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Iceberg! Is Your Architecture Portfolio on a Collision Course with Sustainable Design?

December 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

thumb_icebergBy Connor Jansen PE, LEED AP BD+C, Performance Consultant and Senior Project Manager, Seventhwave
Dave Vigliotta, Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, Seventhwave

Viewing sustainability within a timeline of the last 20 years, it’s clear that the idea has spread from individual idealism to a worldwide social movement. As shapers of the built environment, architects and designers have the ability to turn this momentum into something more systematic that can be integrated into workflows and become the new norm. Many, if not most, design firms feature leading-edge sustainable buildings within their portfolio.

However, aside from a handful of publicized buildings, much of the remainder of projects are designed at or near baseline building energy codes. In other words, most projects are equivalent to the minimum energy standards allowed by law. This “iceberg” phenomenon of unseen reality represents a major threat to a sustainable built environment. There are countless projects that aren’t front and center, and highly marketed. It’s difficult to quantify these projects in our portfolio that lie beneath the surface.
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