It’s hard to have a conversation with an architect or builder without the topic of green or sustainable building or coming up. People around the world are interested in reducing their impact on the planet, using fewer resources and generating less waste when creating built environments.
Sustainable design has been a hot topic for a while, but many laypeople aren’t quite sure about some of the terminology. If you’re still figuring it out, this cheat sheet from your San Luis Obispo architects might come in handy.
There are several programs that allow projects to be evaluated by third party organizations who will certify the building or some of its components as “green.” Here are some common certification programs in the United States, along with links for more information:
The amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by a building’s operation or activities is known as its carbon footprint. Greenhouse gases are implicated in global climate change. Scientists and architects throughout the world are working to slow climate change and its associated hazards, such as rising sea levels, flooding, drought, and infectious disease spread. Reducing a building’s carbon footprint also makes it run more efficiently and offers a more hospitable environment for occupants.
Life-cycle assessment examines all the environmental effects related to the creation and use of a product or building. This includes the harvesting and processing of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, use, maintenance and eventual recycling or disposal of the finished product.
The sum of all energy required to produce a building is known as its embodied energy. This does not include the operation and disposal of the building’s materials, but does include their production, manufacturing and transportation. Durable, adaptable buildings made with efficient, locally sourced or recycled materials and low-waste manufacturing processes have lower overall environmental impacts.
Green building practices and sustainable management of construction and demolition materials can greatly reduce resource use, greenhouse gases, and municipal solid waste. Our LEED certified architects at Studio Design Group Architects, LLC in San Luis Obispo are dedicated to designing sustainable buildings that minimize environmental impact while maximizing beauty, comfort, and long-lasting functionality. Give us a call at (805) 541-3848 or reach out online to let us know how we can contribute to your next project.