Green architects are architectural professionals that seek to make the most environmentally friendly use of building materials, as well as incorporate ideas for making buildings energy efficient. A green architect may specialize in certain types of structures, and will often be familiar with various types of sustainable building materials. Often, architects of this type can either create designs for entirely new construction, or draft plans to remodel an existing building and make it more ecologically viable.
As with most architects, the green architect is fully trained in the field of architecture. He or she will grasp the basics of any type of building project, including the importance of proper foundations, when and how to create supporting walls, and all the other details that any project architect must consider with any type of building project. The difference is that the green architect will address all the usual issues, but also consider how to create the structure using natural materials, and how to make use of alternative energy options to minimize the drain of natural resources on the planet.
A green architect can be involved in the renovation or creation of any type of structure. A modern architect with the ability to create sustainable buildings may choose to focus on projects involving residential architecture. The architect may prefer to specialize in the creation of manufacturing facilities that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. It is even possible to work as a church architect with a green emphasis, creating houses of worship that are environmentally and structurally sound, while affording the congregation the opportunity to have a home that produces a small carbon footprint on the environment.
The work of the green architect is often a combination of field research and time spent in an architectural studio. Field research helps the architect become familiar with the site where the structure will reside, making it easier to determine what types of sustainable building materials would be the best fit for the surrounding area. Back in the studio, the architect can make use of the data gathered from the field research to develop the basic design for the building, even preparing sketches and general details that can be used for the presentation to the client.
Once the plans are approved, the green architect works with construction professionals throughout the building process. This helps to ensure the materials used in the building are in compliance with local codes, and that the options for supplying water and power to the space are as energy efficient as possible. The architect will also make sure the design offers the occupants of the structure the occupants a stable and healthy environment that will last for a number of years.