Den is an independent architecture firm dedicated to environmentally-conscious design. Since buildings account for about 40% of green house gases, we're proactive about minimizing our impact on the planet.
Long before the trendiness of green building, people used to build according to their climate. They had no air conditioning, so they pretty much had to design things that actually worked. There were no air conditioners, no high-tech building systems, nor sophisticated solar panels. They would think a lot about the most cost-effective ways, using local materials, to make a building fit into its context. The thickness of your walls, the material on your roof, the shape of your house, the orientation of your windows… These are all basics that we like to think about before we design. It also happens to make your building more habitable. Oh, and by the way, it’ll reduce your electricity bill too.
Life is complicated enough. Buildings should be as simple as possible; yet this doesn’t mean they’re simple at all. But why would you make them more complicated than they need to be? So, given all the factors we consider when designing, we come up with solutions that solve problems with the least amount of effort and resources as possible. Some people call it minimalism, but in reality, there is nothing minimal about it. A design should have nothing more and nothing less than what is required to solve an architectural problem. It needs to be just right.
The era of excess is over. Even though we understand our clients’ desire to create valuable real estate, we recommend buildings with smaller, more efficient footprints to reduce air conditioning and heating costs, compel users to enjoy the outdoors, build more cost-effectively, and allow more site area for gardens. Reduced costs in terms of initial construction, long-term maintenance, and holding rates make the decision easy.
It’s easy to forget how much embodied energy goes into transporting remotely-souced products to a construction site. And that’s not even considering the pollution it causes, the negative impact on the local economy that would otherwise benefit from the use of their products, and the overall aesthetic satisfaction that comes from knowing that a building is fabricated with materials that were born close by. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but we do our best to research the availability of local materials.
For our stationary needs, we have carefully selected a letterpress shop
that produces exquisitely crafted hand-made work, minimizing the use of carbon-emitting
energy while giving an inimitable hand-made touch to our presentation
materials. Things made by hand not
only use less energy and convey a unique aesthetic, but they also provide much
needed jobs to deserving craftspeople.
Reduced Ink Usage.
The minimal use of ink was one of the main premises behind our stationary graphic design. The logo is purposefully inkless, while the remaining text is small in size and very thin in terms of the selected font. Furthermore, in our quest to reduce ink usage, only one standard non-specialty color was selected for our design, and even that color is reduced in tone to reach minimum ink coverage. All ink used in our stationary is vegetable-based.
Wood is fine for construction, but we prefer to make our stationary paper from renewable and recycled cotton. The cotton used to produce it comes from garment industry clippings, which by the way also reduces the burden on landfills. The paper specified for our stationary is thus tree-free. It is made of 100% recovered cotton, and not a single splinter of wood. Cotton is almost entirely composed of alpha-cellulose; this means it requires very little bleaching (chlorine-free), eliminating the need for any harsh chemicals in its treatment. In addition, cotton requires a lot less water and energy than typical wood pulp in paper mills. The little energy that was used to produce our paper comes from steam and hydro-electric sources.
100% Recycled Paper.
The remedial amount of paper we use for proposals, reports, and in-house proof printing is 100% post-consumer recycled content, meaning that not a single tree is used to make it. Post consumer recycled paper usually comes from newspaper print and recovered used paper from recycling stations around the country. The specific paper we have chosen is produced with renewable energy in the form of wind power.
Solar Powered Webhosting.
Our enthusiasm for environmental awareness has influenced our selection of a web-hosting company. The energy to run, support, and maintain the web site you are now browsing is all produced directly from the sun. It is 100% natural, renewable, pollution-free, and unlimited. Our web-hosting company prides itself, as much as we do, in being on the cutting edge of sustainability.
Low Electricity Use Website.
The background color of a website also has an environmental impact. The US Department of Energy reported that CRT monitors require 15 less watts to operate, when comparing a black screen to a white one. Unfortunately, 75% of us already have more updated LCD monitors, in which the opposite is true but only with a difference of about 1 watt. In view of this complex reality, we have decided to use warm grey as a background color, which actually uses less energy overall, than either black or white, when old and new monitor technologies are factored.
A Google search, on average, produces carbon emissions equivalent to driving 2 miles. A computer consumes a considerable amount of energy; and a lot of it depends on how you use it and what’s on your screen. Our easy-so-use website facilitates navigation and reduces browsing time since you will find what you want right away, and won’t spend countless carbon-emitting hours doing so.