CENTRAL TEXAS-BALCONES CHAPTER
are the LEED folks)
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
grandkids or the
...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.
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
indirectly) almost half of the carbon that's churned out daily - compared to
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
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
(not everything and not in any
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,
there's a lot more...and we learn new solutions or become re-acquainted
with an 'old' solution daily.
Window and Door Glazing (Glass), Green Roofs, Grey Water Collection and
Reuse, Low Flow Fixtures,
Recycled Materials, Energy Star Appliances,Low VOC
Flooring/Finishes/Paint/Adhesives, Dual Flush Toilets,
Cooling, Wood from Sustainable Forests,Insulated Rain-Screens,
Composting Systems, Compost Gardens,
Maintenance Landscapes, Xeriscaping,Heat Recovery Systems, High
Efficiency Mechanical Systems,
Roofs, Optimal Daylighting, On-site Recycling, High Efficiency
Geothermal Heating and Cooling,
Building Orientation, Metal Roofs, Structural Insulated Panels(SIPS),
Insulated Concrete Forms(ICF's),
Material Recycling, Bicycle Parking w/showers, Building Near Public
Cellulose Insulation, Energy Management Controls, Occupancy
Sensors(Lights and HVAC)
Care to Join Us?