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.

Friday, November 8, 2013

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Teams at Decathlon Village
 Photo: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

I have looked over a couple of my recent posts about the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, and feel that some clarification is in order.  While my blog entries focus just on a few aspects of the houses that were particularly attractive, even “subjective” contests like Market Appeal were judged according to clearly defined parameters in a very analytical fashion.

For the Solar Decathlon, collegiate teams design and build energy-efficient houses powered by the sun. These teams spend almost two years creating houses to compete in the 10 contests of the Solar Decathlon. Each house should:
  • Be affordable, attractive, and easy to live in
  • Maintain comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions
  • Supply energy to household appliances for cooking, cleaning, and entertainment
  • Provide adequate hot water
  • Produce as much or more energy than it consumes
Each team built its house for a target client of its choosing. The Market Appeal Jury of which I was a part evaluated the responsiveness of the house design to the characteristics and requirements of the target client. The criteria that we considered were:
  • Livability - Does the design offer a safe, functional, convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable place to live? Does it feature intuitive house controls? Does it meet the unique needs and desires of the target client?
  • Marketability - Does the house have curb appeal, interior appeal, and quality craftsmanship? How well do its sustainability features and strategies contribute to its marketability? Does the house offer potential homebuyers within the target market a good value?
  • Buildability - Would the construction documents enable a contractor to generate an accurate construction cost estimate and then construct the building as the design team intended it to be built? Could the house's materials and equipment be immediately adopted and built in the private sector?


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