1321 Lady Street is an 8-story office building that will be converted into 133 apartments and is a great example of sustainability in design.
As with all projects, it is important to look at the big picture along with all the details. For this group of clients we are working with, our focus is renovation and historic renovation.
Sustainability starts with the decision to not tear down the whole building. The question on our minds: How much of the building can we keep, reuse, or recycle? Getting creative in how we organize the space yields huge cost savings. We make a sustainable design that lasts!
What makes a design sustainable?
A rule of thumb is to use as few materials as possible. Ideally locally sourced, or even reused from the existing structure. The idea, in its purest form, includes concrete, brick, wood and stone. From a historic preservation perspective, it should also fit right in with the historic fabric of the building. Good windows and energy efficient A/C units have become the norm…but we’re looking deeper — long term sustainability for just about every aspect.
How will the building be used?
We consider the long term use of the space. For example, for this commercial-residential project – 8-story office building that will be converted into 133 apartments…we look at the lifestyle of the people using the building to make some decisions. Because we know these apartments are for young professionals and that they probably won’t use the kitchen very much, as single people, out and about in town, the kitchens are small, with not a lot of money spent on appliances. Instead, we have invested in recycled bamboo, glass and concrete, and other strides toward a 30-year life cycle.
Sustainable design involves many facets, including electrical and plumbing. I find that my clients for this project and other sustainable design projects want their buildings to be very energy efficient and low maintenance. Yet, our mission is even bigger than that — to realize spaces that benefit the environment, work with the client’s budget and enhance their lives. Stay tuned for an update and completion pictures!