Architecture firm pushes eco-friendly designs

Architecture firm pushes eco-friendly designs

December 4th, 2010 by Brittany Cofer in Business Around the Region

Contributed Photo Artech's solar panel array on the roof of its Southside building represents the architecture and design firm's commitment to green building projects.

* What: Environmentally friendly architecture and interior design firm that helps clients choose energy saving options for building.

* Company: Artech

* Location: 1410 Cowart St.

* How it's green: David Hudson, a principal of the company, said the architects consider heating and cooling, insulation, day lighting, water usage, type of building materials and source of materials when they consider how to make a project environmentally friendly. In keeping with its purpose to help clients be more eco-friendly, the company recently added an array of solar panels to its roof. "We wanted to do something to demonstrate to clients and the community of what can be done," he said.

* Why do it this way? The solar panel system "will pay for itself, and after it's paid for, essentially we're getting free power," he said, adding that tweaks made for clients during the design process are much the same. "It makes no sense to go unnecessarily spend money to make a building green just for the same of the greenness if the owner doesn't get something back in return."

* Plans: With the economy still in a down period, Hudson said there isn't much opportunity for the company to expand its services but he hopes in the future to be able to.

* Advice for others considering green initiatives: Hudson said first and foremost, you need to look at why you want to start a green initiative and know what your goals are. "You need to look at everything you do because every aspect of what you do in your business has some impact on our environment," he said.

* Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why? Environmentalism is at the core of Artech's business because the building industry has a significant impact on the environment, Hudson said.

-- Compiled by staff writer Brittany Cofer, bcofer@timesfreepress.com, 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/brittanycofer.