When searching for the right professional, it’s essential to choose a registered architect.
“The number one item that you want is an architect who is professionally licensed to practice in the state of New York,” offers Diane Kaufman Fredette, a registered architect (RA). “Those symbols after a person’s name are actually about having 18 years of education and five days of examinations.”
Fredette says that a registered architect is licensed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. However, there are other certifications you may find in an architect’s title: AIA (American Institute of Architects), NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards), and possibly the most familiar, LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) issued by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Carol Kurth, RA, AIA, LEED AP, says the most credible architects are members of the AIA since the organization mandates continued education beyond what is required by the state. On the other hand, registered architect David Borenstein, NCARB, is not a member of the AIA and furthermore, asserts that the priorities of LEED “are completely skewed” and “money-driven.” Fredette, also a LEED AP, says while this additional certification is “a very good second credential,” a third or perhaps equal credential “is experience on a sustainable project.”
Whether building a house from the ground up or refurbishing an existing structure, a capable green architect will know numerous ways to create a sustainable design. “An architect who’s interested in sustainability embraces those concepts holistically as much as they can,” says Kurth.
For Kurth, one of the most important elements in a green design is the ability to naturally illuminate a house. She points out that, besides mechanical equipment, lighting creates the largest consumption of electricity. In addition, according to Turner Construction Company, the builders responsible for $3 billion of green construction in 2008, there are five key design values that can improve human and environmental health: a sustainable development site, water efficiency, energy efficiency, building material choice, and the quality of the indoor environment.
“To some extent, there’s a little bit of an innateness to it,” says Kurth. “When you’re designing, you’re thinking about these principles. You’re thinking about how to be efficient and what you can do to be responsible.”
While an architect should have the ability to create the design plan for the green house of your dreams, it’s important for the homeowner to be open about what elements they can afford and are willing to maintain.
People usually choose ecofriendly options because they are passionate about the cause and want to be at the forefront of technology, Fredette says, and not because they necessarily want to spend a lot of money.
When it comes to what features you want in your home, “it depends on what your horizon is for a return,” says Michael Carlton, AIA, LEED AP. While solar panels on a rooftop may mean a larger initial payment and longer savings return, he suggests that “a tankless hot water heater is the easiest example of something that’s about the same cost for installation, but the savings are immediate.” An individual can spend just as much building a house that is not green as building a house that is, he adds.
Choosing a green registered architect may not be an easy decision, but it’s important to research an architect’s past projects, determine your own budget and commitment to maintenance, and keep an open dialogue about your vision for a house that is efficient, safe, and environmentally sound.
The following is a list of registered architects with green credentials and experience. Most of the firms represent multiple architects with a vast array of credentials, besides the mentioned individuals. Use this reference as a starting point when choosing which architect is best for your next green project.
List of Green Architects Alfandre Architecture, PC Rick Alfandre, AIA, LEED AP, USGBC 7 Innis Ave., New Paltz, NY 12561; (845) 255-4774 email@example.com; alfandre.com
Ashokan Architecture & Planning, PLLC Brad Will, AIA, LEED AP 288 Wall St., Suite 2; Kingston, NY 12401; (845) 338-8182 firstname.lastname@example.org; ashokanarchitecture.com B Space LLC. Blake M. Goble, Principal, AIA, LEED AP 135 W. 29 St., 3rd fl.; New York, NY 10001; (212) 239-3134 email@example.com; bspacearchitecture.com Raymond Beeler Architect PC Raymond Beeler, Principal, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, USGBC 629 Fifth Ave., Suite 216; Pelham, NY 10803; (914) 738-6094 Member Firm US Green Building Council firstname.lastname@example.org; beelerarchitects.com Bermello, Ajamil & Partners Raimundo A. Fernandez, AIA; James Rowe, AIA 532 Broadway, 7th floor; New York, NY 10012; (646) 878-2824 email@example.com; bermelloajamil.com Many LEED APs in the firm.
Michael R. Berta, AIA Architect Michael R. Berta, AIA 7 Robert Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 (845) 489-1638; firstname.lastname@example.org; bertaarchitects.com David Borenstein Architects & Builders David Borenstein, NCARB 165 Academy Hill Rd., Milan, NY 12571; (845) 758-0021 email@example.com; architectdavidborenstein.com Patrick Brennan Architect PLLC Patrick Brennan, AIA, LEED AP P.O. Box 767, Katonah, NY 10536; (914) 767-0837 firstname.lastname@example.org; patrickbrennanarchitect.com
Carlton Architecture PC Michael Carlton, AIA, LEED AP, USGBC 240 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016; (212) 973-9500 x224 email@example.com; carltonpc.com Victor Castillo Architect, PC Victor M. Castillo, AIA, LEED AP 55 Washington St., Suite 810; Brooklyn, NY 11201; (212) 796-2165 firstname.lastname@example.org; victorcastilloarchitect.com cjpc Architect Christopher Collin, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB 10 Neiland Dr., Warwick, NY 10990; (845) 988-0233 email@example.com; cjpcarchitect.com Colgan Perry Lawler Aurell Architects Elizabeth Parks, AIA, LEED AP 118 Main St., Pappan, NY 10983; (845) 680-6670 firstname.lastname@example.org; cpla-arch.com Cosentino Architecture, PLLC Ronald Cosentino, Architect, AIA, CSI (Construction Specifications Institute), LEED AP 3062 Rte. 9W, Suite 300; New Windsor, NY 12553; (845) 562-2320 email@example.com; cosentinoarchitecture.com Domus Studios Architecture Richard Labrizzi 71 Main St., New Paltz, NY 12561; (845) 256-1402 firstname.lastname@example.org; domusstudios.com EcoArchitecture DesignWorks, PC Janus Welton, AIA, USGBC (LEED AP in process) PO Box 86, Woodstock, NY 12498; (845) 247-4620 email@example.com; janusweltondesignworks.com
Eduardo Faxas Architects & Planners Holmes, NY 12531; (845) 855-5515; firstname.lastname@example.org Fivecat Studio Mark LePage, AIA, LEED AP 48 Wheeler Ave., Pleasantville, NY 10570; (914) 747-1177 email@example.com; fivecat.com Fredette Architects, PLLC Diane Kaufman Fredette, AIA, LEED AP 245 E. 25 St., Penthouse C; New York, NY 10010 (212) 842-8990; firstname.lastname@example.org FXFOWLE Architects, PC Dan Kaplan, Senior Partner, AIA, LEED AP 22 W. 19 St., New York, NY 10011; (212) 627-1700 email@example.com; fxfowle.com; Many LEED APs in the firm.
Alan Gaynor & Co. Michele Boddewyn, AIA, LEED AP 343 Broadway, New York, NY 10013; (212) 334-0900 firstname.lastname@example.org; gaynordesign.com The Office of Carol J.W. Kurth, AIA Architect, PC Carol J.W. Kurth, AIA, LEED AP, USGBC; The Arcade Building 644 Old Post Rd., Bedford, NY 10506; (914) 234-2595 email@example.com; carolkurtharchitects.com Michael McDonough Architect Michael McDonough, AIA, NCARB, Building Enclosure Council 131 Spring St., New York, NY 10012; (212) 431-3723 firstname.lastname@example.org; michaelmcdonough.com Ted Moudis Associates Ted Moudis, AIA 79 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016; (212) 308-4000 email@example.com; tedmoudis.com Many LEED APs in the firm.
Neuhaus Design Architecture, PC Kimberly Neuhaus, AIA (LEED AP in process) 355 First St., Brooklyn, NY 11215; (718) 832-4771 firstname.lastname@example.org; neuarch.com Peix & Marchetti Architects Steve Marchetti, AIA, NCARB; Douglas Peix, AIA, NCARB 208 Fifth Ave., 2E; New York, NY 10010; (212) 675-1555 email@example.com; peixandmarchetti.com Barry Price Architecture Barry Price AIA, LEED AP Russell Krysiak, CSBA (Certified Sustainable Building Advisor) P.O. Box 724, Bearsville, NY 12409; (845) 679-3282 firstname.lastname@example.org; barryprice.com Rodriguez Studio Architecture PC Carlos M. Rodriguez Infanzon, AIA, USGBC (LEED AP in process) 50 Eldridge St., 3rd floor; New York, NY 10002; (212) 217-1535 email@example.com; rodriguezstudio.net/ Claude Samton Adjunct Instructor at New York University 84 Mercer St., New York, NY 10012; (212) 966-6691 firstname.lastname@example.org; claudesamton.com Michael Shilale Architects, LLP Michael Shilale, AIA, LEED AP; John Cirilli, AIA 140 Park Ave., New City, NY 10956; (845) 708-9200 email@example.com; shilale.com Siris/Coombs Architects Jane Siris, AIA, LEED AP; Peter Coombs, AIA, LEED AP 211 W. 19 St., 2nd floor, New York, NY 10011 (212) 580-2220 x300 firstname.lastname@example.org; siriscoombs.com space ink David V. Foell, AIA, LEED AP; Daniela Bertol 465 Snydertown Rd., Claverack, NY 12513; (518) 851-7225 160 W. 77 St., 4C; New York, NY 10024; (212) 877-8310 spaceink.net; email@example.com Urban Office Architecture Carlo Enzo Frugiuele Architect, AIA, NCARB 66 West Broadway, Suite 306; New York, NY 10007; (212) 233-2290 firstname.lastname@example.org; uoa-architecture.com