Ecological Design That is Beautiful and Functional
Green architecture means designing buildings that have the least environmental impact possible.
As the country becomes more environmentally conscious, many people continually look for new ways to live that will not have an impact on the planet—and saving money on energy usage is just a bonus. While using solar panels and insulation are practices that have been in use for a long time, something that is increasing in popularity is green, or sustainable, architecture: designing a home or building in a way that is friendly to both the environment and the pocketbook.
“Truly green architecture means that our children’s children’s children’s children will have the same opportunities that we have in a healthy world,” says Doerr Architecture principal and founder Thomas Doerr.
Green Home Designs can be Affordable and Beautiful
Doerr, a Certified Green Points Architect in Denver, Colorado, started his firm because he wanted “to save my clients’ money, health and hopefully our planet.” He is well educated to do just that. He began his first internship in 1983, and since that time he has spent time as the chair of the Colorado chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment, plus he wrote the Green Architecture Checklist for Residences and edited the Green Architecture Checklist for Commercial Buildings.
In addition, he was an assistant editor of the Rocky Mountain edition of The Sustainable Design Resource Guide. He continually updates his knowledge with the latest information by attending conferences, and he teaches architectural design at The University of Colorado.
Doerr does green architecture renovations and original designs, working closely with clients to create unique homes and buildings with features that express the client’s individuality while saving resources—such as in the Finch House in Denver, Colorado, where the lines of the home reflect the passion of the ceramicist who lives and works inside.
These buildings harness the sun’s energy to reduce dependence on fuels, saving money and the planet’s resources. In addition, they are designed to keep wanted heat in and unwanted heat out, saving money on heating and cooling bills.
When your home is easier and cheaper to heat or cool, you will be able to keep it at a comfortable temperature all the time, which will make you and your family happy. Because no oils are used in the heating and cooling of the home, there are no toxins released that can compromise the inhabitants’ health.
Doerr green home designs feature such things as:
- Passive and active solar design
- Savings on resources
- Excellent daylighting
- Highly efficient furnace and appliances
- Green materials
- Award winning designs
- Net zero energy usage
- Solar heating and electric systems
- Use of surrounding landscape and views
Architecture of the Future
Doerr predicts that green architecture will become much more popular moving forward. “Who would not want to save money, their health and the planet?” he says. “Not mention energy independence.”
With the general movement of the country toward cleaner burning vehicles and conservation of resources, it is only natural to design homes to make the most efficient use of resources. While the initial design may cost more than a more traditional designer, the investment will soon be forgotten.
“A new or remodeled home utilizing passive solar design can save more than 90% off your heating and cooling bills,” Doerr’s website claims. In addition, an ecological design may not cost very much more than a more traditional designer, so it is well worth getting a quote and doing the math on future savings.
Whether remodeling an existing home or building a new one, green architecture is something everyone should consider.