Green Architecture

A phenomenon flourishing on the East and West coast, green architecture is migrating toward Tulsa, local architects said.
While downtown is known for its art deco, there are already bits and pieces of green architecture it here, say local experts. The movement is still one to two years away from blossoming Tulsa’s building environment, however.
“Green” architecture refers to a design that lessens the impact on the earth, says Molly Jones of Benham Cos., who is part of the Architecture Institute of America and co-chair of the 2007 Committee on the Environment.
“Green Architecture is a term used to describe economical, energy-saving, environmentally friendly, sustainable development,” she said. “It is about using less concrete, using recycled materials, using existing materials, existing structures and requiring higher electrical and plumbing standards,”
The trend in toward green hit a critical mass in the mid-1990s when the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard was created, Jones said. The LEED system became a national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.
“Sustainability” is erecting a building with a minimum of wasted effort or expense, she said.
“If you build a more efficient HVAC (air conditioning) system it requires less energy, which means less work for the coal fired energy plants, which cuts down on air pollutants, improves air quality and ultimately impacts global warming,” Jones said.

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