We asked Firstfloor Energy Positive manager and architect, Robbie Ferris, to answer a series of questions about the world of energy-positive schools and the work of Firstfloor Energy Positive. Read on to learn all about Firstfloor Energy Positive from Robbie Ferris, himself.
FirstFloor is a development company that specializes in the development of energy-positive buildings–buildings that generate more energy than they consume. We started the development company because we saw a market for energy-positive buildings, and we also saw that our clients were struggling to finance high-performance projects, so starting the development company was a way to help them achieve their goals from an energy standpoint–as well as from an operating cost standpoint. The development company was really established to help clients accomplish their goals.
SfL+a Architects has designed in the range of about 1200 K-12 school projects. We’ve also done a substantial amount of university work–both housing, student unions, educational buildings, academic buildings, and municipal projects. We are currently working on an aquatics center, we’ve done courthouse work, we’ve done jail work, so municipal projects of every type.
SfL+a Architects is a traditional architectural firm in many ways except that our focus is high performing or highly sustainable buildings–so we do energy-positive buildings, we’ve done many LEED projects, we’re doing the region’s first well building, etc. SfL+a is very focused on sustainability and designing and delivering buildings that improve occupant performance. We want to help the occupants of the building regardless of the building type–it could be a school or a student housing project or it could be a university building or office building. How can we help clients improve occupant performance? At the end of the day, saving energy is a way to save money and to reduce operating costs, but improving occupant performance has a far bigger impact on the bottom line than saving energy or anything else that we can do to conserve.