Sustainable Design Continues to Ascend in 2019


Sustainability has become a key way in which buildings are both created and operated. It refers not only to the structure, but how that facility is structured. Certifications for green building like LEED and WELL are on the rise—57% of building owners plan to make the majority of their projects green by 2021, according to the USGBC’s World Green Building Trends SmartMarket Report.

In addition, two-thirds of the survey participants reported that using a rating system such as LEED allows them to create a better-performing building.

Businesses benefit when buildings are built better—operating costs decrease, there’s shorter payback periods and asset values can increase. It’s important to note that healthier indoor environments are just as much of a motivator for sustainable building, too.

As Lynn Brotman, associate principal of Svigals + Partners, points out: “The basic principles of green building are well-known, but it is essential to consider the occupant’s full experience of the space while specifying products, materials and systems.”

Exteriors, interiors and the products that fill the spaces are all finding ways to be more sustainable—from incorporating living plants and increasing natural daylight to utilizing zero-VOC materials and reusing original structures, companies are rapidly reassessing the materials and processes behind their work.

Developer The Davis Companies updated a 1920s-era industrial structure at the Boston Seaport for maker companies and businesses. Throughout, touches of the outdoors were brought in, including at the café. It combines custom wood walls and furniture with floor-to-ceiling glass facing the water.

[Related: Glass Buildings Reflect Many Benefits]

These elements establish a connection to the outdoors and the natural world, and allow for natural daylight to come in. This contributes to a healthy interior space while reducing electricity consumption and the associated carbon output.

Sustainability was an important factor to architecture and design firm HLWwhen renovating the lobby and other common spaces at 915 Wilshire, a 22-story office tower in downtown Los Angeles.

“Environmentally friendly and natural materials were prioritized for all spaces in our project,” says Louise Sharp, principal for HLW’s LA office. (…)

Adrian Thompson

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