With a client base that's skewed heavily toward retail outlets, Shulfer Architects faces a unique challenge when it comes to promoting the value of energy efficiency. "Our clients need to create properties with a low lease rate, and in the current lending environment, many of them assume they can't afford to build an energy-efficient building," said Steve Shulfer, LEED AP, owner of Shulfer Architects. "We try to show them that both the short- and long-term costs of energy efficiency can be lower than they think, and the Green Power Tomorrow program is excellent proof of that message."
Shulfer Architects has been a member of the program since 2008. "We're living in a time when the issue of global warming has become critically important," said Shulfer. "We each need to act locally to reduce our carbon footprint and minimize the negative impact that we have on the earth. Using wind power is an easy and inexpensive way to do that."
In addition to being part of Green Power Tomorrow, Shulfer Architects promotes energy efficiency by creating an environmentally friendly office and using smart design options for its clients. The company installed compact fluorescent lights and energy-efficient air handling systems and windows and takes an energy-aware approach to daily activities. "We try to limit business travel and have more meetings online or through conference calls," said Shulfer.
Environmentally conscious design choices have included orienting buildings to reduce solar heat gain and take advantage of natural breezes in summer, using light-colored interior finishes and paint to reduce light usage, using continuous insulation and superior attic insulation to minimize heat loss and gain and reducing the amount of concrete and asphalt outside to minimize solar heat gain and improve stormwater infiltration.
"There's a lot companies can do to improve their energy efficiency without compromising their bottom line," said Shulfer. "We're working diligently to educate our clients and more affordable, environmentally friendly building materials and programs like Green Power Tomorrow make it easier than ever."
Shulfer Architects, LLC, for supporting Green Power Tomorrow.
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