The Design Collaborative

Sustainable Design

Since 1977, we have designed over 100 energy-efficient, daylighted buildings which were built within normal building budgets, and have been recognized by state and national awards. The Virginia Beach Central Library received an Energy Design Award from the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects in 1987.

Daylighting is one of many strategies for sustainable design which incorporate conservation of resources, respect for the natural environment, low-impact development, air and water quality, and energy efficiency.

The most potential operating cost savings for the Owner, are available to projects which optimize energy performance and use renewable energy, such as sunlight. One of the basic design strategies to reduce energy is daylighting.

We know that operating cost reductions are feasible with little or no additional construction costs. Post occupancy evaluations confirm that our buildings save as much as 50% on energy costs.

For example, in 1996 our Kempsville Library in Virginia Beach operated at $1.13/per square foot /per year less than Chesterfield County’s Cloverhill Library. Likewise our Cascades Library in Loudoun County operated at $1.55/square foot/per year compared to $2.26/ per square foot/per year for Loudoun County’s Leesburg Library.

Our approach to energy-efficient design is based on extensive knowledge of daylighting, passive-solar heating principles, and cooling-load reduction strategies … which we use to reduce a building’s overall energy needs.

Our experience shows that proper architectural design can reduce energy loads for HVAC systems as much as 40% to 60% prior to equipment sizing … which saves both initial-construction cost and long-term operating costs.

Recent advances in the state of the art make daylighting a powerful energy-saving strategy as well as an amenity. Lighting and air conditioning can be one-half of a building’s annual energy cost, so properly designed natural daylighting is a cost effective strategy. Natural light can provide good lighting with less cooling load than electric lights, and increase worker productivity, too.

Whether you are interested in formal LEED certification or just in taking advantage of energy-efficient, sustainable practices, our architects and engineers are ready to support you.

Both of our principals, Ed Lazaron and Richard Fitts, are LEED Accredited Professionals.