Sustainable Building

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The concept of sustainability dates back to the 1970s when the energy crisis, uncontrolled pollution and environmentally damaging materials made the world realize we couldn’t depend on fossil fuels forever. Fortunately, new studies have unveiled the benefits of renewable resources, recycling existing materials and adopting sustainable practices to help turn things around, and in industries such as organic architecture, professionals of all stripes are trying to do their part to better the world.

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Bamboo is making a greater appearance in modern home design as conscientious owners and sustainable architects are learning more about this material’s great sustainability factors.

As the fastest growing wood producing plant in the world, bamboo is tougher than steel when it comes to tensile and compression strength. It’s also harder than red oak and maple, and isn’t as susceptible to warping from temperature or humidity as conventional wood products. Add to these factors rapid growth, improved air quality and breathtaking beauty, bamboo is truly a favorite material in sustainable architecture.

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sustainable home

Our earliest ancestors understood the concept of sustainable architecture without realizing there was a name for it. They set up home in savannas, woodlands and caverns that provided the proper amount of natural light, protection from weather extremes and plenty of plants and vegetation to survive and barter. Unfortunately, centuries passed before we began to consider these benefits of biophilic architecture.

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outdoor lighting

An important facet of sustainable architecture is to reduce energy consumption and your carbon footprint. Although it may seem insignificant, something as simple as replacing ordinary incandescent bulbs in your home with Energy Star-rated products can add up to substantial savings on both your energy bills and your home’s carbon footprint.

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wood fireplace surround

The natural charm and warmth of wood has long been recognized by designers and homeowners alike as one of the preeminent material choices for historic homes. Its multicolored tones and subdued textures have often been imitated, but never truly reproduced by other materials, both naturally or man-made.

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lighting installation

Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are semiconductors that emit light when voltage is applied. Although they’ve been around in limited form since the 1960s, it wasn’t until the last decade that they gained in popularity as an energy efficient lighting source. With a high light output and a wide range of colors available, LEDs are now used for both general and targeted lighting.

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home office

An important facet of sustainable architecture includes using building materials that are not harmful to the environment, as well as reusing materials whenever possible. Salvaged wood can be upcycled and used in many applications that meet both of those criteria. Considering the beauty, uniqueness and historical quality of reclaimed wood, you should not overlook its usefulness.

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lighting

In an era where energy-efficiency is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, when it comes to lighting a home effectively, modernizing the lighting in an historic preservation can be a challenge for both the homeowner and the architect. In order to protect the integrity of historic preservation in New England, finding a balance between the natural daylight and historic light fixtures with modern upgrades is essential.

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TMS Architects recently had the opportunity to work again with  Rob Karosis to photograph an unusual architectural project that Shannon Alther, TMS principal, worked on recently.  The homeowners of this beautiful home and barn had lived in the area for years and were thinking seriously about downsizing…apparently all they really needed in a new locale was access to the internet and an airport.  However, the more they thought about leaving the area, the pull of family and grandchildren was hard to ignore so they came up with an ingenious solution in lieu of leaving the family home.

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lush landscape

Encouraged by an ever-deepening understanding of global environmental issues, many homeowners and commercial enterprises are seeking new ways to “build greener” and surround their homes with sustainable landscaping. Such insightful landscaping can enrich your home and its natural surroundings in multiple ways.

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