Sustainable Architectural Design

Sustainable Architectural Design


Sustainable Architectural Design

The importance of a design-build team with a common vision.


Sustainable architecture involves strategies that mitigate negative environmental impacts from any given build environment. While there are up-front costs involved, these strategies can provide long-term savings as it pertains to net-zero energy management, as well as delivering healthier architected wellness spaces.

Beyond the building itself, sustainable architectural design can lead to other sustainable aspects of building design – interiors may choose to utilize locally sourced and sustainable materials, from hemp insulation to reclaimed wood for floors and furniture. A design-build philosophy can permeate an entire sustainable project.

The landscape architect’s initial building siting begins the design process. Considering sun orientation and climate leads to window placements and the management of daylighting and natural ventilation which help reduce energy requirements for the building.

Passive building envelopes can minimize temperature fluctuations inside the building, again reducing overall energy consumption for HVAC systems. Engineering mechanical and electrical systems using high-efficiency electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other systems helps to reduce overall environmental footprints.

Sustainable Architectural Design green roof

Renewable energy systems, including wind and solar, are options for most buildings and are strategies that align perfectly with passive design methodologies.

A priority should be the use of sustainable materials, including CLF (cross-laminated timber) in place of steel beams, and the purchase of furnishings from companies that use environmentally responsible manufacturing techniques and/or recycled materials.

Native landscaping will often make a significant impact on local water consumption. By using plants and grasses that are native to an area, the landscape architect can greatly reduce irrigation needs. And by planting trees that shade parts of the structure during the hottest part of the day, solar heat gains inside the building can be reduced.

Finally, implementing stormwater management strategies will help reduce runoff and retention ponds that capture runoff and slowly release water back into the ground helps to replenish the natural water table.

All of these sustainable strategies are important in their own right, and only a design-build team with a common vision can execute these types of buildings – commercial and residential.

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