Integrated Design: Clark Nexsen Sustainability Report and 2023 Action Plan

Page 1





















8 9




In 2022, Clark Nexsen took significant steps in improving our Integrated Sustainable Design process by preparing the firm to effectively fulfill our commitments to reducing operational and embodied carbon on our projects. We are proud to be one of the few firms in the country that have signed onto the AIA 2030 Challenge, the MEP 2040 Embodied Carbon Challenge, and the SE 2050 Embodied Carbon Challenge. To tackle and address these commitments, over the past year, we have invested in a full-time staff dedicated to building science and sustainability. They will help guide and support the Integrated Design leaders, architects, and engineers across Clark Nexsen to maximize building performance and sustainable design solutions in our projects.

Our key achievements from 2022 include:

• Created new full-time Building Science Practice Leader and Sustainability Leader positions within our newly formed Sustainability Department.

• Became a signatory of the MEP 2040 Challenge committee and created a committee to support the challenge and guide the firm’s efforts.

• Expanded the SE 2050 Challenge efforts through training in Tally and EC3 and measuring the embodied carbon in the structures on a select number of projects.

Our firm continues to create and utilize unique and innovative solutions to achieve sustainable goals and outcomes. For example, we continue to emphasize carbon tracking on our projects using our internal Project Information Database (PID), enabling realtime assessment of our carbon progress. Together, with the support of our Sustainability Department, our design teams will be equipped to facilitate a robust sustainable design process: conducting sustainability charettes with clients, establishing project goals early, and having internal energy and carbon modeling to explore the most cost-effective methods to reduce carbon involved in the construction and operations of our building designs.

At Clark Nexsen, we are excited about improving our firm’s ability to address the challenges of human-driven climate change. Moreover, our continued investment in the design process will help our clients find the most efficient solutions that help preserve our world for the future. We look forward to working with you.




Our Sustainability Design Report captures key progress from the last year, highlighting our efforts to reduce operational and embodied carbon and deliver projects that are sustainable and resilient. Over the last year, we have implemented the tools and systems we developed and have seen significant growth in engagement and use. The insights gained from our people have enabled us to refine these tools and further develop initiatives such as our internal system for specifying low carbon materials and structural systems.

The following pages detail how we are applying integrated design to improve project performance and reduce our impact on the environment. We are prioritizing the reduction of both embodied carbon and operational carbon emissions while maintaining a holistic view of sustainable design that addresses water, materials, and habitat, in addition to energy.

Our 2022 commitment to the Structural Engineering 2050 Challenge has inspired new levels of interdisciplinary collaboration between our architects and structural engineers. As we reduce embodied carbon in our designs, we are sharing best practices, expanding the use of Tally and EC3, and increasing our application of lifecycle analyses that identify low carbon impact materials.

We continue to believe that data and analysis are critical to improving project performance. Across architectural and engineering disciplines, we are working together to track performance metrics, improve individual and team knowledge, and share lessons learned. CNCPT, Clark Nexsen’s practice technology collaborative, has developed a Project Information Database that leverages these metrics and provides real-time insight into our progress.

We believe the passion of our people coupled with effective tools and systems is a springboard for achieving a carbon-neutral portfolio by 2030. While there is much more work to be done, we look forward to the challenge of designing for a healthier, more sustainable future.

Why Integrated Design?

Integrated Design defines our approach to continuously elevating the performance of our projects. We see sustainable design as inherent in our vision to discover and shape ideas that transform the world. By leveraging our interdisciplinary practice to capitalize on the intersections between disciplines, we share expertise, gain new insights, and uncover innovative solutions to meet the challenges of sustainability and resilience. Our architects, engineers, interior designers, and support professionals serve a wide range of industries including federal, higher education, K-12, commercial, industrial, transportation, and infrastructure.





Our design professionals include architects; interior designers; mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, civil, structural, and transportation engineers; and landscape architects. With 78 LEED Accredited and/or Green Globes Professionals, every discipline incorporates sustainable design expertise and works with intersecting disciplines to develop innovative strategies for more sustainable projects.


Note about Data on this this is form a export of the was manually reviewed to found in the expertise exce have this data put into Ult by 2022 this graph can be now its static and manual

was manually update i hope the comment abou case next year

By Discipline

d We l by D sc pl ne 20 40 60 80 LEED AP BD+C Green Globes Well None LEED G een Assoc LEED AP LEED AP BD+C Green Globes and Well by Discip ine 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Discipline None, LEED Green Assoc, LEED AP , LEED AP BD+…
None LEED Green LEED AP LEED AP B Green Glo… Well Power BI Desktop None LEED Green Assoc LEED AP LEED AP BD+C Green Globes and We l by Disc pl ne 0 20 40 60 80 Architectural Mechanical Electrical Project Management Structural Civil Interiors Plumbing Fire Protection None LEED Green Assoc LEED AP LEED AP BD+C Green Globes Well None LEED Green Assoc, LEED AP, LEED A 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% None, LEED Green Assoc, LEED AP , LEED AP BD+… ArchitecturalMechanicalEle Projec None LEED Green
ArchitecturalMechanicalElectricalProjectManagementStructural CivilInteriorsPlumbingFireProtection
CLARK NEXSEN SUSTAINABILITY REPORT None LEED Green Assoc, LEED AP, LEED AP BD+C Green G obes and Wel by D scip ine 0 20 40 Architectural Mechanical Electrical Project Management Structural Civil Interiors Plumbing Fire Protection None LEED Green Assoc LEED AP LEED AP BD+C Green Globes Well


The Building Science group has long served as a companywide resource for energy modeling and analysis to improve project performance and generate long-term operating cost savings for our clients. In 2022, Clark Nexsen decided to make the Building Science Group into an official practice and Brian Turner, PE, BEMP, LEED AP BD+C, was tapped to lead Clark Nexsen’s newly created Building Science Practice. Formerly the mechanical department head in the firm’s Virginia Beach office, Brian was key to establishing building science as an internal resource and looks forward to formalizing it as a practice. He has been a sustainable design advocate for a long time, challenging our teams to do more or look for innovative solutions to reduce carbon emissions on each project. As the Building Science Practice Leader, Brian expects to focus on expanding the resources his team is able to provide and improving the Integrated Design process more effectively across projects. Providing dedicated, fulltime access to energy modeling from concept design to construction documents, the Building Science Practice will be integral to informing design decisions and improving Energy Usage Intensity (EUI) outcomes.


In 2022, Clark Nexsen decided to make a dedicated position for a Sustainable Design Leader and Adam Torrey, AIA, LEED AP BD+C was promoted to the position as Sustainability Leader. A LEED and WELL Accredited Professional, Adam is an architect and passionate advocate for sustainability in our firm. Adam represents Clark Nexsen as a member of the North Carolina AIA Committee on the Environment Leadership Group, the AIA Large Firm Round Table sustainability group, and has recently presented at multiple industry events on the emergent topic of embodied carbon. As a Sustainability Leader, he partners with design teams and clients to help them identify and realize their project’s sustainability goals and help lead the Integrated Design Process. Adam brings a wealth of knowledge in what it takes to deliver sustainable projects and is skilled at working across disciplines to bring analysis-driven perspectives to human-centered environments.



Our goal is to integrate the unique qualities of any given site with the building and site infrastructure systems in order to maximize energy performance while protecting natural resources. Using a careful bioclimatic analysis combined with passive solar strategies and renewable energy sources, our team works to minimize energy usage while restoring the environment. Our approach is to focus on helping clients optimize their building systems to increase reliability and resilience, lower costs, and protect the environment.



Our interiors team sees their role as critical not only to creating an environmentally respectful design, but also to supporting human health and wellness in the built environment. Responsible for specifying the materials and products people interact with every day, the interior design team carefully selects materials that are environmentally friendly, regional, and made of high recycled content. In addition to ongoing education and research regarding non-toxic and sustainable materials options, this group is conducting research on the impact of sustainable interior spaces on workplace productivity.



Our Sustainable Infrastructure Envision Team guides Clark Nexsen's Infrastructure and Transportation departments to design more sustainable site/civil and landscape infrastructure. This group utilizes the Envision system to engage stakeholders, evaluate projects from multiple perspectives, and develop solutions that address life cycle costs and long-term environmental challenges.


With 50 percent of the U.S. population living along the coast, our waterfront engineering team plays a high profile role in researching and developing strategies to adapt to rising sea levels. Recent research efforts include a community-driven resilient master plan developed for the Virginia Beach area, which examined current flooding and projected sea level rise as well as neighborhood layouts to reimagine the area for decades to come. Designing for resiliency in coastal settings is just one aspect of delivering sustainable solutions for our clients.



Setting clear, meaningful goals for each project and communicating those goals to everyone on the design team is essential to the success of integrated design. To that end, Clark Nexsen has developed a system for facilitating the establishment of goals early in the project and documenting those goals in a way that is trackable and easy to share. Our accounting and project management software, Deltek Vision, has been customized to allow design teams to enter their project's goals into a database, incorporating the aspirational goals of the client and designers with clear, measurable sustainability goals within the categories of habitat, energy, water, and materials. This data is then linked directly with Clark Nexsen's intranet, called "the Cube," making the information easily accessible for the entire design team and ensuring everyone is working together toward the same goals.


A major initiative in growing Clark Nexsen's proficiency in Integrated Design has been the establishment of a set of sustainability tools and resources available to design teams. Available via our intranet site, we have consolidated a number of useful documents and tools including AIA COTE documents, LEED resources, and tools for specifying green materials. In addition, Clark Nexsen has developed a number of in-house sustainability tools, including our "Appendix G." This tool serves as a summary of the AIA COTE Top Ten Toolkit, giving design teams a concise checklist of issues to consider throughout the life of a design project. Appendix G is linked into our Revit template, ensuring that each project addresses these issues and that everyone working on the design documentation has easy access to the established sustainability goals for the project.

OWNER Address PROJECT NAME ENERGY SAVINGS BENCHMARK EUI PROJECTED EUI BELOW BASELINE kBtu/sf/yr kBtu/sf/yr 80% 100 20 Integration Good design elevates any project with a thoughtful process that delivers beauty and function in balance. It binds all of the principles together with a big idea. Equitable Communities Design solutions affect more than the client and current occupants. Good design positively impacts future occupants and the larger community. Ecosystems Good design mutually benefits human and nonhuman inhabitants. Economy Good design adds value for owners, occupants, community, and planet, regardless of project size and budget. Energy Good design reduces energy use and eliminates dependence on fossil fuels while improving building performance, function, comfort, and enjoyment. HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Design a building to lift the spirits and delight the senses. Design for the engagement of natural and cultural environments. Use an integrated design process that respects and values multiple viewpoints. Map, identify, and engage diverse project stakeholders throughout the integrated design process. PROJECT GOALS The big ideas... RESOURCES The Cube Sustainability Library http://clarknexsen/libraries/Sustainability%20Wiki/Home.aspx AIA COTE Top Ten Award Recipients AIA Framework for Design Excellence AIA COTE SuperSpreadsheet HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Work to create thriving communities. Plan for robust stakeholder engagement. Facilitate equitable gathering and connecting in the design and beyond buildings in the community. Organize the design team so that disciplines integrate and are not siloed. PERFORMANCE METRICS Walk Score (0% baseline 100% very high) Community Engagement (1 Manipulation Citizen Control) Transportation Carbon Reduction (0% baseline 100% very high) Bike Infrastructure percent provided for occupants (0% baseline 50% very high) RESOURCES AIA Guides for Equitable Practice Glossary AIA Architect’s Role in Creating Equitable Communities AIA Equitable Development Frameworks EPA Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool Bike Friendly State Program Walk Score HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Develop a project-specific indexing framework that assesses attributes of the surrounding predevelopment, quantitatively and qualitatively. Design landscaping composed of 100% native plantings, especially species that attract pollinators. Avoid all decorative turf grass. Integrate bird collision deterrent design strategies. Create natural nighttime habitat conditions by eliminating unnecessary artificial light and sounds while no humans are present. PERFORMANCE METRICS Vegetated Site Area post development (0% baseline 100% very high) Native Plantings percent of vegetation (0% baseline 50% very high) RESOURCES Bird-Friendly Building Design Seven Design Principles of Xeriscaping Climate Positive Design Pathfinder Tool HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Reuse an existing building if possible. Edit your palette and keep the total number of materials to minimum. Rightsize the program early and keep the square footage as efficient as possible while managing design for change. PERFORMANCE METRICS Building Area Project Budget Project Budget Estimate RESOURCES Willdan Energy Design Assistance Contact: Blake Latham (704) 707-5999 AIA ROI: The economic case for resilient design AIA Guide to Building Life Cycle Assessment in Practice BuildingGreen How to Build Green At No Added Cost ARUP Circular Economy in the Built Environment Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Benchmark and set an energy use intensity (EUI) and/or lighting power density (LPD) goal and work towards that goal throughout the design process. Incorporate passive design strategies based on the project’s climate and program opportunities. Model for energy performance, iteratively, throughout the project. Establish an optimum window-to-wall ratio and building orientation for the project. Design solar-ready and all-electric buildings. Conduct post-occupancy evaluations and commissioning. PERFORMANCE METRICS Energy Use Intensity (EUI) Benchmark kBTU/sf/yr Projected Energy Use Intensity (PEUI) kBTU/sf/yr Lighting Power Density (LPD) W/sf RESOURCES Climate Consultant Download from CN Software Center AIA Embodied Carbon Toolkit for Architects AIA Architect’s Guide to Building Performance Zero Tool Energy Baseline and Target Calculator PVWatts Renewable Energy Production Estimation Tool 2030 Palette Sustainable Design Database Water Good design conserves and improves the quality of water as a precious resource. Well-being Good design supports health and well-being for all people, considering physical, mental, and emotional effects on building occupants and the surrounding community. Resources Good design depends on informed material selection, balancing priorities to achieve durable, safe, and healthy projects with an equitable, sustainable supply chain. Change Adaptability, resilience, and reuse are essential to good design, which seeks to enhance usability, functionality, and value over time. Discovery Every project presents a unique opportunity to apply lessons learned from previous projects and gather information to refine the design and construction process. HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Establish stakeholder map of the watershed your project is located within— understand who is impacted by project-related water-use decisions. Develop a water budget analysis to determine the water resource available to the project, how much water is needed, and how the water system can work to minimize the usage of potable water, while balancing the needs of both outdoor and indoor water resources as unified system. Benchmark indoor water use and use this baseline to set percent-reduction goals to target. Reduce or eliminate outdoor water use (irrigation reduction/elimination). Manage stormwater runoff with the goals of increasing on-site infiltration and improving water quality downstream. PERFORMANCE METRICS Potable Water Reduction (0% baseline 100% very high) Potable Water Used for Irrigation (0% baseline 100% very high) Rainwater Managed Onsite (0% baseline 100% very high) RESOURCES LEED v4 Indoor Water Use Reduction Calculator EPA WaterSense Simple Water Assessment Checklist BuildingGreen Net-Zero Water and More: Moving Beyond “Low Flow” Green Infrastructure Foundation Living Architecture Performance Tool HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Provide operable windows in regularly occupied spaces. Give occupants control over their immediate thermal and lighting systems. Maximize air quality through increased outside air and pollutant mitigation. Include biophilic elements that engage variety of senses. Vary environments to promote physical activity. PERFORMANCE METRICS Quality Views (0% baseline 100% very high) Operable Windows (0% baseline 100% very high) Daylight Autonomy (0% baseline 100% very high) Daylight Sensors Installed? Occupants Per Thermostat (0% baseline 100% very high) RESOURCES Designing for Health + Wellness WELL v2 Building Standard Urban Land Institute Building Healthy Places Toolkit International Green Construction Code (IgCC) Fourteen Patterns of Biophilic Design HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Focus on salvaged, or transparent materials (EPD, HPD, declare label, etc.). Minimize embodied carbon related to wood, concrete, and steel, minimizing the extent of aluminum used, and not using XPS or sprayfoam insulation. Save material resources by optimizing building reuse, space efficiency, building longevity and adaptability, and structural systems. Healthy materials: Choose one or few chemicals of concern to eliminate in firm standard specifications or a project’s materials. Start with your firm’s most commonly used materials and provide good/better/best options. PERFORMANCE METRICS Reused Floor Area (0% baseline 100% very high) Embodied Energy EPDs Collected RESOURCES Miller Hull Red List mindful MATERIALS (mM) Portal Building Transparency Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) AIA Retrofitting Existing Buildings Guide AIA Design for Adaptability, Deconstruction, and Reuse Zero Waste Design Waste Calculator CARE Tool Carbon Avoided: Retrofit Estimator HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Have resilience charrette with your client and stakeholders to discuss the performance goals for the project during disaster event—continuity of operations, community resource, quick recovery, or temporary relocation. Identify how projects can support immediate recovery in the first days and weeks of crisis and facilitate long-term recovery. Identify the flexible or adaptable features of your design. Identify how your project is integrated and strengthens the community infrastructure and overall community resilience. PERFORMANCE METRICS Functionality Without Power (0% baseline 100% very high) Building Design Lifespan (30 years baseline 200 years very high) RESOURCES Predictive Weather Modeling Design for Rising Temperatures Contact: Brian Turner AIA Resilient Project Process Guide AIA Key regional climate issues: A Guide for architects to drive change U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit Whole Building Design Guide Design Recommendations FEMA Flood Map Service Center EPA Climate Change Adaptation Resource Center NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer HIGH IMPACT DESIGN STRATEGIES Assist in the development and recording of the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) during design as means of recording performance expectations and owner direction. Benchmarking: Review the goals and metrics selected from each Framework Principle utilized on the project. Were they carried through the design process, construction process, and into occupancy? Assess what worked and what could have been done better. Record and share that information with project team members, the office, and the profession. After the project has been occupied for 6-12 months, ask the owner the project is meeting their expectations. Have they made any changes? Are the occupants using spaces as planned? Do the occupants have feedback? PERFORMANCE METRICS What were the project challenges/successes? What is the story to tell? RESOURCES Berkeley Center for the Built Environment (CBE) BuildingGreen Post Occupancy Whole Building Design Guide Post Occupancy Evaluations


By signing on to the AIA 2030 Commitment in 2015, Clark Nexsen has joined a growing number of firms that are measuring the energy performance of their buildings and working toward designing all new buildings and major renovations to be carbon neutral by the year 2030. The 2030 Commitment requires design teams to track the predicted Energy Use Intensity, “pEUI,” measured in kBtu/sf/yr. The 2030 Challenge has established a current goal to achieve energy performance of 80% better than the national average per building type, which requires design teams and building owners to work closely together and share performance priorities. Clark Nexsen is currently reporting more than 90 projects over a cross section of building types. While the pEUI reduction is not yet reaching the 80% goal, it is significantly less than the baseline across all building types.

Clark Nexsen Average pEUI reduction by Building Types

Power BI Desktop MarketSector  Commun y + Cu ure  Educa on  Federal  n ras ructure  Sc ence + ndus ry Submission Year 2022 2022 Average of Percen Reduc on and Count of Ma ke Sector by UseTypeGrouped 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Education - General Storage Office Public Assembly Education - K-12 Service Lodging / Residence Hall Health Care Education - Higher Ed FacilityID Percent Reduction  Use Typ 8473-F1 5% Service service) 8522-BF1 7% Educati (campu Total 3114% Percent Reduction 0% 100% Sust AIA2030 exclu  no  yes  B ank UseTypeGrouped   B ank  Educat on - Gene a  Educat on - H gher Ed  Educat on - K-12  Food Serv ce  Hea th Ca e  Lodg ng / Residence Ha  M xed-Use  Of ice  Other  Pub c Assemb y  Res dent a  Se v ce  Storage



By analyzing the data we collect for the 2030 Commitment, Clark Nexsen has generated a number of useful insights about our progress towards carbon neutraility. By tracking our data by office, project type, project size, and even by project manager and principal-in-charge, we have better identified our strengths and weaknesses and developed targeted strategies for improving our performance. The graph below shows our average pEUI reduction by year. We are not yet meeting the target of 80% reduction, although we made significant gains in the past three years.

Clark Nexsen Average pEUI reduction by Year

Power BI Desktop MarketSector   Commun ty + Cu u e  Educat on  Fede a  nf ast uc u e  Sc ence + ndust y Submission Year  2015 2022 Aver ge o Pe cent Reduc on by Submi s on Year 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Submission Year A v erage of P ercent Reduction 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 Faci ityID Percent Reduction  7972-F1 1% 5574-F6 1% 4972-F1 3% 7293-F1 3% 8225-F1 3% 7383-F3 3% 7292-F1 4% 5574-F7 5% 8473-F1 5% 6644-F2 7% 6644-F3 7% 6644-F4 7% 6644-F5 7% 5574-F5 7% 8522-BF1 7% 5307-F3 8% 6588-F1 8% 6222-F1 9% 7142-F1 10% 7158-F1 10% 4819-F1 11% 7383-F5 11% 3852-F1 11% 8875-F1 12% 7383-F1 12% 8404-F1 12% 5307-F1 12% 6997-F1 12% 8517-F1 12% 6068-F1 13% 9955-F2 13% 7308-F1 13% 6807-F1 13% 4819-F2 14% NC545 4 -F1 14% 7105-F1 14% 7203-F1 14% 5893-F1 15% 4046-F1 16% 7584-F1 16% Total 9245% Percent Reduction  0% 100% Sust AIA2030 exclude   (B ank  no  yes AIA averages 2015 - 38% 2016 - 42% 2017 - 44% 2018 - 45% 2019 - 49% 2020 - 51%


Power BI Desktop Ave age o En Base ine Average of P ed c ed pEU and Average of Percent Reduct on by Faci tyName 0 20 40 60 80 100 FEI HQ3 9041: Colonial Williamsburg Archaeology Center 8789: Renovations to Andrews Hall 8920: Va Beach Building 11 Renovation 8920: Va Beach Buildings 1Renovation 9087: DEVGRU Ops B355 Repair HVAC CEBAF Addition CEBAF Renovation Durham City Hall and Annex HVAC Mecklenburg Library Support Service ARC Jlab Average of En Baseline Average of Predicted pEUI 2020 2022 UseTypeGrouped  O f ce Sust AIA2030 exclude  (Blank)  no Percent Reduction 0% 100% FacilityName  8789: Renova ons to Andrews Ha l  8920: Va Beach Bu d ng 11 Renova ion  8920 V B h B d g 1R t  9041: Colon a W l amsburg Archaeology Center  9087: DEVGRU Ops B355 Repa r HVAC  ARC J ab  Armory  BASF S th i dToW t gh  CEBAF Add t on  CEBAF Renova ion  CUS ISR Faci ty Expans on  Durham C y Ha and Annex HVAC  FDMRC  FE HQ3  Fl nt Energ es Bui d ng A  LP-48  LP-48A  M A t T g HQ  Meck enbu g L brary Support Serv ce  NNS B1747 Demo & Add t on  NNS Bu d ng 103-2 Expans on Renovat on  P256 B dg 510 DBB Sh ps Ma nt Fac i  P36610 M S pp C p d D b t D  P-495 Chambe s Fie d Magaz ne Ope a ions  Pure Sa mon Adm n Bui d ng  Q1068 SOF Bu d ng 355  Renova ions o Br cke l L brary  Shoot g Ra g  Tech Center Bu d ng I  TSU  USCG Stat on Panama C ty Exis ng S at on Bu ldi  USCG Stat on Panama C ty Mu t Funct on Bu d n CLARK NEXSEN SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
Power BI Desktop Ave age o En Base ine Average of P ed c ed pEU and Average of Percent Reduct on by Faci tyName 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 ETSU Academic Building ECU Building 43 Renovations ECU Innovation BRCC Interior Renovations and New Construction VT New Corps of Leader Building D Owen Hall and Carmichael Hall Renovation ACC Biotech Center of Excellence Average of En Baseline Average of Predicted pEUI 2018 2022 UseTypeGrouped  Educa ion - H ghe Ed Sust AIA2030 exclude  B ank)  Percent Reduction -200% 100% FacilityName  ACC B otech Center of Excel ence  BRCC nter or Renova ons and New Cons ruct on  Bu d ng D  ECU Bu d ng 43 Renovat ons  ECU  ETSU Academ c Bu d ng  Owen Ha and Carm chael Ha Renovat on  VT New Corps of Leader


Current Year 2015 Average o Ene gy base ne Ave age of pEU Calc and Percent reduct on by P o ect name 0 50 100 150 Wallace Creek P2 Fayettleville CLC 13 Bed Fayetteville 10 Bed Home UVA McCormick Road Houses RenovationBuilding B UVA McCormick Road Houses RenovationBuilding C UVA McCormick Road Houses RenovationBuilding D UVA McCormick Road Houses RenovationBuilding E Clemson Wes Zone Building D VA Tech Criteria for Slusher Hall Average of Energy baseline Average of pEUICalc Project name  C emson Wes Zone Bui d  Fayet evi e 10 Bed Home  Fayet ev e CLC 13 Bed  UVA McCorm ck Road Hou  UVA McCorm ck Road Hou  UVA McCorm ck Road Hou  UVA McCorm ck Road Hou  VA Tech Cr er a for S ush  Wa ace Creek P2 Percent reduction 47.87 79.85 Repor ting phase  Const uc on Adm n strat on  Schemat c Des gn Project  Comp e e  On hold Max Por tfolio Year  2019  2020 10 Count of Max Port ol o Yea Power BI Desktop Ave age o En Base ine Average of P ed c ed pEU and Average of Percent Reduct on by Faci tyName 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 UNC Joyner Hall Renovation NC A&T State Univsersity Bluford St Housing UNCW Bldg 1 Student Housing UNCW Bldg 2 Student Housing UNCW Bldg 3 Student Housing UNCW Bldg 4 Student Housing Building B Building C MCB QuanticoMSAU BEQ New Upper Quad Average of En Baseline Average of Predicted pEUI 2020 2022 UseTypeGrouped  Lodg ng / Res dence Ha  O he Sust AIA2030 exclude  B ank)  Percent Reduction -200% 100% FacilityName  Bu d ng 2815 Dorm tory  Bu d ng B  Bu d ng C  Magaz ne Type C  M g Typ D  MCB Quant co - MSAU BEQ  NC A&T S a e Univsers ty B uford St Housing  New Upper Quad  UNC oyner Ha Renovat on  UNCW B dg 1 S d t H g  UNCW B dg 2 S udent Hous ng  UNCW B dg 3 S udent Hous ng  UNCW B dg 4 S udent Hous ng  Craven Quad Renovat ons  C Q d R t  VCU Grace St A CLARK NEXSEN SUSTAINABILITY REPORT


Power BI Desktop Ave age o En Base ine Average of P ed c ed pEU and Average of Percent Reduct on by Faci tyName 0 100 200 300 400 RTF Onco Trap Fitup Syngenta T&E Experience Center Tethis fit-up NC State Engineering Building Oval Medicago Fit-up UNCC New Science Building Five Laboratory Drive Small Appliance Performance Testing Lab Average of En Baseline Average of Predicted pEUI 2017 2022 UseTypeGrouped  B a k)  Educa ion - Genera  Educa ion - H ghe Ed  Educa ion - K-12  Food Service  Heal h Ca e  Labora ory  Lodg ng / Res dence Ha  Mixed-Use  O f ce  O he  Pub ic Assemb y  Pub ic Safety  Re ig ous  Residen ia  Se ce  Storage Sust AIA2030 exclude  B k)  no  yes Percent Reduction -200% 100%


Power BI Desktop Ave age o En Base ine Average of P ed c ed pEU and Average of Percent Reduct on by Faci tyName 0 20 40 60 80 Brevard HS Rosman MS/HS American Renaissance School Valle Crucis Elementary School Jonesborough School Ashe Coutnty Middle School E-35 Elementary School FQVMA Replacement (M15) Average of En Baseline Average of Predicted pEUI 2020 2022 UseTypeGrouped  Educa ion - K-12 Sust AIA2030 exclude  B k)  no Percent Reduction -200% 100% FacilityName  Amer can Renaissance School  Ashe Cou nty M dd e School  Brevard HS  E-35 E ementa y School  FQVMA Rep acement (M15)  Jonesborough School  Rosman MS/HS  Val e C ucis Elemen a y School  Ashe le M dd e School  Conn Elemen a y School  Davidson Day School CLARK NEXSEN SUSTAINABILITY REPORT





Asheville, North Carolina

The new facility for the WNC Bridge Foundation is an inviting, communitycentered office and event space that supports the foundation’s work meeting critical health and wellness needs.

Sited along an east-to-west axis, the building’s main entry and double-height lobby bisect its wings and create a welcoming “living room” with a hearth and two-story fireplace. The large, exposed timber frame structure serves as a biophilic element that adds warmth and interest in the lobby, boardroom, and large gathering area.

Public space for fundraising and community events is located in the building’s west wing, while the east wing houses the foundation’s offices. The second floor features a rooftop terrace and a walkway bridge that connects the boardroom and offices.

The building celebrates the surrounding natural environment with extensive views and a material palette of wood, stone, and glass. Ample clerestory and curtainwall glazing provide generous daylighting, while the trusses are cantilevered to create deep overhangs on the south and west facades. The use of natural stone at the exterior emphasizes the client’s foundational role in the community.

The site design preserved two large oak trees and creates a meadow landscape, which visitors weave past to reach the building.

100% 70% 46%
pEUI Reduction
47% 80% target 0% 100%


Boone, North Carolina

Recreation centers offer key benefits to their communities – they promote healthy, active lifestyles and stronger interpersonal relationships, offer a safe space for children and teens, and contribute to tourism and economic growth. The new Watauga County Recreation Center is no exception – it delivers on the Watauga Parks and Recreation Department’s goals for enjoyable, fun, and safe programming.

Located on an intersection, the 100,000 square foot facility creates a welcoming edge along both streets with a design that echoes the surrounding Appalachian ridges. A grey clad, undulating roof, extensive curtainwall, and metal standing seam contrast with wood and stone to deliver an aesthetic that is both modern and reminiscent of the mountainous landscape.

The recreation center features a wide variety of spaces, including a six-lane competition pool and leisure pool, four fullsize gymnasiums, a multipurpose studio,

events classroom, fitness center with weight and exercise rooms, two birthday party rooms, and a suspended track. Visitors are met with a double-level glazed lobby and monumental staircase, which leads to the fitness center and suspended running track on the upper level.

Extensive use of glass reinforces users’ sense of community, with views into the fitness space, down to the lobby, and into the gymnasiums and the pools. This ability to see and be seen will foster more connections and interaction.

This facility also encompasses the county’s Parks and Recreation offices, supporting employees’ sense of purpose by integrating their offices alongside rec center users. Beyond its indoor recreational opportunities, the new center improves connectivity with outdoor amenities such as the Town of Boone’s greenway system – a network of continuous jogging and walking trails.

pEUI Reduction 13% 80% target 0% 100%


Asheville, North Carolina

Transparency, views, and an unexpected warmth define the Blue Ridge Orthodontics’ new office as a patient-centered oasis for dental care. In this space, a soothing palette and inviting design put patients at ease. Blue Ridge Orthodontics’ new office creates a welcoming, memorable environment that positively contributes to their reputation and quality of care.

Wood tones, easy wayfinding, and a variety of comfortable seating convey an atmosphere more consistent with a spa than an orthodontist’s office. The patient experience takes precedence throughout as the entry lobby flows to clinical and open treatment areas. A balance of privacy, serenity, and functionality are achieved through the inclusion of a feature design element – a massive, sculptural wall composed of 136 layers of CNC-cut poplar plywood. The wall enhances warmth and connectivity as it defines the building's pathways between the entry, treatment areas, and private offices.

Previously a fast-food restaurant with a large paved parking lot, the office has had a

transformative impact on the surrounding commercial atmosphere. The building’s design revives the natural potential of the site and celebrates its location in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rather than a view of sterile white walls or television screens, patients overlook the natural beauty of a garden.

The deep overhang of the roof and a sculptural, layered wall facilitate the connection between interior and exterior. Additionally, a stepped, stone-clad perimeter wall anchors the building on its site. In contrast to the angular roof, the curving sculptural wall defines the central spaces with its flowing form, which programmatically separates the individual clinical rooms from the administrative wing. The feature wall is exceptionally functional, accommodating significant storage as well as sinks and mirrors for patient use.

The exterior of the building is an efficient framework for the interior. Limited direct sunlight and an abundance of natural daylighting provide varying degrees of privacy. The large roof overhang intercepts steep summer sun angles, while allowing winter sunlight to warm the space. Only a small amount of direct sunlight enters the treatment areas, and recessed roller shades diffuse this light as desired.

70% target 0% 100% 48%
pEUI Reduction


Facing a need to expand their headquarters in Newport News, Ferguson partnered with Clark Nexsen to create an amenity-rich, energy efficient, collaborative space for their associates. At the core of its design is a shift towards transparency, openness, and connectivity, and sustainability both within the company and the community at large. The design solution kept a fairly narrow footprint in the optimum building orientation to maximize both daylighting and views, benefitting occupant well-being and reducing the need for artificial lighting. The open office concept reduces material use, and interior rooms such as flexible offices and meeting spaces feature glass wall systems to allow daylight through to the building core. The low solar heat gain coefficient of the glass has a significant impact on the building’s energy efficiency, and shading devices on the east, south, and west facades further control glare and heat gain without interrupting views.

Both inside and outside, the design prioritizes creating opportunities to promote interaction and community. A

multilevel glass atrium, open lobby space, and monumental staircase connect multiple levels and encourage people to use the stairs rather than elevators. Ferguson associates have access to a variety of outdoor training and dining spaces and a rooftop terrace. Additionally, prior to the construction of HQ3, the site served as a ‘city center’ for residents to gather, and the design preserves community access. Rather than walling this site off from the city, a pathway leads under the building and into the plaza allowing the public to enjoy this outdoor plaza.

The HVAC system has a number of features that contribute to the significant reduction in pEUI. An energy recovery ventilator transfers heat between the exhaust and outdoor air streams using a total enthalpy recovery wheel. A thermal storage system is used to shift electrical demand for cooling from peak daytime hours to off-peak nighttime hours by enabling the chillers to produce ice at night, which is then melted during the day while the chillers remain off. Both the cooling and heating systems also feature a high degree of controllability, allowing them to meet demand with very little waste.

0% 100% 70% 70% 70% target pEUI Reduction 3 Green Globes 2020 Green Globes Project of the Year Runner Up
Newport News, Virginia


Georgetown University, Washington, DC

An ever-growing institution, Georgetown University saw an opportunity to repurpose an 1800s mechanical car building by transforming the first floor spaces to house the University Press and Master of Arts in Government program. Known as the Car Barn, this historic building is situated along M Street at the end of the Key Bridge and was originally used to house and maintain the city’s streetcars.

The adaptive reuse was completed with sustainability in mind. Care was taken to maintain the historic integrity of the building’s character, with the existing structure being reused and repurposed. This effort minimized embodied carbon by giving new life to the existing facility with no new construction. The large arched doorways, previously used for the streetcars, were re-opened and infilled with a glass-fin curtainwall system to promote transparency and create a dramatic lobby and student lounge area.

The bright, modern interior benefits from

added daylight as windows were restored and the barn doors opened up. Occupancy and daylight sensors control the interior lighting, ensuring adequate light while minimizing the use of electricity.

Occupant comfort in the new classrooms, offices, and conference rooms is assured with an energy efficient HVAC system that employs demand control ventilation with an air-side economizer and water-source heat pumps. The system utilizes variable speed technology on hydronic pumps and airhandling unit motors to properly match the building energy use to the building load.

The thermal envelope was improved to maximize energy efficiency, adding an air barrier and thermal insulation to the existing, uninsulated exterior walls. New wood windows, matching the originals but with increased efficiency, were incorporated into the facade, bringing natural light into the space and offering views to the famous “Exorcist Steps,” which were preserved along the building’s exterior.

0% 100% 70% 73% 70% target pEUI Reduction


Wake Forest, North Carolina

Carroll Joyner Park is a beloved community asset and popular location for recreation and events in Wake Forest, featuring walking trails, historic structures, and an outdoor amphitheater. As part of phase two of the park master plan, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Resources Department partnered with Clark Nexsen to design the new Joyner Park Community Center.

Offering indoor recreation and gathering space for the community, the new facility includes a gymnasium, indoor track, lobby and reception space, a large multipurpose room, a dance studio, teaching kitchen, locker rooms, and new office space for the PRCR Department. A new, natural play area and public plazas offer engaging outdoor space for both children and adults.

In a preservation effort to remove as few trees as possible, the design team optimized

the site location to balance cut and fill as well as overall land disturbance. The facility is also outfitted with a cistern that captures rainwater from the roof through rain chains to form a unique feature that enhances the natural play focus of the design. Using a simple palette of materials that align with the park’s rural context, the building’s exterior features cementitious siding, aluminum storefront, thin set stone veneer, and a standing seam metal roof. A “front porch” area links the facility with the park’s greenway system and overlooks the meadow, reinforcing connectivity with the outdoors. The porch and vertical fins also provide shading on the east side for optimal energy efficiency. In lieu of piping down to the existing pond, a new, onsite stormwater capture system was created.

0% 100% 70% 70% target pEUI Reduction


Henderson County, North Carolina

To better serve its more than 550 students, the new Edneyville Elementary School reflects established goals for a collaborative, 21st-century learning environment, outdoor instruction, and integration as a community center. The new school maintains a strong connection to its site and rural community, with all classrooms positioned with views to the west, capturing the surrounding pastoral farmland, lake, and mountains.

The school uses 36% less energy than the baseline, and its R-23 walls exceed the NC energy code by 53%. Using exposed wood as a primary material in the roof structure reduces the project’s embodied carbon and serves as a biophilic element for minimizing student stress. The facility receives generous natural light, with approximately 95% of spaces having direct exterior views. Clerestory windows in the atrium space let light deep into the

building, while translucent windows in the gymnasium largely minimize the need for artificial lighting during the day. By creating a sheltered connection between classroom and playscape, the building elevates its site from a picturesque backdrop to an immersive experience.

A central circulation corridor “spine” divides classroom space on the west side from administrative and support areas on the east. Working with the site’s existing topography to limit site disturbance, the south half of the building is two stories, with kindergarten and first grade on the ground floor and second and third grades on the main floor. This structure establishes a direct access to the exterior terraces for outdoor learning opportunities.

70% target pEUI Reduction 0% 100% 70%


NC State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

Fitts-Woolard Hall marks the culmination of the College of Engineering’s move to the oval on Centennial Campus. The facility joins Engineering Buildings I, II, and III on this unique campus that blends education, research, industry, government, and community spaces. Clark Nexsen partnered with NC State to develop a dynamic, sustainable facility centered on goals to promote interaction and collaboration between students, faculty, and individual engineering departments.

Driven by a commitment to “engineering on display,” the four-story facility features high degrees of transparency that create a light-filled, vibrant educational environment. Each teaching and research space supports initiatives critical to the global high-tech economy, including advanced manufacturing, bioengineering, ergonomics, robotics and sensor technology, transportation and logistics, and environmental. From a large scale driving simulator to testing labs for military

equipment, students have access to spaces where they can apply classroom knowledge and explore the results. High performance glazing reduces the building’s heating and cooling envelope loads while natural daylighting and LED light fixtures reduce demand for electricity. Temperature sensors, humidity sensors, VOC sensors, occupancy sensors, and carbon dioxide sensors are utilized in selected lab spaces as the basis for monitoring space usage, occupancy, and controlling the space heating, cooling, dehumidification, and ventilation air systems. Reinforcing overall pEUI reduction, the HVAC VAV terminal unit controls are integrated with space level lighting control utilizing a common space occupancy sensor. This feature controls both space lighting levels and indexing spaces from “Unoccupied Mode” to “Occupied Mode” through the building BAS system. FittsWoolard is tracking LEED Silver certification.

0% 100% 70% 42%
70% target pEUI Reduction 0% 100% LEED Silver


Flat Rock, North Carolina

As public school systems across the nation strive to improve retention, graduation rates, and student success long term, Henderson County’s Innovative High School represents a shared vision to provide greater opportunities to their students. This groundbreaking new facility is located on the Blue Ridge Community College campus and houses two innovative schools, Early College High School and the Career Academy.

Recognizing that the built environment plays an important role in the student experience, the facility’s design and finishes were selected to support academic success and well-being. More than 95% of interior spaces have views to the outdoors, and 90% of spaces receive abundant natural light – both of which have a positive impact on occupants.

With two programmatic bars that meet to form an “L” shape, the building is aligned on an east/west axis with good solar orientation. Throughout the building, energy efficiency is supported with exterior sun shading and different glazing types. For example, a two-story, south-facing glass curtainwall in the commons space was optimized toward prominent views. An external sun shade and ceramic fritted glazing minimizes solar heat gain and reduces glare into this space while allowing for balanced daylighting.

An on-site bio-retention pond handles 100% of the stormwater. In addition to sustainable design features of the building itself, its location on the community college campus reduces individual driving trips and vehicle emissions as students can readily access all needed courses by walking.

0% 100% 70% 51% 70% target pEUI Reduction


The Lower School at Carolina Day serves first through fifth graders in an inquirybased learning environment, focused on supporting student growth and providing problem solving opportunities. Our designers worked with school representatives to create a solution that responded to their needs, enhanced indooroutdoor connectivity, and positioned the school to meet changing trends in K-12 education.

The resulting renovation and addition has formed a facility that instructs by design and provides light-filled, engaging spaces for students, teachers, and staff. More than 80% of the project is adaptive reuse, with 100% of the existing structure and roof decking reused. Additionally, the use of wood as the primary building material for the addition reduces the project’s embodied carbon.

The building serves as a teacher, with windows into interior walls to reveal the MEP systems and a butterfly roof that directs rainwater into a bio-retention pond. Outside, the courtyard is more than a

Asheville, North Carolina 70%

place to gather, learn, and play; it handles 100% of stormwater (roof and site) via the retention pond and features native, educational landscaping as well as earthen berms for free play.

The school is surrounded by Asheville’s outdoor beauty and care was taken in the renovation design to reinforce this indooroutdoor connection. Generous natural light abounds, with 95% of occupied spaces having direct exterior views and receiving natural daylight. In particular, all classrooms have direct views to the outside while clerestory windows serve to balance daylighting. In the gymnasium, the conversion of existing ventilation panels to clerestory windows allows the gym to be used with no artificial lighting at most times. A new HVAC system improved both climate control and energy efficiency. The renovated school now uses 42% less energy than the baseline. Additionally, the R-23 walls exceed the North Carolina energy code by 53%. By integrating sustainable design elements along with K-12 design best practices, the school reflects its region’s commitment to protecting the environment while enabling children to learn and explore.

100% 70%
target pEUI Reduction


The Learning Commons & Classroom Building (Building F) serves as the heart of Wake Tech’s rapidly expanding Northern Wake campus. Geographically, the centrallylocated building links together the various parts of campus with pathways, bridges, and outdoor gathering spaces, while programmatically the high-tech facility provides much-needed spaces for study, student support, and social interaction.

The focal point of Building F is the new learning commons, replacing the library currently located in Building B. The variety of spaces created within the learning commons help each student maximize their learning experience by catering to their individual needs: from lively group discussions in a social atmosphere to quiet, focused individual study. The main reading room on the lowest level of the learning commons is considered the living room for the campus. Comfortable lounge seating with integrated technology, extensive views out to the natural landscape of the Neuse Rive buffer, and ample daylight provided by three “light cannons” in the roof above

all promote lively student interaction and collaboration.

At 89,000 square feet, this academic building houses classrooms and faculty offices in addition to the learning commons. The ‘L’ shaped plan configured enables the two wings to operate independently and provides controlled access and egress to the learning commons from a single location. A coffee shop with outdoor terrace seating provides another opportunity for study and interaction.

A separate, three story wing houses classrooms and academic offices, connected to the learning commons by a glass enclosed lobby/lounge space. The second and third levels of this wing are interconnected at the lobby/lounge space, creating a double-height entrance area. The facility is LEED Silver certified, reflecting Wake Tech’s commitment to sustainability. WTCC’s Northern Wake Campus is the first all-LEED multi-building community college campus in the nation.

39% reduction of potable water use 31% recycled content materials 39% regional materials 95% occupied spaces with views LEED Silver 0% 100% 70% 48% pEUI Reduction 70% target
Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, North Carolina


University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

As the primary freshmen housing complex at UVA, the McCormick Road Houses play a pivotal role in the student life experience. This substantial complex includes 10 individually branded “houses” accommodating nearly 1,400 students. Prior to their renovation, the buildings lacked many of the amenities found in newer residence halls on UVA’s campus. The university partnered with Clark Nexsen to create a reimagined housing environment that helps to attract great students and promotes an engaging freshman experience.

Throughout the houses, new interior finishes create a contemporary aesthetic. The introduction of a new HVAC system, fire protection, elevators, and upgraded electrical and telecom systems ensure a safe, comfortable, and functional environment. The design team also seized opportunities to go above and beyond a basic systems renovation and transform key social experiences for first year students.

Openness and transparency are driving themes in shared spaces. The commons spaces now feature floor-to-ceiling glass

storefront and modern furnishings, offering students variety of areas for socialization or study. The stairs have been reimagined to support students’ sense of community, with large landings and open sight lines from one side of each house to the other.

The transformation of “The Castle,” a dining and social space, represents a small but very significant component of this project. By opening the exterior walls and introducing a lantern-like addition on the corner, The Castle and its surrounding outdoor plaza have become a vibrant hub of activity.

Key sustainability features include the incorporation of total energy recovery wheels into the Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS) to recover energy from the tempered exhaust air and transfer it to the untempered incoming outdoor air. This, coupled with the addition of new insulation at the roof and new energy efficient windows, has help to significantly drive down the energy consumption of the project. In addition, by reusing 97% of the existing structure and envelope, UVA has ensured that these facilities will last for many decades to come.

44% reduction of potable water use 97% reuse of existing structure and envelope 94% occupied spaces with views LEED Gold 0% 100% 70% 46% pEUI Reduction 70% target


Raleigh, North Carolina

Located on a former landfill site and beside an elementary school, Abbotts Creek Recreation Center transforms an abandoned piece of land into a thriving community park for healthy living and learning. The center’s composition interlocks with the school and creates a series of indoor and outdoor gathering spaces that transform the forgotten site. The center’s upper volume slides past the base providing a welcoming public entry as it connects visitors to the school and landscape. A delicate screen encompasses the upper volume and creates a veil that illuminates the public spaces and defines the entrance to the new community campus.

When the landfill was set to close, local citizens formed a committee to determine the best use for the site. Through a thoughtful approach to land utilization and a collaborative effort between citizens and public employees, the Abbotts Creek Park design process focused on creating a healthy environment for living and learning. Now, situated in the middle of a

growing community with many residential neighborhoods and schools, Abbotts Creek Park provides an epicenter for the community to promote healthy living and learning in close proximity to citizens of all ages.

The community center provides a variety of facilities open to public use including a gymnasium, fitness center, numerous classroom and multipurpose spaces both inside and outside. To maximize the value of the facility for its long-term operation, the design incorporates cost effective passive solar design strategies in its orientation, daylighting strategies, operable windows, and sun shading devices. In addition, it uses high-performance building materials for glazing and rainscreen cladding systems, active solar systems for hot water heating, as well as recycled content and regional materials.

35% reduction of potable water use 20% regional materials 20% recycled content materials LEED Silver 0% 100% 70% 34% pEUI Reduction 70% target


The Health and Human Sciences Building was the first facility constructed for Western Carolina University’s Millennial Campus, establishing an approach to development that emphasizes sustainability in conjunction with cutting-edge research facilities. The 160,000 square foot building provides state-of-the-art learning environments for the five departments and nine disciplines within the health sciences college.

Nested into the mountainside, the design is a direct response to the site topography and solar orientation. Mapping slopes less than 30 percent defined buildable area limits, informed the project location, and delineated its northernmost extents. To optimize the solar orientation and minimize the impact of the building, the southern boundary was defined by a natural basin in the site. Stepping the design with topography, the facility rests between the defining elements, conforming to the site. This design strategy minimized the scale, promoted interior/exterior relationships, and was the genesis for a large roof garden. As an extension of the site, the roof garden

replicates the form of the basin to restore the natural environment. The garden is home to native medicinal plants indigenous to the Appalachian and Cherokee people and provides a tranquil setting rich in colors, textures, aromas, and sounds to promote renewal and inner well-being. Such siteinfluenced responses generated smaller floor plates, enhancing opportunities for natural daylighting and resulted in a contextually appropriate solution with a human scale.

Natural light is shared throughout the building, introduced through an expansive, south-facing atrium curtain wall and distributed to inner offices, corridors, and small gathering areas through interior glazing. Sunscreens provide thermal comfort by limiting direct solar exposure to 3 percent annually, while providing ambient natural daylighting sufficient for 75 percent of lighting needs each year. Teaching spaces, including specialized labs and simulation environments, are organized along the northern edge with diffused daylight and clerestory views to the ascending elevations and natural setting.

41% reduction of potable water use 39% recycled content materials 40% regional materials 90% stormwater treated on site LEED Gold 0% 100% 70% 38% pEUI Reduction 70% target
Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina


Wanchese, North Carolina

Located on the banks of Roanoke Island, the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) is surrounded by vast expanses of wetlands and sweeping views of the Croatan Sound. Its simple bent form aligns with an existing canal, capturing views of the water and sky. The building is elevated on piloti touching the ground lightly and interacts with the landscape through its site walls, natural lawns, and covered outdoor spaces.

The mission of CSI is to be a model of sustainability through its architecture, building systems, and the research it conducts. It provides a venue for interinstitutional collaboration and offers a new national resource for coastal education. The building was designed to minimize its impact on the land while anchoring itself to the place – an existing landscape of fragile wetlands and waterways. The building’s form is a simple bent bar elevated above the land, and derived from the site by orienting the long face of the bar to the south and bending it to align with and

capture a view down the canal. It hovers over a concrete plinth which raises the ground floor above the 100-year flood plain. The bent bar form acts as a medium for viewing and experiencing the expansive landscape through its use of indoor-outdoor spaces. Gathering spaces for collaboration reside at the ends of the bar where there are expansive views across the wetlands. The building systems and landscape design showcase innovative features in regard to water management, on-site waste treatment systems, stormwater treatment, rainwater collection, and renewable energy. All of the roof rainwater is captured and used for non-potable water uses and as a possible source of future drinking water. The building’s HVAC system is a unique geothermal heat pump system that utilizes an existing public raw well water line as the source of renewable energy. By not drilling wells, the system reduced construction costs by 50 percent and protected the local aquifers and wetlands.

45% reduction of potable water use 90% occupied spaces with daylight 95% occupied spaces with views 100% stormwater managed on site 100% wastewater managed on site LEED Gold 0% 100% 70% 38% pEUI Reduction 70% target


Sapphire, North Carolina

To create a visitor center that introduces patrons to the beauty of Gorges State Park and offers sustainability insights, the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation partnered with Clark Nexsen to design a new facility featuring museumquality exhibit and gallery spaces, a teaching auditorium, classroom for films and presentations, retail space, and administrative offices.

Gorges State Park is located on the Blue Ridge escarpment, rising 2,000 feet in four miles and forming the divide between the Tennessee Valley and Atlantic drainages. Warm, moist air from the south flows over the escarpment and dumps approximately 90 inches of rain annually on the park, making it one of the wettest places in North America. The park showcases numerous waterfalls, flora, fauna, and spectacular views, which are highlighted in the Visitor Center to encourage further exploration.

In keeping with the stunning natural landscape, the Visitor Center is LEED Gold certified and the building is used as a sustainability teaching tool for visitors. LEED information is identified for visitors throughout the Visitor Center and adjacent grounds.

The Visitor Center uses water very efficiently, and rainwater is collected from the building roofs in an underground storage tank to provide water suitable for flushing toilets and to supply the building waterfall feature. The Visitor Center harvests site energy including the use of free resources like daylighting, solar waterheating, and geothermal energy systems. Under the parking lot, 27 wells use the earth as a heat source in the winter and as a heat sink in the summer.

44% reduction of potable water use 97% occupied spaces with daylight 95% occupied spaces with views 100% stormwater managed on site 100% wastewater managed on site LEED Gold 0% 100% 70% 52% pEUI Reduction 70% target


In 2020, Clark Nexsen added embodied carbon emissions to the list of metrics to be measured and targeted for reduction as part of our ongoing dedication to striving for carbon neutrality. As part of our participation in the AIA 2030 Commitment, select projects undergo comparative embodied carbon calculation and analysis. Our firm goals adhere to the incremental reduction strategy structure issued by Architecture 2030, currently targeting 40% reduction in new buildings, infrastructure, and associated materials. Future plans include shifting to the recommended reduction targets of 45% by 2025, 65% by 2030, and ultimately seeking zero embodied carbon emissions by 2040. This ongoing commitment reflects the firm’s focus on integrating interdisciplinary embodied carbon in our project design solutions and was a key driver behind the 2022 efforts to build upon our ever-expanding knowledge of materials and tools for contributing to industry net carbon neutrality. These efforts included:

• Deepening and sharing our knowledge of embodied carbon analysis tools, including, but not limited to, Tally, EC3, Epic and Kaleidoscope.

• Establishing embodied carbon champions in offices throughout the firm, capable of support including high-level early project calculations, whole building LCAs, and EPD data search and comparison assistance.

• Facilitating and strengthening channels of communication between design disciplines, with interdisciplinary representation present among the firm’s AIA 2030, MEP 2040, and SE 2050 industry commitments.

• Continued the ongoing development of defining a company standards and best practices for specifying healthy low carbon architectural materials, structural components, and mechanical systems.

Our commitments to reducing embodied carbon reflect the importance of the issue. While operational carbon rises over time, embodied carbon impacts are immediate and much greater. Only 28% of the total carbon emissions from buildings in the next 10 years will be operational – but 72% will be embodied, and every step we take to select more sustainable, low carbon materials is meaningful.



In 2022, Clark Nexsen became a signatory to the MEP 2040 Challenge issued by the Carbon Leadership Forum. This challenge seeks to motivate mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) designers and manufacturers to pursue net zero carbon solutions. Commitment to the MEP 2040 challenge includes the following four actions:

• Establish and submit a company plan to support the Challenge.

• Request low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants for MEP products.

• Request Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for MEP products.

• Participate in quarterly forums to discuss best practices and emergent topics related to the challenge.

We established an MEP 2040 committee to guide our firm’s efforts to pursue the challenge and develop our 2023 Action Plan. The committee members include Nichole Kahoui, Prasad Pisupati, Keith Roth, Adam Torrey, and Brian Turner. Our plan is developed to supplement the ongoing AIA 2030 action plan, which includes firm-wide initiatives for net zero operational carbon designs and sustainable operations.

2023 Action Plan

• Continue to partner with our architects to pursue net zero operational carbon through the AIA 2030 Challenge.

• Collect data for refrigerants specified for all Clark Nexsen projects designed in 2023. This data will include refrigerant type, global warming potential, lifetime leakage total, and total installed cooling capacity.

• Develop appropriate specifications language to request environmental product declarations for MEP products.

• Provide internal education regarding the MEP 2040 commitment, how to calculate and report refrigerant information, and how to request product EPDs.

• Participate in all four MEP 2040 forums to stay active in the industry conversations around net zero carbon.

• Coordinate with leaders of the firm’s AIA 2030 and SE 2050 Commitments to identify opportunities for collaboration in pursuit of net zero carbon design.



Our Embodied Carbon Reduction Champion is Bethany Whitehurst, PE, SE, Senior Structural Engineer in our Charlotte, NC office. With over 20 years of experience practicing structural engineering, Bethany has been a licensed Professional Engineer since 2009. Responsible for facilitating regular meetings of the SE 2050 team and interfacing with our sustainable design professionals, the champion coordinates the annual submission of embodied carbon data to SE 2050.

The group of structural engineers who developed this action plan will lead efforts to educate our colleagues, clients, and partners on reducing embodied carbon. In addition to firmwide presentations on the SE 2050 Challenge and embodied carbon, we will continue to notify our staff of helpful webinars, published articles, and software tools. Our SE 2050 team promoted and attended webinars and educational events related to embodied carbon reduction.


We are developing digital resources and reference areas for our engineers. The work of the SE 2050 group, our LCA documents, and SE 2050 program details are all available across the firm. We are working to consolidate and streamline access and coordinate information with our Sustainable Design team, to provide a central location that is easily accessible throughout Clark Nexsen.

Knowledge sharing is recognized as an ongoing process that requires structural engineers to continually update their abilities and skills in sustainable software engineering practices. To support this effort, we aim to provide education and resources to Clark Nexsen structural engineers who are not part of the internal SE 2050 team. This includes offering information during our monthly department meetings on sustainability, sharing the latest trends and best practices in carbon reduction, and providing easily accessible resources that promote sustainability in structural engineering. By continuing to invest in knowledge sharing, we can build a community of experts who can work collaboratively to address the complex challenges associated with sustainability.

As part of our commitment to advancing sustainable engineering practices, we are planning to mentor another structural engineering firm and educate them on the SE 2050 Challenge. Our goal is to help them understand the importance of reducing embodied carbon in building structures and provide guidance on how to achieve this by the year 2050. By sharing our knowledge, we hope to inspire other firms to join us in this important mission and accelerate progress towards a more sustainable future. Through this mentoring and education, we aim to build a stronger community of structural engineers who are equipped to tackle the challenges of sustainable engineering.


As an organization, we strive to keep our clients informed about the latest developments in sustainable engineering practices. For example, we provide information such as this Integrated Design Sustainability Report that explains the principles and benefits of SE 2050. These materials will help our clients understand how they can adopt sustainable engineering practices and contribute to a greener future.


Over the last few years, Clark Nexsen has measured the embodied carbon for building materials, including structural materials, on a select number of design projects. As we move forward to meet the SE 2050 Challenge, we will engage more employees and provide more in-house training. We conducted embodied carbon calculations on a few projects each year that we have been part of the SE 2050 Challenge.

Clark Nexsen is experienced with measuring embodied carbon through software such as Tally and EC3. We plan to use Revit’s Tally plug-in to quantify materials and then upload this information into EC3. We will use EC3, in addition to available Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), to perform LCAs.

At present, we are performing the LCA buildings from initial raw material extraction to the end of life and final recycling of building components. As we gain knowledge, we will review different methods for measuring embodied carbon based on the type of design project. Clark Nexsen also plans to perform LCAs at each design submittal.

Clark Nexsen has developed a Project Information Database (PID) internally to track and compare the embodied carbon data on our projects. In addition to updating the PID annually for all our projects, we plan to use the same data to report to SE 2050 annually.


As a multi-discipline firm, we decided to compare some carbon results between disciplines, fulfilling one of our goals for the year.

First, on a two-story elementary school project, the total embodied carbon for the structure alone, modules A1-C4, was determined to be 1,856,963 kgCO2eq. This included the foundation and structural concrete and reinforcement, the CMU, grout, mortar, and reinforcement, the steel deck with painted/galvanized finish, the structural steel, including painted/galvanized finishes, the steel bar joists, a general assumption for steel connections, and glulams with finish. We asked architecture to determine the embodied carbon for the architectural elements so we can see a bigger picture of the embodied carbon. In their calculation, they included the roofing, as well as the lightweight insulating concrete, the interior stairs they had modeled in Revit, including the stair pan fill, the exterior non-bearing stud walls, insulation, sheathing, exterior doors, and windows.

They calculated the embodied carbon for the architectural elements alone, modules A1-C4 to be 1,436,841 kgCO2eq. If this number had included the interior finishes (partition walls, flooring, ceiling, etc.) we expect that the architectural carbon would be very close to the structural carbon, which is in line with our prediction that 50% of the embodied carbon in the building would be from the structural materials alone.

Our second comparison is on a two-story museum/research facility. The structural engineer calculated the embodied carbon for the structure alone, modules A1-C4, at the end of Construction Documents to be 1,298,359 kgCO2eq using Tally software. This included the foundation and structural concrete and reinforcement, the CMU, grout, mortar, and reinforcement, the steel deck, the structural steel, and the cold-formed steel trusses. One of our architects tallied the carbon on the structural materials alone for this project earlier in the Design Development phase on their own. The architect's results were close in estimating 983,042 kgCO2eq, modules A1C4, using Tally software, and a 1,200,000 kgCO2eq baseline from EC3.

Our third comparison is also on the same two-story museum/research facility. The mechanical engineer had performed an energy model as part of this project and estimated the annual operational carbon to be 313,040 kgCO2eq. This would mean that it takes approximately four years for the operational carbon to match the carbon of the structural materials (using the structural engineer's calculation) on this building. This observation is also inline with the architect's estimate using separate software for operational carbon. Our findings are that GWP values seem to fall within a similar range using multiple tools across disciplines.



This past year, Clark Nexsen remained committed to advancing education on embodied carbon while also expanding its internal PID to track this critical metric. Overall, Clark Nexsen's commitment to sustainability is ongoing with our efforts to continue to learn how to reduce embodied carbon.

Importance of Renovation - The company has successfully completed several renovation projects. Most recently, Clark Nexsen worked on a multi-building complex at a municipal center and a repurpose of a university library, extending the initial carbon burden of the original structures over many more years. This also avoids the embodied carbon associated with new builds.

Specification Improvements - Over the past year, we have made progress in improving and updating our steel and concrete specifications for sustainability by reviewing recommendations from multiple sources. Clark Nexsen keeps detailed notes to inform the specifier how to tailor sustainability language for each project.

Biogenic Materials - Clark Nexsen is including biogenic materials where feasible on projects. For example, glulam has recently been used on some of our school projects and a car wash facility.


As a signatory firm of the AIA 2030, MEP 2040, and SE 2050 Commitments, this year we put together a joint Integrated Design Sustainability Report for our clients that describes our Embodied Carbon Action Plan across disciplines. As an interdisciplinary firm, we have a unique, broad perspective of the total carbon challenge, understanding both operational and embodied carbon sources.

From a structural standpoint, we want building owners to understand the value of the SE 2050 program. Owners can advertise that lowering embodied carbon is part of their institution’s initiative and refer to the SE 2050 website in their marketing materials for a comprehensive explanation of embodied carbon in structures. To promote the significance of lowering embodied carbon, owners can also require that structural engineering firms designing their projects be SE 2050 signatories. Their building’s carbon calculation can also contribute to the SE 2050 Database, helping define the national baseline for structural carbon and work toward the goal of zero carbon in structures by the year 2050.

We declare our firm as a member of the SE 2050 Commitment on our sustainability web page and provide an overview of carbon calculating and energy modeling to educate the public about sustainability in building design here:

To summarize our sustainable designs from the previous year and plans for the coming year, Clark Nexsen annually publicizes the Integrated Design Sustainability Report here:


The structural engineers of Clark Nexsen have begun reaching out to other structural engineering firms new to embodied carbon. We are starting with structural engineering firms that work with our in-house architects that are located in states that do not currently have a Sustainable Design Committee with their Structural Engineers Association nor a Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) hub in their area where mentoring may be sought. As our architects are working toward AIA 2030 goals, we want to encourage outside firms associated with our projects to be familiar with embodied carbon reduction and help our firm meet sustainability goals on every project. We are asking these firms to participate in a monthly meeting with our internal SE 2050 team to work toward their firm joining the SE 2050 Commitment.

Our SE 2050 Embodied Carbon Champion, Bethany Whitehurst, has been chairing the Sustainable Design Committee of the Structural Engineers Association of North Carolina (SEA of NC) for the last two years. She has and will continue to share our progress with other structural engineering firms on the Committee during monthly meetings, researching embodied carbon topics with other members, and reaching out to local material suppliers to understand the possibilities of sustainable design in the area.

Bethany organized and moderated a Concrete Sustainability Panel at the 2022 SEA of NC State Conference. She was joined by three local professionals in the concrete industry (a producer, an installer, and an ACI Committee member), where they provided valuable perspectives, insights, and answers to questions on reducing project embodied carbon.

Efforts like these should facilitate reducing embodied carbon in our region. More information about the SEA of NC Sustainable Design Committee is here:


We recommend that firms start or join the Sustainable Design Committee with their state's Structural Engineers Association. Progress can be made in your state when firms are working together. Find which SE 2050 Signatories have offices with structural engineering in your state that have somebody interested in joining your committee. Once a committee is formed, you can all start to build your knowledge. Collaborate with your local material, code, or deconstruction experts. Find what unique strengths your state possesses on the sustainability front. Which suppliers have product specific EPDs available for local projects? Are there any city or state policies addressing carbon? How can a circular economy be created with the resources in your area?



The development of standards and guidelines are necessary to ensure that sustainable practices are adopted across Clark Nexsen.

For more accurate and higher quality Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) results using the Building Information Modeling (BIM), it is crucial to have detailed modeled elements and input data. This includes updating material assignments, properties, and strength for every element involved in the LCA process.

By requesting Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and carbon data in product submittals, we can encourage greater awareness and participation amongst product manufacturers. This, in turn, can provide us with more detailed and region-specific information that will improve the accuracy of our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) reporting. By using recent and locally relevant data, we can ensure that our sustainability analyses are grounded in the most up-to-date and meaningful information available.

To advance sustainable building design and construction, it is essential that all stakeholders across the building sector, including architects, engineers, contractors, building owners, and policymakers, collaborate with one another. By pooling their knowledge and resources, these stakeholders can identify and implement new and innovative approaches to reduce the environmental impact of building construction and operation.


Elevating Embodied Carbon

2022 Goals Achieved

• Committed to MEP 2040 Challenge initiated by the Carbon Leadership Forum

• Increased collaboration between the Clark Nexsen architecture and structural departments and completed an interdisciplinary Whole Building LCA.

• Performed embodied carbon LCA on four (4) projects as part of our continued commitment to SE 2050.

• Continued embodied carbon education opportunities via training (internal and external), along with broader engagement through attending and speaking at national conferences including at the I2SL International Conference, and moderating the Concrete Sustainability Panel at the 2022 SEA NC State Conference.

• Leveraged PID to track, visually analyze, and identify baseline data for embodied carbon reduction to track measurable progress and help identify projects that are ideal for LCA and GWP calculation

2023 Goals

• Further integrate AIA 2030, MEP 2040, and SE 2050 embodied carbon challenge efforts through quarterly meetings with the structural, mechanical and architecture groups.

• Use Tally plug-in to integrate default embodied carbon information into standardized Clark Nexsen Revit discipline project templates.

• Have two training sessions for LCA analysis of Tally and EC3 for interested designers in the spring and fall.

• Start a working group led by architects and interior designers to research material sustainable attributes. The group will develop Clark Nexsen Red list of materials that is a living document to be used as a company resource.

Elevating EUI and Project Performance

2022 Goals Achieved

• Created new full-time Building Science Practice Leader and Sustainability Leader positions within newly formed, firm-wide Sustainability Department.



• Worked on developing a Building Science business model that integrates within the firm projects and can be effectively used as a standard design service with a unique billing code.

• Started to strategically identify new projects in which early analysis can be used in parallel with goal setting to achieve high performance outcomes. Partnered with sustainability coordinators in each office to select these projects and connect with project team members.

• For AIA 2030, utilized Power BI reporting and the PID to review quarterly progress on logging performance goals and inputting AIA 2030 Challenge data. Input this data in real time as projects developed, so that annual reporting efforts were stream-lined.

2023 Goals

• Continue to utilize Power BI and the PID to review quarterly progress on logging performance goals and inputting AIA 2030 Challenge data. The goal is to input this data in real time as projects develop, so that annual reporting efforts are streamlined and better performance outcomes are achieved.

• In an effort to find new ways to track actual EUI, Clark Nexsen will start a dialogue with Duke Energy, the AIA, and the USGBC to look at ways to get access to actual EUI information in a more efficient manner from energy companies.

Improving Knowledge

2022 Goals Achieved

• Developed in-house “YouCube” videos on the latest sustainable design tools and resources and shared on the company intranet.

• Analyzed survey results to identify weak spots of knowledge to prepare for 2023 efforts on improving knowledge across firm in 2022.

• Developed a new draft for the sustainability library homepage.

• Continued to incentivize employees in getting certified in green building certifications (GBC, LEED, GG, WELL) to maximize firmwide green building knowledge.

• Updated the Orientation/Onboarding to include Sustainability orientation for all new staff.



2023 Goals

• Finish Sustainability library reorganization on company Intranet to streamline and focus on new efforts with Sustainability department by Q1 2023.

• Have quarterly posts sharing Building Science/Embodied Carbon presentations that remind teams of CN building science/in house sustainability team and sustainability resources.

• Create Building Science/Sustainability content as needed, to educate client groups based on market sectors on keys to a successful project approach to lower operational and embodied carbon.

• Continue to develop in-house recordings of Building Science / Sustainable Design presentations by simply recording each of the presentations and posting on the Cube.

Project Delivery

2022 Goals Achieved

• Continued to update the Project Road Map with in-house subject matter experts focusing on improving the embodied carbon process and resilient design process.

• With increasing demands for low embodied carbon and resilient design, reexamined what is considered core Clark Nexsen design efforts included in all projects.

2023 Goals

• CN will start to consult with the Sustainability Department to include sustainable design service scopes & fees within project fee proposals.

• Allocate budgets for sustainability in project accounting software and track performance.

• Our full time Building Science Practice and Sustainability Leaders will try to connect with every new team/project team at inception of project.

ᇶ Talk about sustainability goals and schedule charette.

ᇶ Discuss lowering embodied carbon and operational carbon strategies



Sustainable Operations

2022 Goals Achieved

• In terms of leadership, streamlined sustainable operations across offices, integrated sustainability into HR policies of onboarding practices and annual reviews, and improved sustainable operations communication on website and intranet.

• In terms of health and wellness, improved wellness opportunities for employees by providing healthier snacks and beverages in offices throughout week and at company lunches.

• In terms of energy and water, looked for opportunities, such as having a hybrid work schedule, to reduce energy use across offices.

• In terms of materials and waste management, continued to improve recycling and composting practices across offices and increased the awareness of recycling issues.

• In terms of innovation, the new company office in Raleigh was designed to receive a WELL certification and is on track to receive WELL certification.

2023 Goals

• Communication of In-house sustainability initiatives through monthly Cube posts with corresponding actionable items.

ᇶ January: Wellness Post and Walking Paths per Office, February: Red List/Green List sharing, March: Earth Day Initiatives, April: Earth Day Week, May: Battery Use, June: Composting, July: Mechanical Group Challenge, August: Electric Vehicle, September: IAQ Monitoring, October: Mobility Survey, November: Mobility Survey Data, December: WELL reporting

• Communication of In-house sustainability initiatives through office graphics/ references.

• Complete documentation for WELL certification for the Raleigh office upfit by December.

• Conduct survey of entire firm to analyze our carbon footprint to assist in corporate carbon accounting - targeting October for survey and November for data analysis.

• Research infrastructure of each office and electric vehicle options for our corporate 2024 leases by June/July of 2023.



Sustainability Firm Awards

Top 10 ENR Southeast Top Green Firm

Top 10 ENR MidAtlantic Top Green Design Firm

Top 50 ENR National Top Green Design Firm

Top 50 BD+C Top Green Building Architecture Firm

Design Awards

117 AIA Awards including 3 local and state AIA NC COTE Awards

2021 AIA Hampton Roads COTE Award

2021 Green Globes Project of the Year Runner-Up

2020 USGBC Virginia Leadership Innovation Design Award

2020 AIA North Carolina COTE Award

2015 Rethinking the Future International Sustainability Award

2016 AIA North Carolina COTE Award

106 Total LEED certified projects

5 Platinum

26 Gold

52 Silver

23 Certified


Founded in 1920, Clark Nexsen is a fully integrated architecture and engineering firm providing innovative design solutions to U.S. and global clients. With 10 offices, we serve more than a dozen markets including higher education and K-12, commercial, industrial, infrastructure, and transportation. Leveraging the strength of multiple disciplines, we collaborate across intersecting areas of expertise to gain new perspectives, inspire innovation, and deliver high-performing, sustainable projects.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.