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Ideas / Sustainability / 6.21.2022

Designing Sustainably

Washington College’s Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall sits directly along the Chester River with...

Ayers Saint Gross is committed to protecting our planet and environment, in both our work and our practice. Ten years ago, in 2012, we signed on to the American Institute of Architect’s 2030 Commitment and developed our first ever sustainability action plan, which we have since updated. Listed below is our philosophy related to sustainability, which we strive to incorporate into everything we do.

A view of Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall with solar panels
Design for High Performance

Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions is a priority for our projects. We measure building performance throughout the design process to produce buildings that cost less to operate, better support environmental and human health, and accelerate our clients toward their sustainability goals. 

A woman reads in front of a sunlit window at Edwards St Johns Learning Center
Support the human experience.

The built environment must support human well-being with adequate air quality, daylight access, and healthy material choices. Our people-first design approach considers the unique needs of our clients to create beautiful and functional spaces that are accessible for all.   

An exterior shot of Hayden Library
Materials matter.

We recognize existing buildings as a critical asset for a carbonneutral future and prioritize lowembodied carbon construction materials and products. We believe renovations to existing buildings can conserve embodied carbon while improving operational carbon emissions. 

Students walk by a Denison stormwater feature
Landscapes and plant life lend a hand.

Plants play a powerful role in keeping our communities healthy. We thoughtfully incorporate native and adapted plant species on grade and on green roofs to aid with carbon sequestration and stormwater management. Designing biodiverse landscapes that plan for plant succession supports long-term habitat preservation and filters stormwater contaminants to reduce downstream impacts. 

A woman participates in an engagement session
Consider the global impact.

There is no sustainability without social equity. We consider the global impact of our design decisions, to find solutions that have positive impacts beyond project boundaries, empowering small businesses and conserving resources up and down the supply chain.   

Signage encouraging responsible water use at Trippe Hall
Change behaviors.

Living sustainably is a continuous effort and the decisions made in buildings every day play an important role in determining resource consumption. Through a mix of data and research, we educate people on the ways their buildings are used, providing timely instruction to maximize long-term efficiency.  

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