Embracing Change with Style and Sustainability

Photography by Scott Pease Photography

Change is the only constant in life. RWA Architects has been in business for 27 years and has experienced many changes in the industry, including what clients are looking for in their homes. 

Many of these changes are a factor of people recognizing that they too change – physically and psychologically – over time. In the last several years, many RWA clients have looked for a way to simplify their lives and create a home in which they can age gracefully and accommodate changes in their lives. 

Additionally, many people wish to maintain their current social relationships and community, which is facilitated by a home or condo with design features that serve all ages and levels of physical ability. 

Trends include wider doorways, level floors and curb-less showers. These clients are either seeking a new lifestyle, adapting to a change in the size of their family, or retreating from a large, maintenance-burdened house for a more carefree condominium. 

“We have had clients who moved from a 12,000-square-foot house to a 3,000-square-foot condo – talk about simplifying one’s life,” says John Isch, a principal at RWA. 

In the last several years, RWA Architects has seen an increase in remodeling condominiums for clients who have relocated in pursuit of simplifying their lives or seeking a single-level, easily accessible space that is “aging in place friendly.” 

For those who want to remain in their house, remodeling becomes a viable option. Adapting existing spaces to anticipate the future needs that can accompany aging, making homes accessible for all ability levels, or that provide for a healthy environment, have also increased. 

Many times, simply making minimal adjustments to a floor plan can improve accessibility. Integrating details for ease of use, or upgrading infrastructure to improve air, or other environmental qualities, can be conducive to aging and good health, and can allow a client to stay in their home. 

For individuals seeking to build something new or to remodel a current home, there is an increasing awareness and desire to create a healthy environment that addresses indoor air quality and energy usage, in addition to reducing maintenance to save time and money. Integrating features and details that allow for aging in place also help to extend the use of a home over a lifetime. 

RWA has been recognized by the design industry with more than 30 regional and national awards for their innovative solutions that employ state-of-the-art sustainable building technology without compromising the clients’ desired aesthetic appeal. 

The firm was recently awarded first runner up in the Unlimited Residential category from ICF Builder magazine for a new residence built with insulated concrete forms (ICFs).  ICFs are a structural wall system that provide thick, durable exterior walls with exceptional thermal performance and sound reduction properties.

 “We have the track record of designing sustainable houses beautifully,” says Michael Mauch, a principal at RWA. For more than 19 years, RWA has been on the leading edge of residential sustainability. The secret to the firm’s success is working in the homeowners’ best interest with quality homebuilders, remodelers and skilled artisans to create a living environment that exceeds clients’ expectations. 

“Ultimately, it’s the homeowner who must be satisfied, not the builder, not the architects,” says Isch. “In order to maintain the high level of satisfaction that we enjoy with our clients, our design process begins and ends with the focus clearly on them and their expectations.”

RWA Architects can help solve problems and create solutions to make healthy, accessible and functional spaces for all ages. Good architecture is integral to supporting a long, healthy and productive life.

RWA Architects, Inc., is located at 2771 Observatory Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45208. For more information, call 513.321.9506 or visit their website at www.rwaarchitects.com.