Sustainable design blog for progressive architecture

The Sustainable Design Blog

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

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 this year's presidential election may impact climate change

How green is your favorite candidate?

This year's election is proving to be quite the dramatic showdown. Trump just all but sealed the Republican nomination, and Sanders and Clinton are brawling for every last delegate on the table.

There are a lot of hot button issues too - from building walls across national borders (what an architectural feat that would be), to freedom of religious expression, to our economy, to the dichotomy of lower income earners and the top 1%

But let's not also forget about the climate. Yes, this too has been somewhat of a contentious debate, and the outcome may reshape everything we know about our future, since the President will be leading policy change and very likely decided 4 new Supreme Court Justices if they make it two terms.

That's a pretty big deal for us greenies... and anybody who enjoys living on this rock we call Earth.

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Topics: Climate Change Facts, Climate change

More Green Building Materials You Probably Don't Know About

What are some green building materials that many builders are unaware of?

We could probably spend this and several more blogs discussing what green materials actually are, but I will let you decide that, and get on with some of the materials we have been using over the past 15 years in our sustainable design work.

This comes after receiving a lot of great direct feedback from posting this article by Peter Hortsman on the same subject (Must-Have Construction Material Made from Recyclables by Carlson Studio Architecture).

Building materials are constantly being improved or replaced with better materials, and because the modern sustainable building industry in the United States has been around for a couple of decades now, we have great materials that are already proven, and I'm going to share some of those that are a little less commonly known but very good for our planet.

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Topics: Green build, Building Materials, Construction

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

How do I select a good general contractor?

“What is a good process for selecting a general contractor?” - It's something we hear a lot

It's also one of the most important questions you can and should be asking about your upcoming build, because not every contractor is the same. They can make your project if they share your vision and goals, or break it if they are rowing in a different direction or don't have the right kind of experience.

So, I thought I would help you out by sharing four important steps to the GC selection process. Keep in mind as you read these how important building the right foundation is to any kind of successful build.

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Topics: Your Project Team, Construction

Must have construction material made from recyclables

(The Wellness Center incorporates recycled construction materials - See the project by Carlson Studio Architecture)


WHY Recycled Products in Construction

Whether or not you believe that Climate Change is man-made, you cannot deny that the problems associated with trash, specifically plastic, are not caused by Mother Nature.

In an article by Laura Parker in the National Geographic, published Feb 13, 2015, she notes that 8 million tons are dumped into the ocean every year.  This is the equivalent of filling 5 grocery bags with trash and lining them up on EVERY foot of coastline in the entire world! 

As of the year 2014, this was estimated to be a total of 245,000 tons floating in the ocean (source: National Geographic). That doesn’t even account for what is sitting in landfills, lining the side of our highways and roads, or what has been ground up into microplastic and sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

That's a lot of plastic, and quite the mountain of a problem to solve. 

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Topics: green building, Sustainable Design

How The USGBC just cranked up the Green in Florida

The next phase of evolution for green building design

As you may know, CSA joined the USGBC in 2002 and we have been members ever since.  Our staff began to become individual members of the USGBC when chapters began to be formed in Florida in 2003-2004.  Currently, our entire staff are members or the USGBC Florida Chapter. 

Maybe you've heard… the Florida Chapter is a new USGBC entity, and I have the skinny on why and how it formed.

(Click to visit Carlson Studio Architecture's LEED certified project gallery)


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Topics: usgbc, carlson studio architecture


We're beyond sustainable architectural design for the environment, to design for sustainable societies and economies.

I have dedicated the better part of the last two decades to green architectural design, both in practice and in educating the public of its economical and environmental benefits. So have my talented colleagues. We wanted to have an impact on the world around us that was bigger than ourselves, so we have dedicated a lot of energy into it.

But sustainability doesn't end there. It's a bigger concept that finds its way into all sorts of corners and crevices in our lives, and we have been fortunate at Carlson to be able to integrate our designs into pieces of the world that many don't realize are critical to sustaining our socio-economic climates.

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Topics: Sustainable, Sustainable 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


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