The Design Difference

The AIA Minnesota event—named “Best Home Tour for New Construction” by the Star Tribune—is back for a fifth year on September 22 and 23. And it’s better than ever.

We at Architecture Minnesota have been plugging the annual Homes by Architects Tour for so long now that we’re beginning to run out of superlatives for it. But we only needed one look at the plans for this year’s event to see why this circuit is going to be the best yet: variety. Never before have the new houses, additions, and remodels ranged so widely in size, budget, and sustainability strategies. And several of the participating architects and architecture firms—and of course all of the homeowners—are new to the tour.

Then there’s the great diversity of styles and vintages. How many home tours have offered up a Tudor, a Colonial, several modern homes, a prefab modular, a rambler, a farmhouse, a split-level, a Victorian, and what can best be described as an agriculturally themed dwelling? The answer, to our knowledge, is none. So grab your ticket and set aside September 22 and 23 for the ultimate in residential design inspiration. We can’t guarantee you’ll love every house. Architecture MNBut we know you’ll come away with some great new ideas—especially if you take the time to talk with the architects.

—Christopher Hudson, Architecture Minnesota editor, the bi-monthly magazine published by the American Institute of Architects Minnesota

How to Choose the Right Window

Marvin WindowsIn our climate, it’s important to choose the windows that will both stand the test of time and help to manage energy costs. Marvin Windows and Doors offers the following tips:

Understand the numbers.
Research the U-Factor, R-Value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) numbers appropriate for our northern climate by visiting

Choose energy-efficient glass.
Insulating glass (dual and tri-pane) and low emissivity coatings help to improve the energy efficiency
of windows.

Materials matter.
The material of a window’s frame is important to a window’s overall performance. Wood, desirable for its warm, traditional look, provides solid energy efficiency.

Staying power.
Choose windows and doors that have the quality craftsmanship and strength to last. For example, Marvin’s durable extruded aluminum clad wood windows offer superior protection against dents, scrapes, and fading.

Manufacturing with a conscience.
Companies that actively promote recycling, lean, clean manufacturing and waste management are often recognized by government or industry awards.

To learn more about Marvin’s commitment to the environment, visit or call 1-888-537-8268.

MN GreenStarMinnesota GreenStar Certified Green Homes and Remodeling is pleased to announce that the 2012 AIA Minnesota Homes by Architects Tour, Home #13 is IV Gold Certified.

It features: geothermal heating/cooling; recycled floors; new Marvin low EII windows; water saving appliances; energy saving lighting; new Hardie siding; FSC framing, flooring and cabinets.

For more information go to