Claire Smythe

My personal definition of sustainability is using energy in ways that generate more energy or do not generate harmful chemicals. In terms of goals I think of energy reduction, switching to green energy sources, as well as using building materials that have lower environmental impact in their life-cycle as compared to similar products.

There are different building certifications to serve as markers of sustainability efforts, such as LEED certification, the Living Building Challenge, WELL building standard, etc.

More specifically:

Targeting Net Zero

Solar panels for electricity generation

LED light fixtures (motion sensor or timer)

Concrete thermal masses (preventing exaggerated T changes)

Clerestory windows for venting and natural light

Incorporating plants into exterior for additional shading

  • Interior plants for air quality

Project Inspiration:

Actiu HQ

Castalla, Spain

LEED and WELL v2 certified

example of interior spaces designed for user comfort


Bentley University Arena

Massachusetts, USA

(LEED Platnium) Hockey Stadium with solar panels

example of large construction working to meet energy needs


Bibliothèque du Boisé

Montreal, Canada

Naturally lit spaces, heavy use of wood in interiors

natural materials, well lit environment


DPR Phoenix

Net Zero building