David photo

David is an architect who has specialized in passive solar and environmental and been a practicing architect since 1976. He has worked in Santa Fe, The Sea Ranch, California, and has been based in Nevada City, California since 1979.

He has gained an international reputation for being a pioneer in passive solar architecture and has designed over 400 custom residences across the United States. David is NCARB certified, and been licensed in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Colorado and Wisconsin. His firm has completed many residential, commercial and institutional projects, as well as a number of historical buildings.

He is a cofounder and past president of the Nevada County Land Trust( Bear Yuba Land Trust), and has been a Board member, and Site Architect, for the North Star Historic Conservancy since it was formed to conserve the famous Julia Morgan designed North Star House.

David has received several design awards and his work has been published hundreds of times including, Sunset Magazine, National Geographic, Popular Science, L.A. Times, House Beautiful, Solar Age, Progressive architecture, The Washington Post and Mother Earth News among others. Some of his work is archived in the Smithsonian Institute museum. He has authored or co-authored four books and spoken nationally and internationally many times. David continues to practice in Grass Valley, California and specializes in designing environmentally responsible homes throughout California and Nevada.


Justin 3Justin is the primary staff in charge of project production. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon and Virginia Tech with a Masters of Architecture Degree, and is preparing to take the Architectural Licensing Exam for the State of California. Justin coordinates all CAD drafting, 3D rendering and manages the software graphics for the office. When you call the office you are likely to speak with him regarding your project.


Caty Wright photoCathy Wright is David’s wife, partner, and a graduate of UC Davis. She has kept the books and helped manage the business for over 35 years (though she doesn’t look that old).Cathy does the billing and oversees much of the business management decisions for the firm.


Heather WrightHeather is David and Cathy’s daughter and a Licensed Architect in California and New Mexico. She graduated from Cal-Poly with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and has experience in many types and styles of architecture. Heather lives and works in Marin County and as an associate who helps us with production, design and presentation work on selected projects.


Megan Mathews photoMegan Mathews is a daughter and a licensed Structural Engineer associate member of our firm. She received her Civil Engineering degree from Cal-Poly and a Masters in Structural Engineering from Stanford University.
She is currently a partner at Verdant a structural engineering firm located in Berkeley which specializes in green & ecological engineering design. Megan works with us on our straw bale, adobe, and other alternative construction projects.

We work with a number of qualified and experienced associates on a project by project basis:


David De Vitt-Production Assistance
Lincoln & Long – Civil and Structural Engineering
Conway Engineering – Electrical & Lighting Engineering
Holdrege & Kull – Geotechnical
Jo McProud – Landscape Architect
Melas Energy Engineering – Mechanical Engineering
Susan Chalpin – Septic Design
Bruce King – Structural Engineering
Megan Mathews – Verdant Structural Engineering
California Survey – Surveying
Nevada City Engineering – Surveying
Engineered Fire Systems, Inc. – Fire Sprinkler Design
Premier SIP-  Structurally Insulated Panels
Plan-It-Solar – Photo-voltaic Design and Installation
Spectral Engineering – Electrical Engineering and Lighting Design
Sierra Solar – Off-Grid Complete Solar Systems