Building Green

In every project, and in every day-to-day office operation, we strive for sustainable design.  Since the inception of Rippeteau Architects in 1985, we have used design strategies to increase energy efficiency and reduce waste for every client. Our LEED accredited professionals see any project as an opportunity to improve material, operational, human, and environmental performance.  We value green practices in our own offices. In September 2011 we were awarded the US Green Building Council’s LEED Gold Certification for our existing, urban, mixed-use building.


Adoption of LEED design principles was a natural step for Rippeteau Architects after years of energy conservation and design-first architecture.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) means:

CONSERVING your energy; and
CELEBRATING your life in the spaces we create with you.

We developed our LEED skills using ourselves as a case study.  In 2010 we completed our performance period for LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance and in 2011 was awarded LEED Gold certification for our property: 1530 14th Street NW.  We not only designed the building for maximum performance, we implemented a permanent management program for day-to-day operations.

Efficiency in Design

Architectural design can learn from aircraft design, and from the design of raceboats.  Our goals can be met not only through form, texture and color, but also through efficiency.  Efficient buildings help owners achieve lower operating costs, therefore greater return on investment.  Readily constructed buildings cost less to make, reducing debt service.  Buildings which are shaded and ventilated properly are more comfortable and attractive to humans, increasing market value.

Each of our building projects is an experiment in how much value we can capture through efficiency and how much marketability we can generate through design with sensible materials.  An example:  for the Chinese Community Church, a historic building brought back from deep decrepitude, we created carefully detailed wall insulation with built-in thermal breaks, and attic insulation in two layers with an intervening mechanical space for maximum control of solar heating during summer.

Our own urban mixed-use building at 1530 14th Street NW achieved LEED EB Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council for a variety of efficient systems and human-comforting features, including large windows with views and sun shading, meticulous insulation, including a double-layer roof system (like ski-wear), and a rain-water collection system for the shade trees we planted on site.





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