a+d trend watch: a conversation with susie spivey-tilson of tvs design

The other day I had the chance to visit with TVS Design's Sustainable Studio Director, Susie Spivey-Tilson. As one of the members of USGBC Georgia Chapter's Board of Directors and Function:'s 2010 Architectural Advisory Board, Susie is a veritable goldmine of insights, especially when it comes to developing trends in the building and construction industry. Here are a few select snippets from our conversation:


The A+D Community is focusing on building performance, especially measuring actual efficiency and tracking progress toward the Architecture 2030 Challenge.

One of the biggest struggles architects and designers have with manufacturers is the disconnect between BPMs staff who are knowledgeable about LEED – and the BPMs field staff/sales reps who she is in touch with directly who struggle to answer questions about LEED credits and how their company's products contribute to credits in the various LEED categories. Not surprisingly, she said she loses faith in a BPM if she has to make 5 calls to get an answer about a LEED question she may have.
 As short staffed as many of us are in this industry, nobody has time to chase down an answer that may be easier to get from a competitor, so it's critical that reps are able to speak intelligently on LEED.

The prevalence of architecture firms using modeling software is increasing dramatically. Not just BIM but energy modeling as well is becoming the norm. There is also a movement toward "getting back to the basics" – fundamental design aspects such as building orientation.

WATERGY: Susie said “Green is the new black and water is the next energy”. Design teams are paying more attention to the energy consumption associated with transferring water from the source into the building to the end user. The term Watergy™ was coined by the Alliance to Save Energy to describe the strong link between water and energy in municipal water systems.

ted hettick
director of client development
business analyst

FUNCTION: we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations

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