Omaha Sustainable Building Design

Omaha Sustainable Building Design

Sustainable―or “green”―building means designing and constructing houses that are efficient and durable, that use less resources, are healthy to live in and are affordable. At Steven Ginn Architects, we pride ourselves on building sustainable homes using construction standards that pay attention to water, energy, safety, health, and materials. Efficiency and conservation are always our goals.

Why Sustainable Residences?

We build sustainably to take better care of our environment, our homeowners, and our volunteers. Our goals are to reduce the home’s monthly and life cycle costs and increase efficiency and durability while providing healthy environments. This goes for commercial buildings as well. We work closely with many builders to continually improve the quality of our homes and the building process. One aspect of sustainable building that many find surprising is that we frequently find green building techniques and materials that are comparable in price to traditional counterparts.

How is Sustainability a Practice

Sustainable building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings work. The site uses and harvests energy, water, and materials in a sustainable manner. Sustainable building also involves protecting and restoring human health and the environment throughout the building life-cycle. This cycle begins with choosing the appropriate location for the building site, then the processes of design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.

What Makes a Sustainable House?

A building is considered sustainable when the structure is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout its life-cycle. Sustainable structures incorporate materials in their construction such as reused, recycled-content, or made from renewable resources. These buildings also create healthy indoor environments with minimal pollutants and even reduce emissions. Some of our signature sustainable design elements include:

  • Using a brownfield site (such as a former garbage dump for a public park or garden)
  • Sourcing cedar from standing dead growth trees
  • Adding mesh shading and natural ventilation to diminish the need for air-conditioning
  • Finding ways to facilitate natural light penetration
  • Landscaping with native plants that do not need extra watering

These objectives expand and complement the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Examples of these elements show that is design that reduces the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment.