Before the advent of cheap available energy, all buildings were conceived and constructed according to sustainable design principles. Architects paid great attention to the availability of labor and building materials, the proximity of fresh water, the direction of prevailing winds, the exposure to sunlight, the level of rainfall, and the extremes of climate when locating and designing a building.
Sustainability is the re-introduction of these principles to today’s built environments. Instead of negating or ignoring the natural environment, its characteristics are harnessed to enhance and complete today’s design solutions. Their inclusion renders positive and lasting effects.
At GreenAssociates, we apply sustainable design principles to minimize site impact, reduce energy needs and create superior internal environments. There is a host of new building materials and equipment on the market that assists us with this work. Most of these have assigned Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) values and are effective in lowering the operational and maintenance expenses of new and existing buildings. As LEED Accredited Professionals, they are a regular part of our solutions.
The concept of building lightly upon the land has been with us for many years. Better materials and improved technology are now moving this practice into the mainstream of facility design. We welcome this change and are excited about the opportunities it provides for a greener and more verdant planet.
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN ELEMENTS:
- Building placement and orientation
- Native/drought resistant plantings
- Minimal site development
- Permeable surfaces where practical
- Automatic plumbing valves
- Tank-less water heaters
- Low flow fixtures
- Rainwater collection/cisterns
- Efficient building systems
- Occupancy and daylight sensors
- Adjustable skylights
- Programmable temperature controls
- Photovoltaic arrays
- Solar hot water panels
- Green or ‘vegetated’ roof
- Eco-friendly building materials i.e. carpets, paints
- Locally sourced construction materials
- Natural day lighting
- Passive solar configuration
- Sun shading devices