Learn from the design pros – bringing sustainability to your project7 Min.
Boston Design Week 2018 is coming right up! We are thrilled to partner with Northshore magazine for an informative panel discussion that goes beyond sustainability and looks at how to design spaces with truly lasting impact. Let’s take a look back at this great info managing an environmentally responsible project from Andrew Sidford, who will be joining our panel once again.
Andrew Sidford is widely considered one of the top architects in the Boston area. His expertise ranges from historic renovations to contemporary design, and from single-family homes to large-scale commercial and institutional projects. He founded his architectural practice in 1992. His unique designs have garnered accolades and awards, and have been featured in Boston Globe Magazine, Design New England, Northshore Magazine, and numerous others.
Andrew’s commitment to sustainable design has always been a strong component of his work. His operating principle is that good design is implicitly sustainable. In 2006, Andrew Sidford Architects became the first architectural firm to join 1% For the Planet, an international environmental group whose members pledge one percent of their profits to environmental causes.
Given Andrew’s considerable experience in sustainable design, we asked him to describe a few steps that homeowners can take to make their project both sustainable and environmentally responsible.
“We all aim to be environmentally conscious, with every project we ask ourselves how we can be more responsible to ourselves and our families as well as to the environment. To take a sustainable approach when redesigning your kitchen there are a few key factors that you should consider”.
Let nature help you. By adding enough efficient windows and skylights to let natural light and ventilation into your space. This way during daylight hours the sun can light your kitchen, and the use of artificial light can be limited to nighttime only. Think about the placement of your windows in terms of wind. Cross ventilation is your friend and will hopefully limit your days of necessary air conditioning.
Materials Matter. Especially the ones you come into contact with daily. Andrew Sidford Architects consider product education to be part of their responsible scope of services. Begin by thinking about how you interact with these materials and ask about the effects they could have on the health of you and your family. Being aware of the chemical processes that are used to fabricate your material choices is always a healthy practice. Also consider the life cycle of your products; how they were made, what finishes were used, how they are transported to you, and finally how they will eventually be disposed of. This way you can assess the impact each material has had on the environment before it makes its way into your home.
Build smarter, not larger. When thinking about your redesign be sensible in what is required to make your dream a reality. Look holistically at your current living environment and assess if more space is needed, or if more efficient space would suffice. Your perception of space can be very different from actual space, and this is where we come in. Andrew believes that as architects, it is their responsibility to accomplish more with less, which ultimately is the best investment strategy. Great spaces are healthy spaces.