Design for a Cleaner Future – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Design for a Cleaner Future

Claire Leavengood-Boxer ’11 is doing what most students of architecture hope to do over the summer – work for a design firm. Leavengood-Boxer, who is minoring in environmental studies and studio art, interning with a small firm in Bethesda, Md., called Belisle Design. She is particularly interested in “environmentally conscious design” and obtained work with Belisle Design because of her dual interest in architecture and sustainability.

“The firm recently completed a well-known, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – certified building in the area, which is how I initially heard of it,” she says.  LEED is an international green building certification system known for judging how the ecological quality of pieces of architecture.

Belisle Design, the sole proprietorship of Michael Belisle, works mainly in contemporary architecture, focusing on residential and commercial buildings and designs. 

Leavengood-Boxer is seeing more of the architectural side of things with her internship. She is helping Belisle on a residential project, working with plans she is given. Her job mainly entails creating perspective drawings by hand and virtual designs on the computer for the client’s house, all of which will be used in proposing the project’s design.

“I have little background in completing architectural drawings and using virtual designing software.  This internship will provide me with skills more focused on building design, and allow me to utilize skills I learned from our conceptual studios,” says Leavengood-Boxer. 

“This internship will provide me with great architectural experience, which is necessary before I begin to look at any branch of design- such as humanitarian design.”

Pursuing her environmental interests, Leavengood-Boxer is doing other work this summer in her hometown of Chevy Chase, Md.  She is leading a program to meet the town’s energy efficiency goals, hoping to reduce home energy consumption as well as lower the town’s energy use. She is working with Larkspur Energy, a Washington, D.C.-based energy conservation firm, in order to meet these goals.

Leavengood-Boxer is also a member of American Institute of Architects Students (AIAS).  She also participated in the study abroad semester to Copenhagen, Denmark, a program many architecture students go through as the city is known for is sustainable efforts.