3-Fold Approach to Sustainable Architecture and Green Building
As in all things, experience affords the opportunity to go beyond theory; experience means practical knowledge of what works, why it works, and insight into ways we can craft better, more resilient and sustainable homes and businesses. At The Artisans Group, we practice a three fold approach to Sustainable Architecture and Green Building that provides our clients with a healthier living experience and strengthens our community.
1. ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Energy efficiency is to sustainable design as floatation is to a boat. If you want to invest in sustainability, the first thing you should work on is energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for about 48% of a typical home’s energy use. We can build better; we have the science, and know-how. The Passive House building standard is the best available building science for creating an energy efficient building, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.
For a quick take:
- An ultra-energy efficient Passive House saves over 75% more energy annually than a similar new home, and 90% more than a typical U.S. home. Imagine going from 11000 kilowatt hours per year of energy use to 2,750kWh. We design, model, build to, and see that level of energy efficiency in our clients' homes.
- An ultra-energy efficient Passive House has no need for a large, expensive, and inefficient heating or cooling system. A Passive House is built to recycle heat from appliances, light bulbs, and you - to keep your home around 72° all-year-long.
- An ultra-energy efficient Passive House is designed to maximize natural light, which decreases the need for artificial lighting. We model your home through annual sun cycles. We know where to put your windows so that you get the necessary amount of sunlight to comfortably condition your home on February 23 and on August 16.
- An ultra-energy efficient Passive House undergoes extensive site modeling so that we see how the sun, weather, and landscape will work with your home to improve solar gain and minimize overheating. All of this is well understood before construction begins and we test the integrity of our idea throughout and after construction.
We have designed and built more homes to the Passive House standard than any other firm in the Pacific Northwest. But we’re not Passive House acolytes, we design and build Passive Houses because they represent the best available science for high quality and practical sustainable design.
We design and build a diverse range of architecture and our industry leading experience with extreme energy efficiency means all Artisans Group projects benefit from our additional experience and knowledge. Even our traditionally built homes feature additional insulation, air sealing, high quality construction, and window placement to increase energy efficiency over a standard new home.
Whether your project is a new home, remodel, or commercial - our eye and training for energy efficient solutions means better and more realistic options for you.
We constantly look for ways to help improve energy efficiency in a way that works for you. Tankless hot water systems, hydronic floor systems, low flow toilets and showers, the most energy efficient appliances and lighting options, beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows that don’t bake your house; whatever it is, we keep ourselves informed so that you have access to this knowledge.
We want to empower you to make the best decision for you, your family, your lifestyle, and your aspirations.
If you would like more information about the revolutionary Passive House building science, we encourage you to read about it on our website, on Passipedia, and (yes) through following a good new fashioned internet search!
2. GENUINE GREEN BUILDING
We’ve been a part of the Green Building movement for long enough to see it be a grassroots effort as well as trendy marketing. As we mentioned above, ecological building is not something we do for marketing purposes, it’s what we do because we want our families and friends and children - and children’s children - to have a better world. And we want to live in a better world, too.
From the very first stages of design we carefully consider materials and construction methods in order to eliminate excess waste and ensure durability. Whether it’s sourcing quality salvaged goods, working with sustainably harvested wood throughout your project, or ensuring healthy indoor air quality - we provide ongoing education to our team members so that they can provide you with more sustainable options in building materials and the most up-to-date building science standards. We design and build your home or business to work with and be responsive to its environment.
A better, more sustainably built ecological home isn’t rocket science, it's building science.
Building something sustainable doesn’t really matter if there’s not a community to enjoy it; that’s just philosophy. We’re in the business of building a better world because we want a better world, and we’re willing to work hard to get it.
We employ local high demand and highly skilled individuals from across the design, construction, and project management spectrum. We empower them with further education and challenging opportunities to grow and develop skills that help build a more durable, resilient, and sustainable community.
At The Artisans Group, we think that a thoughtful and well built sustainable building is a community asset. From successful revitalizations of commercial spaces and social hubs, to crafting a home that compliments and boosts its neighborhood; our clients have honored us with their hopes and dreams. We honor our clients with our dedication to craft and community that resonates today - and - tomorrow.
Why do we build improved air quality into our buildings? Because healthy communities start with healthy people. We support local organizations like United Way, Safeplace, and Big Brothers Big Sisters because we know that healthy communities need support and maintenance so that when times get tough (and they always do) there’s a network of support to help us pick ourselves up and try again.
We’ve said it a lot throughout the pages of our website, but it bears repeating; we love the Pacific Northwest.
We’re all in.