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Crescendo Design
  • Featured Content
  • 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.

  • Hybrid-Main-lg

    The Hybrid House concept was designed with GreenStar.  It features a comprehensive solar electric (photovoltaic) package, along with displays that will not only track the amount of energy produced, but also the pounds of pollutants avoided.  An Energy Viewer will also provide a real-time readout of the amount of electricity being consumed, which will be networked with several Automated Home technologies, including Ecobee’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat.  These new technologies will enable you to monitor and control your home’s energy consumption in real-time through an online web interface, or by sending you e-mail notifications and text messages.

    Other eco-friendly features will include: recycled content roofing and siding materials; FSC certified framing lumber and flooring; non-toxic AFM Safecoat paints and finishes; Low E, ENERGY STAR rated windows and doors; recycled content drywall; cork, natural stone, wool carpet and recycled content tile flooring; spray foam insulation combined with recycled content, formaldehyde free fiberglass; Amish made cabinets and trim; FSC certified wood interior doors; recycled content countertops; dual-flush water saving toilets; ENERGY STAR qualified lighting; native landscaping; and rain gardens and drainage swales for storm water management.  The home will far exceed the sustainable building and energy standards of the Green Built Home program and will also be a certified Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Home.


  • The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Nutrihouse concept was our entry in the C2C-Home Design Competition.  We were told that it was chosen for construction from over 500 entries submitted, and we recently visited the site in Roanoke.

    Sarah Susanka, jury member of the competition comments: “Dear Jon and Kandy, I’m so delighted to hear that your house design will be built.  I thought it was a wonderful design and one that “normal” folk–read “non-architects”–will really love.  Congratulations, an send me pictures as it goes up, and keep up the good work.  Your illustrations spoke volumes about where your heart is–at least to me–and people will feel this in your architectural creations as well.  That, to me, is what architecture is really all about.  Warmly, Sarah Susanka, FAIA – Not So Big House

    “These young designers have been thrust into the limelight, capturing the attention of the international design community.” The Capital Times – Madison, Wisconsin – 5.12.05 Susan Troller

    “I was delighted to see you both do so well in a field of so many competitors. Keep up the good work!” Bob Greenstreet – Dean, UW-Milwaukee, School of Architecture and Urban Planning

    “Your design ideas are truly inspiring…Best wishes for continued success.” Bruce Shepard – Chancellor, UW-Green Bay

    “Crescendo Design’s ’smart’ house is something to build on.”Sheboygan Press – 5.12.05 Katrina Harrmann

    Here are some excerpts from the C2C-Home website:

    The Cradle to Cradle “Nutrihouse” designed by architects Jon and Kandy Brouchoud, partners of Crescendo Design in Cleveland, Wisconsin, will also be developed. Also in historic Gainsboro, this lot is on Harrison Avenue near 5th Street and it will feature an integrated approach to living in a home that embraces and celebrates nature. This house design implements innovative water management and conservation techniques.  The Nutrihouse has incorporated several strategies that are intended to bring natural systems to the forefront of the occupant’s experience, some of the expected applications are:

    • Graywater irrigations systems with a self-cleaning filter that captures and pressurizes the water, which is then released through a subsurface irrigation system.
    • Graywater sinks will collect graywater for landscape irrigation
    • Wastewater Gardens that are designed to be on-site wastewater treatment of graywater.
    • A green roof will be on a portion of the finished roof.
    • Composting Toilets, which use no water, chemicals, or septic tanks; but rather rely on the natural processes of composting.
    The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority has donated the property to Blue Ridge Housing Development Corporation. Blue Ridge Housing Development Corporation will be constructing the house on Harrison Avenue.
  • home2

    In order to save this existing farmhouse from demolition, the owners were able to recycle the entire home by physically moving it from it’s existing site to their new site, which featured several acres of prairie, woods, and a river flowing through it. They refurbished and remodelled the entire home, and added a wrap-around porch with an agricultural grade tin-roof, along with antique doors and hardware to retain the home’s original character. Construction: completed.

  • These are just a few samples of our first few days with the new BIM software. We look forward to offering 3D illustrations throughout the design process.

  • “BUILDING GREEN ON A BUDGET” read full story HERE, and view more slideshow images HERE.

    This ‘green’ addition to an existing residence takes advantage of solar orientation as well as healthy, non-toxic materials (courtesy of our friends at Healthy Home Reports). Even though the home is located in a close-knit urban neighborhood, this addition affords almost total privacy due to existing trees.

    The additional is barely visible from the streetside, which helps to maintain the single-story rhythm of the surrounding neighborhood. A solar visor along the south and west windows will block the hot summer sun, yet allow the sun to light and warm the interior spaces in the winter.

    The addition will provide the owners with a new master suite, and a kitchen (complete with walk-in pantry) that opens into the new living space. The existing living room will be converted into a study space and library. They have shared their story on the Green Built Home website. Click HERE to read more about it (scroll down to “Building Green on a Budget”) and view more slideshow images HERE.

  • For a slideshow featuring more images of this project, click HERE.


    James Kachadorian’s Passive Solar House concept is as close to an ‘open source’ architectural strategy as any.  Originally motivated by the oil crisis of the 70’s, Kachadorian developed a technique for building new homes that incurred no additional construction costs, based on completely conventional materials, including concrete blocks and poured concrete.  As the patents issued on this solar system expired, Kachadorian essentially turned these ideas over to the public, and wrote a book – ‘The Passive Solar House‘ to ‘make that gift more meaningful.’  The home featured here is built upon the ideas found in this book, as well as direct consultation with Kachadorian himself.

    This home consists of an existing farm house, almost every inch of which required total reconstruction with careful consideration paid to energy-efficient construction techniques and mechanical systems.  The new addition extending south from this farm house was built using Kachadorian’s passive solar slab technique.

    Aesthetically, the intention was to build a home that fit well with the timeless rural character of this region, especially that of the existing farm house.  We did so by extending consistent overall massing, roof lines, window types and siding material from the farm house to the addition.  The two elements are unified by a central gathering/entry core.

    Internally, the addition features an open 2-story central space with a wood stove that can radiate heat throughout all of the spaces in the addition.  The tall chimney minimizes creosote build-up and gives the hot chimney pipe a chance to radiate as much heat as possible into the space.  This open central space is flanked on either side by open second story loft spaces that look out over the living room.  These lofts can be completely enclosed by a series of sliding doors reclaimed from the existing farm house.  These open lofts also enable rising heat from the passive solar slab and wood stove to radiate throughout the entire space.

    Internal ‘thermo-shutters’ are located on each of the south-facing windows in order to retain as much of the warmth absorbed during the cold winter days as possible.  They also help keep the space cool in summer by blocking excessive solar gains.  The size and shape of these windows were calculated based on Kachadorian’s guidelines for optimal daylight admittance throughout the year.  We kept north-facing windows to a minimum, and only installed them in areas that would help offset the need to use artificial lights, enabling further energy savings.

    The home is currently fit with a solar domestic hot water system, with plans to augment the system with a photovoltaic installation in the future.

    In all, this home is not only a model of energy efficiency and passive solar utilization, but fit well with the family’s lifestyle, the architecture of the existing farm house, and the rural vernacular character of this region.

    Built by Thompson Custom Builders.

    For a slideshow featuring more images of this project, click HERE.

  • To see a full slideshow of this project, click HERE.

    This project was sited on a private lake in central Wisconsin, providing a unique opportunity to capture sweeping views of the lake and countryside from a 3 story lookout tower.  The design concept hinged upon a main central living space with a second story loft overlooking it.

    Timbers were designed and assembled by Bear Creek Timberwrights ( and Burg Homes ( completed design development and built it.

    To see a full slideshow of this project, click HERE.

    Lodge Sketches

  • Click the image to see more pictures of this project.  This client came to us, through GreenStar Homes, with a unique, European inspired design concept they had created.  The plan featured a courtyard and entry foyer that directly connects the front entry with the courtyard.

    It was a pleasure to work with this flexible and well thought-out design.  The plan was able to be configured very nicely on a gently sloping corner lot in Middleton Hills.  With minimal alteration to the client’s concept, we were able to retain southern exposure in the courtyard, and keep each of the interior spaces in their desired location.  The configuration of the home maximizes the yard space of the site with the courtyard, and creates what is essentially another room of the home.  We also took advantage of the natural slope of the site with a partially exposed lower level, where an additional bedroom and naturally lit exercise room were created.  The home truly utilizes the full potential of its beautiful site.

    In addition to the exposed lower level and the private courtyard (complete with water fountain and European-style granite pavers), this home also features a covered walkway that connects the home to its 3-car garage, complete with a second story guest flat. Inside, the home will be very private, as the master suite and away room are separated from the more public open spaces of the living room and kitchen.  The away room and master bath will overlook the courtyard, as will the private guest flat across the way above the garage.  The office on the second floor of the home will also overlook the courtyard and have a fantastic view of the surrounding area.  The screen porch will also be a great space to overlook the courtyard to the south and wooded area to the east.

    The exterior of this home includes stone, EIFS and cement-board siding, in a composition inspired by the Prairie tradition.  This residence successfully blends the American Prairie style of Frank Lloyd Wright and the old-world courtyard feeling of Europe. To see more pictures of this project, click HERE.

    To see more pictures of this project, click HERE.

  • “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.