Green Building in Asheville
Samsel Architects has been committed to green building for over 30 years and sustainable design continues to be a core value of every project. We recognize that construction of our buildings has a lasting impact on the land and landscape around us, as well as our personal health and well-being of our larger community.
Featured Green Projects
The LEED Platinum EcoDorm serves as a 38 student dormitory and green building demonstration facility for Warren Wilson College and the community at large.
- 64% reduction in total energy use
- 74% reduction in water use
- $8,765 annual energy savings
Efficient space planning packed a lot of functionality into this 2,100 square foot passive solar house. A recently installed rooftop PV system will bring the house to, or close to, net zero energy use.
- 5kW PV system
- HERS rating of 50
Green Building Programs
There are several financial incentives that builders and building owners should take advantage of. These programs can offset thousands of dollars in initial energy efficiency costs, which can significantly reduce return on investment time periods. The following green building programs provide 3rd party verification of a building’s energy efficiency and environmental performance. These programs also improve property values and resale value.
A new home that has earned the ENERGY STAR label has undergone a process of inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the US EPA. ENERGY STAR certified homes typically use 15-30% less energy than comparable new homes while delivering better comfort, quality, and durability. All new homes that Samsel Architects designs are a minimum of Designed to Earn Energy Star 3.0.
LEED is a rating system developed by the US Green Building Council in order to guide building owners to be environmentally responsible while designing, building and maintaining their project. To receive LEED certification, building projects must satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.
A LEED-certified home is designed and constructed in accordance with the rigorous guidelines of the LEED for Homes green building certification program. LEED for Homes is a consensus-developed, third party-verified, voluntary rating system which promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. The WNC Green Building Council is the local provider of the LEED program.
Duke Energy Progress, our local electric utility, has several rebates and incentives for energy efficient homes that builders and owners should take advantage of. Many are focused on residential construction, but there are also commercial incentives available.
EnergyWise® Home is a free program that offers credits on your electric bills.
Additional rebates and incentives from Duke Energy include incentives for solar PV panels, energy efficient HVAC equipment, efficient lighting and more.
North Carolina’s state-wide green home certification program. The certification program offers third party verification, technical and marketing assistance, workshops, and field consultation services that enable builders to increase their green building expertise and marketability. Samsel Architects’ staff served on the Green Building Task Force that helped developed the program with the NC Solar Center.
Green Building Resources
USGBC is a non-profit organization that administers the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. This certification program provides third-party verification that a building is environmentally responsible and a healthy place to live or work. Samsel Architects has several LEED Accredited Professionals on staff and has designed and certified several LEED Certified projects including a LEED Platinum building, the highest possible rating.
Formerly the WNC Green Building Council, Green Built Alliance provides green building education to architects, builders, property owners and the greater community. The Green Built Alliance administers the Green Built Homes Program for the western North Carolina region. Samsel Architects has been an integral part of the Alliance since it’s conception, with staff members serving as a founding member, on the executive board, and editor of the Green Built Alliance Directory.
Appalachian Offsets is a program started by the WNCGBC. This program allows businesses or individuals to offset their emissions by paying into a community fund that helps make energy energy efficiency improvements within local nonprofits, schools and low income housing. Appalachian Offsets’ website offers a carbon calculator where businesses and individuals can determine their footprint and learn more about the projects that will be supported by the offsets they purchase.
The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association works to ensure a sustainable future by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency to the benefit of North Carolina through education, public policy and economic development. The NCSEA drives the market development of clean energy solutions to create more affordable and reliable energy use.
- Building Green – environmental news
- Green Building Advisor – complete source for building a green home
- Center for Watershed Protection – best practices in stormwater and watershed management
- EPA Low Impact Development – an approach that works with nature to manage stormwater
- Architecture 2030 – a challenge to the global architecture and building community to slow the growth rate of GHG emissions
- DSIRE – a database of state incentives for renewables & efficiency