Michael R. Klement, AIA, is the exceedingly proud principal of Architectural Resource, LLC, a talented and innovative Ann Arbor firm devoted exclusively to residential design: new homes, cottages, additions, remodels and restorations, all conceived from a deep conviction that we have a sacred responsibility with our built form to sensitively honor our past, creatively improve our present, and wisely preserve for our future.

Tom and Marti’s project, Burh Becc at Beacon Springs, has presented our firm its greatest professional challenge – and opportunity – to date, and possibly for our entire professional legacy.

Until now we have all accepted contemporary built form as essentially transgressions upon the natural world. We have accepted as fact that our buildings would trample our past, pillage our present, and lay ruin to our future – that they would be toxic vessels of ecological destruction powered by ancient sunlight leaving a legacy of environmental waste.
Through the incisively brilliant vision of the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge we have an oculus through which to view things differently – and not just a little differently – radically differently. The Living Building Challenge asks the audacious question: What if Nature designed our homes? What would they look like? How would they perform? How would they engage the ecology around them?

For the answer, one looks to nature. What if our homes emulated one of nature’s simplest yet most beautiful acts of brilliance: a flower? A flower uses current solar income as its source of energy; it uses rain from the sky or water stored in the ground nearby; it uses only immediately available non-toxic, sustainably-obtained raw materials to create and nurture itself; it enhances and improves the ecological system it occupies; it embodies beauty by its very essence; and lastly, it creates no waste.

In Burh Becc at Beacon Springs, we are attempting to create that home, that built form, which reaches far beyond “green” or even “sustainable.” Burh Becc at Beacon Springs is the first residential project in the Midwest registered with the International Living Future Institute seeking full Living Building Challenge certification.

Let’s see how we do.

AIA: Principal