Epstein Joslin Architects

SUSTAINABILITY: Respond to the Natural Conditions of the Site

A sensitivity to the sun’s path, wind direction, and landscaping can unite energy reduction strategies with onsite energy production. Strategies to allow water to stay onsite, rather than run through storm drains, can be beneficial to the larger watershed and reduce irrigation needs. We evaluate these and other possibilities to better integrate each project into its environmental conditions:

  • onsite energy generation through photo-voltaics or micro-wind turbines
  • creating a permeable site that allows for ground water recharge
  • harvesting rainwater on site for landscape irrigation
  • planting native species that require less watering and insecticides
  • planting a green roof to hold water onsite and better insulate the building
  • low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • integrating gray water systems (wastewater recycling)
  • plantings can divert wind in winter, sun in summer, lowering energy consumption
  • deciduous trees shade the home from unwanted summer sun but let in winter sun as the leaves fall in autumn.

In the U.S., building construction and operation account for 12% of potable water consumption (U.S. Dept. of Energy).

80 Trowbridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138 telephone: 617-868-1766 fax: 617-661-1148