Firm Commitments to Action as it Relates to Sustainable Design in 2006

March 17, 2006 · by DesignIntelligence

During the closing plenary session of the 4th Annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design attendees reported on the internal and external leadership initiative recommendations for action in 2005-2010.

During the closing plenary session of the 4th Annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design attendees reported on the internal and external leadership initiative recommendations for action in 2005-2010. Teams put issues on the table, with the intention of establishing advisory policy to firms, producers, contractors, universities, clients, and the public in the context of an expanded international platform. The “future of sustainable design,” what leadership can bring to the table, do’s and don’ts, convincing the clients, and new priorities were all discussed. The following are results of the session.

  • Work with our clients and pursuit of developing the world’s first large scale “net-zero energy” building to serve as an example of what is possible
  • Transform our practice in Chicago by rebuilding our engineering groups
  • Working with architecture to make significant leaps forward in design for sustainability – to do this on a large and repeatable scale – to share the industry
  • Every new project at the firm will meet LEED standards
  • LEED accredited designers will double in the next 12 months
  • We will publish at least three articles on sustainable design in 2006
  • Step up commitment to include sustainability in every project
  • Encourage individual research into sustainable materials, concepts
  • Increase the number of LEED-certified professionals firm-wide by 25 percent
  • Undertake all projects with a strong commitment to sustainable design principles, whether considering certification or not
  • Provide suitable support for LEED certification training in each office (exam preparation)
  • To apply the basic, common sense, and humane sustainable strategies and principles to all our projects, regardless of the possible limitations
  • To try and effect change, on as broad a scope as feasible, given time, budget, and client bias constraints
  • Make sure that every architect gets LEED certified
  • Develop and present symposiums and lectures at the local library about sustainable design and living
  • Turn down projects that do not align with our beliefs
  • Every project will have a significant sustainable aspect
  • We will expand our efforts and the education of clients, potential clients, and the general public
  • When challenged to reduce the project cost, do not present items for consideration without a life-cycle analysis
  • Become more of a partner with the architects we work with to support their sustainable project goals
  • Develop company-wide on-site recycling programs and policies
  • Incorporate sustainable design features in our standard specs detail and actively educate all staff to the need and principles of sustainable design
  • Encourage a true interactive design process on all our projects to generate more humane, livable buildings
  • Ensure that our building science practice fully understands and encourages the need for better quality wall systems and use that expertise to encourage our architectural and owner-clients to build better buildings – sustainable buildings
  • Restructure our web site to facilitate sharing of knowledge and resources regarding sustainability
  • Highlight sustainability as an area to help explain to non-designers
  • To raise the level of sustainable products that we specify for a development market
  • Foster green/sustainability awareness programs for all employees in the firm
  • I will follow up with our management group regarding the product development opportunities that will further integrate green principles into our products
  • Encourage networking and doing business with our colleagues from the Design Futures Council
  • Recognize that leadership in sustainable design is not a spectator sport. My specific goal is to work with our environmental marketing manager to advise our education CEO on sustainable design
  • Develop a K-12 mixed-mode, HVAC lighting-based line design
  • Learn from the good Management Engineering consultants – teach the weak Management Engineering consultants
  • Develop a list of seriously motivated construction companies in terms of sustainable design
  • To foster the spirit of pervasive sustainable thinking in all our work
  • To nurture and grow the sustainable task force and get their weekly green reports published
  • Maintain the focus on current sustainable projects under way and not lose the focus with future projects
  • Every project will have green materials suggested – proposed and implemented where we have control
  • Pursue becoming LEED accredited
  • Engage in sustainable actions on every project undertaken by our firm
  • Increase the number of LEED individuals in the firm by a minimum of ten people during the next 12 months
  • Share our success in detail on our web site; make it accessible to others in the profession
  • We will commit to bringing sustainable principles to our effort on every project
  • We will bring at least one project into total conformance with LEED certification standards
  • We will develop ongoing, in-house education about sustainable design
  • Support at least three additional LEED-certified professionals in office
  • “Push” good media coverage for one or more of our LEED-certified projects
  • Try to establish internal mentorship program specifically related to sustainable design competence
  • To energize and empower all staff interested in high performance, green, and sustainable design
  • To seek and find the unique way in which each project fits into the molecule to universe continuum of sustainability
  • To develop integrated design leadership for all projects
  • To institute thinking of building design as building modeling – continuous analysis and feedback
  • Complete chemistry analysis on all products we make down to 100 ppm level
  • Educate the industry through ongoing environmental continuing education units
  • Integrate a holistic approach at the conceptual stage versus post design adaptation
  • As a member of planning commission, to raise the consciousness of sustainability as part of design criteria
  • Build knowledge and consciousness in our firm, making resources/knowledge availabile to all staff
  • Sustainable practices will be a “matter of course” not an additional service
  • We will “just do it”
  • Communicate with elected representatives individuals and collectively the importance of taking action for the environment
  • Promote sustainability with our clients
  • Get smarter
  • Advance our active leadership in research and product development
  • Sponsor the bi-annual conference “Green by Design”
  • Promote sustainable design to our healthcare clients – 100 percent of projects to support the understanding within this sector of our work
  • Measure performance of our schools – bring that to the press/districts
  • Access partners who are leaders in their disciplines to collaborate on better work, UC Berkeley, ARUP – better bricks
  • We currently lead our sustainability knowledge community and will further enhance this
  • We will work towards carbon neutrality as a unit and encourage this for the firm as a whole
  • Increase the articles/press about products that achieve value in sustainability
  • Make sustainability more holistic in our processes – a new check list
  • Reduce products in our resource library that are not green
  • Renew and expand the organization’s commitment to international networks for the sharing and transfers of best practices for community and urban sustainability
  • Develop and implement a building eco-footprint calculator for use on all projects to assess our sustainable design performance
  • Expand participation in project definitions and post occupancy education of projects
  • Green spec to be office standard by the third-quarter of 2006
  • Incorporate mechanical engineering in design process at this stage of every project to increase integrated design
  • Participate in integrated design charrettes
  • Collaborate as a way to tap into collective wisdom, of people and of nature, and use technology to increase the capacity of ecosystems
  • Drive more technology that integrates sustainable design into day-to-day practice
  • Create new initiatives on energy efficiency on campus and in all of our products
  • Drive efforts for fuel closed-loop recycling to the next level, broaden to all regions, increase total pounds returned by 15 percent per year
  • My school will develop a one year program in sustainable design education for interior designers and architects
  • I will deepen and expand my teaching knowledge in sustainable design
  • My school will outreach to government, industry, and other academic professionals
  • To continue to promote sustainability, particularly in lectures to architects for AIA units
  • To assist our clients in recognizing and promoting the sustainability features of their products
  • To expand opportunities to speak to others about sustainable design
  • To introduce, include and increase sustainable principles in every one of our projects
  • To discuss the values of sustainability with my colleagues and staff
  • To find an opportunity to highlight one of our projects as sustainable in the local press in order to spread the “gospel”
  • Create, embrace and endorse a culture of design augmented on sustainability
  • We have a firm goal to design a LEED- certified building this year. Change that to be an overall effort of sustainability for all projects as a matter of delivering quality in all the design work we do
  • Commitment to offer wide training to our staff on design, material uses, operations of projects
  • To leverage partnerships and relationships with state representatives to improve awareness for state and local governments
  • To review our own in house operation for ways to make our own practice reduce waste and encourages sustainable practice
  • We are committed to support water and to meet the UN goals of bringing safe drinking water to developing nations
  • Encourage staff to take part in policy decisions
  • Use our voice in the profession to educate our members on the importance of green principles. This could include a once yearly issue of the marketer devoted to this topic and speaking topics at our annual convention
  • Share my learnings from this summit to begin a dialogue about increasing LEED-certified professionals to 100 percent of those eligible and using LEED principles to begin changing the culture from one of discipline silos to a model of interdisciplinary collaborative studios
  • To action a three year initiative to advance our practice to a sustainable practice with specific annual objectives
  • Develop a sustainable information resource and make this available to our international client base
  • Implement strategies to engage and educate our staff and begin to ingrain a culture consistent with our belief that this is the issue of our time
  • Achieve LEED certification for at least 50 percent of the design faculty
  • Finalize “templates” to facilitate the procurement of sustainable construction services
  • Standardize, on a project-wide/region-wide basis, construction waste reduction procedures
  • Develop “green” office procedures and implement across all offices
  • Work to recycle a greater percentage of all construction waste and reduce its generation on site for all projects
  • Provide industry/community leadership proportional to our dominant market presence; provide a market pull effect
  • Benchmark our performance and raise the bar every year to integrate concepts as better building practices and research and development
  • Begin an exchange of ideas/education via internal workshops
  • Bring in “experts” or advocates of sustainability to enliven the discussion within the firm and the community
  • Establish a formal research segment with documentation to be shared
  • We will challenge our processes, people, and clients to think more globally
  • We will hold educational programs to educate our employees and clients on new sustainable technologies
  • We will encourage employees and firm leaders to become more involved with community organizations such as the local chapter of the USGBC and other public agencies that can influence public policy in the region towards sustainability
  • Continue to include sustainable concepts in all projects, with a focus on energy efficiency
  • Work with clients to educate and involve them in developing design concepts
  • Increase the number of LEED APs
  • Set up a sustainability group within the office
  • Initiate a set of standards for architects to follow as design guidelines to best achieve maximum effect within the markets in which we work
  • Cast a wider net, in an effort to work with more disciplines in developing sustainable principles
  • To prepare a paper and publish it on our position regarding the use of HVFAC
  • To update our specifications to comprehensively address the use of HVFAC
  • To study the possibility of using RHA on at least one project
  • Make a shift towards comprehensive use of sustainability in all our work, regardless of client intent
  • Seek 100 percent LEED certification of our staff, and investigate in-office programs to support this goal
  • Expand the exposure of the company to the DFC and bring back content for knowledge development and firm growth
  • To review what I can do to make my business more sustainable beyond recycling, using mass transit, and decreasing use of gas
  • To use my firm web site to promote sustainability
  • To be more proactive in my consulting and reaching with issue of sustainability
  • Host small conference on key issue: water
  • Promote sustainable design and development projects/initiatives involving schools of architecture
  • Research and develop programs and policies that promote sustainable development
  • Continue to develop collaborative, integrated design processes
  • Promote and publicize completed sustainable projects
  • Develop a design approach integrating energy modeling into all projects
  • Establish minimum levels of sustainability to meet or exceed on every project, whether design or construction
  • Spread training of sustainability throughout our firm – to every member, in all offices
  • Make information about sustainability, with the reasons to do it, available to all our clients and to the entire real estate community

    These leadership commitments were executed by DFC Fellows and members at the close of the Design Futures Council 4th Annual Summit on Sustainable Design held in San Francisco in November of 2005.

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