Sustainable design blog for progressive architecture

The Sustainable Design Blog

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

Does the Cost of Solar energy outweigh the benefits?


How much does it cost to turn the sun into electricity, and is it worth it for my Florida building?

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a typical residential system should lower your electric bills by 25% to 50%. The a verage household pays about $110 a month for electricity, according to the Energy Department, so a solar-panel system should save you between $300 and $600 a year.

Not bad....

Finding such savings and a shorter payback time than I expected when I first started looking into the subject, led me to doing further research on the use of solar panels for residential energy in sunny Florida.

However, doing so opened a can of political worms I was hoping to avoid, because it turns out that our laws are tilting the scales in ways people don't realize.

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Topics: solar, Sustainable Building

How we're going to meet the 2030 challenge


I was in attendance at the International Living Futures Institute’s (ILFI) Living Futures 2016 conference in Seattle the week of May 9, 2016.  It was an amazing gathering of leaders in sustainability.  

One of the keynote addresses was given by Ed Mazria, Founder and CEO of 2030 Architecture and of the 2030 Challenge. The imperative that he spoke about is that we reach zero net carbon emissions for all new buildings by 2030 and for ALL buildings by 2050.  He spoke about how not only is it important, but it's an absolutely necessity for the survival of our species.

Many see it as a bold plan, because it simply won't accept business as usual in the built environment, but not us, because we know for a fact that these goals are attainable, and they're just the things that motivate us every single day.

This got me thinking:  What do we need to be doing, as architects in Florida, to stay on track to meet the 2030 Challenge? 

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Topics: LEED Certified Building, Sustainable Building, Green Design, Energy Efficiency

How to Choose a Solar Power System for your home or business

What are some systems for solar power generation that I should consider?

People come to our firm for green design because it's a very personal mission of ours to contribute to the sustainability of our planet and the preservation of our species. We also design beautiful buildings, if I do say so myself...

So, it's not all that uncommon to get questions about how to include solar power, our abundant and clean resource, in the overall design.

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Topics: Sustainable Design, solar, Sustainable Building, Green Design

Sustainable Buildings - Certification Makes A Difference

Sustainable Building Certification

The next great debate in the building & design industries will not be whether to build green or not – it will be whether or not to build to third-party standards and seek a green building certification.

The advantages of green or sustainable building are both numerable and measurable. Sustainable buildings result in increased productivity. For example, studies published with the US Green Building Council report that

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Topics: Sustainable Building


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