National Cut Energy Costs Day Is Every Day in a Sustainably Designed Building

Posted on January 10, 2019

In their 2015 study, the United Nations Environment Programme found that buildings account for nearly half of the world’s energy expenditures, 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, 25% of the earth’s potable water, and, in developed countries, over 20% of all solid waste generated, including food waste, yard waste, and unrecycled materials. In a time when resources are limited, and everyone is trying to put a cap on the energy they use and carbon emissions they are responsible for, sustainable design is now more important than ever.

Flexible and applicable to virtually all building, community, and home project types, stainable design provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED Certification, by the US Green Building Council, is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, helping to save energy, water, resources, generate less waste, and supporting human health.

Although the US Green Building Council and LEED rating system has only existed since 1993 and 2000, respectively, SMBH has been involved in projects that incorporate green and sustainable design since our inception in 1972. It is evident to us that, while many trends in the design and construction industry can often come and go quickly, sustainable building is much more than just a trend – it’s becoming the new norm. Design and construction professionals increasingly see requests for structures incorporating elements of sustainable design into large and small-scale projects.

One of those elements is the steel itself. We design with steel made with recycled materials from cars, scrap metal, and old structural steel. Because steel is magnetic, it’s easily separated from mixed waste streams. It’s also 100% truly recyclable, meaning the recycled steel won’t have any degradation in properties or performance.

Through our involvement on many sustainable projects, we have found early collaboration to be extremely beneficial to green and sustainable projects. The spirit of collaboration creates an open forum for idea sharing and allows the design and construction teams to meet the owners' goals in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. As design professionals, our charge is to work together to integrate sustainable elements early in the design to ensure their maximum benefit is achieved.

SMBH has been involved with more than 100 LEED projects, including 6 that are Certified, 41 that are certified Silver, 30 that are certified Gold, and 1 that is certified Platinum. In addition to this experience, we also have three team members who are LEED Accredited Professionals, demonstrating our proficiency in sustainable design and helping your project achieve LEED certification.

Want help with your next green or sustainable design project? We’d love to start working on it together, just contact us!