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Architectural Sustainability In Action
Green Building and Sustainable Building Features

What's the difference between "green," "sustainable" and "energy-efficient?"

Using green building products doesn't necessarily mean that a structure is sustainable or energy efficient. If it's energy efficient, it's not a given that it is sustainable either. The best approach to sustainable architecture, that is also environmentally sensitive and reduces energy use over the life of the building, is to adopt a program designed to meet all objectives.

U.S. Green Building Council Member, Green Architecture
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program was devised in 1994 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to encourage sustainable practices in design and development by means of tools and criteria for performance measurement. It is a voluntary, market-driven building rating system based on existing technologies. The USGBC has established standards for new construction and major renovations to existing structures and their standards can be applied to many different project types including schools, retail, homes and neighborhood development.

Both seasoned architects, Lauren Eustis and Tom Carnevale, are certified by USGBC as LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals) and are adamant about intelligently applying the principles of sustainable architecture to the applicable building programs on which they partner. Here are some of the principles and challenges involved in sustainable architecture:

Budgetary Concerns:
While sustainable buildings can cost more than traditional methods and materials they are an investment in the future. Costs may be recouped over time with lower energy bills and less water usage and not all “green” initiatives cost more. Carnevale Eustis takes into consideration many factors, including up front costs, when making sustainable building choices.

System Efficiency:
Utilizing sound building practices that increase insulation values and properly position new structures to take advantage of natural heating and cooling properties, like passive solar design, can greatly improve HVAC systems while new product offerings - from heat pumps to windows - offer amazing new levels of efficiency.

Renewable Energy:
Carnevale Eustis sustainable architecture means exploring options that work with your structure and your budget. Solar panels, wind turbines, solar water heating and ground-source heat pumps are all viable options for new construction and renovation projects with the objective of being more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

Green Materials:
Specifying recycled and low-impact building materials during the planning stages of a project allows Carnevale Eustis to provide realistic alternatives and options for sustainability over a building's life. Green building materials, most of which are sustainably certified and qualify for LEED points, can improve indoor air quality, eliminate toxic chemicals and create a healthier building.

Waste & Water Management:
Sustainable architecture focuses on smarter on-site waste management, incorporating things like gray water systems for on-site irrigation and to flush toilets. Similarly, public water is a valuable resource which means that rainwater harvesting and grey water reuse are some of the options that Carnevale Eustis has utilized for reducing water demand.

Building Orientation:
Building placement is a critical component in sustainable architecture that Carnevale Eustis employs to exploit the benefits of the building's environment and may naturally reduces energy consumption. New construction and addition sites are analyzed for the most intelligent building location and the best fit within the constraints of the site.

Adaptive Reuse:
Whether or not they are of historical significance, preservation of existing buildings is the most effective way to realize truly sustainable architecture and Carnevale Eustis has developed an expertise for giving new life to buildings from the past. We love working on older homes and commercial properties, collaborating with building owners to help them realize their vision in a sustainable way.

A. Retain and reuse existing buildings
B. Locate new buildings to minimize impact on the site
C. Native plants
D. Rain Gardens
E. Rainwater Cisterns for toilet flushing and irrigation
F. ‘Dark Sky’ compliant exterior site lights

G. ‘Cool’ metal roofs
H. Roof overhangs for shading
I. Photovoltaic solar array
J. Cellulose insulation
K. Formaldehyde-free batt insulation
L. Increased wall thickness to maximize insulation
M. Formaldehyde-free building sheathing
N. Geothermal HVAC systems
O. Low E insulated glass
P. Skylights and day lighting
Q. Low/no VOC paints

Compact fluorescent light bulbs
Occupancy sensor light switches
Renewable flooring materials
Low-flow plumbing fixtures
Low-flow toilets
Automatic flush valves
‘Energy Star’ appliances

Building Greener Means Building Better

Sustainable, Green, Eco-Friendly Design and Build in Philadelphia, PA

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