Q & A with Philip DeAngelis

Date

Architect smiling at the camera
Philip DeAngelis

We sat down with Philip DeAngelis, Architect and LEED Accredited Professional, to hear his thoughts on sustainability in design and get to know him better. Philip is involved in all phases of project development, from conceptual design to construction administration. As a project manager, he manages project schedules and budgets and coordinates with clients and engineering consultants.

Q: What is your greatest strength?

A: My greatest strength is my ability to see a lot of information and pull that together and think creatively and critically about how all the different pieces and parts come together. Sometimes Erika calls me “The Elephant” because I remember all these little things. Clients will ask me questions because they know I’m going to remember.

Q: What organization outside Arkos Design do you feel the most connection with?

A: Habitat for Humanity.  A few years ago, before I was renovating my own house, I tried to get out there two to three Saturdays a month. I still think about those times, and I would like to eventually get back to that, because I like what they do, how they do it, and what their mission is.  It’s a good experience.

Q: What is your favorite LEED credit and why?

A: I’d have to say the innovation credit because that’s the one that allows the design team to find something unique.  Then once the innovation credits are approved for one project, they’re publicized for others to see and decide they want to do the same thing.

Q: How has LEED impacted sustainability in design?

A: It goes back to the beginning with LEED and how it started.  Over some years, it brought about change in the way that product manufacturers especially approached things, because they became focused on asking questions like “What is the recycled content in it? What are the VOCs in it? How much does it off-gas?”

That’s where we saw the greatest change in how people approached things, because of LEED.  With each version, they acknowledged the achievements of manufacturers, designers, and contractors and created a new baseline. What was Gold before is no longer going to earn a project the same certification. That incremental improvement is what has been good about LEED.  Moving forward, what is the thing that will push new versions and grab everybody’s attention?  To say, “Okay, this is what our new focus needs to be, because we need to make these sustainability improvements and achieve that next level.”

Q: Thinking of the occupants’ health, what are your thoughts on WELL Certification?

A: In the way LEED brought to the forefront what we could do to make buildings more sustainable, WELL is presenting how we can make buildings and the environments people are working and living in healthier for them. I’m hoping as it becomes more widespread, that WELL has the same effect on health and wellbeing that LEED has had on sustainability.

Q: What would you say defines sustainable neighborhoods?

A: Connectivity.  The ability for people to get from home to work, to parks, to the grocery store, to medical facilities, etc.  Making sure that neighborhoods are located close to those amenities, or the amenities are integrated, reduces the time and resources people have to use for travel.

I appreciate the quote from Carl Elefante, FAIA, 2018 AIA President, “The greenest building is … one that is already built.” Since it’s already there, you’re not impacting a new site, and a large amount of resources are saved by all the things you can keep in the building.  A lot of times, there is so much focus on the new green LEED platinum building, but what about some of these empty buildings?  We can work with that and be as efficient and healthy as a new building, but with a fraction of the resources used.

Mishawaka Riverwalk

Q: What attracted you to Mishawaka?  

A: Mishawaka has some city amenities without too many crowds.  I really like what they’ve done with the Riverwalk and having the ability to get out and walk. Some of the parks, Kamm Island, for example, provide a nature escape within the city.  Being out in the fresh air, doing social things, and the improvements along Central Park and Beutter Park with the Biergarten.  There are a lot of great amenities here that are easy walking distance from the neighborhoods.

Philip at Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine

BIO

Philip serves on the Board of Directors for Arkos Design and mentors young staff. Philip’s interest in architecture is driven by the positive impact that thoughtful design can have on people’s lives, and he has a personal passion for bringing purpose and dignity to people living with dementia. Outside the office, Philip works on renovating his 1907-built home in Mishawaka. In his free time, Philip enjoys traveling and exploring new places. His trips tend to revolve around food, especially finding local eateries where the people are passionate about the food they create. He also enjoys taking time to escape out into nature, visiting national parks, hiking, or putting his feet in the sand on a secluded beach.

PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS

Bachelor of Architecture, 2006, University of Kentucky
Registered Architect; Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
LEED Accredited Professional, Building Design & Construction (LEED BD+C)
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)