Sustainability

Innovative and Environmentally-Friendly Design

In keeping with OCA’s commitment to design excellence, our designs promote energy conservation and environmentally sensitive buildings. We are committed to the design, construction, and operation of buildings that meet this goal through implementation of environmentally responsible design and construction practices in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). As a firm, we are committed to green design and have instituted a company-wide policy requiring all our technical staff to obtain LEED Accreditation.​

Our Approach

We believe we can maximize sustainable strategies by specifying local, regional, and recycled materials; utilizing energy efficient systems; and maximizing passive strategies such as daylighting and natural cooling. We specify high-efficiency lighting, water conservation fixtures and automatic sensors as a standard.

 

OCA’s LEED® Accredited Professionals understand sustainable design project requirements and has experience in developing strategies for suitable sites and water efficiency, and addressing energy and atmosphere issues, materials and resources, as well as indoor environmental quality.

 

OCA’s practical experience in collecting data required for documentation for certification of projects as well as hands-on design experience by LEED® Accredited staff gives us the understanding of how to document the exact level of “sustainable design” proposed on any given project.

 

Green design does not necessarily mean extra cost if handled by capable architects.  Our approach is a fully integrated design that maximizes sustainable principles by all disciplines working in concert at project onset, even when the owner has not requested it or does not wish to seek actual LEED® Certification from the USGBC. Our firm designs facilities that are aesthetically pleasing, while also remaining practical with the client’s budget. Incorporating sustainable design is a value-added effort which saves the client money long term, as well as remaining responsible to our environment and to the health of the occupants of the buildings.

 

While a LEED® certified building is somewhat dependent on design decisions, contractors have a significant role in obtaining LEED certification on projects in that much of the paperwork generated by contractors as part of their submittals are needed for submission to the USGBC. Our experience on several LEED certified projects indicates that LEED requirements should be addressed as part of the required submittals outlined in the project specifications. Furthermore, the design team is required to ensure that required LEED documents are produced by the contractor during the construction phase instead of deferring it as part of the project close-out.

 

OCA’s LEED® experience includes participation on several buildings for the New Jersey School Development Authority such as South Street Elementary School, Newark, New Jersey, Vineland Middle School, Vineland, New Jersey, Madison Avenue Elementary School, Irvington, New Jersey and New Denbo-Crichton Elementary School, Pemberton, New Jersey. In addition, OCA’s Principal, Obi C. Agudosi has completed several projects for various clients such as Middlesex County College (Crabiel Hall & West Hall), various developers and school districts.