February 15th Show: Green Architecture with Architect John Maddocks, AIA

February 16, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Posted in Animal Redemption & Environment, Build Green Save The Planet, Conscious Lifestyles Radio Show Blog, Organic Gardens for Residential and Commercial Building | Leave a comment

The show February 15th on WGCH Radio: After the live broadcast, available on Podcast on wgch.com

John Maddocks, AIA, is a fantastic, Green Architect who is both knowledgeable and ethical in his practice of Architecture that is kind to the earth.

John Maddocks, Green Architect:
Phone: 914.764.5461
email: dr.johnmaddocks@hotmail.com

1.) How to find a qualified Architect that understands and practices Green Architecture: visit http://www.usgbc.gov for LEED Certified Architects, along with visiting http://www.buildinggreen.com to educate yourself on materials and to become a savvy consumer.

2.) See a track record of Green practices over several years. Everyone wants to advertise themselves as “Green” but very few professionals are qualified to offer the consumer truthful, honorable advice on sustainability and eco-friendly building practices.

3.) Is attention to Permaculture a part of their design when considering a low-impact home that is in-sync with the topography, native plants, beneficial insects and animals? THIS IS A MUST-HAVE in Green Building/Designing/Living!

Attract the Butterflies, Bumble Bees, and Native Birds and Wildlife with an Organic, native plant landscape!

Chef and Writer Farina Wong Kingsley in her Organic Garden….

3.) See the work of the professional. Visit the homes they have done and talk with their past clients. This is part of your due diligence and investigation prior to hiring anyone, along with doing the research you need to in order to educate yourself.

Homes in Europe and other parts of the world have been built to last with local materials and structural methods that have been used for thousands of years.Going “back in time” to native, old culture methods of building standards IS Green!

4.) Visit http://www.greenhomeguide.com to research Green Architects in your area. You may get a list of Architects from doing a zip code, city, or state search. This is a good starting point, but don’t simply rely on any trade organization to be a mark of excellence for any professional you are looking to hire…. Your investigation is only beginning at this point, and never let your own personal standards be compromised for anyone.

5.) Does the Architect show any interest or knowledge in using Structural Insulated Panels, and/or Insulated Concrete Forms? Are recycled materials considered in the structure, such as recycled steel framing? What about how the residence sits on the property? Are such terms and design elements such as “Passive Solar” and minimally invasive construction on the site ever brought into the overall plan?

These are extremely important STARTING POINTS. Any Architect that does not practice with these basic elements is NOT a Green Architect!

Never allow anyone to design a home for you that is “stick framed.” This is NOT ecologically sensible nor sound practice, and it is a major contributor to the depletion of our natural forests.

Additionally, ‘stick framing’ is very wasteful in how it is constructed, and it is prone to mold, pest infestation, and is not fire proof.

I would personally RUN from any Architect who did not understand this primary idea behind Green building. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of slick marketing, smooth talking, or unproven people who lack the professionalism to seek sustainable building methods on their own.

The word “Green” has become very cliche because of its overuse by unscrupulous conglomerates looking to cash-in financially from ‘looking green’ rather than truly being ecologically responsible…. and it is too bad since there are some talented and visionary professionals who have, for many decades now, been on the cutting edge of Green lifestyles and eco-conscious design.

So don’t get confused with the many mixed messages out there: someone with many years of experience and a sensitivity to the environment as a whole will start to become easier to decipher from the Charlatans– Notice whether a professional shows you design that is thoughtful in saving our Old Growth trees in national forests AND on your property, along with preserving wildlife habitat, and showing a concern for toxins in the environment [and having knowledge about such toxins that can wind up in your home]– theses are all signs that will point you in the right direction to an HONORABLE, GREEN Architect.

Design by Sarah Susanka, Architect and Author of the “Not So Big House” book series.

6.) Another Green Design Element everyone should include in their plans: Water Conservation and permeable driveways and walkways that help curb water run-off that causes flooding in other parts of town.

Perma-culture driveways help to keep toxins out of our waterways, and prevent flooding.

7.) Energy Conservation. Look for an Architect who understands this as being crucial in the design of your home.

The home is where we laugh, celebrate, congregate, love, eat, pray, sleep, raise kids and animals, and find comfort from our daily lives….

This is your most important investment, and making a commitment to your own health [and to the health of the planet] is such a gift of life and truly one that will pay for itself.

Make sure you have fun, and if anyone– ANYONE– during a small or large project is stalling, giving you grief for your ecologically responsible choices, or even making you feel pressured or uncomfortable for any reason…. you stop that project immediately.

You remove the poison out of your life and out of your home, and stop. Breathe. Now make the personal choice to attract the RIGHT people who are truthful, honorable, knowledgeable, creative, Green minded, respectful of your vision and happy to be around….

Life is a journey and you deserve a really cool journey in your Green Building project.

“Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.”
–Aristotle, Ancient Greek Philosopher, 384 B.C. – 322 B.C.

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