Making it Easier to be Green
Green design includes energy conservation, but that's not what it's all about. It's about having good air quality both indoors and outdoors, making the environments in which we work, live, study and play healthier and more comfortable and conserving all of our natural resources.
This site will provide a balanced, holistic view that includes advice about saving energy, water and other natural resources, improving indoor air quality, using environmentally responsible design and construction techniques and minimizing waste.

I will be focusing on interiors for three reasons:

  • We spend about 90% of our time indoors.
  • Buildings in the United States annually consume about 30% of our total energy and 75% of our electricity.
  • As a New York State Certified Interior Designer and a LEED Accredited Professional, I want to share my knowledge and expertise with you.
Sustainable design and construction can be done in many different styles and using a wide variety of materials. There are examples of healthy, sustainable, comfortable and inviting interiors for commercial, not-for-profit and residential clients on the web site for Interior Design Solutions.
You can use the labels on the sidebar to locate entries that you want to read. For instance, most people might want to look at the entries for "Green Homes," but "Green Finance" would be of more interest to professionals involved in the design, construction, management, financing and marketing of buildings.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Greening The White House


President Obama intends to pursue LEED Certification for The White House. While the lawn will represent a challenge to achieving LEED points (short, well-groomed grass is often maintenance-intensive, and needs more water, fertilizer and herbicides than field grass), the building itself has a number of features that make it relatively energy efficient already.

I was amused to read that the windows would be of particular concern. The White House, like many older buildings, has a ratio of mass vs. glass that makes the building envelope intrinsically more energy efficient than modern buildings that make extensive use of glass. Most of the tall, relatively narrow windows appear to start 30" or more above the floor, which means that they admit maximum daylight with minimum heat gain.

Window treatments can help to increase energy efficiency the old-fashioned way. In summer, draperies should be closed during the day in rooms that are not being used to minimize solar gain. In winter, closing draperies (especially at night) can help keep rooms snug and warm.

The White House, like many older buildings, was designed to be comfortable and healthful without central heating and air conditioning. Of course, it the building could probably benefit from retro-commissioning and new lighting design, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Some time ago I wrote a blog entry entitled "10 Tips for Greening the Obama White House." It's on my original web site: www.idsgreen.com

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