Tools & Services



Our core services are the designs of places and buildings that implement the ideals of the Sky Institute. We also perform a number of more specialized services, including the following:

Sprawl Recovery Planning

The aging US population reached a tipping point in 2011. From the end of World War II until then, there were more buyers than sellers in the young US real estate market, driving prices up. Now, and for the next several decades, there will be more sellers than buyers, exerting a downward pressure on the market. Sprawling outer-ring suburbs will be hardest hit, as people flock back to rejuvenated cities. Some sprawling places won't be satisfied watching their real estate values sink with the ebbing tide, and will choose to reinvent themselves to be more compact, mixed-use, and walkable. Steve has been working for years to develop the system of Sprawl Recovery, which over time can transform single-use subdivisions, shopping centers, and office parks into sustainable places with a brighter future.

Walk Appeal Path Testing

Walk Appeal is essential to successful neighborhood retail. We can test a neighborhood, special district, or even just a single street for Walk Appeal. We then propose measures to increase Walk Appeal at important places along the way.

Living Tradition Pattern Books

Steve's award-winning A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Bahamas] is a new kind of architectural pattern book that, for the first time, doesn't just tell you what to do, but also why to do it. And it's also a template for pattern books in other places… including where you live or work. If you're interested in a Living Tradition architectural code for your region that engages everyone, from home or business owners to builders and tradespeople, in a way that actually can start a new living tradition, then we should talk.

Town Architects

Eric, Julia, and Steve have all served for years as Town Architects at a number of New Urbanist towns and neighborhoods across the country. Eric is one of the longest-serving, having worked as Town Architect at Habersham since the beginning. Steve is arguably the most prolific Town Architect, having served at over a dozen places, with likely over ten thousand individual reviews over the years. Steve's unique face-to-face method has a strong track record of helping foster new living traditions of quality construction.

Builders' Workshops

Our Builders' Workshops aren't meant just for builders, but also the tradespeople with whom they work. Each workshop lasts one day, during which we build either three eave corners, three dormer fronts, three porch corners, or a number of window details. The three settings for the eaves, dormer fronts, and porch corners are Organic, Median, and Refined. Organic details are the simplest, least expensive, and most vernacular. Refined details are the most classical. Median are (naturally) in the middle. Steve works alongside a skilled carpenter you provide as both instructor and carpenter's helper. These can be transformative events, when framers and trim carpenters see that the right details aren't brain surgery, and actually make more sense for their region.


© Studio Sky 2014