aha! Ideas & News


Integral Sustainable Design

Elizabeth, an Intern Architect here at AHAdams&Company, has some thoughts on new integral approaches to “green” design:

The “Green Movement,” along with recently created specialty grants and programs, has recently created a need to explore an integral approach to architecture and planning.  Recent projects in the education sector, in particular, have used sustainable design not only to improve building efficiencies, but also as a tool for teaching and learning.  In these projects, aesthetics embedded in the design reveal information about the buildings performance, the surrounding site, and community.

“Greening Greenfield” is a renovation project to Philadelphia School District’s Greenfield Elementary school play yard on 22nd and Chestnut in Center City.  Greenfield Elementary is just one school that has recently taken to the “green movement” by using an integrated and creative design approach.  Including the community, students and teachers in the design process from day one, the project immediately gained perspective on the importance that the design be both a visual and experiential learning tool.  This is achieved by using the project’s constraints, such as the asphalt schoolyard and the associated heat and drainage issues, as design opportunities.