Addressing the Climate Emergency: Our Commitment
To put this aspiration into action, SmithGroup must think and design differently, with an intersectional approach to solve the interrelated risks of our communities. The need for holistic solutions at all scales of design and construction has never been more pressing, and we will take the following actions to meet that need:
- Achieve the operational energy use reduction targets of the 2030 Challenge, by leveraging a performance-based design workflow.
- Integrate performance modeling in our design process to maximize passive design approaches. Incorporate life-cycle cost analysis to justify energy-efficient systems.
- Conduct a robust risk analysis process at the start of each project that identifies the social, economic, and environmental context, needs and impact of the project.
- Prioritize on-site renewable energy, largely photovoltaics, in our designs. If on-site renewable systems cannot be initially afforded, design infrastructure to be solar-ready.
- Offset the carbon intensity of our built designs by recommending to our clients, partners for and investments in renewable energy and reforestation, ensuring our transition to a circular economy for the built environment.
- Decarbonize systems by avoiding design solutions utilizing fossil fuels, accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy.
- Incorporate infrastructure for electric vehicles in our designs to support a rapid transition to electrified transportation.
- Specify wood products only from sustainably managed forests and promote reforestation in our design solutions.
- Seek-out the adaptive-reuse of our building stock. When it comes to reducing embodied carbon, the greenest building is one that has already been built.
- Consider embodied carbon when selecting materials and systems, favoring products that embrace the circular economy. Leverage Life Cycle Assessment tools in our process.
- Advocate to our clients and the industry on the vital role we play in mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis, embracing the power of design to influence the behavior.
- Emphasize an interdisciplinary design approach that seeks to make our built work more sustainable and resilient, advancing the AIA’s holistic Design Excellence Framework with its balanced emphasis on equity, ecology, water, economy, energy and human health.
- Collaborate with our industry peers and partners to advance shared goals, frameworks and approaches for our climate mitigation and adaptation work. We need to lead together – not for individual competitive advantage, but for collective results.
- Reduce the carbon impacts of our own operations, embracing conservation, measuring our carbon footprint, and promoting a culture of sustainability.