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Crescendo Design
  • Crescendo Design background
  • July6th

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    Crescendo Design co-founder Kandy Brouchoud has earned her certification as a LEED® Professional Accreditation through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

    The USGBC’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.

    LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, providing building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance.

    LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) are those industry experts who have demonstrated their knowledge of the LEED Rating Systems through successful completion of certification testing. LEED APs have the knowledge and expertise to facilitate the integrated design process and streamline LEED certification for their projects.

    Kandy Brouchoud earned her LEED AP certification after founding Crescendo Design, a residential design studio located in Madison, Wisconsin, focused on principles of green design.

    “This certification is a natural step for Crescendo Design,”Kandy said. “Over the past several years we’ve designed a wide range of sustainable homes, incorporating comprehensive passive and active solar strategies, along with the strategies incorporated in the Hybrid House concept, such as renewable energy systems, monitoring, performance and GreenBuilt Home certification.”

    “This will really enable Crescendo Design to take our efforts to the next level,”Kandy added. “Now we can formalize our efforts with the appropriate documentation and deliver homes that capitalize on environmental efficiencies and various financial incentives offered by state and local communities. We will be helping our clients to improve the quality of their homes, and to serve the larger good of offering environmentally responsible design strategies, which benefits everyone.”

  • January7th

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    The following questions are intended to help us better understand your goals for your new home, and help us get to know you. The information you provide here will help us achieve design solutions that are perfectly suited to your lifestyle, your site, and your budget! You can either copy these questions along with your answers into an email and send them to, or write them down and bring it to your first consultation.

    What is your name?

    What is your current address?

    What is your future address (or building site location)

    What is your email address?

    What is your phone number?

    What is your desired budget for the project?

    What are your hobbies? Do they require special spaces within your home?

    Do you have any pets?

    Will any children by living in the home? How many?

    Do you entertain frequently? How many people do you typically entertain?

    Have you ever built or remodeled a home in the past?

    What is motivating you to build or remodel?

    Do you have construction experience? Do you plan to build any part of the home yourself?

    When do you hope to move into your completed home?

    Are you currently working with a building contractor? Who?

    What do you love about your site or existing home you plan to remodel?

    What do you dislike about your site or existing home you plan to remodel?

    Are there any features of the site you would like to be considered in the design process?

    Do you have a specific design style in mind for your new home?

    These are just a few questions to get us started. We will be asking many more questions in future meetings, to better understand your goals, but these are just a few questions to get us started. Please email your answers to us at whenever you’re ready!

  • January7th

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    We try to keep this process as simple and flexible as possible, and let you determine how much or how little you would like us to be involved with your project.

    First, we ask you to answer a brief series of questions to provide us with an initial understanding of your goals, your site and your budget. You can find those questions by clicking HERE. You can either e-mail your answers to us at or bring them to your first free consultation (the first hour consultation is always free!).

    After your free consultation, we provide you with a detailed Proposal of Services that describes each phase, as well as an estimated number of hours needed for each phase of your project. We work at an hourly rate, and you can hire us for as many, or as few, Phases as you wish. Below we’ve outlined some of the most common. An important aspect in every Phase is the control that the homeowner has over what we are working on, and the direction we are headed. We do not require a formal contract, so there is never any pressure or long-term commitment for the homeowner. You will only be billed for the work we’ve completed.

    To begin, we will define the existing parameters of the site in order to derive a solid starting point for developing design ideas. Then, we will identify and review your priorities and design wishes, and examine how they will fit into the new home, and how each room and space will function together as a whole. We will create sketches and visual aids to help describe our design ideas to you, and work with you to ensure the home is just the way you want it.

    We will begin to dial in on the building materials and character of interior spaces, and take a closer look at any special features and details of the home.

    All of the information and design decisions are compiled and organized into a clear, concise set of drawings. Additional details are drawn and material selections are documented. We can draw as much or as little detail as your builder requires, or as much as you would like to include. The more detail we draw and discuss with you, and the more specifics you ‘pre-approve’, the more likely the home will turn out the way you expect.

    You may wish to have us visit the construction site periodically to check on construction quality, progress, and field questions from the contractor. It can be helpful to have another set of eyes on the site defending your interests during the building process.

  • January6th

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    “Architecture is frozen music”  -Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

    Musically, the term Crescendo implies a gradual improvement or increase in strength and intensity.  In a word, Crescendo Design is in the business of improvement.  Whether we’re helping a client improve their home or testing new ways to visualize design ideas, our daily practices hinges on the notion of constant improvement.

  • January6th

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    Crescendo Design - Residential Design in Madison, Wisconsin

    Crescendo Design was founded in October, 2003 as the home-studio design practice of myself, Jon Brouchoud and my wife, Kandy Brouchoud.  Kandy and I met in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.  Before graduating, we spent some time studying in Paris and London, then completed our internships state-side with several architecture firms in Dubuque, Milwaukee and Madison.  We settled into a home in Madison, where Kandy continued working for an architecture firm, while I pursued a variety of architecture-related assignments, starting Crescendo Design essentially as a means of organizing my efforts as a cross-disciplinary consulting practice.

    Kingfisher Farm

    In late 2004, we decided to move closer to my family in Manitowoc, Wisconsin due to an illness in the family and became caretakers of a nature reserve on Lake Michigan called ‘Kingfisher Farm.’  During this time, we became interested in Cradle to Cradle (C2C) design philosophy, and entered the ‘C2C-Home’ competition to design a home based on C2C principles.   Our design, called the ‘Nutrihouse’ was chosen for construction from over 500 designs submitted, which essentially kick-started our focus on residential design.

    Nutrihouse - a Cradle to Cradle concept by Crescendo Design

    We were invited to design several new homes for GreenStar homes in Madison, and secured several more projects after showcasing the Nutrihouse and the new ‘Hybrid House’ concept we developed with GreenStar during the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s annual fair later that year.

    Second Life architecture

    As we continued serving clients throughout the midwest from our home studio near Manitowoc, we started using the virtual reality platform ‘Second Life’ to help our clients visualize design ideas.  By modeling ideas using the Second Life platform, we could meet with clients virtually and enable them to review the designs from the comfort of their home.  Not only did this enable us to offer an unprecedented and cutting edge level of design visualization, but it also reduced our travel time as we served such a wide geographic region.

    Golden Gate - photo by Jon Brouchoud

    We continued designing homes, but moved to California for a year, as I accepted a unique position in Berkeley, California to further explore the application of virtual worlds in the professional practice of architecture and beyond.   While we were in Berkeley, Kandy took the opportunity to work for a local architecture firm – continuing to expand her expertise and knowledge of residential design.

    Crescendo Design Home Studio, Madison, Wisconsin

    We settled back in Madison, Wisconsin in late 2007, and purchased a home on an 8 acre lot on the Waubesa wildlife area about 10 miles south of downtown Madison with plans to remodel it into a demonstration home with a new home-studio space for Crescendo Design.   We continue to engage in a wide range of assignment types, including additions, remodel projects and new home designs.  I have also continued taking on virtual projects, exploring how this technology can be useful in architectural design and collaboration.