#ARCHWeek17 Day 7: Sustainability
Beyond having roughly 30% of our employees LEED® Accredited, M+A puts a large emphasis on each and every project being designed sustainably. Our experience in sustainable projects leads us to approach our designs by not separating the environmental aspects out as their own entity, but instead to incorporate them into every intrinsic aspect of a building’s operation, function, program, and even its purpose.
In honor of The American Institute of Architects' #ARCHWeek17 sustainability day, I spoke with the M+A sustainability committee to find out why they are passionate about this concept — starting with the sustainability wall that is prominently displayed in our office.
What image did you choose to display on the sustainability wall? And why?
"I posted images that demonstrate health and wellness in buildings, specifically learning environments where cognitive function is of utmost importance, implying that green buildings enhance our ability to take in and process information, especially important in places of leaning (schools, libraries, labs, universities). I also posted images that showcase regenerative design within the context of their site and embrace how they "look green," something I think a lot of designers shy away from. I think its important for these buildings to look different, because they are. They embrace where they're situated. Their design is directly influenced by their site and their region." -Johnna Keller, Project Manager
"I posted a park in Zurich in an area full of low rise residential buildings. Mimicking the architecture of the area, the park is an "open building" where people can enjoy a break, sit with friends, attend public events. In a sea of asphalt, concrete sidewalks, sterile blocks of apartments, the park offers a connection to nature, which is important in our lives to reduce stress. The park also has nooks and crannies in a more individual scale, catwalks and observation decks. It creates a place where a sense of community can bring people together." -Lucia Hoehne, Project Coordinator
"I posted a diagram of easy ways that people can be "environmentally friendly": canvas totes, LED bulbs, city buses, bicycles, community gardens, shade trees, composts, recycle bins - sometimes people think they are only one person, so what can they do to have an impact on the environment? Actually, a lot!" -Melissa Olson, Project Manager
So, why are we so passionate about sustainability?
"We need to be more conscious about how we impact the environment. Negative effects can be irreversible."
"We have the most beautiful home in our solar system, so it just makes sense to keep up with maintenance, cleaning, repairs and improvements."
"The creator of the universe expects us to be good stewards of it."
"We have a great responsibility as design professionals to be stewards of our resources. Being mindful and proactive on what resources are consumed, to not only construct, but furnish, condition and illuminate spaces, is on our shoulders."
"Because sustainability makes buildings better."
by ALEXANDRA PETERS
Alex is a marketing coordinator at M+A and a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.A. in strategic communication. She loves watching Friends and hanging out with her real-life ones, too.