Sustainable design blog for progressive architecture

The Sustainable Design Blog

For the love of beauty, functionality, and the planet Earth

Three Tiers for Green Renovations

Home and business renovations feel like a fresh, healthy start - until you stop to consider the environmental impact of newly harvested or wasted materials. A well planned green renovation can help you take advantage of the newest products and materials that have a smaller footprint on our environment. Read on to learn more about the The Three Tiers of Your Eco-Friendly Remodel.

TIER ONE - Business Operations – Conserving and Reducing


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Topics: renovation, sustainability

Florida Trend asks Michael Carlson, Why we build green?

What's the biggest reason your company builds green and the biggest reason your customers say they want to build green?

"Green buildings are better buildings for the money than non-green buildings.  Now that there is a widely recognized, sophisticated way to determine how green a building is, and have that tested and verified by an independent 3rd party (the LEED rating system from the USGBC) we can determine how much better each design is.  We designed our first green building in 2000.  Our clients are motivated differently to build green.  Most like the savings generated by energy and water conservation combined with higher quality of interior space that is healthier to live or work in.  Both are quality of life issues.  Some are motivated to save money while others share our concerns about the future of the planet." - Michael Carlson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

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Topics: green, carlson, usgbc, LEED, Michael, renovation

Suncoast School for Innovative Studies opens the doors to their newly renovated school!

When the pre-kindergraten through eighth grade kids of SSIS Charter School returned from spring-break this year, they discovered a brand new school. Renovations were just completed on the SSIS's new project, a former parochial school building. The 19,000 sf campus received updated mechanical systems, lighting, new flooring, fresh paint, and some re-configured spaces. For the first time the school has a stage, library, and a gymnasium. During the renovation all low chemical and low VOC products were used to keep the childern safe healthy while they learn.  

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Topics: sarasota, renovation, school, k-8, charter school

ABC 7 Living Green - Suncoast bank goes green

by ABC 7
SARASOTA COUNTY - Banks are used to dealing with the color green; but one Suncoast bank has taken it a step further by working green.
We ask our banks to keep our money safe.  Gateway Bank's University Boulevard branch is also protecting our environment.  It was retrofitted about a year ago by Willis A. Smith Construction -- experts in green building -- and green architect Michael Carlson.
The result is an energy and water efficient building that's LEED certified.  It's only the fourth bank in the state to earn that distinction, and the first in the area.
Willis Smith and Gateway have compared its efficiency to another Gateway Branch in Bradenton over the past year.  "And what's nice is the 2 branches are relatively similar, so we're now, after a year, we can compare the data and utility costs," says Dave Sessions, president of Willis A. Smith Construction.
"On a per square foot basis, we're seeing a 41% savings with the LEED-certified branch vs. the non-LEED-certified branch.  So it's pretty tremendous, and the payback we've estimated is right at 38 months, so we're very, very encouraged on that," says Shaun Merriman, president and CEO of Gateway Bank of SW Florida.
The savings comes from three main elements: the windows keep the heat out and the cool air in; underneath the bank's roof is highly effective spray foam insulation; and because the building is so well insulated now.  Smaller, more efficient air conditioners were installed, lowering the cost of its power bills.
The bank is also a healthy place to work.  All paints, materials, carpets and sealants are no-VOC -- that means they contain no volatile organic compounds...basically chemicals that can make us sick.
Merriman hopes more businesses will go green.  He says there are less than 10 LEED-certified buildings in Sarasota County.  "We have a lot of room for improvement and I'm very encouraged that our bank was one of the very first to take that step and take that initiative."
Click here to see full article



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Topics: architecture, carlson, usgbc, LEED, sarasota, renovation, bank

Gulfcoast Business Review Features Gateway Bank's LEED certified project

In the current issue of the Gulfcoast Business Review, Carlson Studio's Gateway Bank renovation is featured as one of the 1st LEED certified banks in Florida.

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Topics: LEED, Michael, sarasota, renovation, award, tampa, bank


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