.

Bernie Kern Wins the 2018 Designer of the Year Award

Bernie Kern of BBKern DESIGNS won the prestigious Designer of the Year Award, an honor presented by AIBD to the member who has made the most outstanding contribution to the Institute in the past year. Bernie has been a leader in design and forward thinking for many years now, and he launched the AIBD High-Performance Homes Team in 2012, a committee that focuses on providing resources and education about building energy efficient, comfortable, and environmentally safe homes to designers, builders, and consumers. This work led him to take on a prominent role at the 2017 and 2018 International Builder Show.

In the High-Performance Building Zone at the Builder Show, Bernie and his team designed and created a Tiny House Lab, emphasizing innovation in energy efficient materials and high-performing wall and roof framing configurations. Bernie also made himself available to college students during the 2018 Design and Build Day conferences at Weber State University and the University of Central Missouri, resulting in unprecedented national recognition for AIBD to thousands of professionals and students. 

You can read more about Bernie's work with the High-Performance Homes Team as well as find out about other AIBD Conferences and ARDA winners in the latest AIBD Magazine.


LGA Studios Wins for Best Conceptual Design

The American Residential Design Awards (ARDA) is the AIBD’s premier award program exhibiting design excellence in the residential building industry. It spotlights the most creative and innovative residential designers, builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers in the nation and recognizes exceptional design.

LGA Studios won an ARDA for Best Conceptual Design for their work on a Modern Prairie style home, shown below. 

This home was designed for a close-knit active family. Between morning hockey practices, dance lessons, and gymnastics, these clients are always on the move, and they needed a home that fits their lifestyle and allowed them to make the most of their time together.

The site is located above an exclusive golf community, and this home backs up to the course. It’s one of only a handful of sites where the existing mature pine trees act as a privacy shield, enhancing the surroundings of this home by providing lovely forest views. The natural setting nestled amongst the trees really allows the outdoor living spaces to shine—which was important to our clients—and this home features several courtyards and an expansive deck, providing space both for entertaining as well as play.

Entering through a nestled and naturally landscaped courtyard allows guests their first glimpse into the uniqueness of this home, and an open floor plan invites family and friends to gather in the gourmet kitchen or relax by the fire in the great room.

A modern and open staircase helps to connect yet buffer the family spaces from the living areas while providing a view of the golf course greenscape beyond. This space also provides a display area for the owners’ art collection. The sprawling master suite and three additional bedrooms plus a study loft are ideal for the family to have privacy and retreat space, and the lower level provides plenty of space for a media center and fun and games.

This home has room to spread out and relax, using Prairie and Modern architectural touches to provide the perfect landing pad for this active family, and an ideal blend of indoor and outdoor living spaces.


Congratulations Bernie Kern and LGA Studios!

Featured Plan of the Month - Luna Lake

Luna Lake
5.00

LUNA LAKE MINI STUDY SET

  • 5260 Square Feet
  • Ranch Plan
  • Foot Print: 137’ x 90’ 
  • Main Level: 5260 Square Feet
  • 4 bedrooms · 4.5 bathrooms

LUNA LAKE WAS DESIGNED BY DEL DOTY DESIGNS

Please note that the square footage for a ranch plan reflects the main level only. Square footage for a two story plan reflects the main and upper levels only. Lower level square footage is considered optional.

Add To Cart

We've been writing this month about the health and happiness benefits that come from choosing a home with some degree of outdoor living space, so we've selected Luna Lake as September's Featured Plan of the Month! Please enjoy this Mini Study Set, yours free to download for this month only.

Luna Lake is a true high-roller estate, enveloping your family in comfort and luxury, and entertaining your guests with flash and substance. Luna Lake would be right at home in the Sun Belt, with its beautiful Spanish architectural style and glamorous outdoor living space, including a large covered patio for entertaining with evening cocktails, and a crystal clear pool for cooling off from the desert heat.

Don't miss out on future deals and Featured Plans from Rocky Mountain Plan Company! Join our monthly newsletter to have great homes like this one delivered right to your inbox: http://eepurl.com/GCtfv

The Enduring Appeal of Courtyards

A courtyard, simply stated, is a fully or partially enclosed area that is open to the sky. Courtyards have a long architectural history, with examples found as far back as 6400 BCE in the Jordan Valley, and the reasons for their enduring appeal are obvious. Courtyard homes satisfy the human needs for security and retreat while bringing the restorative power of nature to your daily life in a soothing, intimate manner.

 Dating back many thousands of years, the original purpose for courtyards seems to be as a cooking area, allowing for both privacy through containment behind walls and for smoke to escape from cooking over open flame. As is still true today with modern kitchens, this made the cooking area a gathering space for friends and family from the very beginning. 

By the time of the ancient Romans, courtyards were often used to entertain, still through shared meals, but now with hosted parties and traveling musicians. This ultimately led to the notion of what we think of as a royal “court” a term that takes its most basic meaning from the trusted friends and allies who would gather in a royal courtyard.

The Courtyard of the Maidens at the Alcázar of Seville  By Cat from Sevilla, Spain - Patio de las Doncellas, CC BY 2.0

The Courtyard of the Maidens at the Alcázar of Seville

By Cat from Sevilla, Spain - Patio de las Doncellas, CC BY 2.0

The sprawling, sumptuous courtyards of royalty and the elite are bound to impress any visitor, but courtyards can provide just as much peace and calm on a much smaller, more personal scale when designed as a central feature of your home.

The Courtyard of Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the heart and soul of the museum, showing off everything Isabella loved most and conveying her aesthetic in a harmonious, light-filled space. It is at the center of the museum, visible from nearly every gallery space, and features an ancient Roman sculpture garden, a medieval European cloister, and a Renaissance Venetian canal-scape along with a stunning garden filled with flowers that change to reflect the season.

The Courtyard of Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the heart and soul of the museum, showing off everything Isabella loved most and conveying her aesthetic in a harmonious, light-filled space. It is at the center of the museum, visible from nearly every gallery space, and features an ancient Roman sculpture garden, a medieval European cloister, and a Renaissance Venetian canal-scape along with a stunning garden filled with flowers that change to reflect the season.

Courtyards are a lovely way to bring a shared sense of serenity to your home, particularly because the walls and windows of many rooms form its enclosure. That means, for example, that you will be able to enjoy your sun filled sanctuary as a view from your office, your bedroom, and your family room, allowing you to enjoy nature and the changing seasons in your daily life.

Courtyards are a particularly common feature in Italian, Spanish, French, and Moroccan style homes, given the fact that outdoor living spaces have always been prevalent in temperate climates like the Mediterranean region, but they are just as lovely in more wintry environments as well. There are few things in life more serene than snow falling gently on an enclosed Zen garden.

Truly, the beautiful thing about courtyards and all outdoor living spaces is how they can be customized to your preferred style and scale. To see what this looks like on a floor plan, check out our petite Douglas Fir, or take a look at Cottonwood Lake’s contemporary ease. You may connect with the Tuscan warmth of Yampa River, Castle Lake’s French Country charm, or prefer the larger scale of Flint Lake with its dual courtyards.

We’re in the process of updating our website right now and adding our full collection of plans, but you can still see our extensive offerings here or browse through the pages of The Complete Home Collection, available on Amazon

Millennials and Micro Homes

The Millennial generation continues to redefine how they want to live and where, and this has brought a general shift away from suburban, single family homes to tinier, more creative abodes. This new approach to housing encompasses the younger generation’s concerns about sustainability, community involvement, living for the moment, and redefining personal success and satisfaction. Many Millennials would rather spend more for an experience than for a possession, and would rather live somewhere clean, in the middle of the action, and with good wi-fi than in a home with more space. 

Trinity - 652-1533 Square Foot Phase-Based Plan.  Trinity was designed by Stacy Austin of  New Leaf Design.  Learn more about this plan in  The Mansions and Millennials Collection .

Trinity - 652-1533 Square Foot Phase-Based Plan. Trinity was designed by Stacy Austin of New Leaf Design. Learn more about this plan in The Mansions and Millennials Collection.

For decades, the real estate model of norms has been the same: first purchase a small starter home, then, as your family and income grow, save up for a more spacious house in the suburbs, and eventually, perhaps purchase a second vacation home or larger primary home. Today, more and more young adults and families are choosing an alternative path and a much smaller footprint, building and retrofitting spaces that are personalized to their needs and desires. This may mean crafting a tiny home out of prefabricated components or storage containers, choosing a smaller residence that capitalizes on community as part of a pocket neighborhood, or even renovating a vintage Airstream trailer and taking their lives to the road. While certainly not the majority, more and more people are embracing the tiny lifestyle, both in the United States and internationally.

This dramatic difference in style of living is in part linked to the harsh economic climate many Millennials faced upon graduation, leading to a stalled start in traditional career fields. After weathering financial uncertainty, Millennials are now choosing to savor each day as it comes and make due with less, rather than wait to reap the rewards in retirement. 

Blue Spruce - 1434 Square Foot Contemporary Cabin.  Blue Spruce was designed by Michelle Williams of  LGA Studios.  Learn more about this plan in  The Mansions and Millennials Collection .

Blue Spruce - 1434 Square Foot Contemporary Cabin. Blue Spruce was designed by Michelle Williams of LGA Studios. Learn more about this plan in The Mansions and Millennials Collection.

With this frame of mind, it is far more appealing to simplify, downsize, and make a life that you can sustain and enjoy right now, whether that means purchasing a small plot of land and building an eco cabin by the river, or raising a family in a petite yet innovatively-appointed apartment or micro home in the city, where you can enjoy the culture and cuisine of urban life. Living small allows you to expand your lifestyle and reconnect, as the local coffee shop becomes your office, the pub down the block becomes your great room, and a picnic table under the stars becomes your dining room.  

The Tiny House Movement has caught fire, and the desire for smaller, more thoughtful residences is not just limited to Millennials. Baby Boomers have also found satisfaction in hitching a cottage to a truck and traveling after retirement, or putting down (condensed) roots in a prefab cabin situated in wine country, near the beach, in the desert, or by a mountain lake. 

Paintbrush - 440 square foot granny flat or cottage. Paintbrush

was designed by Bernie Kern of

BBKern Designs

Learn more about this plan in

The Mansions and Millennials Collection

Tiny homes typically boast floor plans well under 500 square feet—as opposed to the average single family home of 2500 square feet—and, depending on amenities, building, and material costs, can often be constructed for around $20,000-$70,000, making the idea of living rent and mortgage free a reality. Furthermore, due to the extremely low energy needs, if one should choose to use sustainable materials and invest in upgrades like solar panels, a pellet stove, graywater system, and a composting toilet, it is entirely possible to live off the grid.

Although the idea of such a miniature floor plan may seem limiting, those who take the plunge find it just the opposite. As long as you can avoid clutter, cleaning is a breeze, and getting creative with convertible furniture, hidden storage, and a plethora of hooks and mounted shelves allow you to keep everything you need in its place and within arms reach. 

Architects, home designers, and builders are coming up with innovative new designs and ideas that make it easier than ever to imagine yourself in a micro dwelling. Prefabricated panels and plans that include smart features like pocket doors, murphy beds, hidden storage, and sleeping lofts ensure that not a cubic inch is wasted, and these can be purchased and assembled at a fraction of the cost of starting from scratch.

Pine - 648 square foot component, pre-fab home. Pine was

designed by Larry Gilland of

LGA Studios. Learn more about this plan in 

The Mansions and Millennials Collection

Thinking in terms of simplified building blocks is also a way that makes the notion of the small home more approachable to those not willing to go quite so tiny and mobile. A self-contained, prefabricated unit for a full home can be purchased and installed on-site, and all it essentially needs is a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a live/work/sleep space. This is the idea behind our Pine plan. Pine is a rectangular starter unit that serves as a complete home, and many may be happy with it just as it is. However, Pine can also be built upon, with additional blocks artfully stacked or surrounding it to give you more space, for example, for a nursery, an artist’s studio, or a garage. By using prefabricated units, you can still enjoy the lower construction costs of small-scale living while creating a home that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Think you might enjoy life in a tiny home? Start by evaluating what truly matters to you and how you live, and then getting rid of the rest. Do you love photography, but could care less about entertaining? Get rid of those extra chairs and dishes (or buy stacking or folding chairs that stow away), keep your camera on display to serve as decor, print a few of your favorite images, and post the rest to your blog. Are you passionate about music? Hang your guitar on the wall as a practical art piece and have your record player console pull double duty as a storage cabinet (and put in on wheels!). For some, a kitchen can be as simple as a small refrigerator, an electric griddle, and a slow cooker. 

Small-scale living is certainly not for everyone, but anyone can benefit from simplifying their life. For a radical take on spring cleaning this year, try a packing party. Pack up everything you own in clearly labeled boxes, and then give yourself a month. Anything that you didn’t need or want to take out of the boxes to enjoy your daily life, keep boxed up and donate or sell. You’ll be amazed at the freedom you find when you let go.

For more great tips and resources on simplifying your life, check out

www.lifeedited.com

And don’t forget to check out our newest plan book,

The Mansions and Millennials Collection.

It’s coming out this Tuesday and includes five beautiful homes for the Millennial market, ranging from 450-1500 square feet, as well as four small homes ranging from 575-1300 that are perfectly suited to a pocket neighborhood.

NEW SERVICES FOR OUR CLIENTS

We are pleased to announce that we are now offering new features for our planbook clients.  Revit gives us the ability to offer an enhanced product.  This is accomplished through BIM technology and visualization. Whether it is giving the client the ability to walk through their space virtually or providing them with material quantities and takeoffs, BIM technology provides our team with the tools necessary to better meet the needs of our clients. One highlight of this process is the ability to provide enhanced visualization to our clients during the design phase. This is accomplished through the use of a video walkthrough of the project.  This allows the client to get a "feel" of their building and provides them with the necessary information to make informed decisions on the layout and design of their space. Please click the below link to see an example of this technology.  

xcvbnm3D Walkthrough Vizdeo



So, RMPC now offers Concepts -  Design Development Drawings - Construction Documents - Renderings - Interior shots and more.  
CONCEPT


DESIGN DEVELOPMENT



BIM SCHEDULES

STILL SHOTS
FOR
INTERIOR VIEWS


EXTERIOR RENDERINGS