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Kathleen Reardon, Guest Columnist

The owner of RD Architecture, LLC, a residential architectural firm in Houston, Kathleen Reardon, specializes in integrating energy efficient green design into projects that reflect each client’s personality and lifestyle. With numerous accolades, including designing the first LEED Gold Certified home in Houston, as well as a Mayoral Proclamation, Kathleen is committed to protecting the environment and raising awareness. She currently serves as the 2012 ASES Houston Solar Tour Director.
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Recent Posts

New Energy Codes for Houston Residences

Posted by Kathleen Reardon, Guest Columnist

Jan 30, 2012 11:14:00 AM

This past fall I sat in on a residential energy code meeting. The City of Houston was finalizing their code for the start of 2012, with the goal of exceeding the International Energy Code requirements.

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Why am I showing a photo of a bucket in my shower?

Posted by Kathleen Reardon, Guest Columnist

Oct 18, 2011 11:21:00 AM

Texas has been suffering through a historical drought. Lawns are turning brown, trees are dying and foundations are moving. The city has been rationing; we are no longer free to water wilting plants unless it’s a designated day.

I have a low-flow shower head, and I’ve been showering with this bucket for a while. (And yes, I can see that this weekend I need to clean my shower!) I’m thankful for the small size of my house – it’s not too far from the master bath to the backdoor. My shower water benefits some thirsty plant each day – my grapefruit tree looks great. One weekend I decided to see if my son’s bath water could be used to wash my car. It takes half a tub of water to wash a car – not too bad. The rest of the water gave most of the plants in my front yard beds some relief. It’s a lot of work carrying a large bucket of water, and it’s a bit awkward. But it made me think – how many people in the history of humanity had to carry water – most. And as for the awkwardness of the bucket handle cutting into my fingers; it’s a reminder of how we take for granted resources that at one time had to be physically handled, carried, stored, etc.. We readily consume what is delivered to us; all the work has been removed.

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More Thoughts on Home Size

Posted by Kathleen Reardon, Guest Columnist

Sep 2, 2011 11:27:00 AM

My eight year old son likes to use the word mansion to describe large homes – and he’s made it very clear that he’d like to live in one someday. And since he’s only 8, I’ve come to a conclusion: some people will just like and want big homes, it’s part of their personality. I don’t think he’d be happy with a small house – it’s as simple as that.

My daughter on the other hand, will point out her favorite little bungalows, and talk about how she’ll have a small house when she grows up. Some people are naturally drawn to smaller homes and spaces.

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How Big Will Your Green Home Be?

Posted by Kathleen Reardon, Guest Columnist

Jul 28, 2011 12:40:00 PM

Deciding the size of your home is one of the most important green decisions you'll make. Lifestyle, neighborhood, budget, lot size, neighborhood requirements, social status and resale can all play a role in that decision. And once it’s made, the size of the house will partly determine ownership costs: utility bills, cost of upkeep and property taxes. It’s not a decision that can be easily reconsidered, and has long term consequences.  

Regardless of what size is the right size for you (and I say this because there are instances where a large house is appropriate) there’s also the environmental footprint to consider. It’s easy to understand how a small house can have a smaller environmental footprint, but it’s also possible for a large house to have an even smaller footprint.

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Dream Home: Practical Advice for Making Choices and Keeping your Sanity!

Posted by Kathleen Reardon, Guest Columnist

Jun 10, 2011 12:44:00 PM

I’m thrilled to join the blogging team for Green Builder Media!

As a residential architect, I spend a lot of time helping clients understand the decisions they need to make.  So much goes into a home project, at the beginning it’s hard to realize how many choices are involved.  Those choices are in the context of a style, budget and the environment.  It’s a one time opportunity to build a dream home – the pressure is on.  At first it can seem like the most amazing shopping trip ever: Plumbing fixtures, lighting, tile, flooring, countertops, and appliances.   But then the amount of different options available becomes clear and often clients wonder:  “Where do I start?  How do I pull everything together?  The tub I love costs $5,000, and that’s my entire fixture allowance for the Master Bath. I need to pick windows too? How big should my house be?  Wow, I don’t know if I’m going to have fun with this after all..."

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