Does size matter – when going green?


Does size matter? Can you build a large ‘green’ home? Ecohome magazine, in an article published on March 3, says the “American love affair with the McMansion is over.” I too have seen this trend over the last several years with people wanting higher quality design in a smaller footprint. Of course our clients are typically eco-aware to begin with so is my view too limited? We have become known as the go-to green architects in the area for our tremendous track record of high performance homes and commercial projects. We have designed net-zero, passive, LEED for Homes certified, LEED NC Certified, EarthCraft Certified, and even EarthCraft Light Commercial projects. So are we only getting clients that want green and therefore are looking for high quality in a small footprint?

Harrisonburg Green home

Size is a matter of perspective when it comes to the footprint of a building (home or commercial). We have designed very green homes that range in scale from 900 sf – 6,000 sf as well as green commercial projects that range from 2,000 sf – 24,000 sf. The key to this story and the new economy is that clients are demanding high performance, high quality, and are not as concerned with image / scale. The days of the “how many gables can we get on the front of the house” movement are over. The size of the home is less important than the function of the spaces and the efficient use of square footage and the client’s resources. Clients are looking for professionals that have experience maximizing their investment through an in-depth understanding of green design, building science, and construction practice.

Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

At our firm, The Gaines Group, PLC, we have been doing ‘green’ design for 25+ years. We have been recognized by the VSBN as the ‘best green designers’ in Virginia. If you have a project, want to maximize the value of your investment, and don’t want the firm that just jumped on the bandwagon trying to keep up to learn while designing your project, give us a call. We would love to help you design the most efficient project that meets your program and budget goals.

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