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© Jorg Ostrowski 2003. All rights reserved.
Consulting/Plan Review:
an integrated & holistic approach to environmental cold climate buildings

Key Words: consulting, ecological, green buildings, solar, energy, efficiency, resource conservation, sustainable, retrofit, college campus, office building.

Table Of Contents

1.0   Professional Background
2.0   Introduction
3.0   Projects
4.0   Clients
5.0   Potential Benefits to Clients
6.0   Consulting Services
7.0   Process

8.0   Architectural & Planning Features & Guidelines
9.0   Health, Environmental & Energy Criteria
10.0 Construction Methods
11.0 Other Opportunities
12.0 Transfer of Information
13.0 Client Provides

Send : describing your project and needs.

1.0) Professional Background: Jorg Ostrowski has 27 years of practical experience in the "real world" and 8 years of professional architectural training from 2 universities. He has been responsible for all company work including design, consulting, R&D, and construction. All work follows our Mission/Vision Statement. He tries to practice what he preaches by living and working daily in a sustainable home and office with sustainable features, innovative concepts, user-friendly spaces, multi-purpose details, green products, healthy materials, indoor gardens, wide window sills and lots of sunshine and daylight. If this is for you, please read further, or check out his professional resume.

2.0) Introduction: Since 1976, Jorg Ostrowski has provided professional advice on an hourly or per diem basis to a wide variety of clients, both small and large, in both Canada and the United Sates, consulting on ecological projects including EcoHomes, Green Buildings and Sustainable Development. Based on many years of "hands-on" experience in the field, retrospectives of past work, government contacts, industry suppliers, constant improvements and product knowledge, he can help clients to replicate successes, while avoiding mistakes. Clients gain from our accumulated knowledge from past projects to improve all present and future projects, hindsight and foresight that clients cannot gain from their own one-time experience. Sometimes, thousands of dollars have been saved due to recommendations of what to avoid, simplify, change, with alternative solutions, where appropriate. If this is of interest, please read Criteria & Guidelines.

3.0) Projects: Jorg Ostrowski has worked with the following types of projects, both new and retrofit: residential: single & multi-family; commercial buildings; office tower; college; house retrofits; building additions.

Note: residential and single & multi-familyhave been also been built using strawbale construction (see #10 below), including several strawbale bed & breakfast projects.

4.0) Clients: Jorg Ostrowski has worked with the following types of clients, both professionals and lay people: building/property managers; building/home owners; architects; builders/developers; First Nations; oil company; educational institutes; environmental groups; law firm; government .

5.0) potential Benefits to Clients: Jorg Ostrowski tries to combine the best of yesterday in the reality of today, ready for the tomorrow: lower operating costs; lower maintenance costs; more user-friendly spaces; more healthy indoor environment; low environmental impact; cost-effective solutions; worthy personal legacy; greater comfort; handicapped access; possible environmental credits; higher real estate value (marketing leverage); optimal natural daylighting.

6.0) Consulting Services: Jorg Ostrowski can offer the following types of consulting services:
6.1) Concept Dialogue: preliminary discussion on start up of initial ideas to guide the later development of the project, to focus on the best path, ideas, features, technologies, and to edit the most unfeasible ones, at the beginning, rather than dwelling on ideal but non cost-effective solutions;
6.2) Plan Review: mark up of drawings done by others, usually done at the start, middle and end of drawing preparation;
6.3) Site Visit: walking tour of project site & building with answer and question session;
6.4) Road Map: short written outline of Opportunities and Constraints of the potential project, with a priority; listing, based on client's resources & project;
6.5) Phone Appointment: questions & answer session .

7.0) Process: Depending on the location of client and project, the following process would apply, as appropriate.
7.1) initial e-mail inquiry by client outlining need and project;
7.2) response from Jorg Ostrowski, with fee indication;
7.3) short e-mail agreement outlining scope of work & confirmation;
7.4) submission of drawings & information for review;
7.5) mark-ups of drawings with comments, notes & sketches;
7.6) meeting with client to review work.

8.0) Architectural & Planning Features & Guidelines: Consulting work can specifically address all or any of the following aspects, in an holistic and integrated manner, according to client needs, priorities, schedule and resources.
8.1) healthy materials 8.9) multipurpose masonry fireplace 8.17) minimum hallways
8.2) barrier-free design 8.10) thermal mass 8.18) alternative specs
8.3) ergonomics, anthropometrics 8.11) greenhouse, conservatory 8.19) functional aesthetics
8.4) future growth & flexibility 8.12) home office 8.20) multipurpose details
8.5) internal expansion 8.13) useful roofing 8.21) cool closet
8.6) solar/wind orientation 8.14) warm colours 8.22) useful porch
8.7) energy efficient landscaping 8.15) appropriate siding 8.23) live-in attic
8.8) airlocks 8.16) green products  

9.0) Health, Environmental & Energy Criteria: Beyond our Mission Statement, the following ecological criteria are addressed, whenever possible.
9.1) indoor air quality & EMF 9.12) renewable energy 9.23) VOC-free paints
9.2) ventilation: natural & HRV 9.13) zero point energy 9.24) heat destratification
9.3) air tightness 9.14) passive solar energy 9.25) waterless toilets
9.4) resource conservation 9.15) active solar (collectors) 9.26) ultra-low flush toilets
9.5) energy conservation 9.16) solar electric (PV) 9.27) self-sufficiency
9.6) appropriate technology 9.17) high performance windows 9.28) self-help construction
9.7) durability 9.18) Eco-Logo appliances 9.29) local suppliers
9.8) embodied energy 9.19) water conservation 9.30) recycled content
9.9) space efficiency 9.20) rainwater harvesting 9.31) multipurpose insulation
9.10) energy-efficiency 9.21) greywater recycling/treatment 9.32) SunPipes/SkyLights
9.11) conservation energy 9.22) radiant floor heating  

10.0) Construction Methods: There is no magic bullet, no saving grace. Each alternative construction method has its own strengths and weaknesses. For owner-builders building their own sustainable home, we offer our experience with the following building techniques some of which can be seen in our portfolio. Strawbale: Nebraska style, P&B, hybrid; Rammed Earth: 2 methods; Eco-Studs: (wall trusses); Double Wall: (stick built); Stack Wall; Prefab (i.e. SIPs); ADA (Airtight Drywall Approach); narrow Shallow Foundations (FPSF).

11.0) Other Opportunities: These aspects of an holistic approach may also be useful: conserver lifestyle; co-generation; community amenities; sale of green clean energy; solar aquatics; small ecological footprint; on-site food production; sale of environmental credits.

12.0) Transfer of Information: information, including drawings, can be transferred by courier (preferred), fax or e-mail.

13.0) Client Provides: Where appropriate, the client supplies the following: initial e-mail inquiry; project; approval to proceed; "Statement of Intent"; site & building plans;photographs; long term commitment; open mind; resourcefulness; desire to make a difference; to be part of the solution; concluding cheque.

© Jorg Ostrowski 2003. All rights reserved.

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Principals: Jorg Ostrowski, M. Arch. (M.I.T.), B. Arch. (Toronto), Helen Ostrowski, B. S. Arch. (U.S.T.)
28 years in "Real World" professional Green Building practice, new & retrofit, 4 residential/commercial Demonstration Projects completed