Clicking the image below will bring up a 13 minute video of a home inspector checking out the new US EPA Green Building in Denver (you will need to click again when the InterNACHI pages comes up). While we all may be custom home Architects, and this is a high-profile commercial project, there are lessons to be learned here.
For instance, one of our members, Rand Soellner, ArCH, NCARB, LHI, recently designed and attached custom aluminum sun screens to one of his projects with large amounts of glass (for the views to mountains and a large lake) facing a northwesterly and southwesterly direction. The large window wall facing challenging solar directions was managed with sun screens not all that different from those shown on the EPA building.
And, there is a some good knowledge about how to do a green roof without having to impact the roof surface significantly (containing the soil and plants within plastic tubs). And there’s quite a lot of information about recycled products and low embodied energy products that do our planet a favor. Even some photovoltaics.
The only thing about this building that might be at odds with green philosophies is that it looks like it probably cost a mint to build. but it is a handsome work of architecture and I don’t know that if any of ArCH’s members were tasked with such an assignment that we could have done any better. This is good architecture from which all Architects can learn a few lessons.