One of the big
changes that has gone on in architecture and the greater design world in the
last 6 to8 years is the growing interest in sustainability and green
design. Early on, green design was primarily
part of the institutional architecture market because the schools and
universities were the ones that would accept the additional project costs and design
changes associated with a green project.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy
Efficient Design) building standard, the current green standard in building, is
now used in all parts of the building market and has come to define premium
office space in Boston and most large cities around the country. It’s what people are coming to expect from
their homes and offices.
Because of LEED we
now have a lot of exciting new products that never existed before, using
base-materials that we would have never considered using. Many of the new materials that contribute to
the LEED standard are different than traditional materials and… just plain
cool! Whether it's the choice of a base
material- recycled plastic, bamboo, shredded tires, re-purposed wood, a new
technology- or the design that results from thought and intent that goes into
sustainability, many of the new products and the designs that have been developed
are exciting and unique.
Renzo Piano’s re-design
of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is a project shaped by some
of these new choices in materials and ideas about our environment.