Why Green Building?


Phinney Design Group is:

Green Buildings are “common sense” buildings.

The building sector currently consumes approximately 50 percent of the world’s natural resources, and building demolition accounts for over 40 percent of the solid waste stream. How building projects are designed, constructed, and operated in today’s environmentally conscientious world, with its limited resources, is becoming more and more important. The emerging field of “green building” technologies and sustainable design is based upon the need to reduce human impacts on the environment.

“Green building” initiatives create the following positive impacts on the environment:

“Green buildings” can:

Phinney Design Group regularly guides owners through the analysis and funding programs administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA has instituted green building programs which have available funding resources that provide rebates and credits to reward building owners who incorporate green building features in their facilities.

How a “green building” becomes LEED certified…

LEED prerequisites for a building to be considered “green” are as follows:

Other LEED suggested standard features that may be incorporated into a green building include the following:

We make it easy to be green…

Through the use of LEED and NYSERDA programs our design team and consultants are leaders in assessing the potential of your project to benefit from green building design and technology. Through detailed payback analysis and life-cycle costing of building products and mechanical equipment, we can evaluate and inform owners of opportunities available to them. Keeping owners aware of emerging technology and how it may benefit both operation and maintenance costs and improve the health and attitude of the inhabitants is something we pride ourselves on.

Knowing each project is unique in program, site selection and budget, we have the ability to recommend green building features that will be cost-effective to owners. Some projects may utilize only the minimum “common sense” approach, while others may choose to pursue green building technology to the greatest extent practicable. In either case, we can work with owners to supply them with the necessary information to make an educated decision when investing in sustainable building practices on any level.

We provide a “whole building approach” forming a team relationship with the owner, builder, engineer, and architect from early conceptual phases through completion to assess where sustainable opportunities within design, construction, and occupancy can be realized.

Michael R. Phinney was responsible for putting into practice the principles of green building design in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Headquarters in Albany*, which was granted national Green Building Certification from the USGBC. The building is the first in the State of New York to gain such recognition, earning a “Silver” rating under the LEED’s version 2.0 Green Building Rating System. Recently, the firm was responsible for the first Certified Green Building in the Adirondack Park under LEED’s version 2.2, the National History Museum “Wild Center” in Tupper Lake, New York.

Detailed analysis and LEED’s certification can require a considerable effort by the design team and the owner. If desired, our team can evaluate the potential of each project and the effort that will be required to meet sustainability goals and certification requirements.

(*while under employment at Woodward Connor Gillies and Seleman Architects)