Life Cycle

There is a growing interest in sustainable, energy efficient design as the public becomes better educated about the potential to create better buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council has done a great deal to raise the visibility of this movement and induce clients to embrace its goals by using its LEED rating system.

However, there is also the misconception of a dividing line between green or sustainable buildings and more conventional buildings. All new buildings could (and should) meet a fairly high standard of energy performance and sustainability by taking advantage of the myriad cost-neutral methods and materials that are now available. These include; optimizing solar orientation and daylighting, sizing systems properly, using high efficiency equipment, using efficient framing techniques, using efficient appliances and lighting, and installing insulation systems properly.

For those interested in our practice, the decision to build ‘sustainably’ is not subjective. It is based on a comparative analysis of energy and water usage, the environmental footprint and occupant health and comfort. These lifecycle costs can be quantified in pro forma that articulate the costs and benefits.

 


Energy
-Wind Turbines
-Photovoltaic Panels
-Micro Hydro
Water Turbines
Water
-Conservation
-Xeriscape
-Greywater Irrigation
-Rainwater Storage
Systems and Materials
-Stressed Skin Panels
-Trusses and Panelized
Wall Framing
-Icynene Insulation
-Blown-in Cellulose Insulation
-Optimum Value Engineering
-Low VOC finishes
-Recycled/ Certified Lumber
HVAC Systems
-Radiant Heating
-Passive Solar
-Ground Source Heat Pumps
-Biomass Furnaces and Boilers
-Solar Hot Water

 

References
-Department of Energy
-US Green Building Council
-Natural Defense
Resources Council
-American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy