Why Energy Efficient Design is A Must-Have in 2017

Today, many businesses are emphasizing the importance of energy efficient design and sustainability. For our designers at Artech, the reasons are clear: 2016 was the hottest year on record, according to NASA, and the world's natural resources like water, coal, and land are becoming increasingly scarce. To add to that, buildings account for over one-third of the world's energy consumption. As such, we see the need for environmentally-friendly architectural designs now more than ever.

The benefits of green architecture

There are many benefits of designing green architecture. Not only can it decrease utility costs, but sustainable architecture can also help your business reduce carbon emissions. At Artech, we opt to use Earth-friendly construction materials, avoid chemical wastes, and incorporate building components that optimize electricity and water usage wherever possible. For example, our designers will often incorporate large windows, clerestories, and sloped roofs to maximize daylighting and reduce water usage. Our past projects are proof that these sustainable practices can produce remarkable structural additions to our landscape.

Our past green building designs

One of our past projects was the Outdoor Chattanooga Center in Tennessee. We started from an empty block building with concrete floors, and instead of tearing it down (which would have resulted in unnecessary waste) our firm decided to revamp the existing structure with recycled local materials. We wanted the center to use a minimal amount of electricity and water, so we added a clerestory to the top of the building, which is specially angled to project natural lighting indoors even on cloudy days. A sloped roof with a cistern was also included to collect rainwater for flushing toilets.

Close to the center of Chattanooga stands the city's #4 fire station, another successful project we take pride in. A cistern allows firefighters to wash their fire trucks with rain water, which reduces their water usage substantially. This project achieved LEED gold certification. Another project of ours to receive LEED gold certification is The Blue Cross Blue Shield Gateway Building in Chattanooga. It was a reclaimed cluster of existing buildings repurposed to complement the new BCBS, TN campus.

Leading a sustainable era

To help reduce the effects of climate change, global initiatives have been pushing for more sustainable design practices. The U.S. Green Building Council developed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a benchmarking system that encourages design firms to address today's sustainability issues in their projects. Our past projects have received numerous awards for meeting these energy efficient design standards.

Our work at the Majestic 12 Theatre in Chattanooga was the first and only LEED theatre in the US and achieved Gold, with a water tank for grey water usage in toilet flushing, all energy efficient lighting with sensors in appropriate areas, and clearstories for natural lighting. The theatre was built on a brownfield site in downtown Chattanooga and was designed to complement the historic warehousing and industrial architectural character of the surrounding area.

The bottom line is that there are ways for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and decrease electricity and water consumption, and it begins with the construction of its buildings. For these reasons, we believe that green architecture solutions have become a must-have for 2017 and beyond.

Let Artech Make Your Next Project Sustainable

We invite you to browse through our portfolio of sustainable projects to see how we combined sustainability and design into our past projects. Like what you see? Contact us for more information on how our Chattanooga architects can help with your future projects.