Connecticut Environmentally Responsible Architects | Environmentally Responsible Building Design

Environmentally Responsible Building Design Architecture (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the using of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. In other words, Environmentally Responsible Building Design Architects find the balance between a buildings architecture and the sustainable environment.

Environmentally Responsible Design Architecture may have its roots in the satisfaction we get from taking an older, often dilapidated, building and giving it new life. Much of our work involves the re-purposing of existing structures. In so doing we utilize the embodied energy that went into making the original building materials, and avoid the redundant energy consumption that comes with the demolition of a structure. We believe that reusing our built environment to the extent practicable is the first step in “green design.

Next we are diligent in employing established passive design techniques to reduce energy consumption. We pay attention to building siting and how to accordingly detail each building façade based on its solar orientation. We strive to use sunlight to supplement artificial lighting, and shading to mitigate heat build-up.

With this common sense foundation, we determinedly utilize new building materials and technologies, particularly as it relates to the heating and cooling of buildings, to further reduce energy consumption, be it geo-thermal, or chilled beam systems or other cutting edge technologies. These techniques regularly allow us to achieve LEED standards. Our most recently renovated school project, the M.D. Fox Elementary School was certified as LEED Gold, and all of our school work for the State of Connecticut meets the State’s High Performance Building standards.

Staff members of Smith Edwards McCoy are LEED certified, and as part of our office’s continuing education program, we regularly attend conferences and “lunch and learn” seminars on “state of the art” practices and products.

Lastly, one of the many reasons Smith Edwards McCoy has been consistent and long time advocates of cities and city living – and made it the focus of our work – are the inherent and significant energy and resource economies that come with planning and designing for greater density than is represented by traditional suburban development. The savings and benefits are dramatic. Not only are there significant energy savings that come with higher density living, but equally so in the reduction of transportation related expenses. Add to this the environmental benefits of increased open space.