Our studio is currently operating remotely, so our physical office is closed for the time being.

Green Building

Our focus is on stewardship for the environment and our community through impactful design.

At Samsel Architects, sustainability is a holistic strategy for long-term environmental and social planning. We have been committed to environmentally sensitive design for over 30 years, and it continues to be a value at the core of every project. We recognize that our buildings have a lasting impact on the landscape around us, our personal health, and the well-being of our community as a whole. Green design is an integral part of our studio culture, our office operations, our projects, and our surroundings.

Samsel Architects Green Building - Photo taken by Justin Askew

Our Philosophy

Who We Are
Since the start, Samsel Architects has been a leader in environmentally responsible design principles in our mountain region. Each of our projects, whether in an urban center or mountain landscape, reflects the unique character of its setting. Many of us choose to live here because of the natural beauty of the southern Appalachian Mountains, and it is our responsibility to preserve this landscape as we build and rebuild our communities.
How We Work
Person writing on architectural blueprints
Our culture of environmental stewardship starts within our office walls. We capitalize on the inherent sustainability of our walkable downtown Asheville location and continue to establish new programs to push the envelope on sustainable practices in our internal operations. In 2017 we generated 90% of the energy our office used from a photovoltaic array on the roof of our building.
What We Design
How and where we build are two of the most important factors that influence our future and the continued health of our natural environment. It is our responsibility to steer our projects with sustainable principles to protect our unique regional ecosystem. This approach ranges from specializing in adaptive reuse and urban infill projects, to designing each project to meet EnergyStar standards and monitoring energy performance data.
Where We Live
The Asheville skyline photo, taken by Samsel Architects
True sustainability includes commitment to our surrounding community and culture. From our office to our city, we prioritize engagement and outreach to ensure the well-being of our employees and our neighbors. We are leaders in our community, and support our employees in donating their time and energy to causes that they feel strongly about.

Featured Green Building Projects

Green Building in Asheville

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.

Green Building Programs

Energy Star Program
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.

Duke Energy Progress
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.

Green Built Homes
North Carolina’s statewide 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

US Green Building Council

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.

Green Built Alliance
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
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.

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association

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.

Green Building Affiliates

Find out more about the steps our company has taken towards a more sustainable future.