With our upcoming move to a brand new, environmentally conscious building on the way, we thought it would be a great time to look at some of the best examples of energy efficient building design over the last few years. With any luck, our new office building we’re designing will be mentioned alongside some of these innovators of energy savings and repurposed material.
- Kiowa County School, Greensburg, Kansas. If a tornado blows away your old school, what better way to spring out from a tragedy than to help the community out while rebuilding? By using locally sourced, non-toxic and recycled materials to build the Kiowa County K-12 School, including Kansas limestone. The building is 100% supplied by renewable power, via a 50-kw wind turbine and a wind farm, and a closed loop geothermal system with 97 wells round out a beacon for a community overcoming disaster.
- LOTT Clean Water Alliance, Olympia, Washington. Much like it might be a little unorthodox to see an insulation company going for an entirely environmentally friendly approach, the LOTT water treatment lab and offices doesn’t have to be green, yet does it in crisp, fresh ways, like using reclaimed timber from a nearby warehouse, exterior louvers, and a public plaza and pond that serves as irrigation for the green roof, toilet flushing, and industrial uses.
- NREL’s Zero Energy Research Building, Golden, Colorado. You would expect a laboratory dedicated to researching energy would be green, but one that uses a net of zero energy through the year? Natural climate control via small width, east to west orientation that allows sunlight to act as a light source, technology that compares indoor and outdoor temperatures and sends occupants messages to close or open the windows all work together to make sure energy is used as sparingly as possible. Recycled and reclaimed materials feature in this building, which is similar to what we hope to accomplish in using repurposed materials on the new Graber Insealtors’ Building, coming soon!