Arkin Tilt Architects is an award-winning firm specializing in energy and resource efficient design. Our projects embody a marriage of thoughtful design and ecology, creating spaces that are comfortable and lyrical. We pay particular attention to the integration of the built and natural environments—from siting to careful detailing. We have extensive experience with alternative construction systems, including straw-bale and rammed earth, renewable energy systems, greywater, and non-toxic and recycled materials. Our projects include residential and commercial, park buildings, religious facilities, and Eco-Resort planning and design.
We believe design is a collaborative process in which the client is central. We have no prescribed style; the particulars of the site and user needs and desires are the guideposts of the design process. This can be an enjoyable process engaging all stakeholders.
While the design process of each project will follow its own path, we have a basic design method. After defining a program (room sizes, relationships, views, light, etc.) and assessing the site conditions (topography, vegetation, climate, context, local traditions and available resources, etc.), we generate appropriate response strategies, and develop two or three schematic design options. We evaluate each option to identify the positive and negative qualities. From this exercise a final design evolves.
Typically a working model is built and tested, frequently including solar gain analysis on the Heliodon table at PG&E’s Energy Center. We use a variety of thermal performance programs to further reduce the energy needs of the structure, and integrate renewable energy systems, ideally targeting a net zero energy project. We have long relationships with our consultants, most notably Kevin Donahue, Structural Engineer, with whom we share office space. We typically work with a professional pre-construction cost estimator, checking in at several points along the design process to ensure that the budget is aligned with expectations.
Winner of the Acterra Business Award for the Sustainable Built Environment, two AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Project Awards, and numerous design awards, our work has been published nationally and internationally for excellence in design and sustainability. With electric and biodiesel cars and solar electricity, we are working to keep the office's carbon footprint small.
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