News Articles

Energy Efficient Design

Posted by in About Us | April 15, 2010

Here at gfh Architecture planning & Graphics, we endeavor to create intelligent building designs that use conventional forms of passive environmental design such as natural control of heat gain and loss through proper site situating, building form, and thermal massing, as well as the incorporation of new materials and systems including photovoltaic cells and cladding.

Several of our projects are in drought-sensitive areas; we have successfully addressed the challenges of these contexts through water-efficient landscaping and the use of “gray-water” technologies.
In the process of designing our buildings, we:

  • Reduce the environmental impact of our projects through site orientation, project waste management, and in some circumstances LEED sustainable Site criteria
  • Work with and around key natural elements, preserving and re-using resources
  • Keep larger urban design issues such as transportation in mind
  • Work with our team to develop mechanical systems that optimize energy performance and leverage opportunities for renewable energy sources
  • Carefully weigh building material selections and options
  • Ensure that or architecture is environmentally sound, often resulting in our clients saving significant sums of money over the lifecycle of the building

In the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County, new homes greater than 2,500 s.f. must earn a 3rd-party green building certification using either GreenPoint Rated or LEED for Homes.

About the Author – Gary Harcourt

Gary F Harcourt is an experienced Architect & Principal Owner of gfh Architecture, Planning & Graphics. Gary is proficient in designing commercial, residential and institutional architecture throughout California. He is committed to helping clients find creative, workable solutions that are cost effective and environmentally responsible. He may be reached at

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