Why should I consider "going green"?
Here in the United States, buildings consume 40% of our energy, produce nearly 40% of our carbon dioxide emissions, use 40% of our raw materials, and are major contributors to our landfills. Green design presents an opportunity to reduce these numbers without tremendous sacrifice.
Building green homes and commercial spaces has several practical, tangible advantages. A more efficient building infrastructure lowers operating costs over the life of the building by using less energy and water. Better air quality and increased reliance on natural light creates a healthier, more enjoyable environment for the occupants. And remember that green materials and building practices can accommodate any design aesthetic.
Will it cost me more to build green?
It's up to you! We are happy to include green building materials and energy-efficient fixtures into any design-these kinds of initiatives are part of our basic fee and will not substantially increase construction costs. A more ambitious approach, such as aiming for LEED certification, will require additional architectural fees and construction costs. When contemplating the costs and benefits of eco-friendly design, remember that sustainable restaurant design will ultimately save you significant utility costs and will greatly enhance the experience of your building.
Isn't green design just for houses? Can I build my commercial project sustainably as well?
Green design principles apply equally to residences, offices, restaurants and retail spaces. Business owners, restaurateurs, and merchants can provide a healthy, sustainable environment for employees and customers, which in turn can promote sales while realizing savings in operating costs. We find that many of our commercial clients have also leveraged green design into a persuasive marketing advantage.
What is LEED? Is it mandatory?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a rating system established by the U.S. Green Building Council. It provides guidelines for achieving successful of sustainable design in several categories, including site development, energy efficiency, water usage, materials selection, and the quality of indoor environments.
LEED certification is usually elective. Some jurisdictions, including San Francisco, have begun to require that certain types of construction projects meet or exceed LEED standards. It seems certain that LEED standards will continue to be incorporated into building codes in many communities.
What other advice can you lend?
Go green from the start. Tell us that you're interested in eco-friendly options at the very beginning of your project. That way, we can be thinking green from the first sketch to the final nail.
Don't get overwhelmed. There is a sea of information about green architecture and design. We can help distill this wealth of information into the best and most effective strategies for your project.
Build to last. You might be tempted to choose the least expensive options when it comes to interior finishes and cabinetry. But the cheaper stuff will wear or break sooner and require replacement. In the long run, quality materials and construction are better for the environment...and your wallet.
How do I get started?
It's simple - give us a call. We're eager to hear about your project and to discuss how we can help you build sustainably. We can discuss design, fees, budget and schedule. If it seems as though Martinkovic Milford Architects is a good fit for you, we will then submit a formal proposal for the work.
Give us a call at 415-346-9990 or email us