PRACTICE

HOLISTIC DESIGN

 

Permeating. Threaded. Unified. Penetrating.

 

hese are all words that describe our design objectives. Although safety, function, and aesthetics are the typical goals of building design, we strive to go far beyond these attributes so that the inhabitants and users will have an all-encompassing experience that affects their body, mind, and soul.

 

So how does this happen? We focus on the user experience of the building, the economy of the building, and the ecology of a building.

 

USER EXPERIENCE

Increased Productivity

With better indoor air quality and more day lighting, it has been well-documented that user productivity increases in a holistically designed building. This is true in all building types, but can best be measured in schools. A study in Chicago and Washington, D.C. found that holistically designed school facilities can add 5 percentage points or more to a school’s standardized test scores. In some instances, test scores improve 15% or more with better day lighting, more efficient temperature control, and better indoor air quality.

 

Better Health/Less Absences

Because a holistically designed building is designed with environmentally friendly materials and uses low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials, the data is overwhelming that people are more healthy in these spaces. In fact, a recent review of five separate studies found an average asthma reduction of 38.5% in buildings with improved air-quality.

 

Retention of Quality People

For the same reason that workers are healthy, an owner or developer can expect to retain people longer in a holistically designed building. Statistics show this fact throughout the country. Let your building help you hold on to your good people.

 

BUILDING ECONOMY

Buildings cost a lot more to maintain than they do to build. Life-cycle costs have a much greater economic impact than initial building costs. Holistically designed buildings use an average of 33% less energy than those more conventionally designed. While continuing to curate efficient construction costs, we also embrace design that emphasizes savings over the life of the building. Typical energy performance enhancements include more efficient lighting, greater use of day lighting and sensors, more efficient heating and cooling systems and better insulated walls and roofs. Depending on the size of the building, the savings could equate to vast savings every year.

 

BUILDING ECOLOGY

One of the most common reasons for a holistically designed building is because it’s simply better for the environment. CO2 emissions are lessened, water runoff is reduced, fossil fuels are conserved due to energy need reductions, site and climate concerns are addressed. All of these attributes are designed as solutions in the building from the ground up, providing the users with a tangible example of environmental conscientiousness.