Bill Clay Design Studio LLC Blog

Green Design Credit

Posted in Sustainability by Administrator on the February 14th, 2011

Designers often address many facets of a project i.e. connection to the neighborhood, context to surroundings, traffic impact, visual impact, drainage & environmental impact.

They also address zoning codes, building codes, accessibility code, constructability, construction costs and schedule. Other items are functionality, market trends & client expectations.

All of these things are in response to clients, market, cost, schedule, city review process, neighborhood concerns, city inspectors, etc.

In addition, designers address green ideas i.e. solar orientation, shade, energy & water efficiency, thermal envelope, indoor air quality, and the general life of the building.

We normally get more credit by an owner based on shorter timelines, fewer budget overruns, and a high return on a marketable product.

Designers definitely get credit if there are any issues that arise once the building is complete.

This is a client driven industry more than it is a designer driven industry. Unfortunately the majority of the clients are not concerned with green design initiatives. One of the major reasons is that appraisers have no metrics to justify the added value; therefore banks do not recognize it either. This makes it difficult for investors to justify green design if it adds no value to an end product.

We need to give proper recognition to green design efforts when we see them and continue to promote the benefits and added value.

There are recent reports indicating that some people are willing to pay a little more for green buildings, which is encouraging. I look forward to the day when green, sustainable buildings are the industry standard.

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Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Design and Construction

Posted in Sustainability by Administrator on the August 18th, 2010

Green design, construction, lifestyle – call it what you want – is a mindset. We are all in this together and are different shades of green in one way or another. Once we are aware that everything we do on a daily basis has an impact on sustaining our environment, then we can decide how to address it.

As a designer there are too many things that come to mind when I start to ponder Green. In general, they are: supply chain; production; design; materials; construction; management; choices; lifestyle. Things directly affected by our choices: carbon footprint; pocketbook; health; lifestyle; environment.

I still find that many people believe the personal decisions they make have little affect on the environment’s condition. It’s true that on an individual basis we have little impact on a global scale. However, on a global scale humanity plays a major role in environmental impact.

Together, let’s manage our moves toward sustainability one house, one business, one community at a time. Let’s improve our family’s health and well being and lower our utility costs & resource consumption at the same time.

We can design more efficient, money-saving buildings per LEED design standards. There are also many rebates to take advantage of in facility equipment upgrades. We can be thoughtful and plant a shade tree on a west exposure, decide to go as paperless as possible, recycle and re-purpose, change plumbing fixtures to low flow or waterless, use CFL or LED lighting, green your supply chain, etc.

We can choose contractors that use green practices, we can purchase hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles, have cyber offices, cyber meetings & telecommute. We can email or post PDF plans on FTP sites that are downloaded (not printed) by owners, contractors, city reviewers, etc.

Discover more ways to have a positive affect on the environment we live in through your decision process, in all aspects of our lives – including design & construction. Contact us for specific design & construction ideas as well as “low hanging fruit” to save utility costs at existing businesses or homes.

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Energy Efficient Buildings Can Increase Sales and Rental Rates

Posted in Sustainability by Administrator on the January 27th, 2010

There is no question that Green Buildings Make Dollars and Sense.

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Study: HVAC control market poised for growth The HVAC market is mature and stable, increasing the need for controls and BAS.

Posted in Sustainability by Administrator on the November 4th, 2009

The HVAC controls industry is in the middle of a very interesting transition. The market seems to be mature and stable – the seven largest suppliers account for more than four-fifths of all sales.

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Top 5 things To Look for When Considering an Energy Management System

Posted in Sustainability by Administrator on the November 4th, 2009

The economy has forced many to cast an eye on reducing non-essential costs. A new opportunity has emerged in recent years with the advent of lightweight energy management systems designed specifically for residences and small and medium sized commercial buildings..

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Being “Green” Is A Mind Set

Posted in Sustainability by Administrator on the September 8th, 2009

Green Building design is also a mind set and can be successfully achieved to different extents with or without LEED certification. However we highly recommend LEED as one of the best standards for efficient design. Experienced designers most often take into consideration different environmental factors such as solar orientation, shaded and landscaped areas, storm water retention, energy efficiency, local material availability, sustainable supply chain, etc.

States and local municipalities can also develop their own energy efficiency and sustainability standards. The State of California has already accomplished this and other states are soon to follow. At this point LEED certification is still an option, not a requirement. The IEEC standards already address requirements for a building’s thermal envelop and maximum lighting wattage allowances for new designs.

I spoke with a senior planner at a larger city in the metro Phoenix area and he questioned why there is a separate LEED design review process. He pointed out that most cities already review plans for conformance to the International Energy Efficiency Code, customers are already paying for a building review fee, and that they could easily review for conformance to any LEED or other adopted sustainability standards.

Soon, energy and utility efficient design standards will become the norm, will be required for all permit applications and administered at the local municipality level. However, you can start saving money now by implementing any of a variety of efficiency standards. Ask us how.

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