GREEN DESIGN / LEED
As the US Green Building Council describes it, "LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings." Although LEED is set as a standard for many building designs, especially governmental buildings, it is not without its critics. It's an expensive program to implement, and energy-saving results cannot neccessarily be guaranteed by merely having LEED certification. Typically, just the process of officially having your building designated as having a LEED rating can add upwards of $100,000 to the cost of your building... that does not include any premium for construction materials and systems. That is just the cost of "certification" and nothing more.
Cynthia Gili McGraw is a LEED Acredited Professional, and as such, is trained and certified to mentor projects through the LEED certification process. However, for most every project you might envision, simply using LEED as a guideline may be totally sufficient to meet the demands of your, and our, environmental conciousness.
building life-cycle costs
Every project that we design includes mechanical system comparisons and energy calculations to determine the best Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing systems with the most advantageous life-cycle costs over the course of your building's projected life. Architecturally, we design passive energy-saving features such as a high-R insulation envelope, prudent building orientation, and fenestration shading elements to lower heat gain. Materials are selected for their appearance, function, and longevity. The result is a building that should have a useful life of over 50 years, and a building that makes the most of our planet's precious resources.
- Gili-McGraw Architects approaches every project as a collaboration, with our firm's two principals and the client involved together in every step of the design.
- Every building is designed to relate to the neighborhood context into which it is placed.
- Client expectations are weighed against a realistic budget, and the Scope of Work refined accordingly.
- The refined design is weighed against the construction budget and the design revised as required.
- With the budget and program in harmony, the project proceeds into Construction Documents, Permitting, Bid/Award, and Construction.