Sustainability has become fundamental to the practice of architecture today. Buildings are the single greatest source of greenhouse gases. By honoring the environment, we honor ourselves and move closer towards a future we all hope for ourselves, and children. As LEED Accredited Professionals, we ascribe to minimizing the impact our buildings have on the site, water use, energy use, material toxicity, and the indoor air quality.
There are three primary strategies used when designing. Passive strategies are first and foremost. These often require no or only minor additional initial cost. They are integral to the design process and include passive heating and cooling, daylighting, shading, natural ventilation, fenestration (window opening & glass walls), building orientation and shape. The second is active strategies through building technology. These may include solar hot water heating, photovoltaic electricity generation, gray water systems, low flush toilets, mechanized shading devices, turbine wind generation power, geothermal options, and advanced energy management systems. Lastly, is the selection of appropriate green building materials. There are more and more elegant alternative to environmental or health damaging choices becoming available every day.