Strategic design and financial development for individual projects, large developments anywhere in the world.

The Truth about Green Building

Posted: April 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: green building | 1 Comment »

Green building is MORE PROFITABLE than Wall Street when it comes to personal private investments. It is also the best-suited environment for ART, ANTIQUE and RARE BOOK collections.

So, conceptually it puzzles some of us architects that people in general will pay a lot of attention to the quality of cars, computers, and portable media products they purchase, but do not ask the same from their primary residences.

Or their office spaces.

At best, museums, hospitals, office buildings, and residences are 90% less than equal to a 1920’s Model T FORD. The best conventional buildings have barely reached the standard of a 1950’s gas guzzler.

It costs about 7% more to create a 90% more efficient and comfortable building. If allowed to do PRE-DESIGN properly, for larger buildings, savings for PRE-DESIGN reach 20%. So cost is not the issue. What is?

Codes, which are considered a minimum requirement, are generally used as the maximum. Nobody thinks BEYOND them. Industries that supply equipment and energy are dead fast against TRUE green buildings. They prefer the status quo due to stock market evaluations, while we, at the same time, know that our children will have not have any natural resources left. And property developers think only about leasing during the opening of the project, nothing beyond. We have no tax or other meaningful way of giving them incentives to change.

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, has shown that if one wants to employ bright people, give then room to think. We can all benefit from this. So why the barricades in building and industrial sectors?

We all want to be warm or cool, depending on the season, without having to rely on mechanical, energy-hungry equipment. Also, green building provides a stable environment that is equally good for people as well as art, antiques, plants, and animals.

With today’s energy prices, a person investing in green building could save the same amount of his or her mortgage in approximately 20 years. Try that in the stock market!

In the next few posts, I will address the financials and various other aspects of green building in greater detail.


Tapani Talo, AIA

Architecture is about LIGHT, PROPORTIONS, ECONOMY (achieved with Experience, best consultant teams and technology at Pre-Design stage).

How a Sound Engineer for the Rolling Stones Became a Green Architect

Posted: April 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

After 30 years of architectural practice, half of which was with the most renowned masters of Architecture in US; Edward Larrabee Barnes, Philip Johnson, James Polshek and Steven Holl, it took my late wife Judith Feder’s eight and a half year battle with stage 4 cancer to bring home the true meaning of GREEN and its ability to bring comfort and security.

Last year with winter temperatures hovering around 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, we had a seven day power blackout due to a severe snow and wind storm in White Plains, NY and my wife was 4 weeks from her passing. She needed the temperature to be exactly 72 degrees to feel comfortable, not more and not less, as she had lost all her body mass at that stage. And we were able to do this due to our Green Insulation, high efficiency windows and one wood burning fire place in the basement. Otherwise she would have had to go to a hospital or hospice, which she detested. All of our neighbors had left the first day to hotels or distant towns with power and relatives.

So I was absolutely a happy architect to have achieved this improvement in our house mostly during her eight and a half year battle with stage 4 breast cancer. During these years I had also helped a few willing clients (some with solar and geothermal heat and cooling too) to have this remarkable security of being able to live whatever the world throws at us and to do it at our own premises. In the next few blogs I will elaborate on these unique individual clients and projects.

But Green thinking started 40 years ago with the Rolling Stones! I was working as a sound engineer with them and with their ‘The Rolling Stones Mobile’, and staying at Keith Richard’s house at Cheyne Walk in London when the 1973 oil embargo hit. There was no hot water, no heat, so I flew back to Finland to my childhood home in order to see through the end of the year in normal comfort with showers and heat.

After travelling two years recording (and photographing) the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Traffic, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, I felt that I needed to go back to my original goal of Architecture. I had seen so much of Europe; cities, hotels, houses and a huge amount of Art Museums at that point, that I felt I needed to help the world with my observations of town planning and Architecture.

I was accepted to North East London Polytechnic Department of Architecture, and they had the MOST advanced Green Program in the world at the time (and that particular program would rate as such probably still). For the next 3 years I studied Architecture and still worked with The Rolling Stones mobile around Europe, refining my views and knowledge in architecture and town planning.

In the next blogs I will create the whole picture of creating ‘a Green architect’ in full –as becoming an architect and artist sort of started 10 years earlier– and has continued ever since.

I will also comment on the fact that building codes for all building types are one generation behind instead of AHEAD of what is needed for ours and the world’s security. We have already used all the available economical resources, and the rest is something that each nation has to fight for with HARD WORK, discomfort and sacrifices — all those things that none of the people born after World War 2 have ever really experienced or know what to do with it.

So see you all with 29 more blogs and thank you!


Tapani Talo, AIA


NY Super Studio Architects