Sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the health and comfort of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments.
Sustainable design principles include the ability to:
- optimize site potential;
- minimize non-renewable energy consumption;
- use environmentally preferable products;
- protect and conserve water;
- enhance indoor environmental quality; and
- optimize operational and maintenance practices.
Utilizing a sustainable design philosophy encourages decisions at each phase of the design process that will reduce negative impacts on the environment and the health of the occupants, without compromising the bottom line. It is an integrated, holistic approach that encourages compromise and tradeoffs. Such an integrated approach positively impacts all phases of a building's life-cycle, including design, construction, operation and decommissioning.
NTN ArchiGroup and Sustainable Design
Operations superseded Executive Orders 13423, 13514, and 13693. It directs federal agencies to manage their buildings, vehicles, and overall operations to optimize energy and environmental performance, reduce waste, and cut costs. It calls for agencies to cost-effectively meet goals including:
- Achieve and maintain annual reductions in building energy use, and implement energy efficiency measures that reduce costs;
- Reduce potable and non-potable water consumption, and comply with stormwater management requirements; and
- Ensure that new construction and major renovations conform to applicable building energy efficiency requirements and sustainable design principles.
NTN ArchiGroup carefully incorporates sustainable design and energy efficiency principles into its construction & modernization projects. The result is a solid balance of cost, environmental, societal, and human benefits that help meet tenant agencies' mission objectives and functional needs. NTN ArchiGroup strives to seamlessly integrate sustainable design into project delivery.
NTN ArchiGroup and LEED
NTN ArchiGroup uses the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification system as a tool for evaluating and measuring achievements in sustainable design. LEED® consists of a set of prerequisites and credits with specific requirements for obtaining points in order for a building to become LEED® certified. NTN ArchiGroup uses LEED® to ensure that sustainable strategies are considered in the development of all NTN ArchiGroup building projects. NTN ArchiGroup requires, at a minimum, new construction and substantial renovation of Federally-owned facilities to be LEED® Gold.
Sustainability Matters [PDF - 115 KB] is a publication of case studies and best-practices that address NTN ArchiGroup’s sustainability initiatives and strategies at all stages of a building’s lifecycle. Sustainability Matters is the first comprehensive overview by a federal agency related to the issues of building, operating and maintaining facilities sustainably.
Sustainable Facilities Tool
The Sustainable Facilities Tool is a one-stop online resource to support decision-making regarding sustainable building principles, materials and systems. Targeted to help project personnel identify and prioritize cost-effective, sustainable strategies for small projects, the Sustainable Facilities Tool helps users understand and select environmentally preferable solutions for renovations, alterations and leases.