ArTech Addition is in the Air

August 18th, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer


Steel was swinging through the air this morning at the Northfield School of Arts and Technology.

Two new teaching studios are taking shape now that the structure is being erected. This summer’s heavy rains delayed the project twice, forcing re-digging of the foundation trenches. That is behind now, and full occupancy of the addition is expected in October.

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May 23rd, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer


Our work caught the eye of Redoux Home magazine, which published this project in their March/April 2011 issue.

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Green still catching on

April 25th, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer

Today I renewed our membership with the US Green Building Council. We support the work of the USGBC in transforming the marketplace toward more sustainable materials and design.

It seems that Green is still catching on, but it is becoming more commonplace. On our boards is one residential masterplan including a deep energy retrofit of the existing home. Already in our portfolio are homes integrating passive solar heat, natural ventilation, super-insulation, daylighting, photo-voltaics, solar water heat, and geo-thermal heating and cooling systems. With each project, we consult with the owner to bring in strategies that fit the site, the budget and the owners’ sensibilities.

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Community Action Center Looking Good

February 15th, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer


With our help, the Northfield Community Action Center is getting a face lift!

This is the Clothes Closet’s expanded sales area, with new changing rooms, additional housewares display, new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. It will be more hospitable to guests and more functional for staff, volunteers, and donors.

The Food Shelf is also undergoing some changes. Working closely with staff, we developed a plan that will really help the program both behind the scenes and in daily operational efficiency. We used a graduated color scheme to bring down the apparent height of the space to maintain the corner-grocery feel of the space while providing warehouse-style shelving. Flow will be greatly improved, with a logical arrangement of merchandise, additional cooler and freezer space, and a holding area for up to six pallets at a time.

When construction is complete, stop by and see the new look!

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Winter in Minnesota on Channel 4

January 22nd, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer

Boy Scout Troop 313 is camping overnight tonight in the snow! Unlike this happy homeowner, the scouts will be sleeping in tents, quincies (snow forts), and hammocks. Channel 4 visited the site and will put some footage on the air tonight at 6:00pm (or so we are told!) The forecast overnight low is -18 degrees Fahrenheit!

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Happy Holidays from VIVUS Architecture + Design!!

December 29th, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer
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Helping Non-Profits and Youth

December 13th, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer

I was surprised (and delighted) when we received the “Making a Difference Award” from the Healthy Community Initiative this month, for ‘exceptional efforts to positively impact the lives of Northfield Youth.’

This past year, we helped The Key remodel their new building in Northfield; consulted for the new greenhouse at ArTech Charter School; and have supported the Boy Scouts of America.

The recognition is appreciated; we believe in supporting Northfield’s non-profit entities as they support our youth!

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