Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Marketing and Sustainability: Tools + Tips

Posted on Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Sustainability Coming to you from the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, with news and updates on happenings and important topics from the event...

My first session today was Marketing and Sustainability: The tools + tips to tell your story.

This was an interesting session with presenters from Herman Miller. Gabe Wing, Herman Miller representative, spoke about storytelling, and HM's Earthright Strategy:

  • transparency
  • collaboration
  • resource responsibility
  • community driven

The idea being to "make a living or make a difference". Find your bee story - Look it up on the Herman Miller web site.

My late morning session was on Climate Change. This was part of the Master Speaker Series, with Katherine Hayhoe as the presenter. She is a scientist at Texas Tech, and involved in the ATMOS Research. 

To pull out the bullet points of her presentation:

  • Climate Change - it's the biggest health risk of the century

  • It is the story of Energy Industrial revolution: coal, natural gas and oil

  • 41% of US energy use is by buildings

  • Energy use has increased by 400% since the 50's in the United States

  • The invisible problem: invisible heat-trapping gases - Carbon Dioxide

  • The United States has produced 30% of greenhouse gases over past 30 years. This is a higher level of GHG production than that of any other country.

  • For the past 8,000 years of Earth's history, CO2 levels have varied from 180-300 in their historical ranges. In 2014, CO2 levels are now at 400 ppm.

  • Our planet has seen a 43% increase in greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution

  • The data shows a 30-year trend that is clearly warming

  • Ice Age causes: changes in the earths orbit, tilt of axis wobbles and over long periods of time (1000's of years) the earth does gradually cool or warm.

  • Temperature was trending down over last 6000 years, indicating a cooling cycle, until the industrial revolution. Now, temperatures are clearly and abnormally at higher degrees. 

  • Natural cycles move heat around the planet, but they do not heat or cool the planet over all. It is a transferring system; up one place, down another place. (Like El Nino)

  • Oceans have absorbed a lot of the heat, more than the land.

Science shows that more than 100% of our planet's warming is caused by humans. The sun is in a cooler natural cycle, and axis wobble is in a cooling cycle, yet the long term trend since the beginning of the industrial revolution (the large extraction and burning of fossil fuels) shows greater warming, overcoming all the natural cooling trends and more, into a greater warming trend than is natural.

We are facing 3 choices when it comes to climate change

  1. mitigate - reduce emissions

  2. adapt - to the changes (our current infrastructure can not cope with changes to our climate)

  3. suffer - some suffering is inevitable; how much is up to us

For more information, visit

Stay tuned, as I'll be returning tomorrow with more topics and discussions from the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in New Orleans!

Michael Carlson

Building Green Business Doesn’t Stop At The Building

Posted on Thu, Oct 16, 2014

Building Green BusinessWhen business owners think of going green with their company, one of the first things that come to mind is the building from which the business operates. While this is certainly a primary focus of building green business, it’s by no means the only way to optimize environmental resources.

There are also various indirect means of accomplishing green business goals; a few we can list for you here, as well as any ideas you may come up with; let’s get creative, and employ every possible strategy to make the most of renewable energies and reduce the human footprint on our precious and intricate environment.

Top Ways of Building Green Business Without Renovation

The good news is that building green business doesn’t mean having to start from scratch from the ground up. There are many simple and affordable ways to incorporate green practices into your business model right away, making a difference with every next step achieved.

To help give you some ideas to get started, we’ve compiled an informative checklist that you can download and post for future reference, of The Top 26 Ways to Green Your Business. We know you’ll find this to be a valuable guide as you move forward with your green business goals.

Here are a few examples from the checklist, to give you an idea of just how simple building green business can be:

The Building

  • Buy only Energy Star office equipment - ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program to identify and promote energy–efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of or other forms of communication about products and buildings that meet the highest energy efficiency standards.

  • Clean with non-toxic chemicals and natural products - Avoid corrosive or strongly irritating substances, ozone-depleting compounds or hazardous materials, and instead opt for renewable resources such as bio-based solvents from citrus, seed, vegetable, and pine oils, biodegradable products with low VOC content, low toxicity in aquatic species, low flammability, and those designed for use in cold water in order to conserve energy.

  • Install a timer to turn off your fresh air intake during non-occupied hours. Taking in fresh air in Florida is necessary and required, but it takes extra energy to dehumidify that air for interior use. Fresh air is needed to reduce carbon dioxide inside, which is created by people. When there are not people, there is no need to bring in fresh air.

Beyond the Building

  • Shift hours of operation to avoid peak rush hour traffic.

  • Let some employees work from home 1 day per week.

  • Locate your office near public transportation options.

These are just a few of the many ways to green your business without need for complete renovation. Taking baby steps is far better than taking no steps at all -- so download your checklist, then choose one or more items to implement and let’s get started!

Get the Checklist and Start Going Green

At Carlson Studio Architecture, we understand that a building is an expression of energy, materials & design (information). Buildings are not comprised of isolated components - each is comprised of systems that interact with other systems including the larger ecological systems and the human community. A "whole system" sustainable design leverages the complex and complementary interactions to reduce energy use and levy the smallest possible environmental impact, while enhancing occupants' comfort and productivity.

We are happy to provide a complimentary downloadable checklist that you can print and post as a handy reference guide for taking your business to new and greener levels. Just click the button below to request a copy of the checklist now:

Download the FREE Checklist!

The Industrial Revolution and Renewable Energy

Posted on Tue, Oct 07, 2014

The Industrial Revolution and Renewable EnergyI watched a great BBC documentary on the Industrial Revolution this past week.  It is amazing how changes in technology, energy and transportation continue to be as relevant today as they were in the 17th century.

The documentary’s premise is the industrial revolution began in England, in the 17th century, and the main driving force was twofold: one was the discovery of an abundance of coal that was easy to access, and the other was the social/political climate in England versus other developing countries. 

  • Up until this time, wood was the primary fuel/energy source in the world.
  • Coal was 3 times more efficient than wood.
  • Coal was less bulky and easier to transport.
  • Once the innovations occurred to begin to tap the energy potential of coal, through the creation of the steam engine, that new energy drove the industrial revolution and made it possible.
  • Constant improvements in efficiency of steam engines provided the essential tool for constant innovation in the manufacturing of products and materials that drove the economy, and provided an opportunity for private entities to profit from the innovations.

There was a great deal of scientific research and understanding of the natural world around us during this time.  Understanding our solar system and the universe, gravity, evolution, forces of nature etc., were being discovered, tested and proven.  Religion often tried to sensor the scientific knowledge of the time because it felt threatened.  It was hard to grasp that we (the earth/mankind) were not the center of the universe.  We were not even the center of our solar system.   And yes, the earth was round, not flat, and so on and so on, with discovery through all of recorded history.  Science continues to discover new things and refine existing knowledge constantly.  I do not see that as a threat to my beliefs any way.

I think about the forces trying to hang onto our petroleum-based energy economy until the last drop/lump is burned and inserted into the atmosphere. 

Then I think about how much energy is delivered by the sun to every square foot on this planet - free renewable energy from the sky, evenly distributed to be used everywhere, by everyone. 

Renewable energy can drive our economy and provide opportunities for the public and private sectors today.

I think of the changing climate and what the next less than 100 years is going to bring.   It is OK to think the 7 BILLION + people on the planet can likely impact our environment and change the climate.  How could that many people not affect this third rock from the sun? 

The government of England in the 17th and 18th Centuries invested in the infrastructure of transportation networks, both toll roads to provide consistent access across areas controlled by different counties, and canals that made transportation much cheaper and easier to bring in raw materials and distribute products to market.

I think government still has a role to play today in getting us into the next phase of energy (renewable energy sources) and reducing the amount of carbon we inject into our atmosphere.  The documentary does get into the differences between the government’s approaches in England versus France and how those polices affected the ability for those societies to innovate and advance.

I was reminded of the book, The Third Wave, by Alvin Toffler.  I always loved that book. The 3 waves of society he write about are the Agrarian Age, the Industrial Age, and the post industrial age, aka the Information Age.  That is another whole discussion for another day.

Check it out the BBC documentary (it is only an hour long) for yourself at:

Renewable Energy and Sustainability

At Carlson Studio Architecture, our LEED Certified architects look at renewable energy and sustainable design as part of the greater "whole system." Everything is part of one Whole System. Ecological thinking means looking at living things in their whole context, while seeking also to understand the interconnections between all living beings and their environment. It recognizes that no living being — including human beings — exists in isolation.

We are happy to provide a complimentary eco-consultation to determine how your building designs can utilize renewable energy sources as part of your sustainability goals. Just click the button below to submit your request, and we'll respond promptly to schedule your consultation.

Free Consultation


Green Building Renewal: A Closer Look at CSA

Posted on Tue, Sep 23, 2014

The third LEED-CI project ever certified in Florida was the new offices for Carlson Studio Architecture.

When Carlson Studio Architecture needed a new home for the growing sustainable design firm’s headquarters, a 1930’s-era abandoned grocery store seemed like the ideal location.  The building’s open layout, ample size and walkable urban setting offered all the features Michael Carlson, AIA, LEED AP and principal of the firm was seeking in an office.  It was just waiting for someone to come along and recognize its “green potential.”

Green Building Renewal Details

Green Building RenewalThe firm purchased the 4,400-square-foot parcel with a partner and sub-divided the space.  Carlson Studio Architecture shares their 2,400-square-foot area with Carlson Studio Marketing, a green PR & marketing agency, run by Grace Carlson.  The businesses consciously made the decision to seek USGBC LEED Silver Commercial Interior (CI) certification for the project, which was achieved in December 2007.  The reason was two-fold.  Because the business owners believed in the value of LEED certification, they wanted their building to serve as a demonstration model to current and potential green building clients.  They also recognized the investment in third-party certification would increase the value of their asset.

The LEED system was selected, over other available systems, because LEED standards are rigorous.  Anyone can call a building green, but if the U.S. Green Building Council says its green, those results are undeniable.

Renovation costs were roughly $85 a square foot plus commissioning fees and extra features, which were $8,800 and added 4% or $3.71 per-square-foot to the budget.  USGBC Certification fees for the office were $2,200. The firm expect a rapid return on their investment. 


  • HOW MUCH “EXTRA” DID IT COST? (Above and beyond normal construction that would have taken place with or without seeking LEED certification.)

  • LEED CERTIFICATION                      $2,200

  • COMMISSIONING                           $5,000

  • ENERGY SAVING FEATURES         $1,600

  • TOTAL INITIAL INVESTMENT       $8,800 (about 4%)



  • FIRST YEAR APPRECIATION VALUE FOR GREEN BUILDINGS +/-5% (this was not realized due to a region wide downturn in real estate values)

The 15% annual ROI provides for a about a 6-7 year payback all by itself.  Now that we have been in the green building for over 7 years we have realized the full ROI on our initial investment.  And we will continue to realize the savings year after year for as long as we occupy the green building.

Making our staff more productive: ESTIMATING A CONSERVATIVE 5% PRODUCTIVITY INCREASE WILL PROVIDE AN 82% ANNUAL ROI. (Over the life of the green building, productivity payback not only pays for the “green premium” it pays for the entire cost of construction)

While all elements in sustainable design work synergistically together to maximize the outcome, here are some specific goals that were incorporated into the building:

  • Improve the building envelope for thermal comfort and operational savings

  • Reduce Water Consumption

  • Reduce Energy Consumption

  • Provide natural daylight and views to the exterior, for all occupants.

  • Minimize indoor pollutants through exclusive use of environmentally friendly paints, adhesives, furnishings, cabinets, and flooring.

  • Improve productivity of Occupants.

  • Adaptive reuse of the existing building saved carbon emissions, land fill waste and energy.

  • Adding windows increased access to day lighting and exterior views. Using double pane, impact resistant, and Low E tinted glazing reduced solar heat gain.

  • Replacing the roof with additional insulation and an Energy Star rated single ply reflective membrane roof system enhanced energy savings.

  • The mechanical systems were replaced with more energy efficient equipment.

  • Energy efficient fluorescent lighting with direct / indirect light was installed throughout the interior.  Compact fluorescent light fixtures and occupancy sensors were installed in restrooms and storage rooms.

  • Site lighting for security was minimized to reduce light pollution.

  • Low flow plumbing fixtures, dual flush toilets and motion sensors were installed for water conservation.

Green Building Design by CSA

At Carlson Studio Architecture, we believe that going green doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality or comfort... and certainly not convenience. Our own offices are a perfect example of not only how EASY it is to go green, with full return on investment in minimal time.

We are happy to provide a complimentary green building consultation to determine how your green building projects may best be implemented, whether it’s for a new green building or renovation of an existing structure. Just click the button below to submit your request, and we'll respond promptly to schedule your consultation.

Request A Consultation

Green Building Renewal: A Historic Building is Reborn

Posted on Tue, Sep 16, 2014

Green Building DesignIn my previous blog, I talked about the background, details, and return on investment that Carlson Studio Architecture realized when we purchased our office building in 2007 and built out a LEED-CI Silver Certified project, which was the third LEED-CI project ever certified in Florida at that time. I was happy to share the detailed information about this green building accomplishment.

One thing I have seen over these many years in working in the sustainable design realm is that people with a “green” mindset are very open to sharing the details with others, whether it is an ROI calculation, or a green building design concept, or a specific detail.  A strength of the green building world that is its willingness to share, and bring everyone up along the way.  As they say, 1 rising tide lifts all boats. So, we felt strongly that we should walk the walk and design our own office to be LEED certified.

The Green Building Offices at Carlson Studio Architecture

Having now worked in this green building for over 7 years, I have a few observations.  We used some simple, basic technology throughout the office that we have become so accustom to, we miss it when we go elsewhere, including:

  • Motion sensors in all the private offices, conference rooms, bathrooms and lobby.

  • The T-8 lights come on when we walk into a room, and go off a few minutes after we leave.

  • The bathroom motion sensors are also tied into the exhaust fans, so they stay on automatically for a few minutes as well, then turn off automatically so as to not exhaust all the air conditioned air out of the green building.

  • The dual flush toilets work great.

  • The faucets in the sinks are all on automatic sensors, so when you put your hands under the faucet, the water turns on, and when you remove your hands it shuts off immediately.

  • The faucet motions sensors are battery operated, and the flow of the water out of the faucet turns a small turbine wheel and recharges the batteries constantly. We have yet to change the batteries. 

I have gotten so accustomed to not turning the lights on and off, and not having to turn the faucet on and off, that when I am away from the office I typically expect those things to happen automatically, but they don’t very often. All of this is simple technology has no maintenance and nothing to break.

Other simple things like programmable thermostats, automatically turn the air on in the morning about an hour before we open, and reset to a bit warmer temperature in the evening to save energy when the building is not occupied.  There is also a weekend setting that is similar to the night time setting.  The thermostat allows these setting to be easily manually overridden by a user who may come in at night or on the weekend.

We also added a simple timer switch that closes the fresh air intake damper at night and on weekends when the office is unoccupied.  This saves additional energy because the A/C system does not have to bring in and dehumidify the hot and humid Florida outside air at night or on weekends.

More about real experiences working in a LEED office in a future green building blog.

Green Building Design by CSA

At Carlson Studio Architecture, we believe that going green doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality or comfort... and certainly not convenience. Our own offices are a perfect example of not only how EASY it is to go green, but also that ultimately those people living and working in green buildings come to discover that life can be decidedly simpler when your building 'does the work for you'.

But be forewarned: it's easy to get spoiled by such effortless simplicity, and to miss it when you're away; just as we do here at CSA.

We are happy to provide a complimentary green building consultation to determine how your green building projects may best be implemented, whether it’s for a new green building or renovation of an existing structure. Just click the button below to submit your request, and we'll respond promptly to schedule your consultation.

Request A Consultation

How To Implement A Design Charrette

Posted on Wed, Aug 27, 2014

How An Eco Design Charrette Is Used In A Sustainable Design Project.

sustainable design charretteOne of the tools we use at Carlson Studio Architecture to design high performance sustainable buildings is the Eco Design Charette.  This is an intense half day or longer where all participants of a project focus on design ideas for efficient use energy, water and resources in the new sustainable design building project.

A Charrette is a French word meaning “little cart”.  In the Beaux Arts in Paris in the 19th century, proctors would collect the work of all the apprentices at the deadline hour with their little carts.  The word conveys a sence of an intense effort to finish a task before the deadline.

Today a Charrette can be called a workshop, a planning session, a collaborative meeting, a high performance design tool, an integrated sustainable design process, an intensive interaction of all the players on the project.  The charrette is a tool for moving the project through phases of discovery and design quickly and efficiently.  The focus is on creativity within a structured framework.  A charrette brings the right people, with the necessary skills, together to make decisions in a short period of time.
  • Goals are created and refined.  
  • Measurable objectives are established.
A typical Charrette agenda may look like this:

Introductions- All self-introduce Who you are, what your role is.

Sustainable construction resized 600Roles and responsibilities:
Facilitator:  A facilitator is “a neutral servant of the people who focuses on guiding without direction, bringing about actions without disruption, helping people self-discover new approaches and solutions to problems, knocking down walls, while preserving structures of value, and above all, appreciating people as people.”  Definition by Bob Kelsch, The Art of Facilitation.The Art of Facilitation.

The facilitator sets the stage, ground rules, and record the ideas.  Charrette attendees provide the content.

Ground Rules for a successful Charrette:
•    Dignify others
•    Be open and honest
•    Everyone participates
•    All perspectives are of value
•    One conversation at a time
•    Focus on ideas and issues, not individuals and behaviors
•    Seek to understand and then to be understood

Building Consensus
Consensus means- Everyone agrees- RIGHT????  NO, it means….
•    I had the opportunity to share my opinions
•    I agree that the decision was arrived at fairly and openly
•    I will support the decision (even if it is not my preferred choice)

Once everyone gets on the same page and know the ground rules, the Integrated Design process can begin in earnest.  Steps may include:
  1. Review of project design parameters
  2. Site features, project size, budget, and schedule
  3. Establish project’s fundamental goals
SWOT analysis                         
    Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

Establish Design Criteria        
  •     List up to 10, prioritize and rate criteria
  •     Objective, subjective, qualitative, quantitative
Identify High performance design strategies and review LEED checklist as a tool to lead the discussion.  Review:
  1. Sustainable Site
  2. Water
  3. Energy & Atmosphere
  4. Material and Resources
  5. Indoor Environment Quality
  6. Regional Priorities
  7. Innovation 
  8. Recap LEED checklist

Break out groups to dive in deeper to specific topics

Final Report/Summary at end of Charrette, including                

1.    Action Items / Next steps
2.    Evaluate the day
3.    Celebration

For more information:

                        Ask An Expert                           

Carlson Studio Architecture in Sarasota Florida was selected to design the “2009 HGTV Green Home” which was toured by thousands and viewed by millions on TV and the Web.

Carlson Studio Architecture has sought out to design sustainable projects throughout the United States and currently celebrates one of the highest numbers of LEED certified projects in the region. We are truely an expert resource at your disposal and encourage all non-profit and other organizations researching sustainable design or a LEED accredited architect to connect.

LEED Accredited Architect In Florida

Posted on Wed, Aug 13, 2014

How A LEED Accredited Architect In Florida Broke The Mold From The Start.

leed architect in floridaThey thought we were crazy. What is a LEED certified architecture project?

Carlson Studio Architecture has been a LEED accredited architect and designing green buildings since before it was cool.

In 2000, the pilot program to get a LEED certified project up and running was completed and LEED-NC v2.0 was launched.  Later that year, Carlson Studio Architecture began to design our first LEED certified project, the Twin Lakes Park Office complex for Sarasota County Government.  It became one of the first LEED certified projects in Florida, and was the highest scoring LEED-NC project until 2009.  It was designed as a demonstration LEED certified project to show what can be done in a commercial office building.  This was during the early days of the LEED credits, and getting the required documentation was not as easy as it is today. 

Manufacturer representatives did not know where their product were manufactured, what its recycled content was, or what volatile organic compounds, or other toxic chemicals it may contain. Many of the manufacturer’s representatives, subcontractors, and even some people from Sarasota County Government thought we were crazy. There were enough people involved in this LEED certified project to champion the sustainability goals of the project and it was completed successfully, and has served as a demonstration project and catalyst ever since.

The LEED certified TWIN LAKES PARK sustainability features included:


But the green building movement started slowly in Florida.  In the summer 2007 there were only 9 LEED Certified projects in the state.  They were…

  1. Twin Lakes Office Complex: Sarasota – Certified Gold
  2. North County Library: Sarasota – Certified Gold
  3. Whole Foods Market: Sarasota – first Certified Silver grocery store
  4. Happy Feet Plus: Clearwater – first Gold retail store
  5. Eugene M. & Christine Lynn Business Center: Stetson University - Certified
  6. Rinker Hall: University of FL  Gainesville – Certified Gold
  7. McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Research: University of FL, Gainesville - Certified
  8. Navy Federal Credit Union Remote Call Center: Pensacola, FL Certified Gold
  9. Deer Park Water Bottling Plant: Lee, FL – Certified Silver

Building momentum
By March of 2011 there were 300 LEED Certified projects completed and 1264 LEED registered projects.  In Sarasota County alone, there were 19 LEED Certified projects (remember there were 3 in the summer of 2007) and 54 LEED registered projects.

Jump ahead to 2013
In 2013, in Florida, there were 716 LEED certified projects, 182 LEED for Schools Certified projects, and 1,160 LEED certified residential units, totally over 68 million square feet of construction. Florida ranked 4th in total certified commercial buildings in the USA.  750 companies were USGBC members and there were over 9500 LEED accredited professionals in the state.

leed certified architect einstein resized 600Now who is crazy?

There is still many misconception about green building out there.  People claim to be LEED certified.  That is not possible.  Buildings can be LEED certified- people can be LEED accredited.  Products and manufacturers still claim get a project or material can achieve a certain number of LEED credits.  Individual products and materials can contribute to credits, but only when all materials are taken into account, not just the green materials.  And the certification is LEED.  There is no “S”.  Leeds is a city in the United Kingdom.

Carlson Studio has 14 years of experience designing green buildings and getting them certified.  We have been the architect on 11 successfully completed projects, and LEED consultant on 2 more.  One reason our projects are successful is we use a combination of passive and active design features, that work together, and do not really on technology alone.

I will leave you with this quote from E.B. White

“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”

Contact Carlson Studio to get the expert feedback you need for your new project or request a no cost consultation:

Contact Options

Request A Consultation

Why Sustainable Design Works For The Bottom Line

Posted on Tue, Aug 05, 2014

The Business of Sustainability & Sustainable Architecture

Why do something different? 

sustainable design studio resized 600As business men and women, we are pretty good at what we do. In most cases we have also learned that in business, change involves risk.  In some businesses more than other but in the world of building design and architecture there are real risks of doing "business as usual" as well. Some of the current threats and opportunities associated with architectural designs are:

  • Cost of energy
  • Cost/scarcity of water
  • Climate Change: The Planet is stressed
  • Population Increase - 7 billion people and counting
  • Architectural design & Environmental Footprint - the world averages 4.5 acres per person to sustain that person, but the USA needs 20 acres per person. This is not productively utilizing sustainable designs, especially if everyone want to be like us.
  • Eco Systems provide basic services that we cannot afford to provide on our own.
  • Rising Insurance Risks
  • Geo-political risks
  • Scarcity of resources
  • Governments are taking action- Government is creating more regulation, not less
  • Carbon
  • Everything happening at once

One suggestion is to speak with a sustainable design expert. What can other decisions we make when we consider the design our facilities have on our businesses bottom line? What can better facilities do for your business?  Sustainable design buildings that:

  • use less energy
  • save water
  • save money
  • reduce operational costs
  • reduce the use of natural resources
  • reduce pollution.  
green construction example resized 600Well-designed green buildings (green design & green construction) can reduce water use by 30-70% and reduce electrical use by 25-50% without a lot of fancy, expensive technology.  Thoughtful green building design and improve the bottom line in other ways as well. Studies have shown ROI (return on investment) for incorporating a well-rounded sustainable design approach to building design.  Proven results include shorter hospital stays in green hospitals, better test results in green schools, increased sales per square foot in green retail stores, increased productivity in office environments and increased production in factory settings.  Even simple things like natural day light make a huge difference.

Doesn’t this all cost more?  Especially in the area of sustainable design & green construction, we need to talk about First Cost versus Life Cycle Cost.  It is about return on investment.

A Davis Langdon study shows projects of similar nature often cost at different rates due to many drivers; but Green is not one of them.  (Cost and Benefit of Achieving Green Buildings, 2007,  Davis Langdon)  Many decisions effect the cost of construction.  

Four key conclusions can be drawn from this study of construction costs for LEED-seeking versus non-LEED seeking projects:

  1. There is a very large variation in costs of buildings, even within the same building program category.

  2. Cost differences between buildings are due primarily to program type.

  3. There are low cost and high cost green buildings.
There are low cost and high cost non-green buildings.

Sustainable design must include the Triple Bottom Line. People, Planet and Profit. All three must succeed for sustainable design to succeed.

Quality sustainable design and green construction will prove many of the follow benefits to the people in your business:

  • Increased employee or tenant satisfaction
  • Improved productivity
  • Reduced absenteeism
For the Planet:
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Optimal performance
  • Peak efficiency- don’t waste

For Profit:

  • Increased occupancy rates
  • Lower operational costs
  • Decreased churn costs

Increase Net Operating Income (NOI), A company's operating income after operating expenses are deducted, but before income taxes and interest are deducted. If this is a positive value, it is referred to as net operating income, while a negative value is called a net operating loss (NOL).

So does sustainable design and doing a green building cost more?  

The cost of the operations and employee salaries throughout the life of a typical building accounts for over 95% of the total cost of the building, while the initial construction is less than 5%.  So even if doing a LEED certified green building did cost a bit more in construction than barely code compliant construction that cost effects a small % of the overall cost of building and operating a facility.  But, when one makes good decisions up front in the design of the building, the facility can have a huge positive impact on the remaining 95% of the related costs of operating the building for decades to come.

We understand that these are complex and far reaching concerns and decisions. We encourage you to take the time and simply speak with a LEED certified, sustainable design architect in Florida. Just use the button below for a few different options you have that will help you continue your research and make the best decisions possible.

Contact Options

CSA Architect Jedd Heap, AIA, LEED AP Interviewed in SRQ Magazine

Posted on Wed, Nov 06, 2013

Interview with Architect Jedd W. Heap, AIA, LEED AP by Lexy Khelia, SRQ Media Group.

Every building tells a story and Jedd Heap is one of our storytellers. Inspired by community and architecture, he began studying this field at the University of Florida and has yet to stop pursuing
his passion. Having found inspiration in the perfect pair of creative design and local interaction that Carlson Studio Architecture offers, Heap now serves as the firm's architect, in addition to acting as a member and leader within many levels of the American Institute of Architects (AlA).

Read More

SRQ Magazine

jedd heap

CSA Designed Apostolic Church breaks ground in Estero, FL

Posted on Tue, Aug 27, 2013

August 25th, 2013 - The Apostolic Church of Estero broke ground Sunday at their new construction site just south of Ft Myers Florida. Both Carlson Studio Architecture and CORE Construction were represented at the ceremony.

The Apostolic Church project consists of a 300 person Sanctuary, a 2,800 sf Fellowship Hall and kitchen, four Sunday School classrooms, and a nursery. An oversized entry foyer was designed to serve as a secondary sanctuary, while a large exterior covered area has been provided for outside dinning off the Fellowship Hall.

ACC Ground breaking 013 resized 600

apostolic 031413e resized 600

All Posts | Next Page