An Interview with Peter F. Spittler on Sustainability

In Real Estate on December 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm
Peter F. Spittler

Peter F. Spittler

Today, Presentation Solutions was privileged to have a conversation with architect Peter F. Spittler, regarding sustainability and green-building initiatives in building design. Peter F. Spittler has been key to many green-building projects both in the United States and abroad. Here is a brief excerpt from the interview.

Presentation Solutions: Thanks for taking a little time with us today!

Peter F. Spittler: Absolutely, glad I could join you.

Presentation Solutions: Explain to us a little about what sustainability means…

Peter F. Spittler: Well, that’s a pretty broad subject. First, sustainability looks at the big picture. It’s more than just architects involved–we generally pull together a team of people like planners, architects, engineers, ecologists, financial experts. The industry calls this the “Triple Bottom Line” and that’s a term corporate America understands.

Presentation Solutions: Does it take into account existing neighborhoods?

Peter F. Spittler: Oh, no question. Nobody likes seeing a big-box store or office park move in and stick out like a sore thumb. Sustainability incorporates a respect for what’s already there from a contextual perspective and sensitive planning and design approach. Sustainability balances the ecology, economy and cultural aspects of a project.

Presentation Solutions: What is driving the move toward sustainability?

Peter F. Spittler: A lot of city planners are taking a hard look at the space that’s available within urban boundaries. Smart land use like walkable neighborhoods, bike trails, mixed retail/residential and moving away from sprawling subdivisions or office parks.

Presentation Solutions: I understand that sustainability makes sense financially…

Peter F. Spittler: Yes, investors and builders have to look beyond the construction costs at the front end and think about the savings that can be realized with energy efficiency and good design.

Presentation Solutions: That’s where LEED comes in, right?
Peter F. Spittler: Yes, LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a market-driven movement that supplies benchmarks for sustainable building methods and certifications for good designs.

Presentation Solutions: You’ve been involved with several LEED focused projects…

Peter F. Spittler: Yes, Yankeetown in Florida, Flats East Bank in Cleveland, the Chronicle-Telegram building in Elyria, Ohio…those were all LEED focused projects.

Presentation Solutions: Tell us about the Free Lance-Star building in Fredericksburg, VA.

Peter F. Spittler: The Free Lance-Star building was laid out as an LEED-compliant newspaper plant, with room to grow into the future and add more buildings or elements that would be in keeping with the original design. The focus was on design solutions that minimize energy consumption through intelligent design and engineering of materials and building systems.

Presentation Solutions: That’s some very forward-thinking stuff. Peter F. Spittler, thanks for talking to us today!

Peter F. Spittler: My pleasure.

Peter F. Spittler is an accredited member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Boards. Peter F. Spittler graduated from the architectural program at Kent State University.

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