Gaines Group Architects

Citizen Architect – Design Matters

I believe that as an architect I have an ethical duty to design solutions that are energy efficient, durable, and healthy. It is my job to understand the materials that are available in the market today, know how to use the materials effectively, and to know the impacts on indoor...

Is big commercial good for Harrisonburg?

Scott Rogers posted news of a new commercial business potentially coming to Harrisonburg this year. We have several empty big boxes in town that need this kind of development or a rethinking of their use all together. This business will bring jobs to the area, provide a...

Community Health – Can we revive place during economic weakness

I am excited to see a new commercial business opening in Broadway, Virginia. Plan B is under construction. They will have fresh-baked goods, hand crafted soups, salads, and sandwiches, and of course fair trade local coffee from Lucas Roasting. They will offer web access, live...

Smart Solutions for your Home – Guest Post by Todd Hawkins

Guest Post from Todd Hawkins of Builder Fish. BuilderFish™ specializes in Universal Design (UD) to help everyone, particularly older Americans and people with disabilities, enjoy independence, comfort, ease and longevity in their homes. Class A general contractor Jonathan...

How efficient is your home?

I ask this question a lot of people I run into at home shows / county fairs. Many put up a defensive immediately, thinking I am trying to sell them something (I am – my experience and knowledge). I almost always get the same answer “my house is very efficient.”...

How do you know if it is real green knowledge?

Do you judge someone by how they dress? What about how they talk? Does the car they drive make a difference? I started thinking about these concepts today after a question was posed by a writer developing a story on green renovations. How do you find a designer that really...

Staycation Destination

With summer vacations upon us, I was wondering, what is your favorite local landmark. In the places that you travel, what stands out, what interests you, where do you find comfort? Visit my facebook page and join the discussion: https://www.facebook.com/virginiaarchitect  
Ice House

How do you measure success?

How do you measure success? Is it the percentage of jobs in the local economy that exist in locally owned businesses? Or is it the ability for your community to be self-reliant for things such as food, shelter, energy, and water? Do you look for vibrant businesses that understand...

A day in the life of an Architect

One of the most common comments when I meet someone new and they ask me what I do for a living is “I wanted to be an architect when I was a kid.” I find it very interesting that so many people wanted to be architects and so many took another route for various reasons....

How green am I, better than some, but still work to do…

As an architect, I pride myself in being able to help people save money, live healthier, and conserve resources. I have used the terms, green design, sustainable design, and eco-friendly design to describe what I know how to do for my clients. The knowledge I have about these...