By Molly Cox

The Residential Green Building Committee met on April 10th, 2017. We had a guest presentation from Dan Arons, co-founder of Architerra, speak on the challenges and obsessions related to the project cycle of green buildings. Dan has more than 25 years of experience as an architect, and he is also a founder of the USGBC Education Committee. Architerra is an architecture firm based in Boston, MA, focused on sustainable design.

Dan presented 10 key elements to focus on during a project cycle, based on his experience as an architect:

  1. Integration from start to finish: How do the desires of the end customers, architecture firm, and all other players come together
  2. Define boundaries loosely: You will discover new paths to reach your end goal along the way, even if they weren’t obvious from the start. Be open to changing directions mid-way through
  3. Energy and Occupancy Modeling: Dan says the biggest challenge of green buildings, is understanding how people are going to use the building (how often and how many people)
  4. Mock-up for Constructability: “Try it before you buy it”
  5. Test the Mock-up: Primarily for the performance. Dan says they air test all their mock-ups
  6. Define Building Envelope Intent: Ensure the end customer’s goals are set from the beginning
  7. Coordinate Continuously: Communicating with all parties involved
  8. Commission with Full Team: Always best, so everyone is on the same page on how the building will operate
  9. Address Economics of Renewable Sources: Renewables may be the golden ticket to get a building to Net Zero
  10. Opportunity to Act Locally or Nationally: Get involved on the local level, keep fighting the good fight

These steps are essential, as Dan emphasized the challenges with coordination and sequencing during project cycles. The committee asked some great questions after the presentation and learned some more about specific projects Dan has completed.

We continued our discussion around internal projects we are working on, and encourage more folks to join our next committee meeting to learn about what we are up to! Join us on May 8th!

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