Tag archives for: LEED
Green means green for architects that make a serious investment in green architecture and sustainability. When the recession hit in 2007, the housing and real estate markets were hugely impacted. Jobs in architecture became scarce, and architects started getting laid off in droves. Though there’s been an increase since 2010 in positions in this arena, the sector still struggles to maintain a steady increase in available gigs. According to SimplyHired, since July of 2013, there’s been a 24.4% increase in employment in Los Angeles and 34.4% in New York, so things are looking brighter. In fact, the green or sustainable architect is experiencing a major increase in work, with positions in both cities at an all time high because of the growth of the green economy.
There’s really no set rule for who can dub themselves green architects, but the program responsible for verifying green buildings is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). It gives points to projects based on their utilization of sustainable components. However, LEED doesn’t give awards to projects for performance, so there are other available options for certification: the Living Buildings Challenge, Passive House Institute, Green Globes and the government’s Energy Star Program all provide certification based on green standards.
In major metropolises like New York and Los Angeles, the green economy is growing. The public’s demand for green construction is due to its growing awareness of the dangers of climate change. While the green movement is considered “chic,” architects are expanding their views by combating climate change not only with their building designs but by constructing the bigger systems in which they function.
“We think of great design as having four equally important parts: ethical practice, experiential design, thoughtful impact, and excellent delivery. Included in ethical practice is sustainability and the idea that you can’t create great design without it. This translates into our everyday office operations in many big and small ways. The really exciting sustainable operations are yet to come in our new office!”
Irwin Miller, Los Angeles, Principal Design Director, Gensler .
In 2011, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) listed the mean wage for a green architect as $83,390 – about $30,000 more than a residential architect. The BLS also predicts faster-than-average growth for architects until 2020, with green architects in particularly high demand.
Architecture is about designing structures. Green architecture goes one step further by altering structures so that they can contribute to the well-being of the environment. Some architecture firms are green firms not only because they specialize in this type of building, but because they incorporate the green philosophy into how they operate.
Green Architecture Sites:
Architecture for Humanity
#architecturejobs, architects, architecture, Architecture for Humanity, BLD BLOG, buildings, climate change, economy, Employment, environment, Gensler, Green, Inhabittat, jobs, LEED, LEED Gold Certification, Reccession, SimplyHired, sustainability
An exhibit showcasing CFA client SBLM Architects’ new school project PS 133K in Brooklyn, NY is on display at the New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA).
The new 133K William A. Butler School replaces and honors an historic school that could no longer serve the growing student population in the Park Slope and Carroll Gardens neighborhoods. An architectural icon in the surrounding community, the original school was designed in the early 1900s by C.B.J. Snyder in the Flemish Renaissance style.
Working closely with the NYCSCA and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), SBLM Architects identified building elements to be salvaged and integrated into the design of the new facility. Additionally, SBLM’s design for the new PS 133K pays homage to the original structure by incorporating exterior elements that recall the Flemish Renaissance style, including steeply gabled parapet roofs and ornamental brickwork which were used as inspiration for the new design.
To serve the expanding student population in the surrounding districts, SBLM was commissioned to design a new school facility to house two district primary schools within one footprint accommodating 950 students. The new 116,000-square-foot building is located on the perimeter of the existing parcel of land, originally allocated for a playground and community garden.
The design of the new facility responds to the surrounding low-rise residential neighborhood by locating the greatest density of development along the site’s commercial street, and relocating the community garden as a buffer between the residential neighbors and the school’s main play yard. SBLM Architects designed the two separate school district entrance areas with raised plazas to isolate them from adjacent traffic areas off of a main thoroughfare and tower elements to identify entry into each school district.
This building features a full size gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria along with art, music and science rooms and meets the NYCSCA’s Green School Guidelines. The NYCSCA’s Green School Rating System is based on the USGBC’s LEED Green Building Rating System, and includes enhancements beyond LEED requirements tailored specifically to design for education.
Carrie Snyder, Associate
SBLM Architects PC
- Richard Meier
World-Famous Architects, Richard Meier and Stanley Tigerman, Deliver Keynote Addresses – Four New Jersey Tri-State Design Award Winners Announced –
“Traditionalism versus modernity.” That was the theme at the first-ever American Institute of Architects (AIA) Tri State Conference, which was recently hosted by the AIA-New Jersey chapter, in conjunction with the AIA New York State and AIA Pennsylvania chapters, in Atlantic City, N.J.
With more than 300 attendees, including world-famous architects Richard Meier and Stanley Tigerman, who were the keynote speakers, the conference united members of the architectural profession and explored topics ranging from energy efficiency to public infrastructure to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designations.
“This conference was the product of many years of collaboration between the state chapters,” said Michael Hanrahan, president of AIA-NJ. “The first-class caliber of our keynote speakers reflects the quality of the conference.”
The conference offered a great opportunity for architects of all levels of experience to learn collectively about the important trends and updates in architecture today, said Hanrahan.
Keynote speakers Meier and Tigerman offered anecdotal information from their respective practices – Meier, with more of a modernist approach; and Tigerman, with more of a traditionalist approach.
Meier, who was born in Newark, N.J., talked about a handful of his projects, while showcasing them through a slide show.
“Architecture is the mother of the arts,” Meier said. “I like to believe that architecture connects the present with the past and the tangible with the intangible. I believe that architecture has the power inspire, to elevate the spirit to feed both the mind and the body. For me, it’s the most public of the arts.”
Meier went on to explain his infamous stark white building designs.
“White is the most wonderful color because within it you can see all the colors of the rainbow,” he said. “The whiteness of white is never just white; it is almost always transformed by light and that which is changing — the sky, the clouds, the sun and moon.”
- Stanley Tigerman
Tigerman’s also showed examples of his work and historical precedents. His remarks focused around his lifelong search for meaning in his work, and spoke of the plans for his buildings — not the walls, but the void contained within.
“In many cases these spaces became sacred, like the sacred space of a monastic cloister,” he said. “In form and elevation, the fabric of buildings appears to be torn apart, revealing the space within.”
It was an acceptance of transience, or “Wabi Sabi,” as he put it, that compelled him; a search for the ineffable.
“Nothing lasts,” said Tigerman. “Nothing is perfect. Nothing lasts forever. I don’t know the answers, I am seeking that too.”
And, when questioned as to how one could put these thoughts into practical terms on other projects, Tigerman replied, “First you have to believe in what you are doing before you have any hope of being able to convince others.”
The conference also featured the Tri-States Design Awards, for which each state chapter selected state winners that were submitted for the tri-state design competition. There were 24 winners in the categories of Special Initiatives, Residential Architecture, Non-Residential Architecture, Regional and Urban Design, Interior Architecture, Historic Preservation and Unbuilt.
“The conference attracted the best from all over the region, and through the design awards the best work from the past year was showcased for all to see,” Hanrahan said.
The New Jersey design winners included Minervini Vandermark Architecture of Hoboken, N.J., who won a merit award in the Residential category for its 33 Willow Terrace project in Hoboken, N.J.; Payette Architect of Boston, Mass., in collaboration with the design architecture firm Hopkins Architects of London, England, who won an honor award in the Non-Residential category for its Frick Chemistry Lab project in Princeton, N.J.; Kohn Pederson Fox Associates of New York, N.Y., who won a merit award in the Non-Residential category for its Centra at Metropark project in Iselin, N.J.; and Wallace Roberts & Todd LLC of Philadelphia, who won a merit award for its Roosevelt Plaza project in Camden, N.J.
The conference offered event-goers a choice of over 25 courses, all of which counted toward continuing education credits. Attendees were able to obtain 12 of these credits during the conference. The subject matter of the courses fell within the theme of the conference, and the courses catered to all levels of the profession.
About AIA and AIA New Jersey
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the professional organization that helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. The organization, which was founded in 1857, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its 300 plus local chapters represent 86,000 licensed architects and associated professionals. AIA New Jersey, based in Trenton, is the local chapter of AIA. In 2000, it celebrated its 100th anniversary. AIA New Jersey has about 2,000 members in six regional sections. For more information, please visit www.aia-nj.org.
Retrofitting commercial buildings is quickly becoming the growth market in the building industry.
The shift from building new commercial spaces was bound to turn from erecting sparkling new mega-buildings on greenfields to retrofitting run-down but still valuable older buildings in good locations close to transportation or other amenities.
No one knows this better than the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Its LEED green building certification is often called upon to rate these buildings. To date, more than 40,000 projects participate in the commercial and institutional rating systems of USGBC, which represents 7.9 billion square feet of construction space.
Ashley Katz, communications manager for USGBC notes that many of these commercial ratings are for existing buildings. “LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance has seen explosive growth since 2008. More certifications are awarded under [the existing buildings program] on a square-footage basis than any other LEED rating system. And this is important because existing buildings make up the vast majority of the U.S. building stock.”
As a result of this growth, LEED projects are predominately existing buildings that have received certification based on verified energy performance. “We believe that the rapid uptake of this tool signals that the market is becoming increasingly aware of energy performance and is ready to move further toward even higher levels of performance,” Katz says.
USGBC’s experience is backed up by research. The McKinsey & Company report, “Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy,” which addresses reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, states that existing buildings will make money and will meet 85% of our new energy demand through 2030.
And the 2009 McGraw Hill Construction’s “SmartMarket Report” estimated that the green building retrofit and renovation market was 5%–9% by value, or a $2–$4 billion marketplace for major retrofit projects. By 2014, that share is expected to increase to 20%–30%, representing a $10–$15 billion market for major projects.
Katz points out the Adobe Systems project in Northern California as particularly representative of the retrofit commercial projects and why they are growing and will continue to grow: Adobe spent $1.4 million on 64 separate projects and received $389,000 in rebates, $1.2 million in annual savings, reported a 10-month payback, and 121% ROI.
These kinds of numbers are valuable for companies that need to see a strong ROI and must defend spending in a still-recovering economy.
Another example of a retrofit with a solid bottom line is the Armstrong World Industries’ corporate headquarters in Lancaster, Pa. Originally constructed in 1998, the glass and steel building was recently rehabbed for $138,000. Company leadership believes it will recoup that money in three years. For its outlay of money, the company got:
- waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and water sensors for the faucets so the company could greatly reduce its water footprint. Those changes and a fix to the humidification process reduced the annual use of water from 800,000 to 420,000 gallons
- occupancy sensors
- the purchase of 2 million kWh of wind power, which provides 75% of the project’s electricity use
- landscape with low-maintenance plants, no irrigation, and a catch basin that slows stormwater release.
Another project, the Joe Serna Jr. California EPA Headquarters Building in Sacramento, Calif., studied its investment in LEED Platinum certification and found it had increased its asset value by $12 million (for a $500,000 investment), while diverting 200+ tons of waste from the landfill and enjoying a building that was better than a third more energy efficient than California’s 1998 energy code.
The team for that project actually took on some untraditional methods, such as a vermicomposting program (worm composting), which diverts more than 10 tons of waste from landfills, and saves $10,000 annually. Plus, by eliminating garbage can liners and using reusable cloth bags in centrally located recycling bins, the headquarters saves $80,000 per year.
While success stories abound in the retrofit of existing buildings, some pundits warn of the potential “post-fossil-fuel age,” where many commercial buildings, high-rise buildings in particular, will be hard to maintain and may be abandoned for easier to maintain buildings.
In an interview with with Grist.com’s Kerry Trueman, James Howard Kuntsler, author of The Long Emergency, among many other books, warns of the impact of a capital scarce, energy-scarce future on mega-structures, which serves as a reminder that builders and owners must consider how buildings will weather an uncertain future where materials or energy might be scarce or expensive.
“The skyscraper is obsolete,” Kuntsler claims. “The main reason we’re done with skyscrapers is not because of the electric issues or heating-cooling issues per se, but because they will never be renovated! They are one-generation buildings. We will not have the capital to renovate them—and all buildings eventually require renovation. We likely won’t have the fabricated modular materials they require, either—everything from the manufactured sheet-rock to the silicon gaskets and sealers needed to keep the glass curtain walls attached.
“From now on, we need desperately to tone down our grandiosity. … Our cities have attained a scale that is inconsistent with the economic and energy realities of the future. The optimum building height, we will re-discover, is the number of stories most healthy people can comfortably walk up.”
USGBC just released its list of top ten states in the United States for LEED-certified projects in 2010.
The top LEED states per capita, including the District of Columbia:
• District of Columbia: 25.15 square feet
• Nevada: 10.92 square feet
• New Mexico: 6.35 square feet
• New Hampshire: 4.49 square feet
• Oregon: 4.07 square feet
• South Carolina: 3.19 square feet
• Washington: 3.16 square feet
• Illinois: 3.09 square feet
• Arkansas: 2.9 square feet
• Colorado: 2.85 square feet
• Minnesota: 2.77 square feet
Of the projects represented on the list, the most-common project type was commercial office and the most-common owner type was for-profit organization. The cities most represented in the list were Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: As a certified LEED Platinum facility, Armstrong’s corporate headquarters became only the sixth existing building (and the first outside of California) to achieve LEED’s highest level of certification.
Via GreenBuilder Mag
An exhibit at the American Institute of Architects headquarters shows off the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system
The architecture firm Farr Associates, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the U.S. Green Building Council have produced a fantastic exhibit on how to create green neighborhoods. It opened in Chicago last year and is now on display at the American Institute of Architects headquarters in Washington.
This carries some symbolism. When it comes to sustainable communities, the architecture profession has been both hero and villain. It has been a hero because many of the early (and continuing) leaders of smart growth and sustainability in our built environment have been architects, from William McDonough to Peter Calthorpe, from Andres Duany to David Dixon. Frankly, in my opinion, architects were way ahead of the environmental community in forging solutions to sprawl. And it’s a good thing that they were, because they gave us environmentalists something positive to advocate.
Continue with article via The Atlantic
aia, architects, architecture, architecture critic, built environment, carbon-neutral office building, Design, eco building, Green Architecture, green buildings, Green Built Environment, Urban Planning
aia, American Institute of Architects, Andres Duany, Chicago Architecture Foundation, David Dixon, Farr Associates, LEED, Peter Calthorpe, sustainable communities, The Atlantic, U.S. Green Building Council, William McDonough