Sims Patrick Studio Interview on LEED Standards and Sustainable Design

Many buildings in the United States are extremely inefficient and account for nearly 40% of the nation’s total energy use each year.  Sims Patrick Studio (SPS) interior design firm understands the benefits of Sustainable Design.   The Ronald McDonald House-Gatewood at Egleston is an excellent example of how sustainable design can be incorporated into a beautiful, functional building.  Ten LEED points that this project focused on were:

  • Alternative Transportation – Public Transportation, Bicycle Storage, Changing Rooms, Alternative Fuel Refueling Stations
  • Heat Island Effect
  • Water Efficient Landscaping
  • Water Use Reduction
  • Recycling Program
  • Building Products with Recycled Materials
  • Protect or Restore the Open Space
  • Local & Regional Materials
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Views

Jenny Rutledge and Melissa Wylie, Vice Presidents of SPS, explain that “sustainable design” is all about designing with minimal impact on the environment.  The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System TM is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operations of high performance green buildings.  

Libby Patrick, Founder/Principal of SPS, adds that green building or retrofitting is even more than just being good stewards of our natural resources, it is actually three-dimensional: economic, environmental, and social.  In this video interview, she explains, “If we design our buildings in a more responsible way, then our employees are much happier and more productive, which in turn affects the bottom line, as well as the spaces are physically healthier.”  Separately, she added,  “Although not all of our clients pursue LEED certification, most are requesting that when we have a choice about which products to specify that we keep the environment in mind.”

The seven-minute video explains the Sims Patrick Studio approach to sustainable design very well.

“The Green Movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council.  “The work of innovative building projects such as this Ronald McDonald House is a fundamental driving force in the Green Building Movement.”  LEED certification is a feature-oriented rating system that awards building points for satisfying specified green building criteria.  The six major environmental categories of review include: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.  Certified Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category.

The US Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation.  Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations.  It has more than 17,000 members, companies and organizations, a comprehensive family of LEED green building rating systems, and expansive educational offering, the industry’s popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, and 78 local chapters, affiliates and organizing groups.