Sustainable design strategies integrate principles of environmental stewardship into the design and construction process enabling us to build in a resource-efficient manner, improve and protect occupant health, and enhance indoor air quality.
We embrace the increasing awareness of sustainability issues and believe it is critical that we develop building strategies that strive to reduce the environmental impact associated with construction. Because each project presents unique and special challenges, a sustainable solution for one project may not be used on another. As designers and builders, one of the most important steps we can take is to craft durable, energy efficient buildings that are beautiful and will age gracefully, thereby extending the life of the building. Our Design/Build model helps to ensure that these principles are put into practice. We often use third party consultants to generate energy modeling early in the design process, helping to shape the energy footprint of each project. We evaluate the viability of renewable energy sources–such as solar electricity generation, solar hot water, geothermal heating and cooling–and high-efficiency equipment, including air sourced heat pumps.
Sustainable building standards, such as those adopted by the U.S. Green Building Council, require planning and discipline to employ. We work with our clients to select appropriate strategies for each project. Beyond lowering operating costs, there are many financial incentives such as rebates, tax credits and SREC’s for the installation of electricity generating solar panels, that help to defray added costs associated with high performance building systems. We help to identify and develop plans that qualify for these programs.
Green building standards include the following strategies:
Energy Conservation (Design and build energy efficient buildings)
- Use higher levels of insulation carefully detailed to reduce infiltration.
- Use passive solar heating, ventilation and natural lighting as possible.
- Install energy efficient mechanical equipment, lighting and appliances.
Selection of Materials (Specify low environmental impact, resource-efficient materials)
- Avoid materials that generate a lot of pollution during manufacture or use.
- Specify materials produced from waste or recycled materials.
- Specify materials that are natural and sustainable.
Maximize Longevity (Design for durability and adaptability)
- Specify durable materials.
- Assure quality installation, thereby enhancing service life.
- Design with low maintenance materials.
Indoor Air Quality (Provide a safe and comfortable indoor environment)
- Control moisture to minimize mold and mildew.
- Avoid materials with high rates of off gassing.
- Provide mechanical systems for adequate ventilation.
Minimize Waste (Control material use)
- Return, reuse and recycle job-site waste.
- Disassemble buildings to maximize salvage potential.
- Donate re-useable materials to community groups who can make use of them.
- Design buildings and renovations to minimize waste.