Sustainability with Style

This rendering shows the intended exterior for a home estimated to achieve LEED Platinum status.

Photography provided by RWA Architects, Inc.

Who said that you have to give up style and comfort to be eco-friendly? Certainly not RWA Architects, Cincinnati’s leader in sustainably designed living environments for over 27 years. Whether your preferred style is Colonial, French Country or Contemporary, RWA Architects has the design sensibility and technical skills to seamlessly integrate sustainable design features, such as high performance building envelopes, energy saving heating and cooling systems, and innovative building materials into your home so that you, and future generations of your family, will continue the responsible stewardship of our resources.

Since 1989, RWA has been practicing a proven method that starts with listening intently to homeowners to fully understand their needs, their dreams, and just as importantly, the degree to which they wish to invest their financial resources in their new home or home improvement project. RWA’s mission is to provide their clients with greater value than what they invest in architectural services through responsible design and the shepherding of their projects through the entire construction process. That means that unlike other architects, RWA is there for their clients from the earliest design sketches, to the first “shovel of dirt,” to move in day and beyond as needed. “If you’re thinking of starting a project, we have the track record to meet your program needs within your budget constraints,” says John Isch, principal, AIA, LEED for Homes. “Our inclusive involvement as your advocate throughout the entire design and construction process instills peace of mind and clearly contributes to a successful outcome.” Principal Michael Mauch AIA, LEED AP concurs, “Our involvement as your advocate from day one until after the last moving box is unpacked enables us to know what works – how to design a beautiful, durable, energy efficient home within an established budget.”

The secret to RWA’s success is working in the homeowners’ best interest with quality homebuilders, remodelers, and skilled artisans to create a living environment that exceeds their clients’ expectations. “Ultimately, it’s the homeowner who must be satisfied, not the builder, not the architect,” states Isch.

That satisfaction starts with a beautiful home. RWA has been recognized by the design industry with more than 30 regional and national awards for their innovative solutions that employ state of the art sustainable building technology without compromising the clients’ desired aesthetic appeal. “Many of our clients have a particular architectural style that resonates with them, be it historical or contemporary. Perhaps they’ve been influenced by a childhood home, a trip abroad or simply the style of their current home which they wish to remodel,” Isch observes. “Regardless of its eco-friendly attributes, in order for a house to be truly sustainable, it must first and foremost provide an underlying sense of comfort for its occupants. That’s what distinguishes a house from a home.” 

Identifying the essence of comfort for each client allows RWA to masterfully leverage their comprehensive understanding of best sustainable practices in a manner that reinforces, rather than undermines, the fundamental aesthetic. Amongst the dozens of sustainably designed homes in their repertoire, RWA’s unique insight has resulted in a LEED Platinum French-country home in Hyde Park and a LEED Silver shingle-style residence in Terrace Park.

​LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes is an internationally recognized green building rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council that is intended to deliver resource efficient, healthy homes. Using a point system, a home’s sustainability is calculated in areas of community infrastructure, site development, resource allocation, water use, energy performance and indoor air quality.

To help promote regional green building efforts, the City of Cincinnati offers a tax abatement of up to 15 years for LEED certified homes, potentially saving homeowners tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes. RWA can also assist with documentation for federal tax credits for geothermal systems and other energy conservation practices.

In addition to the LEED for Homes rating system, the US Green Building Council recognizes design professionals who have demonstrated knowledge of sustainable design practices. RWA has six LEED accredited professionals, three of whom have the specialty LEED for Homes accreditation. 

While not all RWA designs undertake the LEED certification process, the benefits of a sustainably designed home to both one’s personal and financial well-being are significant. Whether your project is a new house or making improvements to your existing home, RWA will work with you to make your investment full of rewards. After all, who wouldn’t want a home that is energy efficient, saves money, and is beautiful?

RWA Architects, Inc. is located at 2771 Observatory Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45208. For more information, call 513.321.9506 or visit their website at