Meet Our Founder
Our Founder & CEO
Our founder, Elvin, was raised in the Treasure Valley of Idaho, where his passion for architecture began. As a young boy, Elvin was very inquisitive, he would tear apart his toys and just about anything he could get his hands on to figure out how it worked, and how he could put it back together with improvements.
Although very young at the time, he would work alongside his father in a blacksmith shop along with assisting him in iron works, and steel construction. Elvin learned very young how to build, repair and problem solve which has only added to his skills in the design industry.
Beginning Interest in Design
When he was in high school he took an art class, where his teacher shared with him some home plans he had drawn, that class was where his passion began. While still in high school he worked for an architectural office; at first taking care of general office duties, he quickly moved from general office duties to the drawing board and after 2 years was assigned as a Lead Designer. The bulk of projects he was Lead Designer on, were schools, hospitals and commercial structures. During Elvin’s time working for the architectural firm he studied both the fields of architecture and engineering.
After completing this training Elvin had a desire to work in the construction industry and had received a job offer and was hired by a large construction firm in Idaho. However, prior to beginning work Elvin suffered a major accident that would bring about several changes.
After the accident, and the yearlong recovery from it, Elvin decided to go back to his training in architectural design and start his own business. He did not feel it was ethical to open in the backyard of the Architectural firm that trained him. He had always liked Central Oregon and in 1989 moved here and opened Western Design.
Upon opening the doors, the primary focus was residential design especially with alternative forms of construction such as log homes, SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels), RASTRA, ICF, and so forth. In 1994 Elvin became licensed as a building inspector and plans examiner, since building codes change every 3 years and State interpretations are changed sometimes on a weekly basis, this allowed him to stay completely informed of code changes.
Elvin continues to stay alert to the ever-changing building industry spending on average 150-250 hours yearly with continuing education.
Following is a partial list of Elvin’s training/continuing education and memberships along with professional certifications:
Training & Education
1993 – 1991 UBC Code Changes
1993 UBC Oregon Amendments Training
1994 – Fire & Life Safety Training
1996 – Wood Products Education for Code Officials – COBA – Training
1996 – Nonresidential Energy Code Training Chapter 13 – Oregon Building Officials Association.
1996 – Nonresidential Energy Code Training Building Envelope – Oregon Building Officials Association.
1997 – COCC Class, Structural Design
2002 – ARXX Building Products Development Program Classroom training & Field training
2006 – Central Oregon Chapter of International Code Council- Building Codes Training Code changes
2006 – Central Oregon Chapter of International Code Council- Building Codes Training Wall Bracing code changes
2007 – Central Oregon Chapter of International Code Council- Building Codes Training
2007 – OSSC Code Changes Training
2008 – Central Oregon Chapter of International Code Council- Building Codes Training
2010 – 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code – Building Codes Division State of Oregon Training
2011 – 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code – Code Change- Building Codes Division State of Oregon Training
2014 – Central Oregon Chapter of International Code Council- Building Codes Training
2014 – Central Oregon Chapter of International Code Council- ADA- Training
2015 – 2012 IBC Structural Provisions – International Code Council Training
2015 – 2014 Oregon Residential Specialty Code Wall Bracing – Central Oregon Chapter of International Code Council – Training
2015- 2014 OSSC- Fundamentals & Structural Provisions of Chapter 16 – Central Oregon Chapter of International Code Council – Training
1994 – Professional Designer Certification – American Institute of Building Design
1994 – Certified as a Building Inspector State of Oregon
1994 – Certified as a Plans Examiner State of Oregon
2017 – Certified Aquaponics Design