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H i g h - p e r f o r m a n c e D e s i g n

Critics cite need for improvements to popular rating systems

b y L a r s S t a n l e y , AIA , a n d L a u r e n W o o dw a r d S t a n l e y , AIA

At a time when our nation’s financial system seems to be imploding, it’s sometimes distressing to ponder what the future holds for the architectural profession. Our livelihoods are inextricably tied to the fortunes of the building industry, which quickly reacts to any economic downturn and in turn affects our work accordingly. Troubling, too, is the issue of global warming because our profession has an immediate and direct impact on the environment. And considering that buildings in the U.S. consume about 70 percent of the nation’s total electricity output and 12 percent of its water, it is evident that what we do as designers and builders in the future must be increasingly responsive to such grave issues. Clearly, we cannot continue on the path we have been following since the use and availability of resources are drastically transforming the landscape ahead. The building industry has recognized its own impact on resources to some degree and is responding to an extent. Resource conservation and energyefficient design have gone beyond mere lip service in the last few years, but a sizable amount of the effort has produced results largely within the context

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Texas Architect Nov/Dec 2008: High-Preformance Design