Sustainability: "Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Sustainable design is a method to design the built environment by balancing social, environmental, and economic goals. All three must be equally integrated and balanced to achieve a truly sustainable solution.
Green Thumb Design Studio understands the importance of going green and is dedicated to educate, encourage and implement sustainable alternatives in each of its projects. Our ultimate goal is to minimize environmental impact of the built environment through sustainable design solutions while creating healthy, safe places for people to live, work and play.
Elements of Sustainable Design
Site Evaluation- We study each site to understand the potential that site has to offer. Site features such as topography, predominant wind, solar exposure, views, watershed, and existing vegetation are all factored into the final design solution.
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy- Each project should be designed to meet specific performance expectations while minimizing the use of energy, saving money, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By specifying Energy Star appliances, solar hot water heaters, photo-voltaic systems, wind turbines, and geothermal heating systems, we are reducing our demand on traditional power and gas sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Water Efficiency- By specifying fixtures and appliances that are low flow and rated WaterSense (an EPA program similar to Energy Star), we can reduce the amount of water consumption saving water and money. Native planting design and efficient irrigation systems are designed to minimize water used in the landscape. Implementing rainwater collection and storage as well as the use of greywater systems are other alternatives to consider.
- Waste Management- During construction, the contractor should minimize construction waste while maximizing the use of renewable building resources and material recycling. We encourage each builder to have a waste management plan and a goal of reducing waste. The building or space should also be designed in such a manner to encourage recycling and waste reduction.
- Material Selection- Whenever possible, we select materials and products that are recyclable, renewable, non-toxic, and locally produced reducing CO2 emissions and promoting the local economy.
- Education- Upon completion, occupants are educated about the sustainable design, systems, required maintenance, and use of environmentally friendly materials. It is also important to educate the public about the importance of sustainable design and how every individual plays an important role in the future health of our environment.
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