by Heather Mooney
Building science, or the approach to how a home performs in relation to its environment, brings a depth to the home building process beyond its aesthetic. In a locale where the natural space is vast, but the building area is limited, Teton Heritage Builders finds solutions in this mountain environment, bringing high value to their clients through efficient, comfortable homes to last many lifetimes. Dubbe Moulder Architects addresses home performance directly from their clients’ needs; with an unfettered design toolbox, performance becomes tailored to the individual. AeroBarrier, a high-tech, easy-install insulator, provides performance through a tight seal that can be applied to any home, minimizing vapor wear and heat/cooling loss. Jackson Hole AV brings simplicity to performance by integrating systems to work together for ease of use and efficiency.
Dubbe Moulder ARCHITECTS
Nothing can be in balance without something to balance on. Dubbe Moulder Architects (DMA) brings to life beautifully balanced homes by maintaining each of their clients at the center of the design, from conception to completion. DMA works closely with each client to pinpoint the vision for the project, so that they’re able to manifest that ethereal desire into physical form. Chris Moulder, partner at DMA, shares the close cooperation with clients that defines their business: “We listen to what they have to say. We care about what is important to them.” DMA brings this understanding of the client through every step of the way, adding to it their deep knowledge of materiality and building systems, to balance the client’s needs with the location’s demands.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some would rather achieve a certain aesthetic but pay high utility bills to live in a beautiful space. Others may wish for the most efficient box with the function of providing shelter at the smallest cost; for them, therein lies the beauty.”
–Chris Moulder, Partner, Dubbe Moulder Architects
The architect’s job is to translate thoughts and desires on behalf of the client into physical form that elicits those sensations. Many people know what they want; being able to articulate this spatially is where DMA thrives. “We can successfully interpret these thoughts, these dreams, and these abstract ideas into something tangible—something real that they can respond to,” shares Moulder. DMA never imposes a pre-conceived aesthetic on a project, rather sees an open canvas on which to translate their clients’ aspirations. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some would rather achieve a certain aesthetic but pay high utility bills to live in a beautiful space. Others may wish for the most efficient box with the function of providing shelter at the smallest cost; for them, therein lies the beauty,” shares Moulder. The function of the space and its performance is directly inspired by the client’s interests.
Manifesting a design into form, DMA uses a broad palette of materials. They don’t constrain themselves to a particular aesthetic; they pride themselves on using a variety of applications to make any aesthetic a reality. DMA’s strength lies in the application of any possibility. Moulder states, “We prefer working with a lot of textures to create depth and interest, often utilizing a material palette indigenous to a place like northwestern Wyoming.” This knowledge of the region, and understanding of materiality, allows them to bring any concept to life in full expression. Not limited by expectation of a “look,” DMA uses the insight they gain in working directly with the client to develop a unique palette for each project that truly evokes the feel they envision.
DMA also stands out when it comes to the execution and function of the design. With both partners, Kurt Dubbe and Chris Moulder, sharing years of building experience of their own, they have an intimate knowledge of how materials function. “We feel that this sets our firm apart, as a complete understanding of construction is key to designing any project efficiently,” says Moulder. When it comes to the bells and whistles of systems, it all comes back to the client again. While many advanced technologies exist, the more complex systems that are used, the more they require management. This results in more time taken away from the quality of life within the home. “Keeping systems simple, usable, and understandable is really the best approach to incorporating the best technology,” notes Moulder. Even with complicated technical aspects of a home, it all comes back to the client for DMA. In knowing their needs, it all falls into place from this seed in the beginning. If a client wants comfort and doesn’t care about hassle, they make it happen. If a client sees simplicity as beauty, they make it happen.
“We don’t jump on bandwagons. Our obligation to our clients is to best match up systems with their expectations and budget. Budget is the lock, balance is the key, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
–Chris Moulder, Partner, Dubbe Moulder Architects
DMA exudes confidence in their field of knowledge and their client understanding. “We don’t jump on bandwagons. Our obligation to our clients is to best match up systems with their expectations and budget. Budget is the lock, balance is the key, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” concludes Moulder. With a foremost identification of the beholder, how they value certain elements and what they see, DMA balances financial desires with locational influences to create a home that is a beautiful extension of the client’s deepest dreams.
Teton Heritage builders
The stunning topography that allures visitors and residents alike in Jackson Hole brings unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to home building. With public land making up 97% of the land in Teton County, Jackson Hole faces the classic mountain town housing shortage. Compound that with strict building codes to preserve both the natural aesthetic and mandate the energy efficiency that maintains a sustainable community, and building a new home in Jackson can be quite expensive. Founded in 1996 in Jackson Hole, Teton Heritage Builders (THB) finds solutions to these challenges by bringing value in their homes to a location where that is the top commodity. “It is the why we do what we do” that truly sets THB apart, according to Mark Dalby, partner and project manager at the firm. THB’s mission is simple, “We want to build the best homes in the market while establishing strong relationships with our clients that are true partnerships,” Dalby shares. Due to the challenges and opportunities in the Jackson Hole area, delivering the best homes means delivering value on their work. THB delivers this value through tight, energy-efficient homes that remain beautiful and comfortable for several lifetimes.
“We want to build the best homes in the market while establishing strong relationships with our clients that are true partnerships.”
–Mark Dalby, Partner & Project Manager, Teton Heritage Builders
With the mountains north of town, building for a view means that a home’s largest windows open to the northwest, losing most of the opportunity for passive heating from southern exposure. Recent years have brought a solution to this challenge, with a shift in popularity toward the mountain modern aesthetic, making a view-oriented home more efficient to insulate. “The modern home brings a more simplified design, in turn making it much easier to design a thermal envelope around the space, especially with single-pitched or single-planed roof masses that increase the performance and decrease the chance for ice dams and general wear and tear during the freeze-thaw months in late winter,” shares Dalby.
Building codes and county-sponsored credits in Jackson Hole also encourage high standards of efficiency. “THB goes above and beyond these building codes to deliver homes that perform for generations,” shares Dalby. One step in this process is performing a “Blower Door Test.” Identifying any areas of unwanted air infiltration in the structure, these areas can be addressed with the design team and mitigated before the walls are closed with drywall. “Further, we partner with Lower Valley Energy to buy back extra energy produced on our homes and maximize use of Teton County’s credit incentives; installing a super-insulated roof system that meets R-60 design rather than an R-49 (the minimum) can pay for itself over time,” notes Dalby.
Beyond the cost benefits of efficiency, it is the performance and comfort that matters to THB’s clients. A second home is only a second home for so long. “Many homeowners look to retire here; they are thinking about the future, their kids, and grandkids, and want to invest in the future and create a legacy home,” notes Dalby. Because it is expensive to live in Jackson Hole, those who choose to be there inherently prioritize value in their homes. “This offers the opportunity to look into options you might not choose in other places. THB has the opportunity to put that all on the table for their clients so they can identify the quality and value they’re looking for,” shares Dalby. THB prides intself on client-centered work, creating a partnership from the very beginning that allows them to be directly involved throughout the whole design and build process. Dalby stresses their emphasis on the client’s desires: “We have a supervisor on site at all times to ensure that the homeowner’s desires are carried out exactly as planned.”
“The modern home brings a more simplified design, in turn making it much easier to design a thermal envelope around the space, especially with single-pitched or single-planed roof masses that increase the performance and decrease the chance for ice dams and general wear and tear during the freeze-thaw months in late winter.”
–Mark Dalby, Partner & Project Manager, Teton Heritage Builders
Above all, Teton Heritage Builders stands out in their pricing structure, offering an ease of mind to their clients.
THB incorporates attention to efficiency in their whole operational system while using an “open book” approach for clients in a fair and friendly manner. Coming from a financial background of their own, the THB founders prioritize transparency, so you pay for what you’re getting, no more, no less. “That’s where our clients appreciate what we bring to the table; they get a magazine quality home, at the best value in our marketplace,” notes Dalby. In a location where value is paramount, both financially and environmentally, Teton Heritage Builders’ client-centered approach to each project allows them to deliver beautiful homes that perform for lifetimes.
Your One-Stop Seal
“Because we can seal structures faster and with fewer materials, we can do it for a fraction of the normal cost. We charge for just a couple hours and very little material, rather than several days of many moving pieces.”
–Mitchell Spence, Principal, AeroBarrier Utah
Air exchange is invisible, but its management has become the most defining factor in home performance. Whereas previous air and vapor solutions pieced together different technologies over many hours of work, AeroBarrier provides a revolutionary solution, meeting all of these necessities with a simple, efficient process.
Mitchell Spence, Principal at AeroBarrier Utah, shares, “Because we can seal structures faster and with fewer materials, we can do it for a fraction of the normal cost. We charge for just a couple hours and very little material, rather than several days of many moving pieces.” Tightening the envelope with a simple plug-and-play solution, AeroBarrier’s technology allows clients and builders to spend time and money on the finer details that make a home stand out.
With a simple process, AeroBarrier seals structures from the inside. This prevents moisture from undermining the structural integrity of the home and allows insulation to do its job. Installation is straightforward. Technicians pressurize the home, force air out all of the leaks, and spray the AeroBarrier product. Once airborne, the misted sealant finds its way to all gaps via the pressurized flow. Computer-based monitoring together with blower door tests every 60 seconds allows achievement of the exact building tightness each contractor is looking for.
AeroBarrier’s structural performance is exceptional as justified by their 100 percent guarantee. Spence adds, “It’s like a rubber gasket; it strategically shrinks and expands with the house. Other products (like spray foam or caulk) aren’t designed to do this. Those other products are tight upon installation, but after a few years of shrinking and expansion, they don’t maintain their integrity. AeroBarrier is a unique solution that offers more thorough and longer-lasting tightness.” Retaining durability is relevant wherever there is a temperature or moisture gradient to maintain. This especially improves comfort and affordability in cold (or hot) climates with big seasonal fluctuations that call for heated (or conditioned) indoor air.
AeroBarrier is customizable for various types of construction including both single- and multi-family homes. “We know AeroBarrier makes the difference in achieving high performance. It provides an essential framework for internal climate comfort such as interior humidification or oxygenation in high-altitude environments like Park City,” says Spence. Its easy, cost-effective installation and lifetime durability lead Spence to predict that AeroBarrier is the way of the future. “It’s the cheapest and fastest way of sealing the building envelope. AeroBarrier will allow all homes to affordably achieve more stringent codes for energy efficiency.”
Jackson Hole AV
The process of building a home and achieving all the details envisioned is hard enough. Upon move-in, it is time to sit back and relax, to enjoy it. The complexities of a luxury home can bring unforeseen headaches in its management, but Jackson Hole AV brings ease and integration to these systems, taking the burden off the owner. They bring peace of mind and simplicity to our ever-complicated lives through their home integration systems, making high-end home performance easily manageable and adapted to each home’s unique needs.
“Our system tracks what you’ve done for the last two weeks and plays in a different order based on the same living experience. You can walk out and hit your vacation or away setting.”
–Rich Ashburn, Designer, Sales & Systems Engineer, Jackson Hole AV
Rich Ashburn, Designer and Sales & Systems Engineer at Jackson Hole AV, shares the company’s ultimate directive. “We make a complex system simple to the client interface,” he explains. While managing these luxuries may be the sugar on top of a well-thought-out home, planning for it starts very early in the process. “We use a CAD process to put it on the plan so the architects can plan for installation, and it can be managed with other trades,” says Ashburn. Each system is engineered exactly for the home, tested before application, and comes with Jackson Hole AV’s expertise in its management.
This technology is especially imperative in high-end vacation homes that remain frequently vacant. With a second home, it’s essential that the home has that just-right feel when occupied, but offers a sense of security and avoids extraneous expenditures when unoccupied. “Our system tracks what you’ve done for the last two weeks and plays in a different order based on the same living experience. You can walk out and hit your vacation or away setting,” Ashburn says. With just one click, a homeowner can change all their settings, simultaneously orchestrating sound, heat, solar, security.
While many home automation technologies exist, none of the over-the-counter options offers the same integration that Jackson Hole AV does. This is most easily articulated in energy and comfort management, keeping a pleasant temperature by integrating the different automated systems. “When the internal heat is not in sync with what’s happening outside, we can lower the shades; an app like Nest won’t tell the shades to lower, or to lower to a certain height depending on the temperature,” shares Ashburn. Jackson Hole AV thinks for you, taking the complexity out of so many moving parts.
Jackson Hole AV uses this same approach with all of their systems, including home security. Ashburn explains, “With closed-circuit TV remote monitoring, the homeowner can not only see who is at the door, but can instantaneously open the door and let the UPS man in. This integration of systems doesn’t happen elsewhere. The Ring app can show you a picture, but isn’t going to open the door and lock it afterwards.”
“When the internal heat is not in sync with what’s happening outside, we can lower the shades; an app like Nest won’t tell the shades to lower, or to lower to a certain height depending on the temperature.”
–Rich Ashburn, Designer, Sales & Systems Engineer, Jackson Hole AV
With a longstanding role in the home-automation market, Jackson Hole AV’s relationships with manufacturers provide them with real-time influence on what is coming into the market. “Manufacturers ask us, ‘What can we do to make these systems better?’,” notes Ashburn. Ashburn cites companies like Google and Apple, working with them on their technology, listening to their needs. “Things we’ve been doing for 15 years, are now going to mass market.” Because of their focus on the client, and understanding of what people want, and ability to articulate and simplify that, Jackson Hole AV remains at the cutting edge with these manufacturers and innovators.
All of Jackson Hole AV’s work centers around their clients, understanding their needs and articulating them in the most simple and efficient ways for them that work for their lifestyles. “We love seeing our clients’ passions, what they want out of a system. We enjoy being involved with the process, getting to know each client, how they live and come back happy with their system,” notes Ashburn. By stitching everything together and optimizing the lifestyle goals, Jackson Hole AV allows the dream home to perform effortlessly, with ease and confidence that everything is automatically just right without the hassle of making it so.