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It's that time of the year again.  Vacations are over and there is a slight chill in the air (meaning it's getting below 80 at night here in Las Vegas).  Summer always goes by so quickly.  Our college students have returned and our younger children have started another school year.
The last two weeks are always challenging in business to get things done, with everyone stealing in their last vacation and getting the kids ready for school.  But then Labor Day hits and we are almost officially into the fall.
Fall is always a busy time.  At LGA we are beginning the final preparations for completing projects and tasks before Thanksgiving and Christmas sneak up on us.  Fall is also the time to reflect upon the goals we set so long ago at the beginning of the year.  It's also the time to put the final touches on their completion, while at the same time dreaming of the accomplishments we will set out for next year.
Enjoy the season, enjoy the cooler temperatures, for winter will be here before we know it.

Green, Sustainable and

Regenerative Design

Part 1 of 3 - Green Design:
Green, Sustainable & Regenerative Design - I was inclined to create this three part series in order to discern the terms for LGA staff internally and hope that my research and deeper discovery into each of these concepts proves valuable for our readership as well. I begin the series with Green Design.
The U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) devised a program called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in the late 1990s. The LEED program provides for certification of four levels of Green Building Design: certified, silver, gold and platinum. The green strategies promoted by this program provide buildings that not only use less energy but also are healthier for the occupants. Some of these strategies include the following:
  • Providing light colored pavement and roofs with a high reflectance to mitigate the heat island effect (absorption of sunlight and turning it into heat and releasing heat into the surrounding air).
  • Cleaning rainwater from pavement areas before it gets into the ground water or natural storm water systems.
  • Providing shading of south facing windows with shade devices or deciduous trees to prevent the summer sun entering the building increasing the heat load on air conditioning systems.
  • Using reclaimed water for landscape irrigation instead of potable water.
  • Using plumbing fixtures (urinals, water closets, faucets and shower heads) that use less water.
  • Providing well insulated and sealed exterior walls and roofs lessening the air conditioning or heating load within the building, using less energy.
  • Providing daylight to the interior spaces and lighting controls that decrease the use of artificial light during daylight hours, once again decreasing the load on air conditioning systems, using less energy.
  • Providing recycled materials so that there is less harvest of raw materials.
  • Providing locally harvested and manufactured materials and products mitigating transportation. Transportation reduces the use of fuels and therefore the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • Provide a minimum standard of ventilation whether mechanical or natural.
  • Use rapidly renewable materials.
  • Use materials that do not contain material that harmful to the building occupants' health.
  • Providing window views to the out of doors for most of the occupants.
  • Utilizing energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
  • Encourage the generation of on-site renewable energy (1 to 13 percent of the buildings energy use).
Green design provides a project that is more energy efficient, more friendly to the environment and better for the occupants than the standard building.
Green and sustainable as terms have been used interchangeably for some time. The term "sustainable" is defined by the Meriam-Webster Dictionary as "capable of being sustained." A sustainable design would provide a project that can sustain itself.

Originally from Canada, John Lansdell is a true architectural technologist with over 40 years of experience in the design and construction industry. John joined LGA in 2006 to fulfill his desire to work on specific projects of high integrity and sustainability and has since received his Master of Science in Green Building at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture.   

Alexia Chen sworn in as

architect Aug. 17
Alexia Hsin Chen of Las Vegas architecture firm LGA was sworn in as an architect by the Nevada State Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Residential Design Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.
Originally from Taiwan, Chen has served since 2013 as a designer at LGA, where she uses her fine arts background to influence her architectural work. She has been instrumental in the design, project management, proposal-writing and communications outreach for many complex projects. Chen is now LGA's third on-staff architect. Her passion is pushing the envelope of beautifully designed, high-performance buildings that belong in their cultural and environmental context. She is an ambassador presenter for the International Living Future Institute and an active member of the local chapters of International Code Council and Urban
Land Institute. She has recently joined the Committee of the Environment with AIA Las Vegas.
Chen earned her master's degree in architecture with honors in 2013 from the University of
Nevada, Las Vegas. For her graduate professional project, she led a multidisciplinary team of more than 60 UNLV students to design and build a net-zero solar-powered home, for which they eventually won second place at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. The project, coined DesertSol, is on permanent public display at the Las Vegas Springs preserve. She earned her bachelor's degree in technical theatre and design, with a minor in English, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2007.
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