"We asked Elizabeth to upgrade a 1974-built waterfront home in CT so as to expand and modernize it. She listened carefully to what we wanted, gave us many options within the 'organic waterfront' style we had envisioned, and worked very well with the contractor to make sure the ideas were well executed. Elizabeth was tenacious in obtaining approvals from both the Design Review Committee of our local neighborhood association and the city. The Committee had some specific restrictions which required researched documentation and meetings to satisfy. In addition, the waterfront location of the project made the city approvals more difficult to obtain than usual. All along the way Elizabeth and her team helped us with interior design. The result is a our 'dream home' - a light, spacious beach house that has optimized the available footprint and greatly expanded our view of Long Island Sound. Elizabeth and all of Trillium have been an absolute delight to work with. We have a 'phase two' of our house project coming up, and instead of dreading it I actually look forward to the project because I get to keep working with Elizabeth and her Trillium team!" Stamford, Organic Waterfront renovation
"We purchased an old (tear down) ranch house, and hired Trillium Architects to design a modern house with the existing footprint. We wished to build a modern, energy efficient home with clean, aesthetically pleasing lines. We also wanted a house that would sit well in its natural environment and surrounding neighborhood.
What we got at Trillium was a highly talented, thoughtful and pragmatic team of architects and support staff. They listened carefully to our general dreams and specific ideas, then created a plan that not only met but exceeded our expectations!
Trillium Architects have a very strong, highly developed sense of design, yet they were very open to our ideas and suggestions. The scope of our project required an exhaustive and exhausting number of decisions. From floorplan to siding, windows to roof, from deck rail to shoe closet, Trillium kept us focused and patiently helped us to make the right choices. One thing we DEEPLY appreciated and respected was that while they were happy to take on board many of our ideas, they were tactful - but direct - when steering us away from any impractical or poor ideas we brought to the table! It was reassuring to know that if we lost sight of our goal, they never did!!
On the technical side, they are precise and thorough. Tradespeople received clear and accurate working drawings. Paperwork submitted to the building department was detailed and handled efficiently.
When it came to budgeting, they were very thoughtful in helping us prioritize where funds were allocated."
Trillium has a strong commitment to delivering a sophisticated and intelligent design. Their commitment to using sustainable materials is commendable. Yet at the same time, they are careful that it is never about them and their priorities. Trillium always kept our dreams and priorities at the top of the list!" Ridgefield, Modern Net Zero Home
"Project is ongoing difficult renovation of a historic, mid-century modern house. Trillium Architects was essential in successfully solving the many, unexpected problems that revealed themselves during construction. Particularly appreciated prompt and patient response to questions, commitment to deadlines and budget, and their respect for the ego and work of the starchitect involved.
Although this project does not showcase Trillium's design skills, without her expertise this historic house would not have been preserved. Trillium transformed a beautiful, but flawed and demanding white elephant into an even more beautiful, comfortable, energy-efficient, low maintenance home." Historic renovation
"Had a great experience working with Elizabeth and Kirsten. They took us through the complex process of obtaining necessary architectural approvals and were both flexible with their suggestions, yet firm in explaining what works and doesn't work. Very easy to work with and approachable. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for good architectural work. I even had their work reviewed by an independent architect who confirmed that the work was top-notch." Gracedj, Old Greenwich
"Elizabeth, the head architect, is one of the coolest, most professional people I have worked with. She believes in being green as a part or being ethical. That being said, we as a family share this vision. She is down to earth, has great taste, great ideas and will go out of her way to help you achieve something more "green" within your budget. She is knowledgeable about materials, and is very thoughtful about these choices in order to keep working with more ethical materials. I believe her approach should be the norm nowadays! We are doing a renovation currently with her but my dream is to build an LEED home with her in the future!!" Green renovation, Darien CT
"It was a pleasure to work with Elizabeth and her team on several projects. They are the whole package; professional, responsive, organized and extremely creative. I feel Elizabeth is a significant contributor to green building in this area. I look forward to working with them in future and have recommended Trillium Architects to several clients." Rozell Builders Inc., Carmel NY
"We only build high performance homes and have worked with Trillium Architects on multiple projects with great success. Trillium provides the green focus essential for a thoughtful/creative design helping clients focus on the important details. One our more recent Trillium projects was a Passive House, currently pre-certified, with certification pending." BPC Green Builders, Wilton CT
"As a builder I have had all the possible experiences working with architects and Elizabeth was one of the most enjoyable and satisfying. Even though we built the home in a general contract format there was always a sense of collaboration, not adversity. The clients came into the project fully trusting of their architect and Elizabeth allowed that trust to flow to the builder. The result was a happy client and a great home." Tony Savino, Principal, A.P. Savino LLC
"Trillium was contracted by the Taft School to design a passive, energy efficient home that would be at the highest standards for green homes in the United States. The home also had to meet local historic district requirements, while also being an aesthetically pleasing home for a faculty family. The home will also be used as a teaching tool for the students at Taft, which has 600 students, grades 9-12, from 35 states and 35 countries.
The home placed third in the Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge for the year 2014. Overall, we are very pleased with the results, and are awaiting results of passive home and platinum LEED certifications." Taft School, Watertown, CT
"Notwithstanding that our house renovation was a small project, the good folks at Trillium did a wonderful job, with focus and care. I was quite impressed." Renovation, Ridgefield CT
"Trillium did my green renovation a few years ago and I was thrilled with their work. They were always on-time, on-site when needed and did a great job of anticipating design issues for me. I was so impressed with their fund of knowledge for all things green and environmental and felt like I could really turn over the decision-making to them - it was huge relief! $ plus years later and I'm still really happy with the choices we made together and the value of their services." Jennifer Boyd, Westport, home addition + full renovation
"Elizabeth DiSalvo is an excellent architect who understands how to design a green home and how to work with the builder to ensure a high performance structure that also is beautifully designed and functional. She cares very much about the details and understanding what the home owner wants from the design. Elizabeth keeps her appointments and commitments and she is also very important once the building starts as inevitably things need to change. We are so glad we found Elizabeth and we highly recommend her as an experienced, dedicated and knowledgeable professional." Matt & Suzanne, New Canaan, New Home
"I have been researching and trying to find an architect that would see my vision in designing and building my new off-grid/solar, passive solar home. I would meet architects who claimed to know about passive solar building and/or solar, but after speaking to them, they didn't know much. I searched for almost two years. Then I found Elizabeth at Trillium Architects. We met and I was showing her my ideas, and she knew exactly what I was talking about and she saw my vision. She has designed the house of my dreams and then some! We are about to do the final drawings and submit to the town for approval. I am so very glad that I didn't settle and found Trillium Architects!" Sharon T, Litchfield County, New off the grid home
"Trillium architects designed a beautiful home for us in Connecticut. I feel the house reflects what we wanted to achieve and for the past 4 years have been extremely happy here. We have space, light and a nice flow to every room and we receive many compliments on the exterior as well." JM Otani, Old Greenwich, New Home
“We found Elizabeth DiSalvo through an article in our local paper, and contacted her to do the plans for a new house on the water in Stamford. The plans have just been completed and we feel we are getting our “dream home”. The process has been a very pleasant and fun experience. Elizabeth and her team are creative and practical, but have also been very receptive to suggestions from us. Her fees are reasonable, and we are very happy we chose Trillium Architects.” Beddinge, Stamford on the water, New Home
"I hired Trillium Architects to design a lake front home for me. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I hired Elizabeth after firing the original architect, someone I found to be unprofessional and difficult to work with, someone who was more interested in "his home" rather than mine. Elizabeth is the exact opposite of this man. She is a true collaborator, an exceptional listener, extremely knowledgeable of all things related to her profession (latest technologies and products), receptive and willing to explore her client's ideas as well as bringing forward her own.
Unfortunately, the house was never built; yet from the beginning to the end of the design process, I could visualize what the house was going to look and feel like. It was a wonderful project." Stabachnick, Lake front home design
"Our utility bills have decreased substantially, our house is definitely more comfortable and we absolutely love the new look that Trillium created for our house.” Karen, Deep Energy Retrofit, Wilton CT
"They hit it out of the ball park!” Bob & Leslie, New Home, Rowayton CT
“When we decided to gut renovate our existing home we wanted someone with experience who was truly knowledgeable. Now that we are done we are really happy and I know we got the best.” Emily, Home Renovation, Greenwich
“It was imperative that our house reflect our beliefs and life style choices and every step of the way Trillium helped us make decisions that resonate with our values and supports our daily life. We got a gorgeous green house.” Jennifer, Addition + Renovation Westport
“All I have to hear is ‘this is how the ladies want it’ and that’s how it gets done! I used to be yellow, but they are helping me to be green.” Tony, Contractor, Old Greenwich
A letter from the home owners of the Darien LEED Home:
We cannot thank you enough for your help in designing and building our home. Our home posed so many challenges – zoning regulations, old age of house, etc, etc – but you never said anything was impossible. Now that we have lived in the home for almost 10 months, we can truly say that you designed the most comfortable, beautiful and energy efficient ($20/ month electric bills!!!) home possible. Thank you so much!
Warmly, Anthia and Sam
A letter from the home owners of the San Diego Home (first the husband, and then the wife!):
The house (in the ad) looks beautiful. But let's talk about my house. I don't know how much Jill has told you, but it's great. First, obviously it's great to be out of the trailer, but it's even better to be home. Great layout. Great house to have the boys grow up in. And energy wise... We turned the heater on once in the winter. The wood stove heats this whole house, with one load. We stuffed it twice one time, used the air handler to circulate the warm air, and got the house to 85. That was obnoxious. One morning it was very cold (for here). The house was 68. Other than that, it never went below 70. The foam insulation guy told me lights and body heat would heat this house, and he was correct. We used the air conditioner once so far. It's been very comfortable. 80-83 with fans, but when it's 100 outside, that's nice. I'm still afraid to use the air conditioner because I don't want to know if it's oversized (it will upset me). With the PV panels and adjusting some things (use the dishwasher and other appliances during the day to offset running backwards because SDGE is weird), we have next to nothing for an energy bill. Considering we're all electric, to pay the minimums is cool (even though it pisses Jill off).
Thank you again. I love our house.
Hope all is well with you.
Jim, San Diego
We always had it in the back of our heads that one day we might want to build a house, but never got that underway.
Thanks to a rouge back country wildfire that headed into suburbia and took out 1200 homes, we ended up having to build from the ground up, and chose Elizabeth as our architect.
She also started from the ground up with us - talked about positioning of the new house and took all of our ideas into consideration. We truly had a DIY home (self-built) and Elizabeth supported us the entire journey, answering stupid questions, researching everything, and holding our hands for the better part of 2 years.
The layout fits our lifestyle perfectly. Elizabeth took the time to draw it to our needs, then redesign, refine, and refine again as we lived with the plans and considered the final home. The final result is here!
The house is icf construction - Arxx brand insulated concrete forms filled with steel and concrete. The huge thermal mass moves temperature very slowly, so it is very comfortable to live in. We also used foam insulation in the attic ceiling and have an unvented attic so the entire home is a sealed envelope. This past winter we turned the heat on one time to get the chill off. Otherwise we used the wood stove to heat the entire home - one load of wood with the air handler on to circulate the warm air heated the whole house. (air intake positioning is perfect!) A few times we stuffed it full twice, and the house ended up at 85 degrees so we had to open windows to sleep. The coldest our unheated home ever got for the entire winter was 68 degrees, first thing in the morning. Sure, it's Southern CA where the winter lows are typically above freezing, but it still gets into the 30s for weeks at a time. We have radiant floors installed in the foundation, but haven't hooked it up yet. Maybe that feature was overkill!
This summer we have turned the a/c on one time so far - we anticipate we might need it in August but so far the warmest the home has been is around 82-83. A typical day the temperature is in the upper 70s indoors, upper 90's outside. We are controlling heat with windows and ceiling fans so far, and it has been very comfortable with the summer cross breeze flowing through the house.
We built an all-electric house with 6kw solar panel system. Even with 5 people home all day with computers and electric hot water heater, etc., our annual electric cost last year was $190. The electric company charges a minimum even if the meter runs backwards (net) for the month, so the minimum yearly bill is around $65 regardless of energy use - I'd say we hit the right size configuration.
Other features we love - stone facing and stone wall in the great room, dual plumbing, open floor plan, cork floors, a master bath to die for, 47 efficiency windows/glass doors for the views and sunlight, outdoor shower to hose the kids off, decks on both floors to relax, steam shower, induction cooktop with plenty of counter space and cabinets in the kitchen, large sized appliances for refrigeration/freezing/laundry.
Elizabeth created an amazing design that fits us practically and aesthetically, but the real comfort and quality of life comes with the truly energy efficient home. Thanks for all of your hard work and hand holding, E!
We love Trillium.
Jill, San Diego