We believe that protecting our natural resources is important. Just as important as energy efficiency. That’s why we’ve made a commitment to specifying as many materials and finishes as possible that come from renewable or recycled sources. It sounds difficult and expensive, but that is not the case. More and more manufacturers share our commitment to the environment and are making products using sustainable manufacturing practices. Through extensive research we’ve located some of the best products on the market and continue to incorporate them into our designs.
Clean air is one of our most basic needs that everyone should be able to enjoy. Protecting and cleaning up our air means looking at the source of our polluters. Did you know that some sources, such as building materials and furnishings release pollutants more or less continuously? That’s why we go to great lengths to make sure that finish materials that we specify are designed to improve the quality of the air you breathe. Natural paints with no emissions, carpets and wallcoverings that won’t off gas and make you sick, cabinetry that’s made with no formaldehyde. These are just a sampling of the ways we want to make sure you will be living in a clean, healthy environment.
Lighting is not only about illuminating a space so that you can see well. It is a decorative addition to your life that will affect the way you feel and function. Lighting also affects the environment in several ways. The amount of energy consumed by each light and the materials used to manufacture such lamping products both influence the environment. By purchasing energy efficient lighting products, energy consumption is minimized. This will reduce the release of harmful emissions by polluting power plants. All of our designs include specifications for light sources with primarily LED lamps. LEDs are extremely energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs. Since LEDs use only a fraction of the energy of an incandescent light bulb there is a dramatic decrease in power costs. Also, money and energy is saved in maintenance and replacement costs due to the long LED lifespan. LEDs have a lifespan of up to 60,000 hours compared to 1,500 hours for incandescent bulbs. An LED light will last over 7 years and possibly up to 20 years before needing replacement. On average, LED bulbs last 10 times as long as compact fluorescent bulbs, and 133 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs.
Fresh water is becoming a scarce global resource and it is clear that water will be one of the major environmental issues of the 21st century. As a natural resource it is already in short supply across parts of the United States and the world — and we will see it become even scarcer as populations around the world grow and our climate changes. When building it is important to take every measure to make sure we protect this important natural resource. We routinely specify rainwater collection systems, greywater re-use systems, and make plant species recommendations to reduce the need for irrigation. We also recommend use of green roof areas when feasible. Plantings on the roof slow the run-off from rainwater which helps control site erosion and naturally mitigates the heat island effect. Low flow toilets and water saving faucets are standard specifications.
Properly installed energy-efficient improvements deliver better protection against cold, heat, drafts, moisture, pollution, and noise. An energy-efficient building helps ensure consistent temperatures between and across rooms, improved indoor air quality, and greater durability.