The fundamentals of sustainable design call upon the core principles of the architect’s craft: the careful integration of buildings within their existing natural and cultural context; the creation of a satisfying interior environment and sense of place for the inhabitants; a rigorously efficient approach to the use of resources and its effect on building systems design; and the consideration of the future evolution and re-use of the built environment.

The integration of sustainable design principles within a project’s overall solution continues to be a natural extension of the collaborative design approach which is the foundation of Woolley Morris’ work. Central to every one of our projects, this fundamental process enables us to develop solutions in partnership with our clients, allowing us to meet the varied goals of the program, function, aesthetics and sustainability.

That being said, Woolley Morris Architects has embraced the US Green Building Council’s LEED® program and is fully committed to incorporating sustainable concepts & strategies into each project. We believe that sustainable design practices can provide increased productivity, health and comfort for all occupants while reducing operational costs and energy dependencies.  Our firm has a strong track record for researching opportunities to execute the project  within the desired budget while incorporating the appropriate design features in order to maximize the sustainable outcome.

Architectural elements, such as the consistent, careful inclusion of natural lighting and solar control elements, along with the sensitive selection of the interior materials and color palettes, contribute to the quality of the indoor environment for the users. Energy efficiencies, from the proper engineering of the building systems along with artificial lighting and control systems designs, are integrated through the inclusion of the expertise of various related disciplines, brought together at the start of the planning and design processes to contribute to a unified architectural solution.

In 2002, we designed the very first LEED® certified residence hall project seen on any State University of New York campus.  Since that time,  we have made it a requirement that all registered architects with our firm become LEED® accredited professionals.

Case Study: 401 North State Street

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Woolley Morris Architects’ main office at 401 N State Street is an example of sustainable design put into practice.   The building is a three-story mixed-use structure built of brick and timber in 1911, purchased in 2007.  The property has undergone a gut renovation and has been redeveloped into a mixed-use property consisting resident and commercial storage in the basement, commercial space at street level and 3 rental apartments each on floors 2 and 3 for a total of 6 units.

Sustainable components incorporated into the design and construction of the project:

  • Reuse of an existing structure and sustainable renovation materials.
  • Recycled content expandable foam for insulation and air barrier R23.
  • Low E double glazed windows with solar blinds.
  • Operable window units in commercial space 50% of total.
  • Recycled content gypsum board.
  • Low VOC carpet, adhesives and paint.
  • White roof membrane.
  • Hi performance HVAC units.
  • Energy Star appliances.
  • Water restricting faucets.
  • 1.5 gallon flush toilets.
  • Compact Fluorescent and LED lighting.

Sustainable Practices in the Work Environment:

  • All paper products minimum 75% post-consumer content.
  • 90% of all paper is reused and recycled.
  • Use of green cleaning products including floor cleaners, hand soaps and general purpose cleaners.
  • Programmable thermostats for heating and cooling. (Occupied 76 summer and 66 winter; unoccupied 80 summer 57 winter).
  • Heavy restrictions on employee auto travel.
  • High mileage vehicle ownership for employee and company use encouraged.
  • Recycling of all material samples collected for project selection (millwork, gypsum board, ceiling materials, carpets, ceramic tile, plastics etc.)