‘Green’ Keeps Architects Competitive

The mechanics are different, with computers replacing paper and pencil. And the materials have changed as energy efficiency becomes increasingly critical.

But the mandate architects face today are the same as they were more than 30 years ago when the principal of Fair Lawn-based Ives Architecture Studio was launching his career.

Buildings still have to be functional and beautiful, said Joel Ives, the founder.

What is new is the increasing emphasis on “green” buildings, Ives said. “Clients quite often ask about it. We’re in a competitive world, and they ask what we can do that’s different.”

Planning green buildings and rehabilitating old ones are all part of the work of  The Ives firms starting the The Ives Group, Architects/Planners, the the IS&L Architecture Studio and currently the Ives Architecture Studio which is a succession of firms that Mr. Ives has been operating since 1979.

In each new project, energy efficiency is a consideration, but that shouldn’t be a surprise because conservation of materials and energy has always been an element of good design.

Architects must be in the forefront in making buildings more efficient.  Michael Sackler, and associate of TIAS is LEED-certified, keeping the company on the cutting edge of the latest innovations in design.

LEED stands for leadership in energy and environmental design. To use that designation, architects must be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade group that promotes sustainability in the design, construction and operation of buildings.

New technology plays a key role in making buildings “green,” combing design and materials to maximize energy efficiency.  For starters, architects look to the basics, such as minimizing the number of windows facing east and west, said Ives, a former president of the Architects League of New Jersey. “That’s always a tenet of good architecture.”

One of the big advances in recent years has been in the materials available, including roofing, glazing and the “exterior cladding,” the outside facing of the building.  Automated building systems add to the greening efforts.

Rising energy costs are also having an effect on strategic planning, as some companies move away from large industrial buildings to smaller, multiple distribution centers.

While that cuts down on trucking costs, it also leaves some large industrial buildings available to be chopped up into smaller units that can be rented or sold as commercial condominiums, Ives said.

“In North Jersey, you can’t find free-standing buildings that are going to fit the needs of a small business,” he said. “A whole industry has been created by developers who buy large buildings, condo them, and sell them off unit by unit.”

The small businesses end up owning a slice of the building.

As a bonus, occupants use less energy when the buildings are divided front to back like row houses, limiting their outside wall exposure, he said.

Restoring historic buildings, such as the Radburn Office Building that was gutted by fire five years ago, poses special challenges to recreate the old look with modern materials, Ives said.

The search went all the way to Ohio to find a brick to match the Radburn original.

Orginally published in The Record.  Edited and republished here by ives-arch.com
(Record, The -Hackensack, NJ) (KRT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge)


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The Ives Architecture Studio (TIAS), based in Fair Lawn, NJ, has over 30 years experience in the disciplines of architecture, interior design & planning.

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