Restorative Design FAQs

What’s restorative design?
What’s the difference between restorative design and sustainable design?
What makes your approach to restorative design unique?
Is restorative design expensive?
Does restorative design apply to different kinds of buildings?
What are the benefits of restorative design?
What’s restorative design?

We define it as an intentional process, one that creates a built environment promoting wellness, economy through conservation, and a more meaningful connection to nature.

What’s the difference between restorative design and sustainable design?

Sustainable design is the equivalent of being on life support — it sets a low bar by trying to make things less bad.

Restorative design aims to restore vibrancy and health.

What makes your approach to restorative design unique?

We’ve been doing this for a long time.  Johnston Design Group is the initial signatory and one of only two full-service architectural firms in South Carolina committed to the Architecture 2030 Challenge — to create all carbon-neutral buildings by 2030 (read more at http://architecture2030.org/2030_challenges/2030-challenge/).

We designed the first LEED Platinum building in South Carolina and have earned national recognition for thought leadership in the field, applying an integrated, intentional approach based on a rare combination of knowledge and experience.

Our work does more than place a priority on the environment — it values the way you experience it. We design buildings to maintain wellness with climatic controls, secure and well thought out spaces featuring daylight and fresh air, a relationship with the outdoors, comfortable zones for interaction and private areas for personal reflection.

Is restorative design expensive?

The buildings we design deliver a high level of performance at little to no additional construction cost, resulting in a high rate of return for the energy enhancements selected.

Intentional design can give you 10-20% more energy efficiency than a code standard building at no additional cost. We use renewable energy measures like geothermal HVAC and solar water heating, as well as solar shades and high performance glass that generate a solid return on investment — year after year.

Does restorative design apply to different kinds of buildings?

Yes. We work on homes, businesses, institutions, historical preservation projects and communities. Our experience in one area often informs our work in others.

Our work with commercial clients gives us valuable experience with energy conservation for our residential clients. Our work with designing homes teaches us how to join common spaces with private areas, which our commercial and institutional clients find useful.

Our portfolio has various examples of how restorative design works. You can see it here.

What are the benefits of restorative design?

Apart from the spiritual and emotional rewards, and the sense of doing right by the planet? Better health, for a start. Plus, your maintenance and energy costs will drop like a rock.

We avoid many traditional building materials, which often contain harmful carcinogens and lead to poor indoor air quality and long-term health risks. We consider all stakeholders, going beyond building owners and occupants to include the communities where they’re located.

The way we make buildings and the materials we use can either support local communities or harm them. Restorative design holds that all life is interconnected, so it’s not a hard choice for us.

You’ll feel better because you’ll enjoy more fresh air and natural light. Americans spend approximately 80% of their time indoors, so we want to keep your relationship with the land front and center.

We have clients who own homes that generate no power bills and we also work with developers who expect a high rate of return on our building solutions.

And not to keep harping on this, but the fact remains that the built environment can either support low-impact living or it can make it more challenging. We want to restore the idea of living lightly on the land — this includes building with sustainably harvested, locally sourced materials that reduce the waste of transportation and need for fossil fuels.

Big Creek at Keowee Falls
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So this is what happens when you get us started…
if it makes sense to you, contact us and let’s talk.

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