Who We Are
Stewart’s love of nature started very early with the family camping and canoeing trips throughout the many parks in Michigan. His grandmother owned the family farm and orchard in Limerick, ME where he spent many summers mulching trees, learning to drive, feeding the animals, and with a salt shaker in his pocket, picking fresh tomatoes and immediately eating them – nothing tastes better he says. These experiences constantly influenced his approach to the tasks at hand including his studies of architecture and material sciences. His outgoing, people personality influenced his approaches to work.
Add to this, growing up with an architect father in a Prairie style home naturally led Stewart to carpentry for his summer jobs and ultimately to a construction business. As he matured, he constantly sharpened his respect for resources, design, and the people who would live in these buildings. Being a New Englander at heart, it was natural to focus his carpentry and design skills on restoring 17th and 18th-century homes. Beyond the carpentry skills, a true understanding of the conservative nature of these early Colonialists and their homes became evident. They worked with the resources on hand, re-used any materials possible, and had a real respect for ‘efficiency.’ He remembers his grandfather saying; ‘pinch a penny, turn it over and use it again.’
With this ‘conservation’ attitude, Stewart started a design/build company in the early ‘70s that also provided workshops focused on teaching owner-builders, carpenters, and engineers. After discovering enclosing homes with Structural Insulating Panels, there was no turning back. Here was a product that solved his passions, love of conservation for energy and resources with the practical nature of one construction step completing 4 building stages; framing, sheathing, insulating, and securing.
For the next 40 years he immersed himself in System Built energy conserving homes. This work combined with his many childhood years in a Prairie Style home and his architectural studies, he naturally fell into the designs and methodologies of the early 20th century. These were also the years of our huge westward expansion, the outdoor spirit, and ‘can do’ attitude – perfect.
Stewart will readily admit that he is making a profession of ‘failing retirement’ and has no intention of slowing down. He continues his love for the outdoors and to camp, hike, bike, and kayak with his family. He firmly believes that this building system will be the solution to our building technologies for the future providing both a sustainable solution as well as a simple, practical, and money-saving approach to building a home.