About

Todd Bottoms, MA

Professional Building Designer (PBD)

Certified Green Professional (CGP)

Certified Age in Place Specialist (CAPS)

 

Michael Thorpe

Professional Building Designer (PBD)

 

Professional Building Designer (PDB)

Building a home represents the greatest financial investment most people will make in a lifetime and few envision how complex the process is until they are entangled in a jungle of restrictive covenants, building codes, zoning ordinances, design options, vendor and contractor choices and so on. Yet, most states do not have a licensing requirement for residential building designers.  When a new home or addition is in your future, a specialist in the discipline of residential design is your best choice to guide you through the design/building experience. Accordingly, it makes sense to secure design services from a qualified, experienced source, a professional member of the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD).  Since 1950, AIBD has provided building designers with educational resources, and has developed nationwide design standards and a code of ethics for the building design profession. Today, AIBD is a nationally recognized association with professional and associate members in 48 states, throughout Canada and in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Bahamas. Its chartered state societies are active in their respective legislative arenas and work to promote public awareness of the building design profession.  AIBD is also meeting the challenge of the future by educating members about new and improved building materials and innovative technologies that will impact how we live in the future.

Certified Green Professional (CGP)

National Association of Home Builders

The home building industry coined the phrase green building in the late 1980s, turning a niche movement of resource-efficient homes into a quiet revolution – one that is increasingly becoming a preferred way to build and remodel.  Whether you're a home building professional looking to go green or a prospective green homebuyer, the reasons for going green are numerous.  Green building means incorporating environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the home building and land development process to minimize environmental impact. It’s a practical response to a variety of issues that affect all of us – like increasing energy prices, waning water resources, and changing weather patterns. It means making intentional decisions about:

  •     Energy efficiency improvements such as high levels of insulation, efficient HVAC systems, high-performance windows and energy-efficient appliances and lighting
  •     Water conservation measures such as water-efficient appliances and fixtures, filtration systems, and drought resistant or low-maintenance landscaping
  •     Resource conservation using materials and techniques such as engineered wood and wood alternatives, recycled building materials, sustainably harvested lumber, and more durable products
  •     Indoor environmental quality considerations such as effective HVAC equipment, formaldehyde-free finishes, low-allergen materials, and products with minimum off-gassing or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  •     Site design planning such as minimizing disruption and preserving open space
  •     Homeowner education through manuals and operating guides

Certified Age in Place Specialist (CAPS)

National Association of Home Builders

Aging in place is a term used to describe the act of living in the residence of choice as you age while securing the necessary support & services in response to your changing personal needs. It sounds simple enough, but for the millions of people who have (or will) choose to age in place, the reality can sometimes be anything but simple. Every person’s situation is different and the number of obstacles they might encounter can be daunting.

Universal design refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to both people without disabilities and people with disabilities.

The term "Universal design" was coined by the architect Ronald L. Mace to describe the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.  It emerged from slightly earlier barrier-free concepts, the broader accessibility movement, and adaptive and assistive technology and also seeks to blend aesthetics into these core considerations. As life expectancy rises and modern medicine increases the survival rate of those with significant injuries, illnesses, and birth defects, there is a growing interest in universal design. There are many industries in which universal design is having strong market penetration but there are many others in which it has not yet been adopted to any great extent. Universal design is also being applied to the design of technology, instruction, services, and other products and environments.  Curb cuts or sidewalk ramps, essential for people in wheelchairs but also used by all, are a common example. Color-contrast dish ware with steep sides that assist those with visual or dexterity problems are another. There are also cabinets with pull-out shelves, kitchen counters at several heights to accommodate different tasks and postures, and amidst many of the world's public transit systems, low-floor buses that "kneel" (bring their front end to ground level to eliminate gap) and/or are equipped with ramps rather than on-board lifts.

Age in Place, Universal Design, Accessible Design, Barrier Free Design are all ways to express the fact that we are living longer and staying in our homes longer.  Furthermore we do not want our homes to look like a medical facility or even resemble something odd.  Good design will allow your home to mature with you or even accommodate an older parent if needed.  All of our designs plan for the future.  If this is the home you plan to retire in or even if you are a first time homebuyer, the principals are still the same.  As a first time home buyer you want to be able to potentially sale the home later in life when your family situation changes, universal design allows you to market your home to everyone.  If you are planning to retire in the home you want the home to be able to mature with you and adapt to the changing needs of your family.

Personal Service

We never forget that this is your home. Your needs, goals and preferences will guide all our design solutions, throughout the entire design process. We take an interactive approach to the client relationship, featuring clear and continuous communication and respect for everyone. While we do bring years of construction and design experience to the table, we do not bring preconceived ideas about what is right for your home.  Our first priority is to get to know you and establish a strong, comfortable working relationship. We listen very carefully to your ideas and needs, then we begin to ask questions to further develop the design and collectively establish goals and priorities for new design. Only then do we begin the work of creating design solutions. As the design continues, we keep the conversation going to discuss any changing needs and offer design alternatives. During the entire design and construction process, we will be available to serve you and answer any questions or concerns that may come up during the process.  The ease with which we work with our clients keeps them coming back. We take great pride in the fact that the majority of our projects come from repeat clients.


Creative Solutions

Once a clients specific goals, time schedule and budget requirements are established, we begin the process of creating strong design solutions. Every project is led by one of our principals, giving you the advantage of years of construction and design experience with similar project types.  Sentry Drafting & Design believes quality is built on details. Thats why our building designs include sharp, aesthetically pleasing details that are also practical and cost-effective to build. This attention to detail continues in the drawings themselves, which are consistently of a high level of precision and accuracy. Contractors appreciate our detailed drawings because they allow jobs to flow more smoothly with fewer on-site problems and changes. Clients, too, appreciate the efficiency our commitment to detail provides.