IAMA architect who's main interest is high efficiency affordable homes - AMA.
WHAT I DO:
Currently I work for an architecture firm in Chicago. Previously I worked for an architectural engineer who designed the mechanical systems for some of the most energy efficient buildings in Chicago. (1, 2, 3). I have a M.Arch degree from IIT. Prior to that I apprenticed as a mechanical engineer/contractor (I built really big complex industrial stuff 1, 2, 3).
My main interest is affordable energy efficient homes. There are many ways to make a building energy efficient, but making it comfortable, inexpensive, and attractive at the same time is the challenge. There are many people who say they can do this, but there are few actual construction companies and architects who are truly interested in this. Telling someone their home will cost 5%-15% more than a home of a similar size is not a great selling point. Also, banks rarely see the value in it, although things are slowly changing.
The main software I use for energy modeling is PHPP (passive house planning package). It's a very intense excel spreadsheet that requires a good knowledge of physics and a decent amount of coffee to operate. For drawings I use Revit which is essentially CAD 2.0.
Also, I can give advice on energy retrofits, but please be specific about where you live, what you're trying to achieve, etc.
This is all the posts tagged architecture from my blog. If you scroll down there's a picture of my degree.
Legally I cannot call myself an architect as I am not yet licensed. Technically I'm an intern architect according to AIA definitions. To become licensed in the US you need:
- A professional or masters degree depending on the state
- 5,600 hours of internship under a licensed architect (you can do about 1/3 under a licensed engineer too)
- Pass 7 tests of which the pass rate is 60%-80% per test. If you fail one you can't take it again for 6 months. You have 5 years to complete them or it all resets. Each tests costs $210 to take.
EDIT: I will answer everyone's questions as I get to them. There's a lot so it may take a few days. Please CTRL-F to see if others have asked the same question.
To the people who told me to do this AMA repeatedly as I rebuffed them; uh yeah I was wrong.
Also, I realize there's a typo in the title - fuck me right? But seriously, look up the definition of tact then read this article.
EDIT 2: I still have about 250 people to reply to. It may take a while but I'll get to all of you.