BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

5 Green Architects, Architectural Firms & Frank Lloyd Wright

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an architect. I played with Lego® more than dolls, and I drew and redrew house plans for fun. When I was about 12, I remember hearing the word ‘organic’ tied to Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but as I got older, I understood. I also realized my own life was organic – living with the planet.

I’ve studied Wright’s houses, environments and furnishings, and I see how the whole is a work of art. I especially appreciate the way his homes fit the land they sit on and his use of natural materials throughout.

Wright may have been one of the first ‘green’ architects, and most likely the most famous. With environmental awareness in the forefront these days, though, many architects are adding sustainable design to their portfolios.

1. Eric Corey Freed

Eric Corey Freed 5 Green Architects, Architectural Firms & Frank Lloyd Wright

Eric Corey Freed followed in Wright’s footsteps with ‘organic’ design. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, he worked with a former apprentice of Wright’s, where he combined the old with the new for environmentally conscious design.

2. William McDonough

William McDonough 5 Green Architects, Architectural Firms & Frank Lloyd Wright

William McDonough’s architecture firm, William McDonough + Partners, practices ‘ecologically, socially, and economically intelligent architecture and planning.’ McDonough also developed the Cradle to Cradle certification system to restructure industry to make everything recyclable or biodegradable.

3. Michelle Kaufman

Michelle Kaufmann 5 Green Architects, Architectural Firms & Frank Lloyd Wright

Michelle Kaufmann is credited for developing the energy efficient pre-fab. She believes sustainable design should be accessible to everyone and incorporated into all structures.

4. Perkins + Will

Dockside Green designed by Perkins + Will 5 Green Architects, Architectural Firms & Frank Lloyd Wright

Dockside Green in Victoria BC  designed by Perkins + Will has a LEED Platinum designation. Photo: jayscratch

In 2011, Perkins + Will received LEED certification for the 100th time. They design with low impact in mind, and even their offices are built to LEED Platinum standards. They invest in renewable energy to offset their energy use.

5. Zero Energy Design

Zero Energy Design 2005 Solar Decathlon 5 Green Architects, Architectural Firms & Frank Lloyd Wright

Zero Energy Design management team was involved in this entry into the 2005 Solar Decathlon.  Photo: Jeff Wolfram

As their name implies, Zero Energy Design creates living and working environments that make more energy than they use. Like Frank Lloyd Wright, they build within the environment on site, so each home is unique to its land and its occupants.

Until fuel prices skyrocketed in recent years, most designers and homeowners alike did not care about conserving energy in their homes. Now the public is becoming more and more aware of environmental issues, and I’m sure more green architects are on the horizon.

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. She writes from personal experience and backs it up through her extensive resource library. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle. She is a major contributor to the BuildDirect green blog. Nan also blogs on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.

No Comments

  1. Nice entry. Living green is a must not only to American home owners but also the rest of the world. These people that you’ve listed here are role models in living a green life.

  2. Nan Fischer Reply to Nan

    Thanks! This is a small handful of earth friendly designers and architects. Most university programs now include sustainability in their curricula. They have to! When the building industry picks back up, energy efficiency will be a priority.

  3. Thanks for sharing this Nan. I have heard of some of these firms, and will research the new ones for my book!

  4. Nan Fischer Reply to Nan

    My pleasure, Maureen! I could have written a book on this myself, but had to pick and choose to stop researching. ;)

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