The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


Eliminating the “cut-and-try” approach


A local environmental-design consultant has developed an innovative approach to the home-design process. Dr. Dwight Miller of Right Home Consulting has developed techniques that lead to home designs that are more comfortable for the owners, are environmentally friendly, and save money. Based on commercial architectural programming, “residential programming” is performed prior to design, and organically builds an inventory of requirements for the home without any formulaic assumptions. The result is a detailed design “program” that is custom-tailored to the homeowners, specifying exactly what needs to be included, based on their residential histories, lifestyles, values, spiritual paths, cultures, and style preferences.

“It’s a win-win solution for homeowners and architects, who, in many cases have given up on the residential market, says Dr. Miller. “This approach can eliminate much of the long, ‘cut-and-try’ series of drawings that adds time and expense to the design process. All of the requirements are stipulated up-front, allowing the designer to approach the problem more efficiently and holistically.” Dr. Miller writes the design program with the concurrence of his clients after conducting interviews, questionnaires, and other interactive activities.

His background in environmental psychology, and experience as an ergonomist at Sandia Labs and Adjunct Professor at UNM’s School of Architecture, allow Dr. Miller to assess the needs of his clients on many levels. “We consider everything from the time someone gets up for work, to the kind of house they lived in as a child. We use thirty-seven proprietary dimensions that measure what clients value in their home’s location, layout, privacy, etc. The result is a detailed profile, kind of like e-Harmony for your home.”

The environment is also an important consideration. “The process fits nicely into the LEED for Homes Integrated Project Planning, which requires a project team and establishing green-building targets for design and construction.” Dr. Miller is in training for his LEED for Homes consulting accreditation, which will be made available in November.

Why is he doing this? “I see a flawed system. We can do better. The homeowner deserves a better fit than he is currently getting for his dollar. I’d also like to attract architects back into residential design, where their skills are needed. And, if the owners opt to ‘go green,’ the environment benefits as well.” To learn more about this innovative approach, call Dr. Dwight Miller at (505) 934-6718, or visit






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