VOLUNTEERING IN ST. THOMAS

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Last week, Kim & Jeremy Bonin, Principal Partners of Bonin Architects arrived in St. Thomas, USVI and spent five days in meeting with several group members involved in rebuilding areas affected by two category five hurricanes late last year. Some areas of the island are still without power, and the island is full of other groups offering assistance, such as FEMA, volunteer organizations from all over the world, and a multitude of line workers from all over the country.

Bonin Architects is volunteering design services and renderings for several projects. A permanent lobby structure to replace the existing damaged canopy and a new entry sign also damaged in the storms. Design for a four-unit employee housing building which was severely damaged by both hurricanes when the roof was torn off, and a shelter from wind, sun, and rain for the restaurant encompassing outdoor seating

The island of St. Thomas is close to Kim & Jeremy’s hearts; they own a property on the island which was fortunately not damaged. Volunteering services and staying active in the community both locally and afar is essential to all members of Bonin Architects & Associates and will continue to be a service we are happy to offer whenever possible.

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BONIN ARCHITECTS WINS NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME MAGAZINE DESIGN AWARDS

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Last night, on the anniversary of Bonin Architects & Associates' 10th year in business, our firm was honored to receive 3 awards during the New Hampshire Home Magazine 2018 Excellence in Design Awards Ceremony!Thank you very much to everyone involved in these wonderful projects; each of our clients, our design team, engineers, builders, subcontractors, and thank you to the judges for voting for our firm.

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WELCOME TO NEW LONDON

Welcome signs, every town has them.  Until about six weeks ago New London, New Hampshire did not.

When the topic was brought up at a planning board meeting this spring, Bonin Architects volunteered to design these signs for the town.  It was an exciting opportunity to create something that would be seen by so many people and would be a symbol for decades to come.

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We went through several iterations, different colors, shapes, mounting arrangements, but settled on black with gold leaf lettering.  The guiding principles were:  To create a design that was classic and elegant and to build on a design language that already exists in town.  You may have noticed the gold on black look at other locations around town like the town office building, Tracy Library, and the New London Fire Department.  The design includes the town seal, which shows three steeples.  Colgate Hall at Colby Sawyer College, Whipple Hall, and the Baptist Church, as well as the year of incorporation, 1779.  We surrounded the seal with a laurel garland, an ancient symbol of victory, success, and prosperity.

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A DRONE PHOTO FROM A HAPPY CLIENT

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We have THE best clients! Our firm designed this award-winning home and it was built 8 years ago. Our clients have since sold their business and are now retired. We've remained in touch over the years, and families like this are the reason why we love what we do every day!

Here is a drone photo they sent us, along with this email which reads in part:

"We still very much love our home...very regularly during cocktail hour, we'll look around and say...'can you believe this place???' Eight years later, we are blessed to have this home and now that I don't have to travel for work every week, I actually finally live here full time, and I love every minute of it!" 

For more photos of this fantastic project, please view  https://www.boninarchitects.com/residential#night-pasture-farm

RESCUING A NEW LONDON LANDMARK

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If you’ve driven down Main Street in New London recently, you’ve probably noticed the “1941” building, formerly the Kearsarge Middle School has been demolished, however, a committee of citizens was able to arrange for the building’s iconic steeple to be removed by crane and preserved.   As community service and involvement is a staple principle of our business, Bonin Architects have volunteered our time to design a monument to display the steeple.  The monument, located on Main St. at the intersection with Cougar Court, will feature bricks salvaged from the old school walls and the building’s “1941” cornerstone.

 

This project will rely on the support of the community and is a great way to preserve the character of our town.  Fundraising is underway, and many local businesses and citizens have already committed to aiding in the construction of the project.  If you would like to donate, please contact Kim Bonin to make arrangements.

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RECENT CHANGES TO THE SHORELAND WATER QUALITY PROTECTION ACT

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The Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (RSA 483-B) is an important safeguard for one of New Hampshire’s most precious and valuable natural resources, our Lakes and smaller bodies of water.  Maintaining water quality is essential in protecting our quality of life, the health of the environment, the natural beauty we are so proud of, and NH’s tourism industry and economy.  Earlier this month, “Senate Bill 30” went into effect.  As part of this bill, a few important changes are taking place regarding the SWQPA.

The most noticeable change will be in calculating the vegetative score of waterfront sites.  In the past, sites were divided into 50’x50’ segments along the length of a parcel’s shoreline.  These sections are scored based on the sizes, quantities, and types of vegetation located within.  For example, a 6”-12” caliper tree is worth 10 points, 15 points for a tree greater than 12”, and there are points per square foot of natural groundcover.   The minimum score to be maintained was 50 points.   The new bill has changed this grid to 50’x25’ and has proportionately decreased the minimum score from 50 to 25.

The “Natural Woodland Buffer,” was defined as the area located between 50’ and 150’ of the Reference Line (mean high water elevation).  The definition has been replaced by two new terms.  The “Woodland Buffer” and “Natural Woodland.” The “Woodland Buffer” is now defined as the area between the reference line and 150’, including the 50’ “Waterfront Buffer”. “Natural Woodland” is defined as “a forested area consisting of various species of trees, saplings, shrubs, and ground covers in any combination and at any stage of growth”. Within the Woodland Buffer between 50’ and 150’, 25% needs to be maintained in an unaltered state or improved with additional vegetation as” Natural Woodland.” Other changes apply more to the administrative policies and do not affect the design or management of the shorefront. 

It is important to remember that even though these changes have gone into effect on the state level, most towns (New London, Newbury, Sunapee, for example) have their requirements for their respective zoning ordinances.  These regulations are often more stringent than the state’s and must be followed. These laws, state or local, are designed to protect our water resources, keeping New Hampshire beautiful and clean.

CRAFTSMANSHIP IN A CUSTOM HOME

Craftsmanship - "the quality of design and work in something made by hand; artistry." 

Build - "to cause to be constructed."

All houses are built; however, craftsmanship sets a home apart. Quality, durability, thoughtfulness in design, and artistry are attributes found throughout the process of creating a custom home. The design process contains skill and understanding as an architect brings the functional needs and a family’s vision of their home to life. The construction process then integrates many trades, masons, and carpenters, for example, each with their unique experience and knowledge of their craft, further building upon the whole of the design.

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For example, as the masons complete work on this chimney, their attention to detail and artistry will be followed and complimented by the carpenter's millwork and finally the cedar shingles on wall and roof. Traditional materials, thoughtful design, and craftsmanship from talented builders result in a unique home to be enjoyed by generations to come.