What Can We Do?
“If we continue business as usual, by the early 2030s we will need two planets to keep up with humanity’s demand for goods and services.”
– The World Wide Fund for Nature, “Living Planet Report 2008”
Buildings are currently sitting atop the Energy Consumption chart with a 48% ownership. We are currently consuming almost as much as industry (25%) and transportation (25%) combined. We have the opportunity to make a huge impact here.
Consider for a moment the amount of time per day that you spend inside buildings; your home, your office, in class, restaurants, etc... Time spent inside these buildings has almost twice the impact on the environment as driving between them does. While personal lifestyle changes play a vital role in aiding the sustainability effort; recycling, reducing resource consumption, and driving hybrid cars - these are only part of the solution. As architects, we recognize the potential of making an even larger impact on the environment through more eco-friendly designs. We have a direct hand and responsibility in the abatement of the over-consumption of energy.
Our process as global inhabitants has previously been to take resources from the earth, create what we need, and return the waste. Any cyclical process that yields more waste than usable product, will soon have only waste to work with. Much of the waste from construction and construction sites can be mitigated by careful attention to material selections, fabrication processes, and onsite waste management programs.
Jacoby Architects takes pride in designing projects that meet the needs of our clients while providing functionality and comfort. Moreover, Jacoby Architects takes pride in designing projects that will allow our children and their children to meet their needs while enjoying the same functionality and comforts in the future. By identifying and analyzing the product and it’s impacts throughout its lifecycle and not just its ownership, a Life Cycle Assessment tries to account for all future health and environmental impacts. Choosing a more durable material or product will lessen the need for maintenance, the frequency of replacement, and current solid waste problems. The longer a building functions properly with its original components, the less it will impact energy consumption and the better it’s lifecycle cost.
We are on a constant quest for more eco-friendly designs. We are experienced and knowledgeable of the LEED certification process, the State of Utah High Performance Building Standard, and the integration of cost-effective energy-saving strategies into our projects. For example, the Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community on the University of Utah Campus is LEED Gold and performs 30% better than required by code. This translates to a savings of over $20,000 per year in utilities alone.
Even our projects that do not require a LEED certification or compliance with energy standards, as best practice, include proper building orientation, natural daylighting and ventilation, well insulated envelopes, building materials that are recycled, low-embodied, and low emitting, and high efficiency fixtures and equipment.