Sustainable design blog for progressive architecture

The Sustainable Design Blog

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

Why Choose A Green Roofing System?


How do you define a "green roof"?

A green roof can have one or more of the following characteristics, depending on the goals of your project.

  1. Long Lasting
  2. Heat Reflective
  3. Vegetative
  4. Habitat Creating
  5. Storm Water Management
  6. Proper Orientation

Before I continue, here are some related materials that will help you with your research on the benefits of green building:

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A First & last: Floating LEED Certified Building


We have highlighted a number of LEED Certified buildings on our website. We have residential, commercial, non-profit, and more. However, this new project is the first and possibly the only floating, LEED certified building in The United States!


It's called Cottonwood Cove, and although we designed it here in Sarasota, Florida, it's located in Nevada.


Some other projects that you might find interesting:

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Topics: LEED Certified Building

Trends In Sustainable Architecture For 2015


Talking about trends in sustainable architecture is a slippery slope.   Many of the “trends” are a simply the re-discovering of good design that worked well before we had so much technology to overcome poor design. That IS a plug for proven passive design solutions, but it IS NOT a criticism of technology. That is the strength of integrative design - to be able to look at entire system holistically and use the best of passive and active design solutions to obtain the optimum results. The following ideas are not new, but they are some of the ideas that are “top of the mind” in sustainable design today.

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Topics: Sustainable Design

Sustainable Residential Design Considerations for Florida


Being in a sub-tropical climate, sustainable design in Florida faces some unique challenges. Here are some of our thoughts, especially related to designing a Passive House, and trying to get to Net Zero energy use, in the hot and humid climate of Florida.

Here is a good illustration of climate zones in the USA from the IECC. Note the white line that indicates the Warm and Humid area of the country. Most of Florida is in Climate Zone 2.


Need more, related inspiration? Check out these other perspectives that will help you make other green building considerations:

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Topics: Sustainable Design, South Florida

Why Green Building Is Flourishing


In the fall of 2014 the US Green Building Council released an article with facts about the green building industry. Here are some of those facts that stood out, and what they mean to us. These facts are based on national and international data. Since Carlson Studio Architecture has been deeply involved in LEED certification in Florida since 2000, we can add our Florida perspective to the national data.

Here are some real time examples of LEED Certified, green building projects:

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Lessons Learned From OUR LEED For Home Charrette


Carlson Studio Architecture is currently designing a LEED for homes project in Michigan. As part of the design process we held a LEED design charrette with the contractors, material suppliers, designers and subcontractors of the project. This highly interactive, brainstorming session brought the entire team together to strategize the project. Getting a bunch of smart people together to think about the project holistically was important -some of the things that we learned are as follows:

Other Projects That May Interest You:

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Topics: gold LEED, Energy Efficiency

Managing A Successful LEED Charrette

How To Manage A LEED Charrette - A Real Time Example:

We have completed our LEED charrette for our single-family home that we are designing in Michigan. Thanks to Rich Bloem and Alex Goosen from True North Homes (general contractor) for their assistance in putting the charrette together and facilitating the day.

Wikipedia definition of a Charrette: "While the structure of a charrette varies, depending on the design problem and the individuals in the group, charrettes often take place in multiple sessions in which the group divides into sub-groups. Each sub-group then presents its work to the full group as material for further dialogue. Such charrettes serve as a way of quickly generating a design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. Compare this term with workshop."

Need some other examples of successful charrette results? Check out these LEED projects:

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Certified Green Buildings Or Just Building Better

The Principles Of Good Design:

If you are looking to 

  • Design a green building or just an efficient building
  • Attain third part certification such as LEED
  • Incorporate principles of good design

You have come to the right place. Carlson Studio can help you. lakewood_ranch_plastic_surgery-resized-170There are many fundamental aspects of good design that we apply to all our projects whether or not they seek certification. Most of these apply to all building types, from homes, to schools, to office buildings, to churches. 

Some World Class Examples? Check out these projects already completed:

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Three Tiers for Green Renovations

Home and business renovations feel like a fresh, healthy start - until you stop to consider the environmental impact of newly harvested or wasted materials. A well planned green renovation can help you take advantage of the newest products and materials that have a smaller footprint on our environment. Read on to learn more about the The Three Tiers of Your Eco-Friendly Remodel.

TIER ONE - Business Operations – Conserving and Reducing


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Topics: renovation, sustainability

Alternative water technology at the LEED seeking Cancer Support Community

What do you do when your client doesn’t want to install water fountains in their project due to hygienic reasons? Well we dealt with this very issue on the LEED gold seeking Cancer Support Community’s (formerly The Wellness Community) Building Hope Project.

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