They serve as life support systems, communications and data terminals, centers of education, justice, and community, places of refuge, entertainment and much more. They are our homes, our schools, and sometimes, our life. They can be simple or complex, modest in price or incredibly expensive to build, and must be adjusted to function effectively over their life cycle. The economics of building has become as complex as their design.
Buildings designed and built to green, ecologic and environmentally appropriate standards tend to outperform traditional buildings. They can have lower operating costs and provide for a healthier environment. In commercial facilities this may contribute to lower absenteeism and increases in productivity, while forging stronger employee bonds. Green buildings can generate significant economic benefits; delivering higher occupancy rates, higher rents, an increase in building values, and an improvement on return on investment. Green thus becomes both a strategy and an economic imperative. Market factors will eventually make many traditional buildings obsolete – with a concurrent loss in value.
Buildings matter. Perhaps more so now than at any other time in our history. In the United States buildings account for two-thirds of electricity consumption, forty percent of all energy use, and nearly the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions. But energy and environmental imperatives in and of themselves will not ensure good design nor quality of construction. Neither will social, economic or aesthetic issues. It is only when we consider the interrelationship of all fundamental factors that we begin to see a world of possibilities. Buildings don’t just have to be less polluting or less harmful; they can have a positive effect on the environment and their inhabitants. Buildings can be more than high-performance structures; they can, and must be, regenerative.
As architecture, engineering, and construction consultants we can help you to build better buildings. Buildings that are built using healthful materials that can be reused and remanufactured, that are designed to produce more energy than consumed, that have green roofs that create habitat, produce food and restore landscapes, that reclaim and filter storm water, integrate natural light and ventilation, and provide for a safe and comfortable environment. We’ve been doing this for over thirty years and are committed to a program and process that fosters creativity, that is integrative and collaborative in nature, and that effectively engages all stakeholders in a process that is designed to produce the best possible outcome.
To us, all buildings matter. Whether your project is commercial or residential, institutional or recreational, we invite you to contact us at your convenience. Helping our clients to build better buildings is what we do, and we look forward to discussing how we may be able to be of service.
Michael is a qualified architectural expert and has been recognized as such by a jurisdiction in Maryland.
Mr. Sersen relies on his over 30 years of experience in building and building science to represent plaintiffs, defendants.
John worked in the construction trade for over 20 years, primarily as a project manager.