Tag Archives: net zero energy
AIA 2016 annual trends report
Published annually by The American Institute of Architects, the AIA home design trends survey gives insight into how the market is performing, but what customers are interested in.
This 2016 report sheds some light on the landscape industry as well.
We learn that the trend for larger homes is still on the uptick. The trend challenges landscape architects to combat municipality’s permeable surface limitations with permeable paving or vertical gardening when creating outdoor spaces.
Another popular trend fueled by an increase in median age is being mindful of accessibility issues. This effects outdoor spaces as well and must be thought of ahead when creating walkways, gates, and outdoor entertainment spaces.
One of the most interesting and most pressing trends is not the increase in those interested in high end landscapes, but those that also seek ones that require low irrigation. It is something that we hear frequently from our customers. “I want something low maintenance.” It is heartening to see that a sense of responsibility to environmental preservation is continuing to creep into design fields.
As design professionals it is important that we don’t design inside a box. We try to keep abreast of all sorts of industry trends so we can deliver the most thought out products for our customers.
Inspiration from Net Zero Water
Our industry is one that produces a lot of waste and from our equipment, a good bit of pollution. I’ve always found it ironic that we as individuals are driven by an overwhelming love of the beauty of nature and all it provides, but as one large machine, we seldom exercise a desire to protect that which we love on a larger scale.
To a certain extent we are limited pursuing greener methods on all sorts of fronts, state and local ordinances, competition, even our customers.
However, I recently heard about a project in Oregon that inspired me to push back on those restrictions to better do our part in saving our planet.
There is a new proposed development in Oregon that will have no carbon footprint. Seriously. Think about that. 100 percent of the developments water will come from captured precipitation or reused water that is appropriately purified without the use of chemicals. In addition, 100 percent of all stormwater and building water discharge will be handled on site. The development will also create 100% of its energy on site through self-sustaining energy generation and distribution systems.
The kicker…this is a 200,000 sf facility.
Now think about your water usage and the amount of water run off at your home. Say your home is 4,000 sf. This development will deal with 50 times the amount of water that you are. It is mind boggling yet undeniably inspiring that the developers and investors involved decided to pursue sustainability on this level. If they have the dedication to a more conscientious way of living, think about what we could accomplish in our own small spheres.
EASY STEPS TO SUSTAINABILITY
1.Grow your own vegetables: Even if all you have is a balcony you can achieve tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, herbs…
2.Frequent your farmers market and begin to buy local.
3.Use a rain barrel to water your garden.
4.Bring bags to the grocery store and everywhere else: I see so many folks bring reusable bags to the grocery store but rarely at places like Target, Walmart and other stores they could be used.
5.Embrace thrifting: The ultimate in reduce, reuse and recycle.