Life cycle designers
EmptyWho says a showcase home has to drain natural resources? These eco-architects are leading the way in combining style with sustainability
Studio of Environmental Architecture (SEA), Santa Monica
Going to architecture school during the energy crisis of the 1970s accentuated Hertz's awareness of "the important relationship between the built environment and the natural environment."
Why Go Green? "People are becoming aware that buildings, which usurp over 40% of U.S. annual (energy) resources, are a part of the problem and a large part of the solution," Hertz says.
Adrian Koffka andCynthia Phakos
Koffka/Phakos Design, Hollywood
They have designed everything from affordable multifamily residential projects to talent agents' luxury homes. "Both Cynthia and I were trained in architecture as a service to society," notes Koffka, whose firm is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Why Go Green? "Green building is 80% attitude and 20% technology," Koffka says.
Andrew T. Mangan
Translation of Space, Venice, Calif.
Mangan views this collaborative of architects, interior designers, landscape designers and developers as "the inevitable collusion between my personal values and professional endeavors." His piece de resistance is the Chroma Color House in Venice -- a 2,400-square-foot residence that boasts radiant floor heating, solar panels and low-VOC paint.
Why Go Green? "I personally had become more outspoken on environmental issues, and it just made sense that my professional practice would follow suit,"
Scott Prentice Architects, Santa Monica
This small-by-choice firm has a solid resume that includes retail and residential projects, restaurants (Campanile), and production companies (Propaganda Films). Prentice's renovation of the 1924 Marquez Filling Station in Santa Monica Canyon into a LEED-certified flagship office for the company won the 2007 Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Award.
Why Go Green? "We've found the building industry to be increasingly open to employing new strategies," Prentice notes.
Lawrence Scarpa, Gwynne Pugh and Angela Brooks
Pugh + Scarpa Architecture,Santa Monica
Pugh + Scarpa boasts the completion of 36 major designs in eight years and is currently pairing with Brad Pitt's nonprofit, Make It Right, to rebuild New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward as an entirely green community.
Why Go Green? Scarpa's interest traces back to his days at the University of Florida. "We didn't know it was sustainable or green design. It was simply beautiful architecture that co-existed with nature," Scarpa notes.
Russell Shubin and Robin Donaldson
Shubin + Donaldson Architects, Culver City
The firm has created environmentally conscious homes for industry insiders and offices for Saatchi & Saatchi, but its founders would rather talk shop than name names. "We believe that the bold declaration 'The more we build, the better it is for the planet' is an ambitious yet achievable vision," Shubin says.
Why Go Green? While Shubin sees progress in green design getting chic, he's cautious about what he calls "greenwashing": "'Just paying lip service with a scant amount of information.' We're continually researching materials and methods so that we can proclaim a project green in the most responsible manner."