Duncan McPherson, AIA, LEED AP Architect, is a principal and vice president at Samsel Architects in Asheville. Samsel Architects has produced award-winning design in Western North Carolina. The firm specializes in custom residential architecture, inns, galleries, retail, medical and educational facilities. NCSEA spoke with McPherson about the firm's commitment to green building.
What sets Samsel Architects part from other firms?
The architecture profession strives to achieve the delicate balance of artistic beauty and technical precision. Our studio has struck that balance of design vision and technical expertise to create exceptional projects that are attractive, functional, durable and efficient. We believe in leaving only beautiful marks on the Earth and hold ourselves to this standard on every project.
Why did the firm choose to focus part of its mission on green building?
Our commitment to green building and sustainability comes directly from our personal values and beliefs. Jim Samsel founded the firm in 1985 with a focus on passive solar and energy efficient design. Since then, as the firm has grown, the core values of the firm have evolved. Each of us in the studio has the desire to take our personal values and apply them to our projects every day. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of our work.
Why are green homes and buildings growing in popularity?
The economics of green building has finally reached the point where we can’t afford not to build green. Technologies and products have advanced to where the return on investment is relatively short and energy costs continue to increase. When you frame the discussion in economic terms and not just environmental terms, there’s really no argument left to have. It has become a question of how do we achieve sustainable buildings, not a question of why.