Our goal is to produce buildings that simply do not produce damage to the environment even if millions were built. Our goal is to step past environmental damage and create structures that actually help the environment to recover and stabilize. We are not able to do this at this time. These are long term goals. While we will implement all of the principles indicated on this web site, but we had to start some where. On this page are principles that we are focusing on, presently. Its not that we are ignoring the other sustainability principles. Our present work incorporates all the principles listed on this site but to lesser degrees. At this time the others are not fully implemented. Much research, invention, testing still needs to be completed.
The Magic Box Principle
Our buildings fully condition themselves by providing heat, cool, light, clean air and proper humidity for the comfort and health of the occupants (without additional resources). These five things are expected of all modern buildings. We accomplish this by utilizing efficient sustainable design and energy harvested from on-site solar, wind & geothermal.
Zero-carbon emissions in basic building functions. No utility bills.
Fully automated operation of systems to provide maximum comfort. Place the unit, turn it on and your done.
A buildings animate features (heat, cool, light, clean air and proper humidity) should be provided, automatically, without additional resources. We accomplish this by utilizing efficient sustainable design incorporating energy harvested from on-site solar, wind & geothermal.
Resource efficiency A resource is any thing incorporated into the design - wood, metal, plastic, energy, motors, light bulbs, etc. For us, resource efficiency has to do with a balance between production of the raw material, manufacture and waste, required maintenance, Useful life, disassembly and reuse. It may also involve looking at the true cost of resources instead of the market, subsidized cost and factoring in the environmental costs as well. For example, for us, it makes little sense to install custom granite counter tops that could survive for 500 years in a kitchen that will probably be replaced within 15 years. It might work better if they were fabricated in such a way that they could be reused in 10 or 20 other kitchens over the years in the form of their original fabrication.
There are at least three ways to be efficient; 1) Use less, only what you need, 2) Use in a form that can be re-used by others when you are done with it (material pathways) and 3) Use for an extremely long period of time (consume extremely slowly). The resource we are most concerned about at this time is energy.
We are not suggesting that anyone should go without anything they desire. Only that decisions should be made responsibly and sustainably. Unbridled consumption is definitely out. In a world with a rapidly expanding consumer population, we must learn to think of others and share.
Most noted are those things not included in the designs.
Resources should be consumed as follows - Use only what you need (based on sustainable principles), Use as little as possible and for greatest effect for the greatest length of time.
It is difficult to determine which source of energy has the least negative effect on the environment, which is the most cost effective, which technologies will develop and be available to the general market and what choice does a consumer actually have? If one were to choose clean energy it would have to involve Photovoltaic or wind power to generate electricity. Heating and cooling energy could come from the earth (Geothermal). The amount of energy to be produced is reduced substantially if it does not have to be transmitted across miles of wire. All of this, of course, must be proceeded by reducing the waste in energy use. This would involve conservation as well as using energy for only those things which are desired and effect lifestyle and removing energy use that does not.
Exceptional comfort with zero carbon footprint; no negative environmental effects.
Mechanical and other systems are incorporated to heat, cool, light, provide clean air and proper humidity automatically for the comfort of the occupants.
Primary energy, that is needed to operate basic building systems will be harvested on-site from clean, renewable sources. These might include solar, wind and/or geothermal.
Flexibility now and in the future. You decide your electricity source.
Our electrical systems are designed to be fully accessible in the finished units so that additions, changes or up-grades are easy to accomplish without demolition / Repair of existing work.
Secondary energy is non-building energy required to run owner gadgetry. This energy will be provided from the public electrical grid in a separate system. We encourage our customers to use primary renewable sources for these needs as well, but recognize this may be prohibitively expensive as we can not control the efficiency of consumer products.
To Do Good
There is considerable effort in a broad range of disciplines, products etc... that are attempting to do reduce their impact on the environment. It seems the goal is to be less bad then the competition and therefore, gain or increase market share. However, if these gains are combined with increasing demand from growing markets the net result is still increased degradation of the environment still leading to devastating negative impacts. We call this theDoing Less Bad, Scenario.
One of our current projects is to create a ranking system for buildings, products and processes that will identify their environmental intelligence (EnQ). It is a 200 point scale that will behave much like the widely known IQ scale. A score of 100 is the environmental break even point. Less than 100 indicates the existence of negative environmental impacts. A score of greater than 100 indicates positive environmental impacts. That the manufacture leaves the environment in better condition than its pre-construction state.
Piece of mind, knowing that you have made the best choice.
Not only do our buildings present a zero-carbon footprint, they are state-of-the-art when it comes to sustainability in general.
We believe that it is not enough to do "less bad", relative to environmental issues. We must strive to do "good".