MEMBER USGBC
CENTRAL TEXAS-BALCONES CHAPTER
(they are the LEED folks)
MEMBER USGBC

Wondering: What's "Green" or "sustainable"? See if this will help...

First and foremost remember that GOOD DESIGN...using a reputable architect...will usually result in a more energy efficient and sustainable project.   Being "AIA" or "LEED" is not totally relevant.  AIA is essentially an $800 a year "club" not a licensing agency...and LEED only requires completing a few courses-(while architects have 5 to 8 years of education and a minimum of 3 years of apprenticeship before they can even take a four-session/four-part exam; only then can they be liscensed)

Do you realize that you can save more money and more energy and reduce your carbon footprint more by improving the efficiency of your building(s) (or their design) than you can by "adding" something like solar panels?  These add-ons will however  further decrease your energy consumption...but not as much as good design in the first place.

It's not about Products!
(see "some strategies" below).  It's about looking at what you are doing or want to do
 ...and looking at things that might negatively affect you, your kids, grandkids or the planet          
...and then doing something positive to improve the space you inhabit, your life...and the future.

We've been pushing these concepts since the '70's...so it's not a "jump on the bandwagon" thing for us.
Our clients and our Consultants are trying to reduce the amount of waste that goes on in the construction process and the waste and pollution that comes out of our buildings during their life-cycles.
Buildings of all types tend to consume and waste almost half of the energy and produce(
directly or indirectly) almost half of the carbon that's churned out daily - compared to other man-made creations on the planet.

The Principal Goal of Sustainable design is to improve your quality of life...from your home to the farthest reaches of the planet.  Part of that strategy is identifying  the culprits that rob us of our resources and reduce the quality of the atmosphere.   We begin by eliminating, replacing or improving on a problem or situation.   Incorporating some improvements in the areas listed below can help do this.  By considering some of these ideas for inclusion in your next project you will be doing your part to reduce costs, create healthier living/working spaces, and if we are correct-improve  chances of our species continuing to survive and prosper on this-the only (
known) accessible/habitable place in the universe. 

Some Key Green/Sustainable Strategies(and product types) Available for consideration(below)-
(not everything and not in any particular order)
Just remember that just because someone is greening their PR...that does not mean they are.   Look at Exxon and BP for instance...but if you are here you're smart enough to see most of the phony hype.   Just be careful what you buy or who you hire.:

Vegetated  Walls, Rainwater Harvesting, Natural Ventilation, Local Materials, Mixed Uses, Shared Parking, Wind Energy,  Solar Water Heating, Photovoltaics(Solar Electric), Solar Shading, Solar Cooling, High Performance Glazing,
 Triple Window and Door Glazing (Glass), Green Roofs, Grey Water Collection and Reuse, Low Flow Fixtures,
Use Recycled Materials, Energy Star Appliances,Low VOC Flooring/Finishes/Paint/Adhesives, Dual Flush Toilets,
Passive Cooling, Wood from Sustainable Forests,Insulated Rain-Screens, Composting Systems, Compost Gardens,
Low Maintenance Landscapes, Xeriscaping,Heat Recovery Systems, High Efficiency Mechanical Systems,
Double Roofs, Optimal Daylighting, On-site Recycling, High Efficiency Geothermal Heating and Cooling,
Proper Building Orientation, Metal Roofs, Structural Insulated Panels(SIPS), Insulated Concrete Forms(ICF's),
Construction Material Recycling, Bicycle Parking w/showers, Building Near Public Transportation,
Recycled Cellulose Insulation, Energy Management Controls, Occupancy Sensors(Lights and HVAC)
...and there's a lot more...and we learn new solutions or become re-acquainted with an 'old' solution daily.
Care to Join Us? 
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