Brian J. Billings Architects- Architecture & Interior design- 225 E. Jacoby Street Norristown, Pennsylvania 19401




Green Building/ Green Architecture


                Green Building is a new/old idea whose time has come. In our world of high energy prices and rising costs of resources and materials, it is no longer an option for us to ignore the necessity to conserve. Over 40 percent of energy used in the United States is involved in buildings, from the manufacture of materials, the construction process, to occupancy and maintenance.

                There are many tools, which already exist, to help us to accomplish this goal. Many of them are ancient and we only need to rediscover and use them. Traditional building once was always green architecture. Other green building solutions are at the cutting edge of new and promising technologies that can help us make buildings more energy efficient and healthy.

                Brian J. Billings Architects has been using green architecture principles from the beginning. Our very first project, built in 1979, incorporated earth-sheltering and passive solar design in a 500 square foot studio building, in northern Pennsylvania. We have designed in energy-efficiency, daylighting and passive solar, into every project, as appropriate, since then.

Passive Solar |  Active Solar |  Adaptive Reuse |  Green Interiors |  Energy Efficient Healthy Home Audit




























Passive Solar

           Passive solar design is as old as architecture itself. The Anasazi people in the American southwest built their villages into south-facing hollows in the cliffs. Throughout the world and across the ages, people have used the light of the sun to heat, illuminate and even cool their buildings.

           Today, architects can use these timeless principles to make beautiful, energy-efficient architecture. Passive solar is the most cost-effective way of making green architecture. South-facing windows, with controlled shading, allow the sunís direct rays deep into the building in the cooler months and keep them out in the hot months. Natural daylighting offsets the need for electrical lighting, saving energy and money.

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Active Solar

           Active solar is the technical side of solar applications to architecture. Active solar comes in two main types: thermal solar and photovoltaics. Thermal solar collectors gather energy by heating a heat transfer fluid, in order to bring thermal energy (heat) into a building, for space heating and the heating of domestic hot water. Thermal solar is most efficient in warmer climates, where there are many sunny days in a year. There are also applications for cooling, such as air conditioning systems driven by thermal solar energy.

           Photovoltaics (PV) convert the sunís light into electrical energy. This is very efficient, because electricity can be used for many of the energy needs of buildings. It can be stored in batteries, for off-grid installations and, in most states, it can be sold back to the electric company, with on-grid installations. Over the past couple decades, PV technology has advanced greatly and there are many products which can be used for both new construction and retrofit applications.

           Brian J. Billings, Architects recently completed a comprehensive plan, including analysis and schematic design of energy conservation strategies for the ofiices of ACLAMO, a local non-profit social services group.

Solar Energy and Energy Conservation Project for ACLAMO Family Center

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Adaptive Re-use

           In a world where there are many existing buildings, it is often preferable to reuse older buildings, especially those with historic value. Adaptive re-use means finding new uses for old buildings and re-furbishing them. With all of the energy and resources that are necessary to make new buildings, it makes sense and saves energy to reuse old buildings, rather than demolishing them and building new ones.

           Adaptive re-use includes historic restoration and preservation. It can also include adding energy-efficient elements, such as thermal solar, PV and geothermal heating and cooling. The building may be just a shell, or it may contain interior features that are unusual and worthy of preservation. One of the exciting aspects of the process of adaptive re-use is that each project is unique and offers its own delights and challenges.

           Brian J. Billings Architects has specialized in adaptive re-use projects for over 20 years.

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Green Interiors

           Products and materials that are used to finish and furnish the interiors of buildings impact the environment and the quality of life for the occupants. By specifying green building products, such as paints, carpet, fabrics and furniture, we can improve indoor air quality, a serious problem in many buildings. Interior products also impact the environment, depending upon recycled or recyclable content and sustainability of sourcing for natural materials, such as wood and fabrics.

           At Brian J. Billings Architects we believe that green interior design is good practice and a good investment for our clients. For Green office furniture, carpet and other contract interiors products, please visit:   


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Energy-Efficient Healthy Home Audit

How much money do you spend on energy costs?

Would you like to lower your utility bills?

Could your house be making you sick?

           Get the answers to these and other questions, with a comprehensive overview of your home. Brian Billings puts 3 decades of building experience at your service to develop solutions that will help you save money and make your home environment healthier. This in-depth consultation and analysis looks at over 50 aspects of your house, energy use and issues that may be impacting your health. Contact Brian J. Billings Architects to learn more.

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Brian J. Billings, Archictects     225 E. Jacoby Street Norristown, PA 19401     610.277.6717