Friday, April 29, 2016

Blog Question of the Month

In honor of Earth Day, this month's questions have a sustainability theme!

What is your definition of sustainable architecture? Do you have a favorite sustainable building or favorite sustainable feature?

BOB (Partner Emeritus):
Sustainable design is when we design, not just for today’s client, or for today’s public good, but we design for our children and grandchildren and our client’s children and grandchildren.  Sustainable architecture is meant for future generations and is respectful of how we use today’s resources so that that we do not short change future generations, by taking from our environment in a way that robs our descendents of the resources we enjoy today.

One of my favorite sustainable designs is the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center in Buford, Georgia.  This LEED Gold Certified building was designed by Lord Aeck & Sargeant.  It houses an environmental museum and is part of the Gwinnett County park system.

TERI (Senior Project Manager):
Sustainable architecture to me is design with the intent to extend the normal anticipated life expectancy of the building to the greatest extent.  Sustainable architecture aims to design buildings that run as efficiently as possible and minimize their impact on infrastructure & the environment.

Louvers!  I love louvers!  They are probably one of the most simple things that can be included in a sustainable design solution.  They lower heat gain for the building and plus, they just look cool!

AMY (Intern Architect):
Sustainable architecture pays attention to the lifecycle of a building: what materials are used; the way a building functions; how it relates to the users; and its recyclability once the structure has reached the end of its life.

My favorite sustainable building is the Butaro District Hospital by MASS Design Group.

CHRIS (Intern Architect):
My definition of sustainable architecture would be the Minecraft definition: fully-grown trees in minutes, infinite resources hand gathered without mechanization and everywhere the sun path goes directly overhead.

JACQUELINE (Intern Architect):
Sustainable design is a way to ensure that our children enjoy the natural resources that we are enjoying right now.  It also helps to ensure that the building can be as efficient as possible, which might not be obvious right away, but in time, can make a difference both environmentally & financially.

One of my favorite sustainable works is the Hearst Building in NYC, which was certified as New York City's First Occupied Green Office Tower.  It achieved the Gold Rating for Environmental Sustainability by U.S. Green Building Council in 2006.



***If you enjoyed reading our blog question & answer for April and would like to learn more about our firm and the people who work here, comment below and post some questions you'd like to have our office answer.***