At Rowland+Broughton, our team recognizes the daunting climate challenges ahead and is excited to drive transformational change.
We have the tools we need to rise to this challenge. We can create beautiful, efficient buildings and spaces that reduce carbon emissions and benefit the experience for inhabitants. We are committed to unleashing these tools to their fullest capacity.
We lead our clients with our collective sustainability and climate goals. Our proven measures can also improve cost, operations, wellness and more. The projects we create should positively contribute to each individual environment, therefore we design and build with sustainability and longevity goals. This is achieved through listening to our clients, collaborating with consultants who share our goals as a sustainable architecture firm, researching new sustainable technologies, and testing materials and applications before applying our findings.
“Everyone needs to do their part to adopt positive change as the norm. As architects and designers, our part involves the built environment, and we are so lucky that our clients prioritize sustainability as well. Together with our clients, we can ensure buildings are less dependent on the grid, have a lighter carbon footprint, and are future proofed for the transformations we see coming.” – Marisol Foreman, Sustainability Architectural Manager, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Our foundation of sustainable practices is rooted in our experience in the re-use and re-purpose of existing structures, including both residential and commercial buildings. The process of saving the most essential part of a building and its embodied energies while adding value to the structure by incorporating energy-efficient components is the essence of our sustainable philosophy.
The Importance of Sustainable Practices in the Built Environment
Global CO2 Emissions by Sector
Sustainable Design Approach:
Rowland+Broughton has identified baseline performance standards for our projects as a sustainable architecture firm with studios in Aspen and Denver, Colorado. These standards are included in our design process from the first meeting with a client through a 12-month post-occupancy evaluation. Rowland+Broughton has committed to focusing on the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Framework for Design Excellence’s 10 Measures, dividing them into three buckets: Carbon, Well-Being, and Resilience. These three measures encompass focus areas that have the most positive sustainable impact on the most common types of Rowland+Broughton projects. We will continue expanding on these three measures as we track, and identify success, in implementing these across our projects. During our first meeting with a client, we discuss Rowland+Broughton’s commitment to the 2030 Challenge and what this means from a performance standpoint to their building. Benefits include but are not limited to: healthier indoor air quality, resiliency in the event of a wildfire or power outage, lower energy bills, increased indoor thermal comfort, little to no dependency on natural gas, and a smaller carbon footprint.
Rowland+Broughton has identified focus areas for each of the three measures that will have the largest impact for the typical project location and type:
Carbon focuses on energy generation and passive design strategies. Energy generation goals include designing for solar-ready roofs, a backup battery system, and a calculation for potential offset or path to net zero. Passive Design strategies include high performing windows, maintaining a low window to wall ratio, increasing the insulation of assemblies above code minimum for a higher performing thermal envelope, and a maximum lighting power density for residential projects. Rowland+Broughton is dedicated to reducing and eventually eliminating gas-burning appliances and mechanical systems.
Well-Being focuses on indoor air quality and thermal comfort. Indoor air quality goals include detailing for a tight enclosure, dedicated filtered outdoor air, specifying no, or very low VOCs for all interior finishes. Thermal comfort goals include operable windows in all projects, and efficient and low-velocity mechanical systems, such as hydronic radiant. The low-velocity mechanical systems coupled with a high performing thermal envelope and high-performing windows will also contribute to greater indoor thermal comfort.
Resilience focuses on durability and longevity as well as system redundancy. Durability and longevity goals include hard-wearing, low maintenance finishes, simple solutions for technology that is non-integrated (allowing for future technology upgrades without requiring a remodel), and passive solutions for snowmelt, which will also help the project reduce energy loads. System redundancy goals include battery backup with solar to maintain essential loads, a water filtration system and dedicated filtered outdoor air to provide clean water and air, even in the event of a power outage, and utilizing thermal mass and increased insulation to maintain interior building temperatures.
USGBC Membership and the 2030 Challenge:
Rowland+Broughton is a Silver Member of USGBC and has joined the ever-important AIA 2030 Commitment.
In 2006, Architecture 2030 created the 2030 Challenge, which lays out a set of targets for improving energy efficiency and reducing the carbon emissions of buildings. The goal? Reaching carbon neutrality and getting as close as possible to net zero by 2030 through incremental improvements in project performance.
Practicing design in our sustainable studios, we educate ourselves through research, and extend this knowledge to our clients, applying the shared goals of a sustainable future one project at a time. Completing multiple Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified projects, the R+B team encompasses several LEED accredited designers who consult on sustainable best practices and serve as resources throughout the design process.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What does a sustainable architect do?
Sustainable architecture firms work on more sustainable design solutions for the construction of buildings. They aim to lessen the environmental impact of urban development.
What is sustainable architecture called?
Sustainable architecture can also be called green architecture and environmental architecture. It is the practice of making architecture that wants to minimize the environmental impact of buildings overall and reduce energy use.
What is the difference between sustainability and green building?
The difference between sustainability and green building is that green building construction focuses only on the environment while sustainable building focuses on the people, planet, and profit.
US Green Building CouncilVisit Site
Building GreenVisit Site
The Pharos ProjectVisit Site
Greenguard CertificationVisit Site
Green SealVisit Site
Global Health & Climate ChangeVisit Site
National Center for Healthy HousingVisit Site
Healthy House InstituteVisit Site
US Environmental Protection AgencyVisit Site