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The Sustainable Design Blog

For the love of beauty, functionality, and the planet Earth

How we're going to meet the 2030 challenge


 

I was in attendance at the International Living Futures Institute’s (ILFI) Living Futures 2016 conference in Seattle the week of May 9, 2016.  It was an amazing gathering of leaders in sustainability.  

One of the keynote addresses was given by Ed Mazria, Founder and CEO of 2030 Architecture and of the 2030 Challenge. The imperative that he spoke about is that we reach zero net carbon emissions for all new buildings by 2030 and for ALL buildings by 2050.  He spoke about how not only is it important, but it's an absolutely necessity for the survival of our species.

Many see it as a bold plan, because it simply won't accept business as usual in the built environment, but not us, because we know for a fact that these goals are attainable, and they're just the things that motivate us every single day.

This got me thinking:  What do we need to be doing, as architects in Florida, to stay on track to meet the 2030 Challenge? 

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Topics: LEED Certified Building, Sustainable Building, Green Design, Energy Efficiency

Why Would I Need NEED a Green Building Consultant?


Well... Do you want to be green, or do you want to be GREEN?

A green building consultant specializes in sustainable design and LEED certified projects. They may also have expertise in other green building rating systems and Energy Star.

For inexperienced project teams, the consultant can lead the entire team through the entire process. For more experienced teams the consultant may assist with any aspect of the project; from establishing sustainability goals at a project kick off meeting to documentation in the LEED online system when construction is completed.

Basically, a green building consultant will either make or break your project.

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Topics: Green build, Eco Charrette, consulting, Green Design

How to Pitch a Green Commercial Building Design to Your Board


 

What important components should one use to sell Their BOD on a green Commercial building design ?

So, you find yourself in an organization that needs to build facilities, and you have heard about green buildings or you already understand the benefits a green facility can provide, but you need to convince those higher up in your organization to consider the idea.  

 

                              What do you do?

 

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Topics: Green Design, Commercial Architecture

How to Choose a Solar Power System for your home or business

What are some systems for solar power generation that I should consider?

People come to our firm for green design because it's a very personal mission of ours to contribute to the sustainability of our planet and the preservation of our species. We also design beautiful buildings, if I do say so myself...

So, it's not all that uncommon to get questions about how to include solar power, our abundant and clean resource, in the overall design.

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Topics: Sustainable Design, solar, Sustainable Building, Green Design

4 green home Design ideas for the florida sunshine


 

Are you designing your home and thinking about going green?

First of all, congratulations! Whether building your first home or one of many, it's an exciting time when we get start scratching down ideas for a new project. Second of all, a little pat on the back for exploring green home design! 

 

If you are building a new home in Florida or somewhere with a similar climate (humid, hot, sunny, and the occassional tropical storm), you may want to consider a few things in order to maximize the energy efficiency of your home.  The size, shape, and orientation of your home are extremely important, and when building new, it's a great time to address these and other important concerns.

 

Here are four worth considering for the design of your new green home!

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Topics: Residential, Green build, Green Design

10 ways to tell green architecture firms apart from the rif-raff


Green architecture is a great idea.

Sustainability and environmental consciousness are important to you. You make choices throughout your life, weighing convenience, costs, and personal well-being with your commitment to leave the world in a better state than when you arrived.

Because of this, you seek green alternatives whenever and wherever you can. You read labels, compare specs, and make the best choices you can based on the information that’s readily available.

And if you’re about to build a new structure, you have an incredible opportunity to incorporate principals of sustainability that will have an enormous impact on the world we live in – for many years to come. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to poke around and make sure you are engaging a firm where “green” is woven into their DNA, not just a marketing ploy to snag some extra business.

Because of that we’ve put together a list of ways to weed out the real green architecture firms from the rif-raff.

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Topics: Sustainable Design, Green Design

How to incorporate embodied energy into your green building designs


Embrace embodied energy with your green designs:

By designing and constructing more sustainable buildings, it is important to first recognize that these structures are absolutely LOADED with embodied energy. What's that, you ask?

Embodied energy is the energy cost it took to remove something from nature, transport it wherever it goes, manufacture it, and install it.

- From the trees that were harvested to make up the structure, to all the natural resources and manmade components that provide infrastructure, furniture, fixtures, and equipment. All the materials that go into the construction of a building have embodied energy in them, and we should be finding ways to incorporate them whenever possible and practical.

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Topics: renewable energy, Green Design

Elevate your green Architectural Design Concept with Biophilia

Biophilic design? What's that?

No, it’s not something you need to see the doctor for – but it MAY actually be the cure to what ails your lackluster green building design. As much as you may care about incorporating energy saving ideas into your building  - whether it be for your love of nature or saving money, integrating nature will help you truly embrace your focus on going green.

We as humans are connected to nature and prefer to be immersed in it, so by incorporating elements of into our structures, we stand to reap all sorts of benefits.


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Topics: Green Design, Nature

How to Choose the right contractor for your green Home Design project

Congratulations on your choice for a green home! Now it's time to ensure it's a smooth build.

When most people set out to build their green home, the obvious first step is to find the right design team. And while I agree, you want to partner with an architectural firm that puts green first, as in, the idea of sustainability isn't an after thought, but rather, a fully integrated component in the planning process - you also want your construction crew to be thinking in the same terms.

When approached with a new project, it's rare for our clients to have a contractor already involved, so they turn to us for referrals. However, unlike your design team, you need your construction crew to be as local as possible, so even though we have our favorites, they're not always the best option due to their location.

It IS something that should be handled at the outset of your design process, because the integrated approach will save you a lot of hassle, and help you get the most efficient building that meets and exceeds your expectations.

We always recommend hiring your contractor at the same time as you hire your design team.

So, I put together a list of to-dos and questions to help you find the best contractor for your project.

 


MORE LIKE THIS: How to Save Yourself (Not Your Planet) With Sustainable Home Design


 

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Topics: Residential, Sustainable Design, Green Design

How to save yourself (not your planet) with sustainable home design

Sustainable home design intuitively points toward saving the planet, but what you may not know is that you're actually saving yourself.

Green Build 2015 in Washington DC just finished up. It was the 13th straight USGBC Green Build Conference I attended since its humble but powerful beginning in 2002. With nearly 30,000 attendees today, the conference is starting turn heads in more than just the architectural community, and it was really exciting to see so much enthusiasm for sustainability.

 

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Topics: LEED Certified Home Design, Green Design

CELEBRATING SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH DESIGN

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