Certainly geothermal heating and cooling makes a huge — and smart — impact. The geothermal system at 200 E. Brady, for example, drastically cuts energy consumption and will pay for itself in less than five years. Daylighting cuts costs while improving the internal environment.
Sourcing recycled building materials close to home makes a difference. Low-emitting materials, solar shades, green screens, heat island effect roofs… the list goes on. But at Selser Schaefer Architects, we also consider the value of bringing new life and usefulness to existing buildings and materials. Can we repurpose an entire building into a high performance environment as we did with 200 E. Brady? And can we design projects with the inherent flexibility so that, as time passes and its use changes, that project can also be repurposed for the next generations? Not every aspect of green design gets certified or is measurable, but it all adds up to the right thing to do.