Sustainable Design, Charlotte, NC
A truly sustainable design is one which is planned and designed to celebrate Biophilia: our innate love of nature, life, and living systems.
Sustainable Design in Charlotte – Of course, sustainable design entails building with best practices in order to build authentically durable houses by having future generations in mind. Typically, sustainable design methods entail minimizing the negative environmental impact by building efficiently, including sensible yet moderate use of materials, energy, and space. Yet there’s another aspect of sustainable design critical for longevity that is often overlooked: a certain love of the environment.
As an architect, I strive to understand what each of my clients loves about life. For most people, the home is where you create memories with your family and friends as you live your daily life. As a place embodying and participating in your love of life, a house exemplifies the term “Biophilia.” The term itself literally means “a love of life or living systems” and was first used by Erich Fromm, the early 20th century German social psychologist and humanistic philosopher. Fromm used the term “Biophilia” to describe our innate psychological orientation to be attracted to all that is alive and vital. As an architect, I believe this innate attraction is embodied in houses that are both livable and integrated with nature.
Thus, underlying and driving my design services are two intertwined ideas:
- Sustainable Design (“Livable” or Biophilic Design)
- Landscape Design and Integration
The term “livability” can be used to summarize what most clients desire from the full spectrum of what a house consists of and, thus, is more comprehensive than the overly politicized term “Sustainability.” A truly livable home provides for what the client perceives to be essential, including convenient access to shops, services, employment, and cultural resources. In addition, a variety of transportation options (e.g. walking, biking, public transit, etc.) may be optimal. A livable house is nestled within a neighborhood or community that contributes to its “sense of place.” Within, a livable house provides a place to restore one’s spirit through a variety of activities, including rest, as well as connecting with loved ones and friends. While all these conditions of livability are somewhat obvious, it is easy to overlook the most obvious and pervasive condition of the house: its setting within nature.
E.O. Wilson uses the term Biophilia to describe our innate love of nature, sunlight and breezes, as well as views of flowers and trees, waterways and sunsets. When an architect is able to couple the unique offerings of each building site with the homeowner’s unique specifications for domestic life, a truly liveable home can be said to have been created. As a responsible architect, I make every effort to use materials and architectural forms appropriate to particular climates and their specific place in the world throughout the planning design process.
Although the relation between architecture and nature has a long and honorable history, over the last three decades, the architecture/nature relationship has wisely increased its focus on environmentally responsible practices described – with great earnestness – using terms of sustainability and sustainable design. As these terms have become so politicized, many architects and designers have wisely embraced the terminology of “high-performance buildings” to describe those structures designed to conserve energy, materials, water, and land.
I will be sensitive to your budgetary concerns and will use state-of-the-art technology throughout the duration of the planning design process. For fifteen years, as a university professor at Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and as a guest lecturer at numerous other prestigious universities, I taught the principles of high-performance buildings (sustainability), as well as the critical aspect of sustainability known as Biophilic Design. In addition to the conditions of livability addressed above, Biophilic Design includes landscape design and integration.
My planning design services in Charlotte, NC are complemented by nearly three decades of experience. Please contact me today to get started on your project.