Climate goals set (and met)

Posted on Oct 18, 2022

About one year ago, as part of the Philipstown Fights Dirty campaign, which is a project of Climate Smart Philipstown and the Ecological Citizens Project, The Figure Ground Studio set a series of goals, both public and private, to address our professional commitment to the goal of reducing local greenhouse gas emissions both on an […]

Nelsonville Remodel/Addition Nearing Completion

Posted on Sep 30, 2022

A historically appropriate and site sensitive addition in Nelsonville,NY is shepherding a neglected home into a new century with modern touches and classic geometries. Features, appliances, and materials were reused when possible, and modern fuel-efficient heat pumps replaced an aging oil boiler. An out-of-scale third floor addition was tamed with a two-story oblique structural addition, […]

Wildflower Meadow, Year 3

Posted on Sep 22, 2022

As Summer comes to an end and Autumn approaches, the wildflower meadow we seeded in 2019 has begun to mature. The late Summer Asters are showing their brilliant blues and purples. Traces of yellow remain, and seedheads are beginning to prominently signal the coming change of season.

A baker’s dozen eggs (finally!) from the coop

Posted on Sep 16, 2022

It has been a few years tweaking and adjusting the functioning of the modern chicken coop, but we finally – today, two years later – got a full round of eggs from our twelve chickens. A full 13 – a baker’s dozen.

Modern High-Performance Chicken Coop under construction

Posted on Aug 14, 2020

As the world shut down in late Spring 2020, we turned our attention to creating a modern high-performance chicken coop. I used site-collected black locust posts as the foundation, conventionally framed superstructure using advanced-framing techniques (2′ on center with door/window openings defined by framing module), and passive-style air sealing techniques at floor, sill, walls, windows, […]

North Miller Passive Multifamily in Newburgh

Posted on Jun 26, 2020

Michael Robinson of Urban Myth Construction held a grand opening ceremony for the North Miller Passive Multifamily project, a pioneering low-income project in the City of Newburgh. The Figure Ground Studio provided architectural services, with John Loercher of NE Projects taking the major technical and design lead. This was a monumental undertaking for Urban Myth […]

Mullet Hall – Thermal Bridge Mitigation at Slab

Posted on Apr 9, 2019
Mullet Hall – Thermal Bridge Mitigation at Slab

All too often, I am approached towards the end of the design phase of a project and asked to create an overlay scheme for energy efficiency. One of the major drawbacks of this approach is that an approach to mitigating thermal bridges must be developed very early on in a project. Just as a suspension […]

Mullet Hall – Construction Underway

Posted on Aug 21, 2018
Mullet Hall – Construction Underway

Breaking Ground On a cold February morning in 2017, we broke ground for construction at Mullet Hall. The contractor is Third Floor Corp/Doctor Structure. Having grown so accustomed to being in the forest on the land, it was hard for us to see the trees begin to come down to make room for the house. […]

Mullet Hall – LBC Materials Red List

Posted on Jul 25, 2018
Mullet Hall – LBC Materials Red List

As could have perhaps been predicted, the main “challenge” of the Living Building Challenge, particularly during construction, is the Materials Petal. In this post I will discuss the Red List Imperative of the Materials Petal. According to the International Living Futures Institute, The intent of the Materials Petal is to help create a materials economy […]

Mullet Hall – Recycled Glass Concrete Aggregate (Poraver)

Posted on May 7, 2018
Mullet Hall – Recycled Glass Concrete Aggregate (Poraver)

One of the most exciting aspects of the Mullet Hall project is one that will never be seen once it is covered with insulation and finished. About 6/7 of the fine aggregate (sand) in the wall concrete was replaced with Poraver recycled glass beads. This accomplished a few goals: Increased recycled content, reducing sand use. […]