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Sustainable Engineering

What is Sustainable Engineering?

Simply put, to ‘build green’ is construction without destruction. Sustainable engineering involves designing in a way that uses energy and resources efficiently without compromising the natural environment. The concept of green, coming from the idea of renewal, growth and life, has remained unchanged through the ages. Facing a global crisis of unimaginable precedence and disaster, the evolution of green is at our door. The term ‘sustainable building’ is another way of referring to the fact that green buildings are built to last, with quality design, durable materials and conscientious construction.

Why Should We Go Green?

Estimates inform us that the buildings we live and work in consume 40% of resources and emit 50% of greenhouse gases. They actually use more energy than cars! Indoor air can be 2-5x more polluted than outside air! It’s our focus to alleviate this problem by encouraging the use of alternative building materials and designing buildings that connect people to nature.

PSE is a human-centered, intellectual engineering firm utilizing the latest design and computer technology available to create buildings that are both durable and environmentally-friendly. We offer a strong portfolio in sustainable engineering design for commercial, residential, government and international clients. We are experts in many different types of alternative building materials, such as rammed earth, straw bale, earthbag, structural insulated panels (SIP’s), light gauge steel, insulated concrete forms (ICF), bamboo, shipping containers and modular construction.

The 5 Keys to Sustainable Building:

We’ve identified 5 major design areas that contribute to the sustainability of a structure. If you want your home or building to be environmentally-friendly, keep these areas in mind and try to incorporate as many items from this list as possible.

Smart Design

Smart decisions during the design process such as layout of the floor plan, the positioning of windows and doors, and the very orientation of the house can make green living easier and more successful.

  • Design spaces for maximum benefit while conserving materials
  • Multi-level homes are more energy-efficient than a sprawling one-story
  • Consider how much square footage you actually need

Eco-Materials

It is important that materials are sustainably sourced, and their shipping and processing leave a minimal impact on the plant.

  • Use renewable materials, such as bamboo.
  • Use sustainably harvested materials.
  • Use recycled materials whenever possible.
  • Use long-lasting, low maintenance materials.

Energy Efficiency:

  • Design and build efficient building envelopes.
  • Use efficient fixtures and appliances
  • Use efficient heating and cooling system.
  • Use alternative energy sources, such as solar power.
  • Utilize a monitoring system for energy

Water Conservation:

Water is a very valuable resource that must be used efficiently and is an important aspect of sustainability.

  • Reduce water intake
  • Reuse water.
  • Use site water management.

Healthy Environment:

Certain materials and construction methods release toxic chemicals, so it is important to avoid them.

  • No off-gassing materials
  • Use air-filtration.
  • Use spray-in foam insulation.
  • Use hard floor surfaces.

What Does PSE Offer?

  • Distinctive and sterling design in sustainable construction for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Accomplished diverse, competent and highly skilled staff at your service.
  • Experienced and exceptional analytical techniques applied to challenges, and opportunities.
  • State-of-the-art design technology and cutting-edge software combined with a high degree of professionalism, personal and quality service to each and every one of our clients.
  • Commitment to engineering excellence. We provide our clients with a high caliber of efficiency, talent and expertise in both alternative and traditional building construction.

Sustainable Housing

Along with designing traditional homes, we have expertise in creating one-of-a-kind homes that are unique AND good for the environment by using alternative building materials and sustainable design methods. These homes are built to last, save on energy, cost less to maintain and help preserve our environment. Choose from a variety of types and styles, whether you are wanting a fire-resistant home made out of shipping containers, a cozy tree house to escape in, or a tiny home on wheels!

Sustainable Commercial Design

Sustainability is infused into all that we touch. Our approach is collaborative and integrated, focused on conserving resources, achieving energy independence, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and effectively improving your bottom line cost. We have experience designing sustainable commercial structures like modular coffee shops and multi-unit residential complexes, shipping container pop-ups, energy-efficient shopping centers and much more.

Types of sustainable structures we have built include, but are not limited to:
  • Aircrete
  • Bamboo
  • Cob, straw bale and earthbag
  • Rammed earth
  • Fabric
  • ICCF
  • Light Gauge Steel
  • Modular
  • Tiny homes
  • Tree houses
  • Shipping containers
ATX Container GuestHouse
“We have no choice but to go green.”
Nabil Taha, Ph. D., S.E.

President, PSE Consulting Engineers, Inc.