Designing Custom Homes—From Coast to Coast

Sponsored by Marvin

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define the innovative design strategies employed in domestic residential projects drawn from several of Architectural Record's Residential Building Type Studies and “Houses of the Month” project overviews.
  2. Explain how an integrated design approach can be strategically used in custom home design.
  3. Discuss how the design teams created optimal environments, taking into consideration contemporary aesthetic trends, sustainability goals, and the context of surrounding landscapes.
  4. Describe the range of design approaches and materials employed on a variety of custom home projects.


1.5 AIA LU/Elective
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
As an IACET Accredited Provider, BNP Media offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
This test is no longer available for credit

This course is part of the Custom Home Academy

Below are a set of links to building type studies from Architectural Record, which are in-depth analyses of particular kinds of buildings, with photos, drawings, specifications, detailed descriptions, and design solutions. Click on each link below, read the article then complete the quiz to earn your credit and certificate of completion.

This course will look at a number of Architectural Record Residential/Custom Home Building Type Studies and “Houses of the Month” project stories from locations across the United States, with a focus on modern design approaches, sustainability practices, and unique building materials.

New Canaan House by Joel Sanders
New Canaan, Connecticut
Architect Joel Sanders emphasizes Midcentury Modern's linearity in Connecticut.
Suzanne Stephes

The Barrington Residence by Eric Rosen
Los Angeles
Inspired by its site, a surprising house in Los Angeles is designed to be experienced from the top down.
Deborah Snoonian Glenn

Heron Hall by McLennan Design
Bainbridge Island, Washington
The creator of the Rigorous Living Building Challenge designs his own super-sustainable dwelling.
Joann Gonchar, AIA

Carroll House by LOT-EK
Brooklyn, NY
An unusual house constructed of upcycled shipping containers cuts a striking figure in Brooklyn.
Josephine Minutillo

Skyline House by Shubin Donaldson
A California firm works with an industrial designer client to create a contemporary home in the Santa Barbara hills.
Alex Klimoski

Square House by LevenBetts
Stone Ridge, New York
A New York firm revisits the site of its first residence to create a relaxing backyard retreat in the Hudson Valley for a longtime client and friend.
Miriam Sitz

510 House by Johnsen Schmaling Architects
A vibrantly colored house in suburban Milwaukee projects shades of summer all year long.
Miriam Sitz

Alpine Meadows Cabin by Studio Bergtraun Architects
Lake Tahoe, California
A Bay Area firm creates a customized mountain retreat for outdoorsy clients.
Miriam Sitz

Designing Custom Homes—From Coast to Coast

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Bitterman


Marvin Marvin makes windows and doors that make homes feel comfortable and secure by putting people first to achieve beautiful design and exceptional quality so that people can live happier, healthier lives. Marvin has served as a trusted partner to architects, builders and homeowners for more than 100 years. Learn more at

Originally published in May 2018