fulfilling homeowner's dreams through innovative home design
do you need to build or renovate your current home or secondary residence (summer home, laneway house, cabin, etc)?
do you want a custom-designed home?
do you want your home to reflect your artistic flair?
do you want a West Coast modern home?
do you want a PassivHaus designed home? Or LEED home?
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, we are the custom home design group for you that can make it all come to fruition.
we specialize in residential design for new custom homes, as well as, renovations for single-family homes. our philosophy is that each home should be designed to meet the needs of the individual(s) that will be living within the home and offer unique solutions to your home building project, while remaining sensitive to the surrounding environment.
please feel free to browse our website and view our projects.
perhaps you have been thinking about renovating your home for a while now. maybe the walls of your current house just seem to be closing in and they are in need of being opened up to refresh the living spaces, thereby enriching the home experience. perhaps you have been dreaming about building a new post and beam modern masterpiece for you and your family to enjoy for generations to come. it could be that you are just looking to update some windows and improve your energy bill of your current drafty home. every project brings a lot of ideas, questions and dreams. you have come to the right place to find some creative solutions to your future building project. contact DRKdesign to get a started or fill out the questions on the contact page to get the ball rolling!
David R. Kominek has been designing homes for over last decade.
he completed his studies at BCIT [british columbia institute of technology]
and graduated with the dean's award in architectural design diploma program.
he currently has an architectural technologist designation with the AIBC [architectural institute of british columbia].
in his interest to build environmentally sensitive buildings, David has been certified as a LEED [leadership in energy and environmental design] accredited professional. using a well-designed plan with energy smart concepts to ensure a successful outcome, as many homeowners are looking for ways to make their home energy-efficient and healthier. DRKdesign is a member with the CGBC [canada green building council] which operates the 'LEED for Homes' program.
in his continued pursuit of being a knowledgable designer and conscious of building standards, David has taken interest in PassivHaus design in 2010. Now trained in PassivHaus [known as Passive House in north america] design, David can help you design a home that uses up to 90% less energy than a conventionally built home.
David has worked with many other local architects and builders on varying projects of scale gaining knowledge and experience in construction throughout the pacific northwest.
he currently resides with his wife in vancouver and enjoys playing the guitar, sipping a fine cup of coffee, photography and travelling, which turns out to be a fascinating source of inspiration on how different areas in the world build their homes and how they function.
'west obsessed' ©
we are driven by a passion for home design along with the satisfaction of providing exceptional service and results.
firstly, we strive to understand the client's needs, ideals and motivations; thereafter we are directed by the sense of the site conditions to produce buildings with significance and value that are transcendent of the west coast architectural language relentlessly engaging the beauty of the natural surroundings of british columbia.
our approach to each project is unique, thereby producing unparalleled results that suits each individual project parameters, site conditions and budgets.
‘we break the mold everytime’
it is always nice when we get recognized for our hard work.
2006 - georgie award finalist - richmond coach house
current sampling of projects designed by david
click on thumbnail to view more images
passive house on a bluff
an energy-efficient house is sited on a high cliff-edged site on gabriola island with a sweeping view towards the other gulf islands. the stringent PassivHaus standard is the requirement for the design of the project. the house has direct southern exposure for high solar gains during the year to reduce heating loads. high performance windows and doors reduce heat loss and provide heat gains during the winter. efficient heat-recovery-ventilator provides fresh air all day in the heavily-insulated, air-tight building envelope. the layout of the house was designed to take advantage of the amazing view as well as sunlight.
100 mile house - design proposal for a competition encouraging the use of local materials : sourced within 100 miles of the city limits of vancouver.
passive house bulgaria - design proposal for a passivhaus in lozen, bulgaria.
freegreen 2.0 - design proposal for a competition encouraging energy-efficient homes.
this home is located at the edge of a dense forest in the suburbs of the city. a retired artist and his wife needed a place to get away from the city. a painter's studio was incorporated into the home where the client could continue practicing his art. taking advantage of the large lot, a courtyard is created in the center of the home where the owners can entertain and enjoy the sunny days. an outdoor fireplace was proposed for large parties. since the owner's wife is a retired chef, a large kitchen with a wok cook area was included, as well as, a small vegetable garden. clerestorey windows, low roofs with chain water-leaders are some of the west coast building design features of the home.
taking on the concept of a traditional gable-ended house was the primary objective in regards to the visual aesthetics of the home. the interiors feature a more clean-line modern finish with use of fine wood detailing. the plan for home was to incorprate many views into the backyard while retaining privacy from the street.
blue is the new green
20*20 prefab - design competition entry requiring the design of a prefabricated home for two adults with a footprint of no more than 400 square feet.
PassivHaus competition - an idea design competition entry requiring the design of a PassivHaus in a hot humid climate. the challenge was to design a energy-efficient shotgun-style home for new orleans utilizing the passive house design criteria.
working with the existing house footprint and roof structure was the significant driving force in the re-design of the home. the need was to expand the existing attic space into a new master bedroom with a walk-in closet and ensuite. due to zoning requirements, the resulting form produces a generous but asymmetrical addition on the second floor. large window openings were designed on the east side of the house to take advantage of distant views to the coastal mountains.
the process of design
initial complimentary consultation and site analysis
duration : one to two days
we will review the city's zoning bylaws, and produce a document outlining the city's zoning allowances (ie. height, floor area, setbacks, etc.)
feel free to view our sample zoning analysis located on our resource page.
Call us at 604 928 6036 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to have your complimentary property consultation before you start to build.
site visit / dream and idea collection / survey
duration : one to two weeks
we collect detailed site information (ie. views, winds, sound, natural highlights such as trees, rock outcroppings, etc.)
we will discuss plans and desires for building project.
preliminary design sketch / planning layout
duration : two weeks +
we go into hiding for a week or so and start the alchemy (ie. adding all those elements from the analysis and your dreams together) and prepare for you an initial sketch of plan from collected data.
refinement of design / 3d model
duration : three weeks +
we develop more detailed floor plans, sections and elevations and build a 3d massing model of the house to give you an idea how your new home may look like.
complete full building permit drawings and engineering
duration : three weeks +
once design is finalized and you are satisfied with the plans, we will prepare fully detailed drawings for submission to city for their review.
landscape drawings (if required) will also be completed for application to the city.
A structural engineer will need to be commissioned (we can give you referrals) to evaluate the design and provide structural drawings at this stage (or earlier). it would be wise to have a builder (we can give you referrals) review the drawings to establish an accurate construction cost and refine the design, if needed.
submission to city / approval of building permit
duration : four to eight weeks
we submit all of the architectural and structural drawings to city.
payment of fees to the city is made and the drawings are reviewed by city planning review staff.
after approval from the city, construction can begin.
note : we now step back and the builders step in to start building / renovating your home.
construction / design further details / interior design / landscape design
duration : 8 months +
construction of your new home / renovation by builder is under way. we will periodically pop up to review site and coordinate details with builder, as well as, photograph the progress as it is a wonderful process to see the change and completion of a project.
completion of home / hurray!!
the home is complete inside and out and you are ready to move back in.
it is time to enjoy your new space!
kind words from folks I have worked with...
David was a great help in helping us build our dream home. He worked with us and our designer and was able to design us exactly what we wanted. We were very happy with the house we moved into, it was everything it was supposed to be. The interior and exterior are absolutely beautiful.
Brent and Janice
To Whom It May Concern,
Our family has had the pleasure of working with David for the past year while we renovated our house from the beams out. When we decided on this project we were very nervous about what the experience would be like. David was the first person we engaged for our project. He was so calm and confident that we felt very much at ease with him.
David was very flexible with all our requests, suggestions and changes, and there were many. He took into consideration everybody's must haves and quietly pointed out those ideas that sounded wonderful, but were impractical. He never lost sight of the budget we wanted to work within. Most of all, David was aware that he was designing this house for us, and our vision, not his. The result is a functional, practical and beautiful residence.
David connected us with other professionals along the way such as a structural engineer. He took the responsibility of helping navigate through the paperwork and permit requirements of the district. He was prompt in providing drawings, quickly made changes as required, and anticipated when the plans were required for review by the district.
When the building began, he was quick to respond to the builder when clarification and/or changes were needed during the building phase. David was always available when needed.
Now that the project is complete and we have moved back into the house, we often notice passers-by on the street stopping to admire the house. Often they take pictures. For us, our favourite features are the pergolas over the deck and the front door. My own personal favourite is the soffit lighting which David incorporated into the design to illuminate the house from all sides.
Taken all in all, a wonderful experience. We couldn't have done it without you David.
Melanie and Jim
I really enjoyed working with David. He was professional, insightful, easy to work with and eager to listen to all my design needs. I would highly recommend DRK Design to anyone.
further resources in home design
sample site analysis - PDF file
new project questionnaire - coming soon!
green features list - coming soon!
electrical energy cost comparison : standard house vs. PassivHaus - PDF file
what is PassivHaus / design fundamentals - link to Passive House Canada
what is LEED for Homes - link to LEED Canada for Homes
Canadian Home Builders Association - link to choosing a home a builder
LiveSmartBC - link to Energy Incentive Program
ecoENERGY Retrofit – link to Homes Grants
frequently asked questions with David from DRKdesign
- 1. How will DRKdesign approach your project?
First, we collect as much information about the site, the wants and needs of the client (that is you!) and the goals that they are trying to achieve (whether it is being green, using low-impact materials, reducing their carbon footprint or updating the design style, just to name a few).
- 2. How will DRKdesign gather information about your needs, goals, etc.?
This information will be gathered primarily through meetings, site visits, but also phone calls and emails. Through discussions we will touch on likes and dislikes, as well as, and issues about your current living environment. The more information being brought to the table from all sides is always very beneficial, but the process is having one main source (the designer) to collect/interpret the goals into a unified solution.
- 3. What does DRKdesign see as important issues of considerations in a project?
What we see as most important is the comfort of the home with regards to a healthy indoor environment and a highly efficient energy saving home with west coast flair.
- 4. How will DRKdesign establish priorities and make decisions?
There will be much more ideas, thoughts and goals brought to the table than what can be incorporated into any successful project. In order to have a cohesive and unified solution, discussions about the most crucial topics will be brought forth through interpreting the site, the views, and speaking with you, the home owners about what made you decide to build at this time.
- 5. How busy is DRKdesign?
We take on a handful of projects only at any one time. This is to ensure that each design gets ample design time and dialog to dive into all the details that go into designing a home. Things that you may not think about, such as having that light switch just where you would naturally want it to be or the way the sunlight is able to enter deep into the centre of the house on a cold winter day.
- 6. What sets DRKdesign apart from the rest?
DRKdesign's greatest strengths lie in the ability to collect lots of information and bring some ideas while using sketches, computer drawings, 3d models and physical models to illustrate the solutions. We cater to home owners who are looking for something custom and unique to their lifestyle. They are looking for a home that will be made just for them.
- 7. How does DRKdesign establish fees?
Generally fees are based on a percentage of the construction value of the house. Depending on the situation and requirements (landscape design, interior design, etc.), the fees may vary dramatically. Feel free to call or email our office to discuss your project in detail to help us establish what is involved in order to better establish the fees for your home design.
- 8. What are the steps in the design process?
There can be many steps from the moment a client decides to build to the time the construction actually begins. We will explain a typical process of a new home, though every project has its own path to venture on.
Firstly, we strongly believe that one of the most important steps is the site selection. So many things can and will affect the quality of life in your new home depending on the site you select. Things we always seek out are a good southern exposure to ensure great solar gains, a walk-able neighborhood and also views can be important, as well.
Once a property is selected, the design can begin. A collection of vast amount of information is digested by the designer, including the site properties (wind, views, solar orientation, key views, elements, topography), wants and needs of the clients (what type of construction, how large the home needs to be, rooms and areas within the home, landscaping), city zoning & bylaw requirements, and construction budget.
After we have collected this information, we will provide a few rough schemes just showing how the parts of the house will interact with the site and vice versa. The design will continue and elevation drawings will be developed, small physical models and 3d computer models will be generated to better understand and explain the design of the house and how it interacts with the site, as well as, internal view studies. During the design process, meetings with the municipality may occur to ensure that all zoning and bylaws are being met.
Once the design is completed, building permit drawings suitable for construction are completed and a structural engineer (who we can recommend) completes the structural design of the house. Other consultants may be brought on board to assess and provide services such as mechanical systems, electrical design, landscaping, as well as, interior design. After the application is made to the municipality and their review is completed, a building permit will be issued.
The builder will either be selected or generally is selected earlier, so that they may guide the costs and give insight into the construction process and specifics in the design process. Deconstruction of the existing structures on the site (if any) will begin and the new home will be built by the home builder. This process relates to a new home. In regards to a renovation, the process varies as the existing home must be measured and drawn up prior to any design; otherwise it is relatively the same process.
- 9. How does DRKdesign organize the process?
The process is kept in constant open communication with the clients through numerous meetings, site visits, and emails with drawings, photos, etc.
- 10. What does the designer expect you to provide?
Designing a home is a very personal thing to the homeowners. Bringing to the table as much information (photo clippings, ideas, things they like in their current home importantly as well, things they do not like) will be very beneficial in guiding the design process. Strong direct feedback from clients will make the project much more successful and will drive the design towards a common goal for both the designer and the clients.
- 11. What is the designer's experience/track record with cost estimating?
DRKdesign does not provide accurate cost estimates and highly recommends to have a builder involved in the project at an earlier stage (prior to final design drawings) to help guide the costs with the clients.
- 12. What will DRKdesign show you along the way to explain the project? Will you see models, drawings or sketches?
We can provide all of the above. Depending on the complexity of the project or element that is being described, any one of these aids will be used to illustrate the design feature(s).
- 13. If the scope of the project changes later in the project, will there be additional fees? How will these fees be justified?
Most likely there will be extra fees when changes occur close to the building permit or during construction phase of the project.. Additional work above and beyond the original scope approved at the beginning of the project will be charge on a hourly basis. If the changes are very significant (such as deciding to build a new house instead of renovating when the plans for the renovation have been completed), an new contract may need to be initiated.
- 14. What services does the designer provide during construction?
During the construction, I will be visiting the site to ensure the progress is satisfactory and ensuring the builder understands all the details of the drawings.
- 15. How disruptive will the construction be? How long does the designer expect it to take to complete your project?
Generally the construction of a new home can take anywhere from one to three years. The construction will be disruptive enough, that even if it is a renovation, it will be hard to live in the home during this time and I would highly recommend finding a temporary place to live while building/renovating is in progress.
- 16. Can DRKdesign provide a list of client references?
Yes, if requested. We can provide a list of prior clients as references or you can check out our testimonials - click here.
where do we start?
thanks for checking us out! we would be delighted to hear from you. please use the form below to tell us about your project and we will get back to you shortly. of course, all your information submitted below will be kept confidential.