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Reed Hilderbrand and The Clark 110 Inside the Seaholm EcoDistrict 140 Landscape Architect to Watch 142 G r e e n B u i l d i n g & D e s i gN SE P T E M B ER + O C T O B ER 2 0 1 3

Guest edited by Lucia Athens

Seattle’s Kevin Daniels Drives Development 42 Report: Five Trends in Green Roofs 68

rs, Th e p l a n n e n d s, a b i l l i o n a i re i n g ak DIYers rem ity C the Motor 80

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In This Issue

COVER STORY Landscape architecture’s role in greening the Motor City, p. 80 ▼

lIVING ROOFS ▲ Five reasons green roofs aren’t going anywhere—and may save our cities, p. 68

URBAN RENAISSaNCES Sustainability is manifested in ADOBE SYSTEMs’ new Utah campus, p. 94 ▼

ARCHITECTURAL MARVELS MASTERMINDS Kevin Daniels creates the West Coast’s largest transit-


oriented development, p. 42 ▼

▲ The Clark INSTITUTE photos: Samantha Simmons (Detroit)

takes an integrated approach to its site, p. 110


september–october 2013



Table of Contents Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List p11










september–october 2013


12 14 16 18


Guest Editor Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainability Officer, Austin, TX editor’s picks The Cities Edition Defined Design Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Studio Gang Architects Notebook Questioning compact cities

Burlington Performing Arts Centre

68 five trends in living Architecture The green roof industry is maturing. With that come new innovations and parameters for success. 78 Discussion board How do we scale up green lessons learned to apply to cities? 80 grown in Detroit How landscape architecture and DIY investment are renewing the Motor City

22 23 24


Paulett Taggart Architects Wonderland Hill Development Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

Health care

27 28

Monroe Clinic Sharp Healthcare


30 Santa Cruz City Schools 31 Manatee County 34 42 49 51

Midwest Rising Kevin Daniels Cassidy Turley St. John’s Mercy Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital


54 56 57 59

CityCenter The D Las Vegas Golden Gate Casino Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino

94 103 105 106 110 114


124 128

Net Zero Exploratorium Gut Rehab Wythe Hotel

at Pier 15

136 Toolbox Landscapes Edition 138 Material World Polyiso Panels 139 Reclaimed Rebar Renewed 140 On the Boards Seaholm EcoDistrict 142 Landscape Architect to Watch Nina Chase 146 On the Spot Lucia Athens

Plus 9 Editor’s note 10 Index 145 ad Index

Adobe Utah Campus 51 Astor Place Bullitt Center One Channel Center Learn

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute University of the District of Columbia Student Center


116 Adamsville Regional Health and Community Center 118 Dell Children’s Medical Center live


120 Metro Verde Development 121 Manhattan Micro-Loft

september–october 2013



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Retractions: May/June 2013 1. In our article on Kohler Co. (p. 38), David Kohler’s name appeared incorrectly. 2. In our article on Media Studios North (p.70), Leo Divinsky’s name and title appeared incorrectly. 3. In our article on the DC Consolidated Forensic Laboratory, the Metro Police department’s name appeared incorrectly. gb&d regrets these errors.


september–october 2013


Editor’s Note Signs of Life

photos: samantha simmons

Looking at the numbers, it’s not surprising that more than 16 million square feet of green roofs were planted in 2011. Just one inch of rainfall on an acre of a nonpermeable surface sends 27,000 gallons of water into a city’s stormwater system---an enormous burden. There’s a better way to deal with that water. Green infrastructure like bioswales, vegetated roofs, and urban wetlands can naturally filter and absorb this runoff for similar or even less cost. In our feature on p. 68, written with the help of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), Russ Klettke reports that Philadelphia will receive $2 billion from the EPA over 25 years to experiment with these green systems. When we break down the costs, accounting for the myriad benefits of planted systems---cleaner air, reduced urban heat island effect, aesthetics---building traditional “gray” infrastructure like underground concrete pipes is actually more expensive than these newer alternatives. When I began thinking of places that would most benefit from a significant investment in green infrastructure, Detroit was number one. The city was recently put under emergency financial management by the State of Michigan, and the potential cost savings to the city---and therefore taxpayers---make planted systems all the more important to consider. I first visited the Motor City in 2011 with my wife, who was attending a training hosted by NeighborWorks, the national housing advocacy group. The city seemed as close to death as the news reports had suggested. High-rise office buildings in prime downtown locations were empty. Entire city blocks were abandoned. Yet even then there were signs of life. The sense of community in the few cafés still open was the strongest I’ve experienced. When I returned to Detroit this year, those small signs of life had blossomed, and I’m thrilled to publish a cover story on the city’s very real renaissance. Now, merciless news media have made Detroit a carciacture of itself, and it would be easy to dismiss figures such as “875 farms gb&d

and community gardens,” as one report claimed, as hyperbole. But go to Detroit, and you will stumble onto someone involved in such efforts. My “someone” was Joey Landis, the young man on our cover who, quite serendipitously, biked past me pulling tubs of soil and a shovel. I followed him to a nearby house, where he was building a long garden plot. We shot just a handful of photos, yet the scene summed up everything Detroit was becoming. (Landis, it turns out, also is the founder of Detroit Greencycle, a bicyclepowered recycling pick-up service.) Working with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and Detroit-area native Jeff Link, our feature on p. 80 shows how DIY folks like Landis, billionaires like Dan Gilbert, and landscape architects like Kenneth Weikal are remaking the Motor City. With a new population migrating to the city, landscape architecture is helping create new public space, pedestrian access between communities, alternative transit routes, and, indeed, greener infrastructure. I need to thank Steven Peck from GRHC, Ann Looper Pryor from the ASLA, and especially Lucia Athens, from the City of Austin, all of whom contributed time and expertise to make this our strongest issue to date. I hope you agree. Cheers,

Timothy A. Schuler Managing Editor ON THE COVER Joey Landis is just another Detroit resident. We photographed him in front of a friend’s home, where he was unloading tubs of fresh topsoil. The image summed up the potential that Detroit retains—potential being unlocked in part by landscape architects. Read the story, p. 80.

september–october 2013



Index People & Companies

# 51 Astor Place, 103 A Adamsville Regional Health and Community Center, 116 Adjmi, Morris, 128 Adobe Systems, 96 Albert Kahn Associates, 82 American Hydrotech, 73 American Society of Landscape Architects, 90 Anderson, Kent, 84 Ando, Tadao, 111 Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, 16 Athens, Lucia, 12 B Barclays Center Plaza, 75 Berges, Gaelle, 71 Blair, Darryl, 31 Blue Cross Blue Shield, 82 Borowski, Steve, 27 Bosch, 24 Boston Design Center, 75 Breglia, Thomas, 52 Brooklyn Grange, 75 BRP by Bison, 139 Bullitt Center, 105 Burke-Vigeland, Madeline, 111 Burlington Performing Arts Centre, 63 C Cabrera, Javier, 120 Caesars Entertainment, 59 Cannon Design, 114 Cassidy Turley, 49 Chase, Nina, 142 Chien, Kenneth, 52 Chrysler, 84 City of Austin, 13 CityCenter, 55 College for Creative Studies in Detroit, 84 Collins, Josh, 39 Community Design Center, 37 Compuware, 82 Conservation Design Forum, 70 Cooper, Robertson & Partners, 111 Croton Water Treatment Plant, 72 Cusick, Nick, 139 Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, 24 CV Properties, 106 D Daniels Real Estate, 43 Daniels, Kevin, 43 Dell Children’s Medical Center, 118 Detroit Creative Corridor Center, 84 Detroit Future City, 84 Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, 86 Detroit Venture Partners, 84 DeVry University Chicago, 70 Dominguez, Emmanuel, 120 Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corporation, 37 Drury University, 35 E Ecowalls, 137 Edward J. Minskoff Equities, 103 EHDD Architecture, 125 El Mac, 99 Enquist, Phil, 142 Enriquez, Roselie, 22 Exploratorium, 125 Eze Castle Integration, 104


september–october 2013

F Facebook, 72 Farnen, John, 52 Fitzgerald Casino, 56 Flying Squirrel, 36 Ford Motor Company, 82 Frampton, Graham, 63 Francom, Jonathan, 100 G Galullo, David, 99 Galvin, Richard, 107 Gap Inc., 72 Gehry, Frank, 72 General Motors, 84 Gersh, Tyson, 90 Giant, Mike, 99 Gibbs Planning Group, 84 Gilbert, Dan, 84 Golden Gate Casino, 57 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, 69 Green Schools Committee, 30 Greensburg GreenTown, 35 GreenTown Joplin, 35 Griswold, Nate, 74 Grummer, Scott, 37 H Hagenbuch, Beth, 86 Hamilton Anderson Associates, 84 Hart, Catherine, 35 Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo, 51 Hennessey, Courtney, 75 Higher Ground Farm, 76 Hilderbrand, Gary, 112 Huber, Jeff, 37 Hunter Panels, 138 Hunters View, 22 Hydropack, 71 I In.gredients, 14 Innovation Institute, 84 InnovTech, 127 Iron Roots Urban Farm, 35 J Johns, Phillip, 113 Johnson Portable Buildings, 52 Johnson, Magic, 84 K Kahn, Albert, 82 Kenneth Weikal Landscape Architecture, 86 Kephart, Paul, 73 L Lafayette Greens, 86 Lake Flato Architects, 140 Le Prieuré, 71 Leach, Jim, 24 Living Architecture Performance Tool, 70 Looper, Ann, 90 Lots of Green, 35 M M@dison, 84 Maki, Fumihiko, 103 Manatee County, 31 Manhattan Micro-Loft, 121 Marshall Moya Design, 114 McCarthy Building Companies, 51 McLeskey, Darin, 86 McPherson Building, 50 Merritt, Chris, 142 Metro Verde Development, 120 MetroLINK, 38 Meza, Alvaro, 30 Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, 86 Miller Hull Partnership, 105

Milman, Brian, 99 Minskoff, Edward J., 103 Mithun Solomon, 22 Modern Farmer, 137 Monarch Eco-Home, 35 Monroe Clinic, 27 Monterey Bay Shores, 72 Morris Adjmi Architects, 128 Multistack, 127 National Trust for Historic Preservation, 43 Nell, Melissa, 32 Nemeth, Pat, 28 NetSolar, 120 Neuman, Michael, 18 New York Presbyterian Hospital, 52 Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, 125 Nitze-Stagen & Co., 43 Nutter, Michael, 69 Okland Construction, 99 Olla, Joe, 126 One Channel Center, 106 Osmo Hardwax Oil, 14 Otis Gen2 Elevator, 57 Parkinson/Forrester Joint Venture, 114 Patterson, Jeffery K., 24 Paulett Taggart Architects, 22 Pedego Electric Bikes, 14 Pelli Clark Pelli Architects, 73 Philadelphia Parks Program, 69 Planterworx, 137 Port of San Francisco, 125 Power Engineering Construction Company, 127 Project for Public Spaces, 84 Q Quicken Loans, 84 R Ramsey County Rail Authority, 39 Rana Creek, 72 Rapt Studio, 96 Reed Hilderbrand, 111 Resource Solutions Group, 30 Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, 59 Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, 38 Rock Island Transfer Station, 38 Rock Street Pocket Housing, 37 Rock Ventures, 84 Rogers, Brenda, 31 S Samarasekera, Nilantha, 25 Santa Cruz City Schools, 30 Sasaki Associates, 142 Seaholm EcoDistrict, 140 Selldorf, Annabelle, 111 Sessoms, Allen, 115 Seton Healthcare Family, 118 Sharp HealthCare, 28 Sharp Rees-Stealy Downtown Medical Center, 28 Sherry Lane Place, 50 Shinola, 82 Shook Kelley, 84 Siegel, Ruth, 142 Siemens, 58 Snarski, Nicole, 49 SolarCity, 31 SOM, 142 Soquel High School, 31 N O P


Spaulding, Peter, 24 Specht Harpman, 121 St. John’s Mercy Regional Medical Center, 51 Stadium Place, 43 Stahl, Grant, 138 Stanley Beaman & Sears, 116 Stapf, Mike, 51 Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 110 Stevens, Derek, 56 Stevens, Greg, 56 Stoddard, John, 75 Stone Hill Center, 112 Strange, Doug, 118 Studio Gang Architects, 16 SunPower, 127 Sustainable Cleveland 2019, 24 Taggart, Paulett, 22 TechTown, 84 Terremark Partners, 84 The Better Block, 14 The Crash Pad, 36 The D Las Vegas, 56 The Pyramids, 50 The Rise of Living Architecture, 136 Thompson, Erik, 115 Trammell Crow Company, 140 Transbay Transit Center, 72 Transit Maintenance Facility, 38 Twitter, 82 Union Depot, 39 University of New South Wales, 18 University of the District of Columbia, 114 Uponor, 127 UrbanFarmers, 136 Van Hyfte, Michele, 118 VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, 71 Vegetal i.D., 71 Vertipack, 71 Visitor, Exhibition, and Conference Center, 112 W Walden Structures, 52 Wallace Roberts and Todd, 99 Washington Village, 23 WEBward, 84 Wonderland Hill Development, 23 WRNS Studio, 96 Wythe Hotel, 128 Y Yanez, Dennis, 73 Yarger, Tom, 31 Yocca, David, 70 Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, 35 Z ZGF Architects, 45


Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List 12

Guest Editor


editor’s picks


Defined Design




Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainability Officer, Austin, Texas The Cities Edition

Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Studio Gang Architects Revisiting “The Compact City Fallacy”

september–october 2013


Lucia Athens, author of Building an Emerald City and a veteran of green building policy, left Seattle for her home state of Texas in 2010 to assume the newly created role of Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Austin.


Guest Editor Lucia Athens When it comes to the environment, few cities have the street cred of Austin, Texas. Perhaps most famous for its 2006 Residential Design and Compatibility Standards, also known as the McMansion Ordinance, which limited the gross square footage of future houses relative to lot sizes, in 2010, Austin decided to up its green game and created a new position: Chief Sustainability Officer. Lucia Athens, a landscape architect turned public servant who began her career in Austin before taking the helm of Seattle’s green-building program, seemed destined for the role. Elegant, witty, and Texan through-and-through, Athens is charged with asking the big questions while implementing innovative, results-driven programs such as Austin’s Green Alley Demonstration Project. We brought Athens into the editorial fold because of that passion and pragmatism. Don’t miss her contributions to gb&d (below) and learn more at department/sustainability. —Timothy A. Schuler, Managing Editor

DIALOGUE With guest editor Lucia Athens

gb&d: What are some of Austin’s recent green projects? Athens: One project our office is working on is the Seaholm Redevelopment, which is right on the edge of downtown. It has a historic power plant—an Art Deco power plant—which is kind of in the center of the neighborhood. It’s going to have our new downtown library, which Lake Flato Architects is doing. It’s really cool. (See the project on p. 140)

photo: caleb fox

gb&d: I’ve been following it. What all is happening on a district scale?

ABOVE In addition to choosing our Editor’s Picks, posing our Discussion Board question, and being subjected to our recurring questionnaire, Athens provided valuable insight on this issue’s three largest features and talked with us about her work in Austin (right).

 . Seattle new and old, p. 42 1 2. Green roof trends, p. 68 3. Motor City comeback, p. 80 4. Scaling up lessons learned, p. 78 5. The gb&d questionnaire, p. 146

Athens: We brought this EcoDistrict framework from the Portland Sustainability Institute to look more broadly across the neighborhood at what it means to scale up sustainability by looking at buildings, infrastructure, and also people. And partly what we realized is that there was no larger vision for the neighborhood and nothing that was connecting things together from a branding and marketing standpoint—to explain to people what all these cool individual things add up to—and then for also continuing to engage with people living in the neighborhood. One of the projects at the power plant is a huge rainwater-collection system where they’re using old vaults that were underneath the power plant and converting them to cisterns. And hopefully, if it continues to rain—and it’s raining today—they’re going to be capturing more water than they need on-site, so they’re going to be providing irrigation for adjacent park property. So cutting across these site boundaries is part of it. The conversation continues on p. 17


september–october 2013



Editor’s Picks The Cities Edition

Text by Lucia Athens

▲ in.gredients This zero-waste, zero-packaging grocery store in Austin opened in August 2012, putting the emphasis on reducing the amount of waste created, reusing containers we already have and avoiding recycling altogether.

▲ Healing Concrete This is concrete that purifies the air. We often think of materials like paving and concrete as inert and lifeless, but new concrete mixes use fairly simple chemical reactions to actually remove pollutants from the air. (The Jubilee Church in Rome by Richard Meier and Partners uses TX Active selfcleaning photocatalytic cement.)

▲ Osmo Hardwax Oil

Electric bikes, such as the Pedego city commuter step-through electric bike, are huge in China and the Netherlands and are catching on here in the United States. Fun, stylish, hip, and easy to use. It’s still a greener commute without the sweat.

▼ The Better Block This multicity, DIY urban beautification project is organized by residents. It consists of instant activation with art, trees, street vendors, crosswalks, and bike-lane stenciling. A good example is what’s happening in the Historic Oak Cliff Community in Dallas (pictured).

This low-VOC, natural, plant-based floor finish is breathable and good for a lifetime since it can be touched up and reapplied without sanding. With this finish, you can actually feel the wood grain under your bare feet.


september–october 2013

photos: Scott Frances (jubilee church); Pedego Electric Bikes; Team Better Block

▲ Electric Bikes

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Defined Design Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Details Location Kalamazoo, MI Size 10,000 ft2 Completed 2013 (expected) Certification LEED Gold (expected) Architect Studio Gang Architects Owner Kalamazoo College

stimulate (verb) stĭm’yə-lāt To encourage development of or increased activity in a state or process. The Arcus Center is designed to stimulate community conversation. All three wings slope back toward a central hearth at the building’s core. Surrounded by benches and woodsy details, the fireplace—the archetypal spot for exploring ideas—connects the building’s mission with its design.

Text by Lindsey Howald Patton

traditional (adj) trə-‘di-shə-nəl Produced, done, or used in accordance with long-established customs or beliefs. Studio Gang chose not to use traditional architectural styles from the nearby Dutch colonial homes; however, the exterior nods to a different local architectural tradition where the façade is studded with rounded cuts of local white cedar laid in mortar, which is a highly insulated construction method called cordwood masonry.


september–october 2013


DIALOGUE With guest editor Lucia Athens Continued from p. 13 The one-story education building, a shapely triangular riff on the Prairie style made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright, responds to its unique urban context.

context (noun) ‘kän-,tekst The interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs. The Arcus Center is at the intersection of three contexts: Kalamazoo College, a residential neighborhood, and a wooded area. Responding to each, the building’s three sides curve away, moving energetically toward all three areas. Each wingtip features a glass façade, creating a point of connection with the surrounding community.

renderings: studio gang architects

When completed this year, the LEED Gold-targeting Arcus Center will be the first-ever purposebuilt structure for social justice leadership development.

gb&d: One thing our feature on green infrastructure (p. 68) shows is that municipalities around the country are beginning to realize that these more sustainable, vegetated strategies save water, clean the air, and beautify the streetscape all for the same or even less cost than some of our traditional methods of storm-water management. Where is Austin on this? Athens: We have a wonderful watershed-protection department, which is our storm-water utility, and they have a very comprehensive view of how to manage storm water to create a lot of different benefits including a more resilient city. For example, we’re looking right now at our development standards for stream buffers, realizing that in the past we’ve allowed development to come too close to natural streams and riparian areas. Over time, those waterways have eroded severely. Then we have to come back in and do more engineered solutions to stabilize the banks, and it erodes people’s property. If we maintain a very healthy stream buffer that has native plants that we don’t mow, if we provide a big enough setback that we can maintain the ecological health of that natural system, that’s a much more cost-effective way to go, as well as much more aesthetically pleasing. People would much rather have their properties facing a gorgeous natural area—in fact, I’m looking for a lot right now, and I want it to face a riparian area, because it brings privacy, it brings habitat, it just has all these benefits. gb&d: Does Austin have a lot of green roofs? Athens: We have some, but being in the South and having such severe, long droughts—which appear to be getting worse—we have to be very careful about the placement of green infrastructure, the type of application, the type of plants, because we don’t want to create an increased irrigation burden from those if we can’t justify it with other benefits. We have two possible projects that the University [of Texas] is trying to get going with living walls. We don’t have The conversation continues on p. 19

september–october 2013



Notebook Revisiting Neuman’s ‘Compact City Fallacy’ In 2005, sustainable urbanism professor Michael Neuman, PhD, stormed the citadels of established urban design theory by challenging the fundamental notion that compact cities are the sustainable form for future civic planners. In his essay, “The Compact City Fallacy,” he critiqued the popular notion that compact cities are more healthful, community-oriented, and more energy efficient because people can bike, walk, or take public transportation to go to shops or to work. Neuman brought forth a litany of scientific evidence that suggested this is not the case: “Preliminary evidence testing the compact city vis-à-vis sustainability suggests that the relation between compactness and sustainability can be negatively correlated, weakly related, or correlated in limited ways.” Essentially, he argues that the concept of “compact cities” isn’t inherently good or bad. It just misses the point. It’s been eight years since “The Compact City Fallacy” was published. I wanted to see if Neuman still ascribed to this point of view because as many


september–october 2013

of us are well aware that compact cities in various forms continue to be the de rigueur sustainable design solution for a host of projects across the globe. I caught up with Neuman via Google (which he points out in his lectures is a massive consumer of global energy) as he is now a professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. I thought his opinions might have mellowed over these years. Instead, they’ve become sharper. “Since 1960, while human population has doubled, the global economy has quadrupled, and resource consumption quintupled,” he says. “Thus, we are getting less efficient and less sustainable as we move to cities, not more, contrary to popular belief and professional dogma. This is the ultimate compact city fallacy.” Neuman’s data demonstrates that cities are becoming less sustainable as they grow. He says the rate at which people living in cities consume is the real problem, which won’t be solved by using more energy, money, or technology as these will only dig us into a deeper hole.

If there is a culprit that causes this inefficient use of resources, Neuman calls out designs where processes of human activity aren’t truly well integrated or understood. “The modern linear approaches in planning, architecture, and engineering since the industrial era all are based on closed systems,” he says. “And look where they have gotten us—to the point of needing 1.5 planet Earths to support our profligate lifestyles right now. What’s more troubling is the rates of consumption are increasing worldwide, and planetary population growth is still at the rate of about one billion more people every 13 years.” But what does he think of Norman Foster’s Masdar City? Does it support his ideas or refute them? “Any high-tech and high-density city in a desert is folly, no matter who designs it,” he says. “The overall costs, including embodied energy costs, if calculated comprehensively, will likely turn out to belie its supposed sustainability. It would be a valuable exercise to conduct a truly comprehensive and long-term life cycle analysis based on all

photos: TonyV3112, ValeStock /

By Alan Oakes


“Since 1960...the global economy has quadrupled and resource consumption quintupled. Thus, we are getting less efficient and less sustainable as we move to cities, not more.” Michael Neuman, University of New South Wales

the processes used to construct, maintain, operate, inhabit, and renew such a city. We have the algorithms to do so.” Instead, Neuman advocates biomimicry as a planning and design solution, where we use models of open, interconnected loops of processes as nature does. In nature, the outputs of one process become the inputs of another process, and all the processes are connected. “Reconnecting nature and culture in and though our cities in simple yet smart ways are the way,” he says. “Simple and naturally smart materials are a tool. Simple structure and simple order needs less energy and less information to keep it together, to keep it alive.” But don’t compact cities do this? I wasn’t understanding what he was getting at, he said. A form is like a snapshot of process, he told me. It is a fixed condition at any point in time. “Asking whether a compact city, or any other form of the city, is sustainable is like asking whether the body is sustainable,” Neuman says. “The proper question is not if the body is sustainable, but rather, does the being that inhabits the body

live sustainably? In the end, it depends on design, not density—the design of the processes that make urban form.” His work challenges a designer to deconstruct the starting point of civic design where they tendency to rush to form rather than understanding processes. He says that the more we study and use examples of open-loop systems in nature, the more sustainable all developments, including cities, will become. “We have a long way to go if we want to approach the efficiency and sustainability of nature,” he says. “That is understandable, considering nature has a several-hundred-million-year head start on humans.” A compact city can be sustainable if it is truly born out of a more careful integration of living systems. Perhaps it is in the fundamental human processes of striving to improve and perfect where we will achieve this goal. gb&d Alan Oakes is an architectural historian, writer, documentarian, and regular contributor to gb&d. Drop him a line at

DIALOGUE With guest editor Lucia Athens Continued from p. 17

any living walls yet in Austin, so we need to kick the tires on that idea and see how it can work in this climate. The idea right now is to link those with projects that have air-conditioning condensate so that the condensate can be recovered to irrigate the living walls. gb&d: It seems like the recession barely touched Austin, and we’ve heard a lot about the growth going on around the city and in the downtown core. Athens: That’s a really interesting topic. One of my theories about why we, from the real-estate/economy standpoint, weren’t more heavily impacted is that we adopted very stringent land-development requirements and codes related to water-quality protection very early. I think that kept some of the more speculative developers or people who wanted to flip property out of this market. There were other cities to go to where it was cheaper. We ended up with more developers who were really invested in the community in the long haul, who really wanted to do quality development and who would go the extra mile to do it. I think that contributed to the stability of our real estate economy. The other thing I was going to say about accommodating all the growth was that one of our unofficial mottos is “Keep Austin Weird”— gb&d: I was about to ask about that. Athens: —and one of the aspects of that is what I call the “funk factor.” I’ll give you an example. The Broken Spoke [is] this old bar that’s been around for 50 years. Everyone knows the Broken Spoke. It’s super funky on the outside. But at the moment, development is surrounding it on three sides. We don’t have any codes in place right now to protect it as a cultural or historic asset because it’s definitely not a historically designated building on the Register, and it never will be. So I’m really concerned right now about losing those cultural icons. I was just having a conversation with the city planning director for the City of The conversation continues on p. 20


september–october 2013



DIALOGUE With guest editor Lucia Athens Continued from p. 19

San Francisco because they’re trying to tackle this, and he said [he was] looking for models in other cities but hasn’t found any. I’m thinking we need to go look at Europe and see what we can find.

Online Exclusives Is two months too long? Like gb&d on Facebook for updates.

gb&d: Do you have any idea what European cities you might look at? Athens: One city that we have looked at in the past year, one country actually, is the Netherlands for bicycle infrastructure. We had a delegation including the city manager and the public works director go to the Netherlands and go on a biking tour and really look at how they deal with a very high level of cycling they have in that country and what infrastructure they’re providing. gb&d: You’ve said that “the role of the public leader transcends that of a regulator; it can be one that provides vision, hope, and empowerment to any global citizen,” which I like a lot. How can municipal governments begin to lead in this way? Athens: We’re very lucky. Not every city owns its own utilities. Having financial resources to work with gives you a foundation to start creating more tools to create that transformation and inspire people. So the fact that we own all of our own utilities, everything except gas, generates revenue that can go into conservation programs such as our solar-incentive program—we have both residential and commercial solar incentives—or our Green Choice program, which is a voluntary subscription for renewable energy.

This issue doesn’t stop here. For exclusive content, visit us online:,, Detroit in photos Check out an exclusive photo essay compiled from images captured in Detroit in May 2013 by Samantha Simmons. The photography anchored our cover story (p. 80) and tells its own story online.

inside adobe The new Adobe campus in Utah (p. 94) is a modern-day masterpiece, at least when it comes to offices. A behind-the-scenes video by interior architect Rapt Studio will make your mouth water (if you like good design and street art).

▼ Behind the scenes As always, you’ll find special behindthe-scenes footage, including our Sept/Oct 2013 Intro Video, online. Hear the thought process behind our features, our cover, and all the industry partners who helped make it happen.

Want more? Download the digital gb&d on your iPad for exclusive photos, video, and more.


september–october 2013

photos: caleb fox (athens), weston colton (adobe)

The conversation continues on p. 139


Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List Housing


Paulett Taggart Architects

Designing for a difficult San Fran incline


Wonderland Hill Development

LEED-ND and net-zero housing in Colorado


Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

Building all new, and all green

Health care


Monroe Clinic


Sharp Healthcare

Passive strategies for a San Diego hospital Operations


Santa Cruz City SChools


Manatee County


A new facility for an expanding area

Letting students set examples

Retrofits and big-time recycling

september–october 2013


Approach housing


Slope of the San Francisco terrain Paulett Taggart Architects dealt with in redesigning Hunters View

Fresh Start for a San Francisco ’Hood

Paulett Taggart Architects designs 53 units of the Hunters View housing complex to be sustainable, comfortable, and community-oriented Mixed-use project designed to enliven struggling Bayview community Imagine an old, dilapidated housing complex that is nearly uninhabitable and heavily isolated from the surrounding community. This is an apt portrait of Hunters View in the Bayview Hunters Point area of San Francisco. A complete redesign, however, is bringing the complex back to life. Originally built in 1956, the 267-unit development has been restructured for 800 units in a new master plan developed by Mithun Solomon. “Their design is community-friendly, environmentally sustainable, and easily accessible via new and reconfigured city streets,” explains Paulett Taggart, principal of Paulett Taggart Architects (PTA). The new Hunters View, which includes parks, a communi-


september–october 2013

ty center, walking paths, and bike racks, received certification under the USGBC’s new pilot program for LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND). The plan consists of three phases of mixed affordable housing, as well as market-rate housing. PTA was hired to design 53 units in blocks five and six as part of phase one, which was occupied in April 2013, and 107 units in phase two. “The redesign turns two-story units in blocks five and six into three- and fourstory stacked multilevel units around a courtyard with more density on all streets,” Taggart says, adding that the steep-sloping terrain drove the whole design. “Someone can enter many of the units from two sides because the eleva-

tion changes a full story between one side of the unit and the other, but due to the grade change, no one has to walk up more than one flight of stairs.” The one- to five-bedroom units, which range from 750 square feet to 1,730 square feet, have large windows with low-E glass for ample daylight and crossventilation. “Photovoltaic panels on the white roof are expected to significantly offset the exterior and common-area electricity while the solar thermal systems will offset the domestic hot-water demands,” says Roselie Enriquez, an associate at PTA. Interior materials such as carpet, resilient flooring, and cabinetry were chosen for durability and indoor air quality by selecting options with little to no off-gassing. Cementitious panels and exterior plaster have durable exterior finishes. The steel and concrete both included some recycled content, and the landscaping is entirely native plantings. Recycling was a big part of the demolition. Eighty-nine percent of all construction waste and 100 percent of concrete and asphalt were diverted from landfills. Building code requires designated units to have wheelchair access, but PTA went beyond the code. “Where we were able, we added a bedroom on that level and made sure the bathrooms were full baths,” Taggart says. “The intent was to provide a place where a family member with special needs, such as an elderly parent, would be fully accommodated.”


“Residents seem very happy, and that's rewarding.”

TALK TO                  THE EXPERTS

Paulett Taggart, Paulett Taggart Architects

But another code was restrictive because it prevented the site from increasing its amount of storm water. “That was challenging because we were increasing the number of units,” Taggart says. “The natural rock material is serpentine, which isn’t consistently permeable, so the team designed storm-water storage tanks under the new Promontory Park.” In phase two, for blocks seven and eleven, they plan to provide more areas for the storm water to permeate the ground and strategically locate drywells at low elevation points. Taggart says that the row houses will have their own yards and the larger common open space will be accessed from the apartment buildings, but Taggart had to be open to working with the land. At block seven, PTA is proposing to put in a planted swale in the middle of the block to work with the site’s steeper slopes. As tenants move in, the feedback has been positive. “Residents seem very happy, and that’s rewarding,” Taggart says. “They can see the difference in their neighborhood.” gb&d —Lynn Russo Whylly

267 800 Units at Hunters View prior to redevelopment

Units at Hunters View under the new master plan

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Cohousing brings LEED-ND to Colorado The USGBC’s relatively new LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system attempts to integrate principles of new urbanism and green building. Which is why Washington Village in Boulder, Colorado, makes a perfect pilot project for the rating’s beta test. The residential project, by Wonderland Hill Development, is not just any housing subdivision—it’s a cohousing community. LEED-ND certification considers not only the construction of buildings in a neighborhood but also the overall longterm performance of the community. ➤

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Cohousing communities Wonderland Hill Development has been a part of in the western United States. In total, the US has approximately 120 such communities.

flow rate energy star FSC certified environmentally cradle to cradle recycled content reclaimed material water efficiency integrated design process durability planning urea and formaldehyde free low volatile organic compounds graywater high efficiency fixtures and fittings waste diversion

september–october 2013



These multiunit buildings in a new cohousing development in Boulder, CO, will have a HERS rating of less than 20, and ICS polyurethane interlocking SIPs and Alpen windows will assist with passive solar gain.

Jim Leach, president of Wonderland, says his vision for Washington Village was the same. “We felt [this] was the ideal site to design a cohousing community,” Leach says. “We looked at green building in the broadest sense, considering environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Washington Village will bring people and resources together in a way that creates a more carbon-neutral lifestyle.” Located on just more than three acres, Washington Village began construction in spring 2011 and will be completed in early 2015. The development will contain 33 energy-efficient residential units—10 of which will be guaranteed to be affordable through a city program. The cohousing project contains five housing types: flats, duplexes, townhouses, a historic building with condo flats, and singlefamily homes. Units range in size from 600 square feet to 4,000 square feet and are priced at $80,000 to $1.5 million. Although the development brings together a diverse economic group, Washington Village deliberately links neighbors through the sharing of common facilities such as a library, a wood

“Washington Village will bring people and resources together in a way that creates a more carbon-neutral lifestyle.” Jim Leach, Wonderland Hill Development


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shop, and spaces for bike repair, artisanship, guests, gathering, and cooking. Leach took a comprehensive environmental approach in considering what was appropriate for each structure onsite. Wonderland researched technology advancements from around the world and modeled its single-family homes after what is being done in Europe. “We are doing some of the first work with the Bosch technology,” Leach says. The Bosch system will draw approximately 4,000 kilowatt-hours a year for ventilation, heating, cooling, and domestic hot water. The developer assumes single-family homeowners will use an additional 5,000 kilowatt-hours, but with the installation of a 7.5-kilowatt photovoltaic system, the annual demand will be covered and the home will net zero energy. In addition, a Bosch geothermal system with earth tubes will allow residents to get all their heating and cooling from the ground. “The building is very tight,” Leach says. “The energy usage will be much less volatile.” Leach is one of the largest developers of cohousing in the United States. “Cohousing really ramped up in recent years,” he says. “I think the recession, which killed housing of all kinds, prompted people to start thinking about the way they want to live and the places they wanted to live.” Washington Village also is considered a transit-oriented development. It is a walkable site, which is attractive to the general population but especially to

certain groups of people, including baby boomers and young families. “As people learn about the product they simply wonder why this isn’t being completed all over the nation as a viable housing type,” says Peter Spaulding, marketing director for Wonderland. “It is all about education.” gb&d —Jennifer Hogeland

In Cleveland, green public housing is practical Serving more than 55,000 residents, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority increases its impact with sustainable buildings Under Sustainable Cleveland 2019, a program implemented by the city’s mayor, sustainability has become an official goal of many city agencies, but the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), Cleveland’s public housing administration, has been working toward sustainability since 2004, putting it ahead of the Sustainable Cleveland curve. “Mayor [Frank] Jackson wants Cleveland to be the green city on the blue lake,” says Jeffery K. Patterson, CEO of CMHA. “Whether it’s achieved by creating urban farms, new buildings, or other initiatives, green will be at the front of everything we do.” The CMHA oversees more than 10,000 housing units, and when combined with its housing voucher program, it serves


“Mayor Jackson wants Cleveland to be the green city on the blue lake. Whether it’s achieved by creating urban farms, new buildings, or other initiatives, green will be at the front of everything we do.” Jeffery K. Patterson, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

more than 55,000 Cuyahoga County residents. Since it finances its programs via private and public funds, CMHA also must adhere to specific restrictions and address unique financial challenges. In other words, going green requires a very pragmatic approach. “We started in 2004 by developing an energy performance contract,” Patterson says. “We basically visited each of our sites and assessed our energy consumption. We were one of the very first PHAs [public housing authorities] in the country to do so.” After CMHA analyzed the reports, it decided to reduce energy costs by upgrading basic features in each unit.“We started changing out light bulbs, installing low-flow faucets and toilets, and putting in high-efficiency furnaces,” says Nilantha Samarasekera, CMHA’s director of construction. “We recaulked many joints and seams in the actual building structures because we were losing a lot of heating and cooling due to leaks. We also conducted meetings to show residents how to use these features and showed them how much money they were going to save on their utility bills.”

This type of resident education has been key to CMHA’s sustainability goals because without community understanding and acceptance, the overall project would be ineffective. “We’ve involved residents right from the start,” Patterson says. “People want to help their own communities, and it just takes a program that’s informative and keeps the initiatives friendly.” Beyond educating housing residents about the basic green home upgrades, CMHA also runs the Green Team, a CMHA community group focused on cultivating on-site fruit and vegetable gardens. “Through the Green Team, residents learn about landscaping, plants, fruits, and vegetables,” Patterson says. “We even offer cooking classes in the buildings. Cleveland has many food deserts, so this gives residents access to fresh produce, and they enjoy the opportunity to learn about improving their food sustainability by growing produce themselves.” It’s not just residents who have learned about sustainability from these education initiatives. CMHA’s staff has learned a great deal from the residents’ experiences in the programs, and it has used these observations to further hone its sustainability efforts in new construction projects. CMHA’s two newest communities, the Lee Road Apartment Building and the Euclid-Belmore Building combine the CMHA’s low-tech green technologies approach with newer green-building innovations. “These buildings have everything from the low-flow plumbing fixtures to the Energy Star appliances,”

says Donovan Duncan, CMHA’s director of real estate and development. “They also incorporate bigger measures like bioretention water cells that collect rainwater and locally prevalent landscaping that automatically builds in sustainable green space for residents while replenishing the ecosystems of the buildings themselves.” Both buildings are moderate in size, standing three stories tall and containing approximately 40 units each. They’re constructed of basic durable materials, such as brick and rigid and batt insulation, so that environmental impact and structural upkeep are minimal. Inside, low-VOC paints and sealants, Green Label Plus-certified carpet, and single-dwelling air-handling units make the building a healthy living environment for residents. Both buildings even have separate, designated trash and recyclables chutes to encourage recycling. Combined, these efforts make the structures incredibly sustainable by reducing their impact on the environment through relatively small design moves. It’s this approach—making a big impact via simple green design choices and resident education—that the CMHA believes will move Cleveland beyond its 2019 sustainability goals. “All it takes is getting people involved and learning about what sustainability really means,” Patterson. “That’s what we’re most proud of—bringing people together and creating a live dialogue that’s not just about housing, but about the greater Cleveland community.” gb&d —Kathryn Freeman Rathbone

CMHA’s Lee Road (pictured) and Euclid-Belmore projects in Cleveland hit 40 points on the Enterprise Green Communities scale, Energy Star Version Three compliant. Furnaces that run at 95% efficiency are installed in all new and updated properties, slashing their energy consumption.


september–october 2013


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Monroe Clinic ‘Champions’ Sustainable Design Forget the usual stale hospital smell. Patients and visitors of Wisconsin’s Monroe Clinic are greeted by the aromas of the café in the lobby. The windows here are low-E to reduce summer heat absorption and winter heat loss.

photo: Kahler Slater

Wisconsin health-care provider uses evidence-based design and volunteer ‘champions’ to improve patient experience Just three years after an initial masterplanning exercise in 2005, the team at Monroe Clinic, in Monroe, Wisconsin, realized that its needs were changing and the existing plan for the hospital was no longer feasible. “We went from a remodeling and expansion plan to what ended up being essentially a brand-new hospital,” recalls Steve Borowski, director of facility services. Construction on the new hospital began in 2009, and it took less than three years to build the new facility, which opened in early 2013. The new facility wasn’t conceived in that master-planning meeting, but it got the ball rolling for a necessary rebuild. The original hospital opened in 1939, with expansions in the 1950s and again in the 1970s. Knowing they were working with an aging hospital—and factoring gb&d

in average useful life for hospitals and updated code considerations—Borowski says they were fortunate to be in a financial position that allowed for ground-up construction. As part of their plan to construct a hospital around the needs of patients, one of the first steps—before hiring an architect or construction manager—was to put together “sustainability champion teams,” which are made up of employee volunteers tasked with finding the best building practices in health care. Teams focused on areas such as LEED and sustainability, evidence-based design, technology, and patient safety. “Based on about six or seven months of research and benchmarking, they reported back with their findings,” Borowski says. He adds that the construction team was

able to implement the vast majority of the suggestions brought forward by the champion teams. “I think what made this such a powerful process is that it was entirely employee driven,” Borowski says. Not only were the organization’s administration and leadership groups involved, but also the people responsible for direct patient care and technology were active in the research and decision-making activities. “They were really passionate about these ideas,” Borowski says. When construction started, the teams were given tours throughout the project and encouraged to continue providing input on operational efficiencies and learn project-design methodologies. Throughout the 225,000-square-foot facility, the design team gave significant attention to way-finding. The team recognized that confusion increases


Tons of drywall, wood, metal, and asphalt that were recycled during construction of the new Monroe Clinic building

september–october 2013


as the stone quarried in Central Illinois, were sourced locally. The design team came up with a three-tiered landscaping plan that starts as a no-maintenance naturalized landscape farther from the building, and it progressively becomes more traditional as the landscape nears the structure. The living roofs are planted with drought-resistant species to mitigate water requirements and reduce storm-water runoff. gb&d —Julie Knudson

anxiety, which they were keen to avoid. “We wanted to be sure people could get to the campus easily, that they had good places to park, and that they knew where they were going,” Borowski says. The team also installed snowmelt systems at every entrance to keep them snow and ice free—a must during brutal Wisconsin winters. Once inside, warm finishes contribute to a calming patient experience. Rather than sterile, white walls, the new facility has a warm, homey feel that’s only helped by the abundant natural light. “Evidence-based design indicates that natural light puts people at ease before they even get into the medical reasons they’re here,” Borowski says. “Research also shows that increased exposure to natural light actually decreases the patient’s length of stay.” Glass located throughout the building sends light inward, making the building feel open and roomy. The theme of accessibility extends to the three green roofs, one of which is open to patients, visitors, family members, and employees. One of the early recommendations from the sustainability champion team was to pursue LEED Silver certification for the new hospital. Efficiency measures range from low-E glass to oil-less chillers, which have magnetic bearings that function much like high-speed trains. “Because they’re frictionless, they have some of the highest efficiency possible,” Borowski says. “Since there’s no oil, the loss of efficiency experienced when oil gets into the refrigerant in a conventional chiller isn’t a concern.” The champion team recommended materials with low environmental impact, and many, such


september–october 2013

Key to new medical center: natural light Sharp Rees-Stealy harnesses daylight for way-finding and energy reduction One-hundred-year-old fig tree inspires a biophilic design Sharp HealthCare, a not-for-profit health-care system based in San Diego, is excitedly awaiting the final word on its first LEED Gold certification application. The three-story, 66,365-square-foot Sharp Rees-Stealy Downtown Medical Center, which replaces a building across the street, opened its doors on November 2012, continuing its 90-year history of providing health services to the San Diego community. The new medical center is home to primary and specialty care facilities, plus laboratory, occupational health, pharmacy, physical therapy, radiology, and urgent care. Through these services, 66 physicians handle more than 140,000 patient visits annually. The architectural theme of the new building was to capture the light to make way-finding intuitive for all those patients. “The path of light was traced


on every floor into every public area and makes the building feel open and connected to the exterior environment,” says Pat Nemeth, vice president of facilities for Sharp HealthCare, who managed the building’s design and construction. Clerestory windows were used in interior exam rooms to pull natural light into areas that did not have exterior windows. The L-shaped building’s most significant feature is the tri-level atrium. Bridges on the second and third floor look down onto glass glazed in shades of green, blue, and tan. “The colors are gentle, soft, and very comforting,” Nemeth says. “When people step into the building, they stop and say, ‘Wow, this is really beautiful.’ This isn’t just a place that provides health care—it’s a place that is uplifting and inspiring.” The inspiration doesn’t end with the patients. The facility was built around a 123-year-old Moreton Bay Fig tree, which was planted by local arborist Kate Sessions more than a century ago. Because the tree is a certified historical landmark, it had to be protected by a certified arborist during the entire construction process, and the team carved a footprint around the tree so it wouldn’t be disturbed. As a symbol of wellness, the tree also served as design inspiration for the interior. First, it forms a backdrop for a history wall that commemorates Sharp Rees-Stealy’s years of service to the community. Large hand-blown blue, green, and copper glass leaves decorate each of the central reception rooms on all three floors. In the urgent care department, a commissioned local artist used actual branches from the tree as stencils to create a series of five wood-stained panels.

LEED points the medical center expects (enough for Gold), partly for saving a Morton Bay Fig tree and its 75kW rooftop photovoltaic system

photo: Kahler Slater (monroe clinic)

Art for the Monroe Clinic is locally sourced and features environmentally friendly wood frames. The pieces were provided by Integrated Art Group, which provides art consulting, procurement, and delivery to add an eco-friendly and aesthetic boost to the patient experience.


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Finally, to bring natural light into a part of the building that faces the parking structure and to camouflage the parking area, film photographs of the tree’s branches were used in a number of glass panels. The medical center should get 69 LEED points, including one for saving the tree. Those points came from features such as a 75-kilowatt rooftop photovoltaic system, high-efficiency insulated glazing, window-shading devices, an energy management system, and daylighting. Light shelves in the pharmacy and gym draw natural light into the interior. A second floor green roof increases insulation, while a white roof above the third floor reflects heat. Plus, a bike rack encourages alternate transportation, hybrid and low-energy cars get preferred parking, and high-efficiency irrigation and native plants reduce water consumption. The building is projected to be 29 percent more energy efficient than a building of its size designed to meet the California Building Code, and it is a hit with the community. “Everyone is just pleased and delighted to see this beautiful building,” Nemeth says. gb&d —Lynn Russo Whylly

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Approach operations

Solar Equals Savings for Santa Cruz Schools Assessments and community input help California school district green facilities and increase solar generation In November 2012, the Santa Cruz City Schools (SCCS) in California hired Resource Solutions Group to assess the district’s potential water and energy conservation opportunities. The assessment found that the district could retrofit each of its 10 instructional campuses with new energy-efficient lighting and possibly make water-saving changes. Adapting to environmental needs is not a foreign endeavor for SCCS. In 2009, the district installed 1,800 solar


september–october 2013


Size of Santa Cruz City Schools’ proposed carport solar panel system. The district is considering 8-10 locations at four different schools.

panels atop Soquel High School, and those panels now provide 50 percent of the school’s power. These energy savings contributed to the pursuit of even more environmentally friendly measures, leading to the assessment in 2012. “Our approach is to systematically look at the need and create a formal plan of attack,” says Alvaro Meza, Santa Cruz’s superintendent of business services. The Resource Solutions Group recommendations that were approved by the

school board were to be implemented this past summer before the 2013-2014 school year, Meza says. The district hopes to fund the changes with help from Prop 39, an energy-efficiency initiative that requires multistate businesses to pay income taxes based on a percentage of their sales in California, and the revenue is then dedicated to energy-related projects. The district expects to see the improvements save its schools enough in operational costs to refund any associated expense within two years. “We have a great opportunity to build upon what taxpayers and others want us to do, and ultimately save money,” Meza says. SCCS’s ongoing commitment to creating sustainable spaces is due in part to its Green Schools Committee (GSC), founded in 2009. The committee of 25 to 30 students, parents, and teachers meets monthly to undertake conservation projects and


“We have a great opportunity to build upon what taxpayers and others want us to do—and ultimately save money.”

Alvaro Meza, Santa Cruz City Schools

discuss potential new environmental efforts—such as the 30 percent recycled material paper purchasing policy that the group encouraged the district to adopt several years ago. “Our Green Schools Committee is really a strength,” Meza says. “We get stakeholder feedback from the community, parents, and students that use the facility and staff that work in them.” As part of its role in making recommendations to the district’s governing board, the GSC will review preliminary designs that SolarCity, the renewable electricity provider that installed Soquel High School’s solar panels in 2009, submitted to potentially add carports covered in solar panels to four school sites in the coming year, adding to the energy production of the whole district. SolarCity would construct and maintain the carports, offering SolarCity a tax benefit and helping the schools reduce energy use. “Investing in our facility and being good stewards of the environment, as well as providing a financial benefit, is the ultimate goal,” Meza says. “It’s what we strive for in pretty much everything we do.” gb&d —Erin Brereton

Innovative reclamation attracts newcomers to Florida Manatee County undergoes sustainable overhaul, adds recycled infrastructure to artificial reef

Many of Manatee County’s green initiatives are led by its Green Team, a group of county employees from different departments established to help the county government be more environmentally friendly. These efforts are often driven by the local economy, says Darryl Blair, the coordinator for the building management division of the property management department. He says the recent retraction in the construction industry has had a significant impact on the county’s budget. As a result, energy and water conservation have become a priority. According to Tom Yarger, construction services manager for the property management department, the Green Team began by investing in chiller plants, reexamining construction practices, and exploring retrofit opportunities. “Little things like converting to different light bulbs doesn’t seem like it would make a big difference, but when you multiply them across the 380 buildings Manatee County owns and maintains, it is a huge savings,” Yarger says. The money saved operationally was redirected to serve the community in other ways. ➤

As part of an initiative to make Manatee County, on the west coast of Florida, a welcoming and sustainable community for residents and tourists, the county recently renovated two civic buildings—an historic courthouse and an old schoolhouse—to LEED Gold standards. Approximately 330,000 people call Manatee County home, but thousands more visit to enjoy the weather and wildlife. Nestled between Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, Manatee County aspires to be known as the “real, authentic Florida,” an experience that can be diluted at other tourist destinations. This particular branding campaign began in 2012, but collaboration between the county’s departments on sustainability matters has been happening for the past five years, says Brenda Rogers, director of the community Two historic, but inefficient, buildings—the courthouse services department. (above) and the Parrish Community Center, an old school building that was slated for demolition—were targeted in the Manatee County sustainable overhaul because they were some of the biggest energy users.

Soquel High School was the Santa Cruz Green Schools Committee’s first project. A student from each secondary school’s environmental club serves on the GSC, and its past efforts have included beach clean-ups and natural habitat restorations.



In the overhaul, the county’s biggest energy users were targeted, including the historic courthouse and schoolhouse. Yarger says the dated systems as well as the worn-out windows and roof caused the buildings to leak energy—and therefore money. Local contractors installed new HVAC systems, low-E glass windows, insulated ceiling tiles, and more. All of the restorations and upgrades brought both buildings to LEED Gold standards. The now energy-efficient schoolhouse was transformed into a community center. “We took a building set for demolition and made a space that has a positive impact on the community,” Rogers says. Manatee County also has worked on enhancing its recycling program by educating its residents. As a result of the county’s efforts and the community’s participation, the people of Manatee County have extended the life expectancy of their landfill by 30 years or more.


Longleaf Pines planted in Manatee County in a single year

Green efforts in Florida’s Manatee County include water-conservation projects that have saved $350,000 to date and the use of 25,000 tons of reclaimed infrastructure to create habitat for marine life.

Recycling has other, more unusual benefits as well. Melissa Nell, manager of the volunteer and education division for the natural resources department, tells the story of when a neighboring county was dismantling an old bridge. Manatee County took the concrete foundations and bridge span and sunk it in its waters to bring new habitat to their artificial reef. “The offshore reef and the fish attracted to it, creates a desired location that brings people to our area for vacation and recreation,” Nell says. The parks and preserves are included in the county’s sustainability initiatives with restoration efforts currently under way at 16 properties to improve the habitat as well as air quality, water quality, and overall quality of life. “If you take time to restore these sites and integrate them into the community,” Nell says, “it’s something people will value for a long time.” gb&d —Jennifer Hogeland

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september–october 2013


Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List 34

Midwest Rising


kevin daniels


Cassidy Turley

Pay attention to these six green cities Bridging the new and the old in Seattle Managing 8.5 million square feet of green


st. john’s mercy medical center AND new york-presbyterian hospital


Natural disasters prompt preparedness

september–october 2013



M idwest saint paul, mn

R sing quad cities

youngstown, oh

Forget Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle. Here are six landlocked cities with their own sustainable ideas. JOPLIN, MO

chattanooga, tN

little rock, AR


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Size of the solar array that powers the vegetable chiller and greenhouse ventilation system at the Iron Roots urban Farm in Youngstown, Ohio

Joplin’s Monarch Eco-Home (below) will showcase products, systems, and ideas for sustainable homebuilding.

Youngstown, OH

A community-run program converts vacant lots to green space

➤ Youngstown, Ohio, was a Rust Belt metropolis of the 20th century, but when the industry died, so did much of the city. In 1950, the city had more than 168,330 residents, but by 2010 the population had shrunk to 66,982. The city built for 170,000 people now has a mere 38 percent of those inhabitants—and, like Detroit, a glut of abandoned buildings and vacant lots to boot. Youngstown was faced with creating a new, smaller city that would fit its population size. Enter the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC). YNDC is helping strategic neighborhoods become places where people actually spend their time, money, and energy. Part of this development includes creating parks and community gardens to take up the vacant lots in those neighborhoods. The YNDC started a specific program, Lots of Green, to do just that. It has already converted six vacant properties around town into community gardens, including its 1.5-acre Iron Roots Urban Farm that has gardening training classes and produces local, sustainable food for the community. These programs are turning Youngstown neighborhoods, though a smaller portion, into more sustainable communities for the city’s future. —Melanie Loth gb&d

Joplin, MO

Disaster brings an opportunity to rebuild a sustainable city

and other buildings sustainably. One of GreenTown’s major projects is the Monarch Eco-Home. The project is still in its planning phase with the nearby Drury University architecture students, but it will serve as an educational and community space for Joplin residents. Greensburg already has an Eco-Home, and it showcases products, systems, and ideas for sustainable homebuilding. Catherine Hart, general manager for GreenTown Joplin and a founder of Greensburg GreenTown, says people have come from all over to see the Greensburg Eco-Home, and she expects even more to come to Joplin. But the home would be

➤ On May 22, 2011, the small city of Joplin, Missouri, was destroyed by a catastrophic tornado. Joplin had to rebuild, and it looked 300 miles west to Greensburg, Kansas, for help. After a series of tornadoes in 2007, Greensburg also had been leveled, and the City “If the people can’t do it of Greensburg announced that the tragedy was a fresh start, an themselves, then it’s really opportunity to create a greener kind of pointless.” urban environment. Greensburg GreenTown, a nonprofit organizaCatherine Hart, GreenTown Joplin tion, was created to help the city rebuild sustainably. When the Joplin tornado created a similar opportunothing if it wasn’t actually a useful tool nity not far away, the folks from Greensfor residents. “Replicability and affordburg went to Joplin to form GreenTown ability are two of the biggest concepts Joplin just months after the disaster. we have for the Eco-Home,” Hart says, Both organizations function as a “because if the people can’t do it themresource for people who want to rebuild selves, then it’s really kind of pointless.” homes, offices, commercial venues, —Melanie Loth

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Chattanooga, TN

A LEED Platinum hostel is just the latest for ‘Scenic City’


LEED points earned by the Crash Pad hostel, enough for Platinum certification. The project maxed out the Regional Priority and Water categories. 36

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➤ Officially nicknamed the ‘Scenic City,’ Chattanooga draws its name from the scenery created by the Appalachian Mountains transitioning to the Cumberland Plateau. It’s a lush location, not only inspiring the city’s ‘Tree City USA’ designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation in 1990, but ongoing grassroots sustainability efforts that complement Chattanooga’s blue- and green-collar history. In the early 1990s, 1,700 citizens mobilized for the ‘Vision 2000’ grassroots effort that would improve the city. Now, projects like the Crash Pad, completed in 2012 and the first hostel to receive LEED Platinum certification, are continuing these self-improving efforts. The founders of Crash Pad are also developing the Flying Squirrel, a sustainable bar adjacent to the hostel, to provide further incentive for downtown tourism. These projects complement the efforts of the City of Chattanooga’s own Office of Sustainability, which has installed more than 350 ‘smart’ street lights, performed 45 energy audits, installed 100 bike stations, and continues to field the city’s grassroots public initiatives since its founding in 2009. —Benjamin van Loon

Chattanooga’s Crash Pad hostel has a green roof, solar panels, greywater filtration system, lowflow fixtures, and reclaimed brick and wood, all contributing to its LEED Platinum certification.



Reduction in infrastructure costs due to Rock Street Pocket Housing’s low-impact landscape strategies

Little Rock, AR

Innovative approaches to housing and street design spur revitalization

“Little Rock is actually starting to emerge as a more progressive city, especially thinking about sustainability.” Jeff Huber, University of Arkansas Community Design Center

Rock Street Pocket Housing offers a variety of housing prototypes, including a threestory “tower” for young professionals, who are moving to Little Rock’s downtown core. Each has an open floor plan, cathedral ceiling volumes, and spacious frontage systems within affordable price ranges.


➤ Once an urbane mini-metropolis with miles of streetcar lines, Little Rock, Arkansas, is again growing into its legacy. A committed collective of nonprofits, architects, and students are transforming the city’s Pettaway neighborhood, a victim of historical underinvestment just south of downtown, into a walkable community designed to integrate residents of varying lifestyles and incomes. Key to the renewal is the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, where students and faculty from both the Fay Jones School of Architecture and the Community Design Center have developed innovative approaches to housing. Jeff Huber, a project designer at the Community Design Center, says the master plan addresses housing types such as duplexes, townhouses, and courtyard apartments that have not been built in Little Rock since the 1950s. “Little Rock is actually starting to emerge as a more progressive city, especially thinking about sustainability,” Huber says, pointing to Rock Street Pocket Housing, a collection of single-

family homes organized around a shared pocket park planned in conjunction with the Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corporation (DLRCDC), which uses low-impact development strategies to mitigate the flooding that has plagued the site for years. Scott Grummer, who served as executive director for the DLRCDC from 2007 to 2012, says the ongoing projects provide an “understanding of the mechanisms that create change and momentum for a neighborhood.” The organization also has a series of homes designed and built by students, one of which recently won an AIA award, and a plan with architect Marlon Blackwell to create an arts district. —Timothy A. Schuler

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Quad Cities

Local transit provider pioneers green building to meet future needs

➤ In response to gaps left by businesses migrating out of the Quad Cities—a collection of municipalities on the border of Iowa and Illinois clustered around the Mississippi River—planners began to brainstorm ways to develop a livable, sustainable region for live, work, and play. Transit was part of the vision. Beginning in 2002, the Illinois Quad Cities transit program, MetroLINK, renewed its commitment to sustainability. It now operates a fleet with more than 70 percent of transit coaches powered by compressed natural gas and has a new 150,000-square-foot Transit Maintenance Facility and a 1,700-square-foot Rock Island Transfer Station, both opening in early 2014 and being built to LEED specifications. The new Transit Maintenance Facility will use a photovoltaic system that is expected to produce a 421,000 kilowatthours annually, and the facility will also use a solar thermal system to provide hot water for all of its water operations, in-

cluding bus washing, which will have its own water reclamation system. The Rock Island Transfer Station, constructed as part of Rock Island’s ‘Downtown Strategic Plan,’ uses similar sustainable strategies, capitalizing on its location adjacent to an existing 199-unit housing facility and a new 34-unit housing facility being planned by the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation. In 2012, the American Public Transportation Association selected MetroLINK as the “Outstanding Public Transportation System of the Year” for all agencies in North America carrying between 1 million and 4 million passengers annually (MetroLINK logged more than 3.5 million riders in 2012). MetroLINK also partnered with the City of Moline to begin developing a new multimodal station that will incorporate mixed-use, public-private partnerships and link the Quad Cities to Chicago by passenger rail. —Benjamin van Loon The MetroLINK Transit Maintenance Facility will have a rooftop photovoltaic system that will produce 421,000 kilowatt-hours and contribute to the building’s expected LEED Silver certification.


MetroLINK riders in 2012


Transit coaches powered by compressed natural gas


Solar panels in the 400-kilowatt system 38

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The skylights in Saint Paul’s Union Depot had been blacked out since World War II. The recent renovation restored them.

saint paul, MN

A restored transit hub catalyzes growth

➤ In Saint Paul, Minnesota, the eastern ‘twin’ of the Twin Cities, a massive restoration of the long-vacant Union Depot is catalyzing sustainable redevelopment in the area. The depot, gleaming with new Tennessee pink marble from the same quarry as the original, is not only open to the public for the first time in 40 years but will become a transit hub for Minnesota and the greater Midwest. Union Depot already has bus service, and it will have Amtrak by the end of this year, and light rail service to Min-

neapolis will begin in 2014. “Union Depot will play an important role for the entire region because it’s going to be the connection point for multiple corridors looking forward 20-plus years,” says Josh Collins, public communications manager for Ramsey County Rail Authority. Passengers will be able to arrive on high-speed rail, walk across the depot, and catch a bus, jump on light rail transit, or rent a bike. The new transit hub also has brought additional development to the area, including plans to convert the downtown Saint Paul post office into 250 units of riverfront living space. gb&d —Timothy A. Schuler

Union Depot already services 35 bus routes, but the restored transit hub will have Amtrak by the end of this year and light rail in 2014.


september–october 2013


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Image courtesy of Daniels Real Estate and ZGF Architects LLP. Chicago |









New York



*Not necessarily in that order Kevin Daniels is not your ordinary real estate developer. His most recent projects, which both transform Seattle’s skyline and preserve architecturally significant buildings, put people— including future generations—first.


Kevin Daniels Developer+ Preservationist*

The man behind Seattle’s newest and largest transitoriented development is also on the board for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, balancing the importance of the past with radical, data-driven ideas about density, energy, and waste Interview by Lindsey Howald Patton

After leaving his Idaho hometown for a university in Spokane, Washington, Kevin Daniels headed for Seattle and spent eight years as a certified public accountant before moving into real estate. Now running a sister company of Nitze-Stagen & Co. called Daniels Real Estate, he approaches each project with two simple criteria. One: Be a capitalist, i.e. earn a return. Two: Be a very patient capitalist, judging a project based on the value it will bring to the community in the long term. Although he’s better known for innovative preservation projects—including the 1912 warehouse now known as the Starbucks Center and the historic church sanctuary transformed into Daniels Recital Hall—Daniels is currently developing the largest transit-oriented project on the West Coast. Stadium Place is 1.5 million square feet worth of new construction that will infuse Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood with new life. Here, he explains how. gb&d

gb&d: You’ve said that the greenest building of America is “one that already exists.” Kevin Daniels: It’s our motto, “Sustainability begins with preservation.” gb&d: You’re on the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, so this is clearly a huge value for you. Daniels: By any quantification—and we’ve published studies of this through the Preservation Green Lab, which is part of the National Trust—it’s more green to preserve a building. If you tear down a building, because of what it costs to tear it down and dispose of these materials, which are embodied energy, you are actually wasting thousands of BTUs of energy. I’m not against new buildings, but I think the scientific evidence clearly shows that if you can reuse any building and it’s appropriate for the community, then that should be the preferred option.

gb&d: In terms of preservation, what is Seattle’s legacy? Daniels: Well, like any major city facing substantial growth, Seattle faces those kinds of questions every day. We’ve had victories. We’ve had huge defeats. The city does have the first national certified historic district, Pioneer Square-Skid Road, which has one of the best collections of later 19th-century brick buildings anywhere in the country, all kept together and preserved since the 1970s. gb&d: And Stadium Place is located within Pioneer Square. Daniels: It’s in the historic district’s boundaries. However, [this location has] never had any historic buildings on it. It was a surface parking lot since the early ’70s. gb&d: Will you walk me through what the Pioneer Square District was like before? Basically, where was the need, and how are you filling it? Daniels: Here are the dynamics of the Pioneer Square neighborhood: In the late ’70s, when the US bicentennial came around, you’re probably aware there was this huge push for preservation to celebrate the country’s 200th birthday. And Pioneer Square was caught up in that, but in Seattle, the market at that time was office use. So all of these old, run-down warehouse buildings were converted into office space, and people who september–october 2013



“You can’t just put something that overwhelms the neighborhood without deference to the people who are there. They need to be partners in it.” Kevin Daniels, Daniels Real Estate

were living there at that time were pretty much pushed out. When we started this project, there were just about 1,000 people living in all of Pioneer Square. Over 70 percent of them were earning below the poverty line and living in affordable housing. So that’s not an economic model that could be successful for a neighborhood to function on its own in the long-term. Then from 2007 to 2009, the neighborhood went through this community process where we came up with objectives and how we would get there, and a major priority was to redevelop the north parking lot of KingDome, which is now CenturyLink Field, into mixed-income, mixed-use housing. The neighborhood itself has access to public transit, art galleries, museums, the stadium, and a national historical park called the Klondike. There’s lots to do, there just weren’t any people living there. This project changes that dynamic. We’ll be adding about 1,500 new residents into that mix. gb&d: Let’s talk a little bit about the design of the project, which brings in elements of historic design on the north side of the lot—the area nearest to Pioneer Square—and then changes to a more modern design as you move away toward the south side, where CenturyLink Field and the rest of the stadium district is.

Stadium Place East In need of a stand-out project that would be ideal for sports fans heading to CenturyLink Field, Daniels Real Estate brought Embassy Suites by Hilton on board. A 23-story tower designed by local architecture firm Freiheit & Ho, the hotel will have nearly 300 units and a conference center. Also with stadium-goers in mind—because Stadium Place is on what was a parking lot—750 new structured parking stalls will be split between the podiums of the East and West blocks, and a 1,000-spot facility will be constructed off-site, just east of the stadium. The second of Stadium Place East’s two towers will capitalize on the easy commute offered by this transit-oriented development, which has two hubs, the Union Street and King Street stations plus the 10 varieties of bus, rail, and ferry systems they house. A prestigious office tower, with 175,000 square feet of Class A offices, completes that perfect trio of mixed-use: live, play, and work.

masons. So as you’re walking along the street, you kind of feel like you’re still in the old part of the city. But if you look above in the setback, it becomes very modern. That’s how we decided to design these buildings, in agreement with the residents. gb&d: What did the meetings with residents and the Pioneer Square Preservation Board look like? From everything I’ve read, it sounds like everyone was really on board with these designs. I’m curious about some of the concerns, if there were any, and the things that people got excited about. Daniels: Well, there were lots of concerns—although they started out clearly excited, given my background in preservation, which was a plus. But that also puts huge expectations on your shoulders. We had, in six years, over 100 various community participation meetings on various topics, not just the design. We were very inclusive.

gb&d: I also wanted to talk about the South Tower, which, as opposed to the historic influences of the buildings nearest to Pioneer Square, is your funky, boxy, modern— Daniels: —iconic building.

Daniels: After the 1889 fire completely wiped out Seattle’s core, Pioneer Square was rebuilt in brick. So in the neighborhood there are beautiful, Romanesquetype buildings, all about 65 to 70 feet tall, with five to seven stories. They’re all the same height because that brickexterior, timber-interior structure at that time could only go that high. So if you look at [Stadium Place] from north-facing King Street, we go up about 65 feet and then we step back the towers. We also use natural materials, whether it’s granite, marble, or brick, in each of the segments, hand-laid by brick- and stone-


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gb&d: Yes, by ZGF Architects. Tell me a little bit about it. Daniels: When we were talking to the neighborhood [residents], one of the things that I mentioned to them was if we were going to go up that high—about 250 feet, or 26 stories—and be facing the stadium, then the South Tower would be on national TV during Seahawks and Sounders games. It would be a big addition to the skyline. My partner on this project, the R. D. Merrill Company, was one of the investors in the Space Needle

PROJECT Location Seattle Size 1.5 million ft2 Completed 2015 (expected) Program Residential, commercial, hotel, restaurants, parking

TEAM Developer Daniels Real Estate Clients Stadium Place Investors (West), American Life (East) Architects ZGF Architects (West), Freiheit & Ho (East) Associate Architect AMAA (West) Civil/Structural Engineer CPL (West), DR Strong (East) Electrical Engineers Sparling (West), Cochran Inc & Gerber Engineering (East) Electrical Contractor Nelsen (West) Mechanical Engineers Holaday-Parks (West), MacDonald Miller (East) Environmental Engineer Landau Associates General Contractors JTM Construction (West), SODO Builders (East)

GREEN CERTIFICATION LEED Gold (expected) Site Access to bus, light rail, heavy rail, ferry, and future streetcar public transit systems, car-sharing program, bicycle rentals Water Storm-water reuse, water-saving appliances Energy Wind power, energy-efficient appliances, Green Power purchases, possible district energy plant Materials Natural and locally sourced materials Landscape Urban farm for residential and restaurant use, four-story living wall


Stadium Place, a transit-oriented development with an urban farm, will bring 1,500 new residents to Pioneer Square in Seattle.

Stadium Place West Before construction broke ground, the four acres between CenturyLink Field and King Street was Seattle’s largest chunk of contiguous undeveloped space. Now a four-story podium is rising, supporting three towers that together add 926,000 square feet of mixed-use space to Occidental Avenue. Above the podium, which provides a blend of parking and retail, the shortest tower (100 feet tall) offers more than 100 loft-style apartments sized for families. The second tower houses luxury condos atop a boutique hotel. The final tower (250 feet), designed by ZGF Architects as a series of stacked boxes that do not neatly align, is a loveit-or-hate-it addition to the city’s skyline, fully representing the forward-looking side of the project’s aim to blend a historic perspective with envelope-pushing design. The building will house funky, green units—332 in total. “We’re not targeting yuppies or Millennials or Generation Y, affordable, workforce, market-rate, or luxury,” Daniels says. “We’re targeting them all.”

when it was built. They’re quite prominent in town with a long family legacy beginning in 1890, and their name is on a variety of public buildings, performance halls, and civic plaques across the city. And while their patriarch died last year, his son loved the notion that I presented to him when I said, “Look. Here’s an opportunity to do another iconic building which will anchor the south part of Seattle while the Space Needle anchors the north part, which is just as dramatic architecturally, and could really move the expectations of the community as to what great architecture is here in Seattle.” He loved that idea, and we came up with a variety of designs. He chose gb&d

this one, which we originally nicknamed the Bento Box. gb&d: As in the Japanese lunchbox?

Daniels: It’s been called other things, more derogatory and more flattering both—I actually like the ‘Borg Spaceship’—but we didn’t want to have the normal up-and-down. We wanted to have this textured context of these little neighborhoods coming out. It makes you want to move between places and get to know people so that you can see what the differences are. You now have a reason to see the people on the 20th floor. In a building that goes straight up and down like most do, the 20th floor’s no different from the 26th or the 3rd, other than the view. gb&d: That does totally defy the idea of a high-rise being sort of prefabricated, where everything’s the same. Daniels: Every three or four stories there’s a different floor plate, a different

way of moving. I’ve always been really impressed with Santiago Calatrava or Renzo Piano and other great architects that do exactly that. What we wanted to do was use a local architect and give them the same challenge. This is more expensive than a straight-up-and-down building but not significantly more, and it’s something that lasts a lifetime—or many lifetimes, for that matter. Not everybody’s going to like it, but that’s part of the fun. gb&d: The Fifth and Columbia Tower is a big addition to the skyline as well. Can you tell me about that project? Daniels: The only reason I got involved with that was to save the historic church next door. It is the oldest Byzantinestyle church in America, built between 1906 and 1910, and the interior space is stunning. In fact, the first time I saw it, I walked through it and said, “Wow, this is great. We have to save this.” We’re not building to sell; we’re building to last. And there are two different philosophies there. It’s like comparing Saks or Nieman Marcus or Nordstrom september–october 2013



“The closer you are to a transit hub... the more density you should allow. But that density has to be thought out.” Kevin Daniels, Daniels Real Estate

service to Walmart’s service. We never want to be the commodity broker. Fifth and Columbia will be the most expensive building built in Seattle ever, and it will be the most expensive to rent, but it will be the address. gb&d: When it’s finished in 2015, Stadium Place is going to be the biggest transit-oriented development (TOD) on the West Coast. That’s a phrase we’re hearing more and more lately. Why? Daniels: The closer you are to a transit hub, whether it’s a local one or a regional one, the more density you should allow. But that density has to be thought out. I’ll give you an example of one that wasn’t. San Jose had a light rail system that went from downtown out to a business mart near Santa Clara. There’s hardly any housing on that route. They couldn’t figure out why anybody wasn’t riding it. Well, why are you going to drive your car to one end and get on the train, and go into town, when you can just take your car the rest of the way in and parking is really cheap? Then as they started expanding that out into the mode of residential, it started to work. Atlanta has the same issue. gb&d: How transit-friendly is Seattle? Daniels: Here in the West, we’re among the top ranked. The number of people taking transit is growing every year. Tens of thousands [of people] go through Union Station and King Street Station, which are adjacent to Stadium Place, every day. Whether it’s light rail, heavy rail, bus, or ferry, they’re all within one walking block from Stadium Place. We’re a true TOD. gb&d: And there are also plans for an urban farm? Daniels: Yes, in our common area. The restaurants will have a farmer who is


september–october 2013

growing lettuce and things that are conducive to our environment out here year-round and allows them to save on the transportation from the farms and all of that. If you’re going to have plants up in the common area anyway, why not have a garden?

Guest Editor Lucia Athens I was living in Seattle when Kevin Daniels stepped in to help save the historic First United Methodist Church. Religious institutions are exempt from preservation requirements, and this gorgeous sanctuary building was an important historic downtown anchor. Kevin worked closely with Diane Sugimura, the director of development for the City, to create a win-win by preserving the hall as a community gathering space. Social sustainability is a critical piece of the triple bottom line, and "third places" for gathering, aesthetics, affordability, community diversity, and access to cultural resources are all part of that puzzle. Particularly in cities like Seattle and Austin where a lot of growth is happening, we must take care that we don’t lose the “funk factor” that keeps our cities interesting, diverse, and rooted in their own unique histories.

gb&d: Can you tell me a little about the district energy plans you’re considering for the future of Stadium Place? Daniels: The most radical plans we had were for this huge pipe which collects all the sewage in the city, runs by right in front of Stadium Place, and sends the sewage to a plant just north of us on Elliot Bay before it’s processed. The sewage comes through at millions of gallons an hour—embodied energy being wasted— and yet it has all kinds of properties that can be used from a sustainability standpoint. We spent two years trying to figure it out, and the technology’s just not there yet. But it will be; it’s getting really close. So we put taps into the project for later. gb&d: What are some things you’ve learned from your travels and former projects that you incorporated into Stadium Place? Daniels: Well, one is that we’re a communal society. If you live downtown, you don’t want to be locked in a building without anything to do. You want to be in a neighborhood, and you want to have gathering places, whether that be your Cheers pub, restaurant, or, in our case, Stadium Place, which has many, many different types of amenities spread throughout the project, from health clubs to spas to party rooms to gathering rooms to barbecues and pizza ovens. All places where people can gather [that can] become the “third place.”

Another example, from my National Trust experience, is how to be sensitive to your neighbors. You can’t just put something that overwhelms the neighborhood without deference to the people who are there. They need to be partners in it. Whether they call themselves preservationists or not, everyone loves history and loves where things come from, and they want to make sure you’re appreciative of that. In our case, I think we’ve done a really good job. gb&d a message from auburn mechanical

Located in the Pacific Northwest, Auburn Mechanical is a secondgeneration family business started in 1975. With more than 30 years in the industry, we have earned the reputation of installing systems designed to perform. Clients count on us as leaders in designing sustainable mechanical systems, as experts in lean construction processes, and for unrivaled energy conscious service. Whether it is preconstruction, mechanical, or building services, customers choose Auburn Mechanical when performance counts. a message from Permasteelisa North America

Permasteelisa North America (PNA), a national leader in the design, production, and installation of architectural envelopes, is honored to partner with Daniels Real Estate, JTM Construction, and ZGF Architects LLP on the Stadium Place project in Seattle. Stadium Place defines a new standard for sustainable residential building design in the Pacific Northwest. PNA’s dedication to science, engineering and solution-based design is the ideal complement to the project’s environment-friendly ambitions. PNA provides superior design-build services to the nation’s leading architects and developers. To learn more about PNA, call 651.905.1515 or visit a message from keybank

KeyBank congratulates Daniels Real Estate on the development of Stadium Place. The sustainable and transit-oriented design of this important urban revitalization project is a model for the development community. Kevin Nowak, National Equity Investment Manager - Key Community Development Corporation.

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HCMP is a Seattle-based law firm founded in 1971. Our clients include national and international corporations, local and regional businesses, government entities, community organizations, and individuals. We are proud to represent Daniels Development in connection with development of the North Lot project (Stadium Place), a cutting-edge mixed-use commercial and residential development that will be LEED Gold Certified.

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Daniels Real Estate supports the work of:

“The greenest building is the one already built.” - Carl Elefante

International Building Service is a full service Janitorial company committed to sustainable solutions. We entered the building maintenance market in 1987 recognizing the ever present need for quality maintenance at a competitive price.

Preservation Green Lab advances research and advocacy to stop demolition and improve the environmental performance of existing buildings. More information at

IBS is proud to support the Cassidy Turley LEED-EB program in their Dallas Corporate Office

p 972 241 1234

A project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Illinois Quad Cities

"Public transportation in the United States is a crucial part of the solution to the nation's economic, energy, and environmental challengeshelping to bring a better quality of life." 48

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Cassidy Turley finds sustainable initiatives at all levels With more than 500 million square feet of commercial space across the country, the real estate services firm helps its facilities go green By Mary J. Levine It’s one thing to manage a property. It’s another to make it hum. And making it green? That’s what industry pros call ‘the extra mile.’ Which is the goal for Cassidy Turley’s Sustainability Services team. Founded in 2008 in the midst of the economic downturn, Washington, DC-based Cassidy Turley is a commercial real estate services firm with more than 455 million square feet under management and more than 3,700 professionals. The Cassidy Turley Sustainability Services team has certified more than 8.5 million square feet of LEED projects and currently is working on an additional 3 million square feet of projects for clients across the United States. We spoke with Nicole Snarski, sustainability project manager for Cassidy Turley, to learn more about how the company turns green initiatives to smarter savings. gb&d: Let’s say a client approaches you for sustainability services. What’s the first step you take in determining and launching your sustainability projects? Nicole Snarski: Sustainability is an incredibly broad topic. Some companies are focusing on energy efficiency, others on water savings, and some on reducing the strain on our landfills. The initial step is to determine what the client wants as an end result of the sustainability initiative. We have some clients that have sustainability woven into the corporate missions, and therefore, they have higher requirements, expectations, and—often—higher budgets. For example, a green roof has gb&d

many benefits, but not all clients have it in their budget to install a green roof. The same goes for LEED Platinum certification. This can be a higher cost, but worth the investment depending on the client’s overall sustainability goals, mission, and focus. Other clients find more value in more focused projects such as energy savings, and they direct their efforts and resources into reducing the building’s overall energy consumption, rather than the LEED certifications. gb&d: If a client has a larger budget, and they want to pursue some level of LEED certification, how does Cassidy Turley respond? Snarski: If a client is looking for a LEED certification, the first thing that we suggest is conducting a feasibility study. This study will yield an overview of where the asset stands with regard to the LEED rating system. It provides an overall roadmap for the project and the steps to move forward. Before launching a project, it is important to know how a building is performing, with regard to sustainability, and where the starting point is.

Nicole Snarski, Sustainability Project Manager, Cassidy Turley

gb&d: Is there ever a time Cassidy Turley has found when it’s not worth it to make a property more sustainable? Snarski: There is never a time when it’s “not worth it” to make a property more sustainable. However, there are certain sustainability projects that might not be the best approach for a particular property at a given time. For example, a building requires an Energy Star score of 69 to pursue a LEED-EB certification. If a building has an Energy Star score that is extremely low, the benefits of the LEED certification may not outweigh the cost of the energy improvements. Therefore, it might not be the best strategy for that owner to pursue a LEED certification at that time. However, other sustainability initiatives can be implemented for the building while focusing on bringing energy performance up to the LEED required minimum through upgrades, retrofits, commissioning, tenant education, and so forth. gb&d: What are some of these alternate sustainability initiatives?

“The success of these programs does not have an explicit performance metric associated. However, we strive to touch as many different people as possible.” nicole snarski, cassidy turley

september–october 2013



The McPherson Building Abiding by the DC Metro building code, the 253,000-square-foot McPherson Building at 901 Fifteenth Street stands at a standard 12 stories, but a $25.1 million upgrade in 2009 added an exterior glass curtainwall, a cantilevered entrance canopy with stone archway, and a double-high lobby with marble flooring and bosse wood paneling—all for an added touch of prestige. In 2011, Cassidy Turley obtained $95 million in permanent financing for the building, and in 2012, along with an awarded Energy Star label, the firm also announced plans for a LEED certification for Existing Buildings, instituting client sustainability programs and energy audits to ensure that the McPherson Building upholds its stance in McPherson Square as the area’s preeminent trophy, Class A office building.

Snarski: There is the Powerful Ideas Campaign: colorful, clever posters display sustainability tips that are easy to implement as an individual or a tenant. In our Green Bucks program, building managers and engineers distribute “coupons” to people they see doing things that save energy (consistently turning off monitors/ computers, switching lights off when they leave their offices, etc.). For example, in one building, these coupons can be used as “cash” in the deli within the building. We also can distribute a regular tenant sustainability newsletter with building sustainability updates, reminders, and tips to engage and encourage sustainability throughout tenant offices. There All Cassidy Turley Offices

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are also ways to incorporate sustainability into tenant events by serving locally grown or manufactured products or raffling off prizes related to sustainability.

gb&d: Can the ‘success’ of a sustainability program be quantified?

The Kevin Roche-designed Pyramids—an iconic, three-tower office development owned by Sterling America Property and containing 360,000 aggregate square feet on a 45-acre site in Indianapolis—occupy a unique architectural and energy-efficient entry in Cassidy Turley’s portfolio. Between January 2010 and December 2012, the Pyramids’ Energy Star score jumped from 36 to 66, with the corresponding energy changes reducing energy consumption by 17 percent. Improvements included all T12 lights being replaced with T8 lighting and moderated by occupancy sensors, the boilers being staged to respond to outdoor air temperatures via a boiler control reset program, and the replacement of EMS controls, dampers, and actuators.

Snarski: The success of these programs does not have an explicit performance metric associated; however we strive to touch as many different people as possible. We want to educate our tenants on how to be more sustainable by making them aware of simple ideas that they can incorporate into their day-to-day activities. For example, with our Green Bucks program, we strive to keep energy efficiency and sustainability on the tenants’ minds throughout the day. The Powerful Ideas Campaigns are another way to share ideas with a broad audience. Many of the posters are displayed at parking garage entrances, on display boards outside a building entrance, or in a building lobby. gb&d

As Cassidy Turley promotes green awareness in its managed projects, it directs its attentions to its own offices to set a precedent not only for its clientele but also for itself as a leader for sustainability. Its offices in Washington, DC; St. Louis; San Jose, California; and Charlotte, North Carolina, have all achieved LEED for Commercial Interiors certification. For its construction of new offices, Cassidy Turley salvages or recycles more than 75 percent of the construction waste created, and it also uses up to 25 percent of construction materials from local sources.


The Pyramids

Sherry Lane Place With offices once occupied by President George W. Bush and present tenants on an equally prestigious scale, the 298,000-square-foot, 20-story, Class A Sherry Lane Place in Dallas is a bold entry in Cassidy Turley’s portfolio. Built in 1983, Sherry Lane Place has an exterior wall system of precast concrete spandrel panels banded by aluminum-framed, zip-gasket glazed, bronze reflective glass. A 3M “Scotch Clad” urethane coats the concrete deck roof, and Cassidy Turley has also applied sustainability programs for all Sherry Lane tenants. The building has been Energy Star labeled since 2008 with a 2012 rating of 85 and is currently targeting LEED certification for Existing Buildings.


WEathering the StormS

After an EF-5 tornado destroyed St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in Joplin, MO, this modular hospital was built as a temporary facility.

How two hospitals that survived tragedy are preparing for the next big disaster By Julie Schaeffer When an EF-5 multiple vortex tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, on May 22, 2011, 158 people were killed and 1,100 people were injured, making it the deadliest tornado to strike the United States since 1947. No one can plan for disaster, but they can plan to mitigate the effects by building proactively—especially healthcare facilities, which are called upon most in the wake of a catastrophe. The role of these facilities will be a central theme at this year’s Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo in Chicago in October because hospitals must plan for how to keep their buildings, and their systems, intact during a tornado like the one in Joplin or a massive storm like Hurricane Sandy in New York. Of the $2.8 billion worth of property damaged by the Joplin tornado, which gb&d

was a mile wide and had winds estimated between 225 and 250 miles per hour, one of the buildings hit was St. John’s Mercy Regional Medical Center. Although the structure remained standing, it sustained major damage. Nearly all windows and doors were broken, the roofing had peeled off, interior walls had collapsed, and the contents of sanitary pipes had been sucked out and blown throughout the building. Outside, downed power lines around the perimeter posed an electrical hazard, and debris, including vehicles, made it difficult to enter the building. By early Monday morning, the hospital had been cleared of patients and visitors, and a command center had been set up to begin recovery efforts. Key to those efforts was McCarthy Building

Companies, one of the nation’s leading health-care builders, which had been working with the Mercy system for 25 years. “We were engaged the day the tornado hit to help Mercy respond to the disaster,” says Mike Stapf, McCarthy’s preconstruction director, who will be speaking about the disaster recovery efforts at the Healthcare Facilities Expo. McCarthy worked alongside the National Guard and volunteers to help set up a temporary 60-bed field hospital of tents, which were later upgraded to insulated panels from Johnson Portable Buildings, so that Mercy could re-establish medical services as soon as possible. That facility served patients until spring 2012 when a more secure but still temporary solution—a 150,000-squarefoot, 110-bed prefab system provided by California-based Walden Structures— was trucked to the site and assembled with the help of McCarthy. “Every employee knew within a few days that their jobs were secure and Mercy was committed to helping rebuild stronger and better than ever,” says John Farnen, september–october 2013


TRENDSETTERS St. John’s Mercy Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital

learn more Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo October 1–3, 2013, Chicago Panel highlight Accelerated and Collaborative Planning, Design and Construction (PD&C) in Rebuilding Mercy Joplin Wednesday, October 2 8:00 a.m.

executive director of planning and design at Mercy. Now, Mercy has selected McCarthy to serve as construction manager for a new 880,000-square-foot hospital in Joplin. The new hospital has a construction budget of $345 million and will initially have 211 inpatient beds but will expand to 261. According to Stapf, the tornado made the hospital acutely aware of things previous disaster planning had not considered. “We hit the ground running so hard and so fast, everyone was rushing to do what we normally do— design, procure, and build—in half the time,” Stapf says. “I remember a meeting in the summer of 2011 when someone asked, ‘What are we doing so this doesn’t happen again?’ We had to slow down and think about it before we went too far down the path.” The design and building team, along with the hospital, made a list of the things it should do. “At first it was an exhaustive list, so we ranked them in three categories: what’s going to save lives, what’s going to save lives and save the building, and what’s going to save lives, save the building, and keep the building operating 100 percent,” Stapf says. “That helped us focus, and all of the ‘number ones’ we instituted on the job.” Those ‘number ones’ included hardening the skin and roof of the building, putting in tornado-proof glass, putting safe zones inside the building, having critical systems (such as NICU bassinets, exit signs, and lighting) on additional uninterrupted power supply systems, and ensuring emergency supplies are stored in accessible locations. “Mercy has adopted those practices in other buildings we’re building for them,” Stapf says, “and we’ve shared those best practices with others, especially in Tornado Alley.” Roughly a year and a half later, on the East Coast, New York-Presbyterian Hospital faced its own unique challenges in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a category three tropical cyclone. The


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Panel highlight Using Reverse Innovation to Improve Health in Developing & Developed Worlds Wednesday, October 2 8:00 a.m.

The Joplin tornado caused $2.8 billion worth of destruction. Health-care facilities’ response to such disasters is a vital issue.

storm’s surge, which hit New York City on October 29, 2012, flooded streets, tunnels, and subway lines and cut power throughout the city. Conditions worsened quickly, and many hospitals, such as New York University Langone Medical Center, were forced to evacuate. New York-Presbyterian Hospital was one of the hospitals that picked up much of the slack. “Even with the flooding and blackout conditions in the city, we were prepared and mitigated the impact with adequate manpower and equipment,” says Thomas Breglia, corporate director of engineering for New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Breglia will be speaking at the Healthcare Facilities Expo along with Kenneth Chien, a senior project manager for Jones Lang LaSalle, which New York-Presbyterian hired to help with assessing the hospital’s infrastructure and its ability to hold up in the event of future disasters.

Each of New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s five campuses are required to create a hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA), and its infrastructure team has taken the HVA to another level. “We asked ourselves, ‘If we had another event like a hurricane or flood, what are we doing about mitigating the risk before the hazard disrupts our equipment or service?’” Breglia says. To that end, the infrastructure team set up a hazardous mitigation assessment program. “We took the hazards listed on the HVA, then went back to facility and clinical operations colleagues and asked them what they considered the most important events and what systems they would be most concerned about,” he says. “What began as a total of 31 events and 12 systems was prioritized to 12 events and eight systems.” Now, New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s infrastructure team is acting on that information with the help of Jones Lang LaSalle. “We want to have preventive measures in place to keep the heart and arteries of hospital systems operational,” Chien says. The hospital is making sure the rooftop equipment is stabilized and anchored properly. Chien adds that the team is looking into putting temporary generators or chillers on the street that would feed into the buildings. “After Sandy, everyone wanted to talk about what will happen when another Sandy occurs in New York,” Chien says. “But we’re really looking at all types of hazards. This program is a proactive approach to hardening the facilities rather than being reactive after the fact.” gb&d

“We are asking ourselves, ‘If we had another event like a hurricane or flood, what are we doing about mitigating the risk before the hazard disrupts our equipment or service?’” Thomas Breglia, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

photo: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Panel highlight The City and the Storm: New Paradigms in Health Care Planning Tuesday, October 1 2:15 p.m.


Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List





The D Las Vegas

Small changes add up to big savings


Golden Gate CAsino



Revisiting the LEED Gold casino campus

Using geothermal in “old” Vegas

Rio All-Suites hotel and Casino

Cogeneration plant saves $1.5 million

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Four of a kind Green Casinos upending the stereotype By Michelle Markelz


PROJECT Location Las Vegas Size 18 million ft2 Completed 2010 Program Three hotels, two residential towers, shopping complex

TEAM DEVELOPER MGM Resorts International Architects Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (ARIA Resort & Casino), Helmut Jahn (Veer Towers), RV Architecture (Vdara), Kohn Pedersen Fox (Mandarin Oriental), Studio Daniel Libeskind and David Rockwell and Rockwell Group (Crystals shopping pavilion)

GREEN Certification LEED Gold (six separate buildings) Materials 90% of construction waste recycled Energy On-site 8.5 megawatt cogeneration plant, reflective rooftops, high-performance glass HVAC Air-conditioning systems built in slot-machine bases Water Conservation measures save 50 million gallons per year Transportation Compressednatural-gas limo fleet, 100% electric CityCenter Tram

CityCenter Revisiting an efficient desert ecosystem CityCenter in Las Vegas may have a silver sheen thanks to its copious amounts of steel and glass, but there’s nothing second-rate about the casino and hotel development that calls itself the “City of Gold.” Standing as a testament to the marriage of sustainability and world-class design, CityCenter netted six LEED Gold certifications—the most of any development in the city—one each for the Vdara, Veer Towers, and Mandarin Oriental; one for the Crystals shopping pavilion; and two for ARIA’s hotel and convention space.

Like its casinos, CityCenter employs a host of bells and whistles that provide interest and efficiency. At ARIA, automation is taken to a new level in guest rooms where everything from the temperature to the TV, window treatments, and wake-up calls is customizable and responds to guest presence or absence. Employee uniforms made from recycled materials are outfitted with radio frequency chips that link them to their matching employees. Turning traditional air-conditioning on its head, slot machines are engineered with ground-to-ceiling cooling units that circumvent traditional HVAC inefficiencies by starting cooling at the floor. And an 8.5-megawatt natural gas, cogeneration plant—a first on the Vegas strip—provides 10 percent of CityCenter’s electricity and uses exhausted waste heat to heat or cool the water used throughout the buildings and in pools. If the ultimate form of clean transportation—walking—isn’t an option, guests can move about the city by two other green means: the CityCenter Tram, which is electrically powered and runs along 2,187 feet of track from the Bellagio to Monte Carlo, or the exclusive CityCenter clean-burning, compressednatural-gas limo service. gb&d

CityCenter has an 8.5-megawatt natural gas cogeneration plant on-site that provides 10 percent of the entire complex’s energy needs.

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The Longbar and The D’s other restaurants, bars, and hotel rooms use LED lighting and motion sensors to curb unnecessary use of electricity.

Project Location Las Vegas Size 200,000 ft2 (renovation) Completed 2012 Program Casino and hotel

Team OWNERS Derek and Greg Stevens Architect/Interior Designer Gensler Lighting Design Illuminated Concepts

Green Certification Not applicable Materials Locally sourced stone, reclaimed wood, reused fixtures Energy Automated climate controls, motion sensors Lighting Extensive use of LEDs


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The D Las Vegas Localizing a Freemont Street landmark Paying homage to Fremont Street’s heyday while sprucing up and slicking back its interiors, The D casino’s face-lift takes its inspiration from the iconic “old” Vegas with Rat Pack-themed penthouses and rich, reclaimed wood, complemented by sleek red and black decor that couches the boutique hotel’s vintage aesthetic in a modern design, but it still has sustainable touches. Co-owning brothers Derek Stevens and Greg Stevens had been changing light bulbs over to LED before it was trendy to do so, but they always intended to more than just maintain the property when they bought it. Amid the transformation of the old strip, The D’s transformation was a natural progression for the longevity of the property. Many of the iconic spots that make up the Fremont Street Experience, the collective of Vegas’ original hotels and casinos,

have revamped their entertainment and ecological presence. The D, formerly known as the Fitzgerald Casino, used the frame of the old casino building in the renovation and then used locally sourced materials to make its debut with little environmental impact. The casino’s two-story stature is nothing new, but it is unique to The D—a point the men chose to take advantage of by using the division like a portal to the past. Cross into the second floor and you’ll be taken back to old Vegas with neon signage and coin-operated slots. Introduced with a rebranding kickoff event in October 2012, The D’s new elements are geographically eclectic from its East Coast fare provided by American Coney Island to the hotel and casino’s new name, which references the Stevens’ hometown of Detroit. An original design by the Stevens brothers, The Longbar, a part of the casino, stretches farther than any other bar in the state and provides a comfortable spot to watch sports and play video poker for guests. gb&d


Golden Gate Casino Smart energy systems update an icon The Golden Gate is the oldest casino in “old” Las Vegas on Fremont Street and is also owned by the Stevens brothers, Derek and Greg. To update the building, the pair added a 16-room tower to increase the casino space, lobby, and offices, which was the first major expansion on the casino in more than half a century. A mini museum of artifacts recalling the Fremont Street staple’s storied past contrasts with cutting-edge technologies that bring down energy costs and green-up the building. Two-way mirrors that once allowed “security” to keep an eye on guests, whiskey bottles found behind walls that withstood Prohi-

bition, and original guest ledgers are just some of the history on display. The vintage Vegas starts and ends with the decor—the new guest rooms operate on automated conditioning and plumbing systems, and two major mechanical updates bring the 100-year-old building up to date. The most impressive green feature the property is its Otis Gen2 elevator. The lift replaces a 1950s-era machine with a big motor and big energy demands. The Gen2 generates energy as it descends, is about 40 percent more efficient than a typical elevator, and the innovative elevator is a first in Nevada and the 16th of its kind in the world. With no shortage of competition within walking distance, the Stevens men knew the importance of differentiating their property. Casinos, because of their never-ceasing hours of operation and high concentration of cigarette smoke, present a unique challenge with

Project location Las Vegas Size 35,000 ft2 (addition) Completed 2012 Cost $12 million Program Hotel and casino

Team OWNERS Derek and Greg Stevens Architect/Interior Designer Gensler Lighting Design Illuminated Concepts Geothermal Hardin Geotech

Green Certification Not applicable Materials Locally sourced Las Vegas rock, reclaimed wood Energy Otis Gen2 elevator reduces energy by 40%, geothermal heating and refrigeration, automated climate control activated by motion sensors

The Golden Gate casino in the “old” Las Vegas was the first building in Nevada to install an Otis Gen2 elevator, which generates power as it descends.


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ABOVE The Golden Gate casino has a closed-loop geothermal system, which provides most of the heating and cooling for the building.

the strain they place on HVAC systems. To achieve as close to perfect conditions as possible, the brothers worked closely with Siemens to install independent, strategically placed ventilation units whose sensors give the most attention to hot spots and direct fresh outside air where needed. In a climate like Vegas’s, this can present a second challenge—temperature and humidity—but the Golden Gate responds in kind. Because he has a background in mechanical engineering, Greg says he geeked out on the geothermal system. “There were many nights I just read as much as I could on refrigeration to learn how it works and about the efficiency of using water to move heat around the building,” he says. “The mechanics are kind of my forte. I don’t know if it’s a gift or a curse.” Calling upon their Detroit roots, the Stevens brothers took a manufacturer’s approach to the project, constantly seeking the most efficient processes and design. “I like to ask a lot of questions and force a detailed answer out of people,” Greg says. The answer he got was a three-part, closed-loop system that allows the Golden Gate to operate with almost no use of natural gas. And the hotel’s signature shrimp cocktail is kept cool by a variable-speed refrigeration system that saves 65 percent of the energy of a multiunit configuration. gb&d


The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino installed its cogeneration plant in 2004, which has led to a $1.5 million annual savings in water, gas, and electricity.

Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino Cogeneration an answer to triune needs When you hear the term CodeGreen around the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, don’t think security breach—rather, think securing the future. Since its inception, the CodeGreen initiative has been a roadmap leading to laudable achievements in sustainable business practices and operations for Rio and its parent company, Caesars Entertainment, which was honored by the EPA with the Environmental Quality Award in 2008. More than 100 conservation projects, such as the cogeneration facility that generates five megawatts of electricity for Rio or the fresh linen and towel service opt-out program, make up the tangible efforts and targets the company gb&d

has set for its properties worldwide. Rio’s cogeneration plant was installed in 2004 to curb the site’s $9 million annual energy bill. It now generates 40 percent of the electricity, 60 percent of the hot water, and 65 percent of the heating requirements for Rio. The cogeneration installation saves the resort $1.5 million annually. Complementing its green goals, Caesars also participates in charitable programs for social sustainability. Ever wonder what happens to all those halfused bottles of hotel shampoo and barely bathed-with complementary soap? Caesars Entertainment donated more than 50 tons of soap to the Clean the World nonprofit in 2012. gb&d

project Location Las Vegas Completed 2004 (cogeneration plant installed) Energy Cogeneration plant, motionactivated guest-room heating and cooling, CodeGreen team Materials Single-stream recycling, wet-food composting

The Rio’s cogeneration plant generates 40% of the electricity, 60% of the hot water, and 65% of the heating needs for the entire hotel and casino.

september–october 2013


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Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List Join the conversation! @gbd_mag



burlington performing arts centre

A green space for the arts and the community

september–october 2013


Construction on the LEED Goldcertified performing arts center in Ontario wrapped up in 2011. Its two theater spaces seat almost 1,000 guests yet the building will consume 35% less than a comparable theater.



Burlington Performing Arts Centre From the site of a former fueling station rises a contemporary, LEED Gold space worthy of Ontario’s arts-minded patrons



LOCATION Burlington, ON Size 62,000ft2 Completed 2011 Program Main lobby, two theaters, backstage space

CERTIFICATION LEED Gold Site Redeveloped brownfield site Materials 90% of construction waste diverted from landfills, 19% of construction materials contained recycled content Water Designed to have 40% reduced use of water Energy Projected to use 35% less energy

TEAM Client City of Burlington Architect Diamond Schmitt Architects Project Manager MHPM General Contractor Bird Construction Structural Engineer Halcrow Yolles Mechanical/Electrical Engineer Crossey Engineering Landscape Architect DTAH Sustainable Design Consultant Enermodal Engineering

On any given night, residents of Burlington, Ontario, can hop on a bus heading downtown to see a dance troupe, listen to a children’s choir, or experience a symphonic orchestra. This hasn’t always been the case. For years, local residents and artists had to travel outside of Burlington to experience the performing arts. That changed in December 2011 when the new Burlington Performing Arts Centre opened its doors. The building was the first LEED Gold freestanding performing arts center in Ontario and was the product of a long existing cultural and sustainable goal. “We had been unique within the greater Toronto area in that we were the only community that didn’t have a performing arts center,” says Graham Frampton, the facility’s operations manager. “This project has been the dream of individuals within the community, both artists and politicians alike.” By Ashley T. Kjos

Performance Spaces


The center is home to a wide variety

I n building the center, the City of Burlington was able to divert 90 percent of construction waste from landfills. In addition, 19 percent of materials used in the building contain recycled content, and 50 percent of all wood-based materials used were FSC certified (1). The structure also has a comprehensive, automated system programmed to run the building only while occupied and operational, all of which help the center achieve a 35 percent reduction in energy consumption relative to the Model National Energy Code for Buildings, a set of energy guidelines in Canada. “It’s a very tight and capable building,” Frampton says. “Last year, we were well under our utilities budget.”

of performing arts. It taps into the strong local creative culture, but it is also used by many traveling acts and artists. The space itself is composed of a black box studio theater and a larger 718-seat main theater. Being truly multidisciplinary, the center uses these areas for performances of music, dance, theater, and comedy of all genres and types. Due to Burlington’s unique historical marching band culture, instrumental groups and marching bands are especially frequent, including the notable Team Tour Band, which originated in Burlington and now performs around the world.

The main lobby of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre features multiple walls of windows and a dynamically lit suspended ceiling.


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INNER WORKINGS Burlington Performing Arts Centre

“This project has been the dream of individuals within the community, both artists and politicians alike.” Graham Frampton, Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Graham Frampton

Perfect Location 

Easy Landscaping

Smart Design

The old Halton Region Police Station was the brownfield site used as a starting point for the project. Selected because of its proximity to downtown and the need to redevelop the piece of land, the structure now sits only a block away from the downtown bus terminal that provides convenient and sustainable transportation for the center’s patrons. By building the venue close to a gas station, the project also obtained a LEED credit for redeveloping a contaminated site by installing underground berms to prevent any hydrocarbons from traveling onto the property. The efforts have ensured that there have been zero issues since the center was built.

“There was a lot of

The main lobby of

effort put into retaining or replacing trees on the site,” Frampton says (2). “Any trees that had to be removed, we made sure to plant a tree back on the property.” The gardens that surround the facility were also conceived with environmental responsibility and conservation in mind. Although the Burlington Performing Arts Center does not currently have any plans for a rainwater collection system, the plants and grasses are all low maintenance and require little to no irrigation (3). “The things that are planted don’t need a lot of care,” he says.

the building is aesthetically defined by a large curtainwall all the way around (4). The space is lit by daylight, and the lights typically don’t have to be turned on until the sun goes down. Highly efficient gas-filled glass is used throughout the building to minimize heat gain and loss. The building has an nLight system to control the light fixtures through occupancy and daylight sensors to dim the lights or turn them off. The layout of the interior was intelligently designed to make use of available energy by putting the corridors on the perimeter and keeping the working areas of the building away from exterior walls.



september–october 2013


Landscape Architects for the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Both theaters open up to a main lobby area that is meant as a community space for additional events. The space has floor-to-ceiling glass to allow natural daylight for daytime events.

Local Impact Community enrichment and the

importance of retaining local artists were driving factors in developing the center’s philosophy. “We have two planks to our mission,” Frampton says. “To help local artists by providing them with a place to perform and also drawing acts to our community from outside the area.” This affords residents the chance to attend performances without leaving Burlington and improves commerce in the downtown area. The staff also partners with many community entities and youth groups. Recently, the environmental organization BurlingtonGreen held an event called ‘Eco Summit’ for the city’s youth at the center and used the building’s sustainable objectives as a focal point. The summit featured famed anthropologist and environmentalist, Jane Goodall, as the keynote speaker. gb&d

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green building & design

Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List 68

five trends in living Architecture

As the green roof industry matures, growth brings new innovations and parameters for success


Discussion board


grown in Detroit


How do we scale up green lessons learned to apply to cities? How landscape architecture and DIY investment are renewing the Motor City

september–october 2013




FIVE Growing Trends Architecture By Russ Klettke


photo: paul murdock architects

We can easily call this the green era of architecture, but for many, the descriptor owes itself more to a philosophy and less to the color. Living architecture and associations such as Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) are changing that by painting our cities with increasingly complex plant ecologies. Although vegetated roofs and walls vary from project to project and city to city, and though they are not one but many things, serving different objectives, meeting dissimilar expectations, and answering varied practical realities—including, simply, what can grow where—as experts and advocates explain, five new trends make the case for a strong and vibrant future.

LEFT Rana Creek worked on the Council District 9 headquarters in Los Angeles. The building has a large green roof with a playground on top, creating a recreational space for the public. ABOVE Philadelphia started a program in 2009 that entails building parks and recreational areas within 10 minutes of 75% of the city. Penn Park, on the University of Pennsylvania campus, is open to university students and local residents.

#1 Green Beats ‘Gray’ The best thing about traditional stormwater infrastructure is that it’s familiar and everyone knows how to install it, but that’s where the benefits end. People are realizing that green infrastructure, such as bioswales and vegetated roofs, can add more benefit per dollar than a pipe in the ground. Just ask Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter. “Philadelphia was the first city in the country to provide safe, clean drinking water to all of its residents in the early 1800s,” he says. “Using green infrastructure on a large scale is an extension of that innovative legacy and makes sense on a number of levels.” In 2009, Philadelphia, which is the nation’s fifth largest city based on population, declared that it plans to be the greenest city in every respect: municipal energy use (down five percent in 2012 from 2009), recycling rates (tripled), bike lanes (428 miles), and conversion of unused land to parks (100 acres and counting). The parks effort was the beginning

Trend #1 in Action Philadelphia Parks Program Since April 2012, the City of Philadelphia has been in partnership with the EPA to intercept rainwater at its source, effectively channeling one million gallons of runoff per acre into the ground by using storm-water bump-out planters, trench trees, porous pavement, wetlands, rain gardens, cisterns, residential rain barrels, and green roofs. The EPA will provide $2 billion to Philly over 25 years—an amount, the city says, that is less than what it would cost to construct traditional “gray” infrastructure. Most of the money will be used to convert select streets, parking lots, schools, and other public spaces into planted landscapes. New park spaces are geographically distributed to ensure even water absorption. But new parks in all parts of town, some as small as a quarter acre, answer another important need for 200,000 residents who otherwise didn’t have recreational spaces within a 10-minute walk of their homes. The slated 500 acres of new landscaped parks will add jobs, reduce crime, improve human health, and remove 1.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 40 years.

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FEATURES Living Architecture

“Using green infrastructure on a large scale is an extension of [our] innovative legacy and makes sense on a number of levels.” Mayor Michael Nutter, City of Philadelphia

of an ambitious plan undertaken by the city’s water department, which entails the conversion of impervious surfaces, such as paved recreation areas and abandoned lots, into neighborhood parks that absorb rain in situ instead of having it run off the flat surfaces and into wastewater treatment. Regardless of where rain falls, an inch of storm water on a single acre of impervious asphalt, concrete, or rooftop sends 27,000 gallons of water into the city’s aging sewage and storm-water treatment system. With such large storm-water demands in a densely developed city, Nutter says that the water department had two options: it could continue to build new, larger underground infrastructure, or it could promote a mix of green storm-water solutions that would provide a number of benefits for every dollar invested. Nutter sees his city’s efforts as a public-private endeavor. “Because stormwater management needs to happen on public and private property,” he says, “it makes sense for the city to incentivize residents and business owners to use innovative storm-water management measures like green roofs, storm-water planters, and tree trenches on their own land.” To accomplish this, the city offers a tax credit to private property owners worth 25 percent of green roof installation costs up to $100,000, and actual growing plants must occupy at least 50 percent of the total rooftop to qualify for the incentive. Other major cities that provide green roof incentives via tax reductions, grants, and expedited permitting include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, DC. But the sustainable benefits for the city don’t end with a reduced load on the water treatment system. “Philadelphia reduces the heat-island effect and becomes a greener city with cleaner air and better water quality,” Nutter says.


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The LAPT? Short for Living Architecture Performance Tool and developed by GRHC, this certification program will help quantify the benefits of green roofs and wells. It should be fully operational by 2015. Learn more at

#2 Understanding Performance, Quantifying Value

Green roofs have been trending for a while now, and the question is shifting from, “Should we install one?” to “How well will it perform?” That answer isn’t simple, but Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a nonprofit industry association, is looking to make that research easier to conduct and find. David Yocca, a landscape architect and planner and board member at GRHC, has a simple way of describing why green roofs should not be installed on faith alone. “In architecture, we attach metrics to everything,” Yocca says. “We should be able to measure water retention, energy savings, a reduced heat island effect, and a healthier environment overall.” Also a principal with Conservation Design Forum in Elmhurst, Illinois, Yocca is heavily involved in the development of the Living Architecture Performance Tool (LAPT), a green-roof certification effort being led by GRHC. Yocca says the program, modeled after the processes used in LEED and SITES, should be fully operational by 2015 and will include measures of environmental benefits and construction and maintenance practices for green roofs, walls, and other living architecture systems. The LAPT will advance green roofs beyond practical concerns (making a roof that Spotlight DeVry University Chicago doesn’t leak) and aesthetic ones (it’s prettier than a rubVegetal i.D. installed more than 10,000 square feet of its Hydropack green roof system at the new Chicago campus of DeVry University. The green roof is part of how the school hopes to achieve a LEED Silver certification, as it simultaneously complies with Chicago’s mandates to reduce heat island effects from large buildings. Candace Goodwin, campus president, explains that energy management—30 percent use reduction—is an overall goal of the board of directors and the school’s sustainability studies academic leaders. The green roof and surrounding landscape serve as a working model for future bricks-and-mortar campuses of the distributed university system.

Although it appears green here, the roof of the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre can turn brown during a severe drought. Even with the plants in dormancy, however, the roof is “performing.”


Amount of rainfall in Vancouver over 5 months in 2012, sending green roofs into dormancy. Maintenance crews had to be educated about this natural cycle.

Trend #2 in Action VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre If a green roof goes brown, has it failed? The VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, endured the record drought of 2012, during which the area received a mere six millimeters of water over five months, and the lush fescues installed in 2011 went into dormancy. “We had to educate maintenance crews and the public that this was the natural course,” says Ken Larsson of Sharp & Diamond, the landscape architect for the 19,000-square-foot structure, which appears from the outside with its undulating roof to be half building and half landscape and is applying for LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certification. “Fortunately, all growth returned with vigor by the 2013 growing season,” Larsson notes, proof that superficial aesthetics can be a false measure of green roof success.

ber membrane) and some vague promise of environmental benefits. Performance measures can translate into justifying expenditures and boosting real estate values, Yocca says. The proposed national EPA stormwater rule-making for new and redeveloped buildings and sites might make green roof performance a very meaningful number, and ultimately the LAPT will help stimulate the industry. Yocca says that the tool will bring a “larger percentage of roofs, greater square footage of those roofs, an accelerated pace in the performance characteristics and attributes, and foster more research.” Yocca also cautions that national standards have to account for regional differences such as rainfall patterns, temperature ranges, and growth zones. “These are living systems, so first we must ensure there is no plant failure,” he says. Companies like Vegetal i.D. are integral to ensuring that plants thrive and water runoff is reduced. Like its French parent, Le Prieuré, Vegetal’s products include the Hydropack (for roofs) and Vertipack (for walls) that are pre-planted, install-as-is interlocking trays that make it easy for just about anyone to

start a green roof or living wall. Although its US product and development manager, Gaelle Berges, cautions that performance varies from building to building, the company has 10 years of rain-runoff data and R-value numbers from past installations to use as a guide. Echoing Yocca’s comments, Berges notes that in most climates the benefits accrue from heat resistance, thanks to plant evapotranspiration and growing media thermal mass. “Green roofs are so new to the US,” Berges says. “As the market evolves, more data need to be collected.”

phtos: mitchell leff (mayor nutter),

“In architecture, we attach metrics to everything. We should be able to measure water retention, energy savings, a reduced heat island effect, and a healthier environment overall.” David Yocca, Conservation Design Forum gb&d

september–october 2013


FEATURES Living Architecture

#3 Integrating Complex Ecosystems With more green roofs comes more knowledge of the best ways to make them a part of the building systems required for them to function. Some of the largest green roofs and walls are being built to accomplish extensive goals and concurrently inspire all who have the good fortune to live among, work in, or visit these installations. Facebook will have a 433,555-square-foot, Frank Gehry-designed addition to its existing headquarters in Menlo Park, California, with what’s described as a rooftop park of intensive landscaping. The Ford truck assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan, is topped with more than 10 acres of sedum. Chicago outdid its own circa-2001 city hall green roof with Millennium Park, a 24.5-acre intensive green roof that was completed in 2004 and which few visitors know to be a roof at all. The living architecture department of Rana Creek, an environmental design firm in Monterey, California, has undertaken numerous large, complex projects in urban and rural environments, including eco-resort Monterey Bay Shores, the Gap Inc. headquarters near San Francisco, Croton Water Treatment Plant in New York City, and the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. What distinguishes many of these projects is their multifunctional nature. “Building rooftop ecologies is a thrilling exploration of how to inte-

ABOVE Designed by Rana Creek, San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center features extensive, integrated ecosystems that compose one of the most ambitious green roof projects in the world. RIGHT Transbay’s 5.4-acre green roof will be planted with 75-foot redwoods, willows, alders, and wetland plants, providing habitat for wildlife and public space for people.

“Building rooftop ecologies is a thrilling exploration of how to integrate architecture, engineering, and art.” Paul Kephart, Rana Creek


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inch of rain on an acre of impervious land

27,000 gallons of storm-water runoff

Trend #3 in Action Transbay Transit Center If there is anything currently under construction that better evokes longago images of a faraway future, San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center is it. A four-level structure with a street running through it, the Transbay Center will be the connecting point of 11 transportation systems from throughout the state of California. Some are calling it the Grand Central Station of the West. Rana Creek, the center’s environmental planner, worked with building architect Pelli Clark Pelli to crown the bowed-glass structure with a 5.4-acre rooftop park that will provide welcome green space in a densely populated, heavily trafficked section of the city. Perched atop this bustling crossroads will be a new constructed wetland. “When we began designing this, a lot of the ideas were fairly new,” Rana Creek’s Paul Kephart says. “We wanted an organic, biological system to recycle water and waste while we provided a human environment.” Municipal codes and regulations, however, lacked the vehicle for assessing and approving the design, but the LEED process and amenable agencies have gotten past that hurdle. The original plan was to receive greywater from surrounding buildings as well as the center, but after testing, the team found it wasn’t feasible. However, thermal regulation, water recycling, and reduced potable water benefits will be significant, and 50- to 75-foot redwoods, willows, alders, and wetland plants provide habitat for pollinators, dragonflies, migratory birds, peregrine falcons, and, of course, office workers.

Guest Editor Lucia Athens “Buildings can become the armature for living systems. Beyond the basic concept of simply meeting our present needs, living architecture can increase the productivity of cities. Buildings can produce more than they need, helping to restore and heal.”


grate architecture, engineering, and art,” says Rana Creek founder Paul Kephart, who describes his work as that of an ecologist where water, habitat, and flora function as part of the structure and surrounding environment. “I see things from a functional and process standpoint, organic in nature,” Kephart says. He began his work on the Transbay Center by looking at the city of San Francisco, pre-building, where creeks historically coursed their way through the city. Informed by that, he and his team designed a rooftop park that minimizes use of potable water in landscaping and attenuates the storm-water runoff from the site, which is complicated in a region characterized by dry summers and wet shoulder seasons. “Architecture has to evolve with seasonality,” Kephart says. Yet water, plant growth, and animals do not respect property lines, and with birds, trees, skyscrapers (casting shade and reflective light), non-green neighbors, vehicular traffic, and human populations, are complex interactions manageable? “When you break down the parts it becomes simple,” Kephart says. “When you see the relationships it tends to become more efficient. Working with nature can teach us a lot about building.”

#4 Prioritizing Maintenance It’s easy to install a green roof and then sit back and wait for the benefits, but like all plants, these systems need to be nurtured in order to thrive. “All roofs are microclimates,” explains Dennis Yanez, national marketing manager for American Hydrotech, a Chicago-based waterproofing and roofing products company that has developed an expertise in vegetated roofs. “In urban environments, sun and shade studies reveal what needs to be taken into account in the selection of plants.” Hydrotech has worked on green roofs in Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. Large september–october 2013


FEATURES Living Architecture

“It’s a myth in the industry that a green roof should be able to exist without maintenance.” Nate Griswold, American Hydrotech

ties of living plants in sometimes harsh rooftop environments. They’ve seen situations where the full budget was spent on the installation, but a subsequent plant die-off resulted from a failure to irrigate during the first two years necessary to establish a root system. Or, when construction is completed at the wrong time of year for planting to the leasing agent’s displeasure. Even allowing for a two-year irrigation program, invasive plant species require ongoing removal. And, the species considered native to the region, as specified to earn LEED points, might not necessarily fit the specific wind and sun conditions of a high-rise roof. Although LEED has been remarkably successful at promoting green build-

ing design, materials, and practices, it nonetheless receives criticism on certain points. Among them is failing to account for regional climatic conditions, such as awarding the same points for water conservation in Vermont as it does in Nevada. Such an approach can be severely problematic for green roofs, which are dependent on plant performance to be successful and provide benefits in specific climates. “With the first vegetated roofs we were primarily concerned that there wouldn’t be leaks,” Griswold says. “We’ve now advanced to where we can focus on the specific realities of each project. We investigate more variables and then design the program that best meets the need.”


installations all, each do their best to comply with LEED rules that favor native plants and minimal maintenance. But is that misguided? “It’s a myth in the industry that a green roof should be able to exist without maintenance, including watering,” says Nate Griswold, senior garden roof technical sales coordinator for Hydrotech. “We should think of it in terms of minimal to maximum care.” Griswold also contributed to GRHC’s “Design Guidelines and Maintenance Manual for Green Roofs in the Semi-Arid and Arid West” and several training programs. Griswold and Yanez provide examples in which a low- or no-maintenance philosophy does not fit neatly with the reali-


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Trend #4 in ActioN Barclays Center Plaza The Barclays Center Plaza at Atlantic Yards is the new home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the NHL’s New York Islanders. Straddled above a major passenger rail hub, the green-roofed arena entrance ushers in visitors by way of a sloping, succulent-covered entry corridor. The facility has no dedicated parking. Instead, city planners want New Yorkers to travel by way of the eleven train lines that lead there. American Hydrotech was commissioned to install the 11,000 square feet of extensive plant covering on the undulating landscape. “This was a design challenge,” says Nate Griswold. “Given the 53-degree slope in some spots, we had to work closely with the architects and engineers.” The roof covering was planted in fall 2012, just weeks before Hurricane Sandy blew through. Shockingly, it remained intact. It has since been maintained according to strict specifications provided by Hydrotech to those in charge of building maintenance. On this project, they are assured that an appropriate budget has been allocated to keep the plants thriving, come what may, and they check in occasionally to see for themselves.

Hurricane Sandy couldn’t destroy the vegetated roof American Hydrotech installed atop the subway entrance at the Barclays Center in New York. Neither will negligence because the budget allocated funds for maintenance, something lacking with many green roofs.


#5 Rooftops Mean Revenue A building’s rooftop can be covered with a green roof for any number of reasons: provide an outdoor gathering place for building users, mitigate urban heat island effect, publicity—none of which are a direct revenue stream for a building owner. With the abundance of urban food deserts and other “locavore” challenges, developers and others are realizing a profitable solution has existed under (or far above) their noses all along—rooftop farms. It wasn’t until 2010 that the first large-scale rooftop farm, Brooklyn Grange, was created in Long Island, New York, with a second location in Brooklyn, using a combination of private equity, loans, fundraising, and crowdfunding, such as with a Kickstarter campaign. The entrepreneurial farmers sell produce and organic flowers to New York restaurants and members of their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. John Stoddard and Courtney Hennessey are building a similar rooftop farm on the Boston Design Center. As with other such programs, these are designed to be profit-making ventures. And why not? Distribution costs are minimized, there is no processing required, and most roofs get the full day’s pass of the sun, free of shade. Building owners who host a rooftop farm are now renting out what was previously just utility space. With sky-high agriculture, owners gain the thermal-regulating qualities of soil and plant material that reduce summer heat by 65 degrees versus a black roof, a roof that lasts 50 to 70 years september–october 2013


FEATURES Living Architecture

learn more CITIESALIVE 2013 October 23–26, San Francisco training course Introduction to Rooftop Agriculture Wednesday, October 23 8:30 a.m.

training course Green Walls 101: Systems Overview and Design

Wednesday, October 23 12:30 p.m.

ABOVE Rooftop agriculture isn’t the only revenue stream available for rooftops. Chicago’s City Hall building has a rooftop beehive to help pollinate the flowers on the roof, and the honey is harvested and sold at farmers markets around the city.


More automobile exhaust is found at street level than at six stories up, an argument for rooftop farms Trend #5 in Action Higher Ground Farm

instead of the typical 20 to 30, and a new stream of rental income. Buildings that host a roof farm must structurally be able to support between 15 and 84 pounds per square foot, sometimes more for intensive crops that require deep soil, and the rooftop farmers must install several protective layers to ensure protection from root damage to the membrane. Stoddard explains that the location over the Boston Design Center, which has 87 showrooms catering to the home furniture and furnishings trade, was both a matter of physical appropriateness, and it offers a potential market of CSA customers from building workers. As green roofs in general grow in acceptance, rooftop farms become a positive building amenity that is attractive to prospective tenants. gb&d Editor’s Note: This article was produced in partnership with Steven Peck and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.


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John Stoddard and Courtney Hennessey combined their environmental science educations with passionate interests in food sustainability to found Higher Ground Farm, which grew its first crops in Boston in 2013. They previously worked with CSAs and consulted on community gardening, local and sustainable foodsourcing for restaurants, crop planning, and commercial-scale farming. When they identified a location and willing landlord at the Boston Design Center for their rooftop farm concept, they decided to go big and source maximum financing. They were able to raise the approximately half-million dollars necessary to establish an extensive growing medium and first-year plantings for the 38,000-square-foot installation. The landlord showed immediate interest. “They saw community and public relations benefits,” Stoddard says. Boston, along with a handful of other cities, incentivizes building owners to install green roofs through various property tax breaks. Boston’s climate runs a little cooler with temperatures above 70 degrees only in June through September, which illustrates how even a temperate climate can accommodate rooftop farming. The air is a little cleaner up there as well. One researcher studying car exhaust particulates found only a tenth as much exhaust at six stories up than at the street level, where people live and urban gardens are more likely found.

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lucia athens asks “How do we scale up green lessons learned to apply to cities?” “Green roofs and walls are flexible enough that they can be successfully scaled citywide. Celebrate successes, engage the user community, and ensure supportive policies and programs are in place to encourage widespread implementation. Scale produces less costs and greater public benefits like green jobs, urban heat island mitigation, improved storm-water management and air quality.”

“Whether designing individual objects or an entire city, principles of sustainability apply. Processes of design integration and investigation remain virtually the same in defining appropriate strategies.  Applying sustainable solutions citywide requires transferring strategies to communal scale, making effective public outreach policies critical to implementation.” Kent Anderson, Principal, Hamilton

“Why can’t a building or a city be like a tree and recycle its own outflows? Trees are open systems connected to other open systems through multiple natural networks, nature’s infrastructures. Let’s reopen buildings and cities to their surroundings, so that they become open ecosystems once again, as they were before they became hermetically sealed and connected by closedloop infrastructures.”

Steven Peck, Founder and President,

Anderson Associates, p. 80

Michael Neuman, Professor of

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, p. 68

“City agencies record useful physical information about buildings and neighborhoods, but a ‘Lessons Learned by the Architect’ section in the city building code, submitted after completing a project, would document a city’s history block by block, encouraging future designers to learn from their predecessors rather than repeating our follies.” Jeremy Reed, Architect, Morris Adjmi Architects, p. 128

Sustainable Urbanism at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, p. 18


september–october 2013

phtos: caleb fox (lucia athens)

As the chief sustainability officer for the City of Austin, Texas, Lucia Athens is tasked with making one of the more sustainability-minded American cities even greener. She posed the above question to other professionals from this issue of gb&d.


In a city known for its blight, Detroit’s 66,000 empty parcels are now being seen as places to experiment with green infrastructure, urban farming, reforestation, and biofuel production. Yet new promenades and public spaces are being designed for something even more special—people.

written by Jeff Link Photography by Samantha Simmons Produced in partnership with the ASLA


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Joey Landis takes a break from his work. The Detroit resident, like so many others, has taken greening the city into his own hands by founding Detroit Greencycle, a bicycle-powered recycling and compost pick-up.


Growing up in the northwest suburbs of Detroit, I never believed cities were places where people lived. Ruins like the Michigan Central Station in Corktown, an incongruous three-story train depot and 18-story office tower fronted by stone archways and Corinthian columns, were relics of another era. Wind whistled through shattered windows. Scrappers found their way around razor wire to pillage brass fixtures, copper wire, ceiling rosettes, and hunks of marble. There were stories of squatters living inside on mattresses. If this was living, it was at best provisional. Roughly a million people lived in Detroit in the 1990s, but they didn’t live downtown. Although folks might work in the city or go downtown to catch a Tigers game, they didn’t sleep there or spend time after work looking for new shoes. That was what the suburbs were for. Which is why I thought of cities as something entirely different—more like way stations where you’d go to put in your 9 to 5, before hopping on the freeway and heading home. To the 16-year-old me, Detroit was like a vast monument to a way of life that had ceased to exist. My father worked at the National Bank of Detroit, a 14-story white marble and glass cube at 611 Woodward, which was designed in 1951 in a modernist style by Albert Kahn Associates. I never found the building particularly attractive. Far more appealing to my eyes was the neoclassical style of Kahn’s First National Bank Building across the street—a Z-shaped, limestone building that occupies an entire city block along Cadillac Square. Albert Kahn, of course, is something of a legend in Detroit. The Prussian son of a rabbi, he is credited with the invention of a new style of architecture that used reinforced concrete to replace wood in factory walls and roofs. The idea was to protect against fire and allow for a more streamlined, unobstructed interior to create more space. Space, ironically, is what stands at the heart of Detroit’s current dilemma. What to do with all that space? Warehouses and factories. Abandoned bungalows. Enough vacant land in the 139-square-mile city to occupy San Francisco. Kahn’s architectural firm designed Ford Motor Company’s Highland Park plant, where Ford produced the Model T and mastered assembly-line production. Kahn also designed the 3.5 millionsquare-foot Packard Plant—a popular symbol of urban decay on East Grand Boulevard that once built luxury cars


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and now stands as a blown-out industrial relic. Kahn’s office also designed the Art Deco Fischer Building, the Belle Isle Conservancy, the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press buildings, the half-mile long Ford River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, about twenty percent of architect-designed factories in the US circa 1937, and the World War II-era factories that supplied the tanks and B-24 Liberator bombers for America’s Arsenal of Democracy. As an eight-year-old, I knew none of this. I just knew that when I traveled downtown to see Detroit Tigers games, visit the planetarium at the Detroit Science Center, or look out the window of my father’s eleventh-floor office, there weren’t many people around. It wasn’t just a feeling. After peaking at more than 1.8 million residents by 1950, Detroit had lost roughly half its population by the turn of the century. Today, the estimates have dwindled to 707,000. Many of the storefronts in the downtown stretch of Woodward Avenue from the Detroit

River to Adams Street, with the exception of a discount shoe store or hair salon, were vacant and boarded up. The murder rate was among the highest in the nation, crack houses were rampant, and the Big Three automakers were in free fall. When I graduated from the University of Michigan in 1999, I, like many of my friends, sought opportunity elsewhere. But to compare the Detroit of 1999 to the present city is to grapple with a defiant comeback narrative that is as difficult to cobble together as a clear picture of what the city truly looked like in 1927 when The New York Times called Detroiters “the most prosperous slice of average humanity that now exists or has ever existed.” In the fourteen years since I left, companies such as Compuware, Twitter, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and high-end watch manufacturer Shinola have sprouted up in refurbished skyscrapers and warehouses and moved thousands of workers to Detroit’s inner core. A city that came of age with the automobile

In the fourteen years since I left, companies like Compuware, Twitter, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Shinola have sprouted up.

The Greening of Detroit

In contrast to the city’s shortage of trees, there is an abundance of vacant land—about 20 miles of it, meaning there is plenty of room for more trees, prairies, urban farms, and pocket parks. The Greening of Detroit plants 6,000 to 7,000 new trees per year in parks, school yards, and along neighborhood streets in Detroit to restore the city’s canopy.


“New business leaders like Dan Gilbert...have tremendous faith in what Detroit is and what it can be. We’re at the beginning here of something that can be pretty special.” Kent Anderson, Hamilton Anderson Associates










Detroit Future City The above images come from the 184-page Detroit Future City strategic framework, which outlines a vision for future land use that includes multiple new employment districts, greenscapes, and distinct neighborhoods.

and prospered and fell according to the Big Three’s balance sheets—and, indeed, the price of oil—has diversified its economic portfolio. Detroit Future City, an urban redevelopment framework conceptualized by architecture firm Hamilton Anderson Associates along with other local, national, and international collaborators, reveals that four economic pillars—education and medical technology, digital and creative jobs, large-scale and artisanal industrial sectors, and entrepreneurship—now account for


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more than half the city’s workforce. The framework further shows that the city’s vast inventory of public land—66,000 vacated land parcels and buildings—is one of its greatest assets. Through strategic land acquisition that connects smaller parcels into large sites for blue and green infrastructure, the Detroit of 2030 could become a welcome habitat for migrating birds, home to “live + make” neighborhoods, and a model for urban farming, storm-water retention, reforestation, and biofuel production. The empty space that hindered Detroit for the past 50 years is now an opportunity for the city to build smarter, and build greener. “One of the resources we have more than anything else is land,” says Kent Anderson, principal at Hamilton Anderson Associates. “We have a concentration of businesses that have been here for a long time and new business leaders like Dan Gilbert who have tremendous faith






in what Detroit is and what it can be. We’re at the beginning here of something that can be pretty special.” And, indeed, there are real signs of a renaissance. Chrysler and General Motors emerged victorious from bankruptcy with Chrysler reporting a nine-fold profit increase since 2011. The automaker’s Superbowl ad recruited Eminem, the city’s top celebrity, as the living symbol of the comeback slogan, “Imported from Detroit,” a searing statement of homegrown industrial pride. The College for Creative Studies in Detroit added buildings and an MFA program, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center opened, Henry Ford Hospital opened its Innovation Institute to produce medical devices and surgical tools, and Wayne State University opened TechTown and announced the launch of a $93 million biotech hub. Meanwhile, Gilbert, the billionaire owner of Quicken Loans and the

Welcome to the Riverfront Walk Detroit’s riverfront today and the decay feels far away. Fishermen line the rail, and residents walk, ride bikes, and skate past prairie plantings and wetlands. Started in 2003, a project by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy to turn the riverfront into five miles of uninterruped trails, plazas, pavilions, and green space is now more than halfway completed.

land Cavaliers, has been on a spending spree. A few years ago, he teamed up with e-Prize founder Josh Linkner to form Detroit Venture Partners, recruit big name investors like former Michigan State basketball star Magic Johnson, and invest seed money in a growing concentration of tech start-ups and creative firms. Located in the former Madison Theater, now known as the M@dison, Detroit Venture Partners’ office is a five-story, collaborative business incubator of exposed brick and steel beams, just blocks away from Comerica Park, Greektown Casino Hotel, and Campus Martius, the ground-zero of a 24-hour work-play zone of Woodward Avenue that Gilbert has dubbed “WEBward.” On the north end of this district, at the foot of Campus Martius, is the building where I used to visit my father. It is steps away from a public transportation circuit known as the PRODUCTIVE LANDSCAPES




Guest Editor Lucia Athens “We tend to think of buildings and objects in the built environment as static and nonliving. Detroit’s regeneration gives us a new model for how cities can be more like living organisms that mimic ecological processes and cycles such as photosynthesis, food production, and birth-decay-rebirth. While downcycles in the economy are viewed mostly negatively, they give us a chance to pause, reflect, and consider new ways of operating and designing.”

The Detroit Future City strategic framework prioritizes green (plant-based) and blue (water-based) infrastructure to beautify and revitalize the urban center, offering new greenways, carbon forests along major avenues, and high-concentration ponds to manage storm water.

A $300 million investment has been made to renovate Detroit’s 5.5-mile riverfront. Three miles are currently complete and have spurred further capital investment and shoreline development.

People Mover, a 2.9-mile monorail that never received funding to connect to the outer reaches of the city and that my family would ride for amusement and a view of abandoned skyscrapers. Amazingly, the inner core of the city, where a gallery of historic glass and steel buildings stood as sleeping giants just fifteen years ago, is 95 percent occupied. After a series of mergers and acquisitions, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. claimed ownership of Kahn’s National Bank of Detroit building and named it Chase Tower. In 2011, Gilbert purchased the building, renamed it the Qube, relocated several thousand Quicken Loans employees from a suburban office to the city—Quicken Loans’ headquarters is steps away in the Compuware building—and began a real estate buying frenzy. As of March 2013, Gilbert owned 16 downtown buildings, totaling 2.9 million square feet of commercial and residential space in the city’s core. Gilbert’s latest strategy is to draw more talented entrepreneurs to Midtown to live and work through the creation of a Parisian-style promenade and retail space on a stretch of Woodward Avenue from the Detroit River to Grand Circus Park. His real estate holding company, Rock Ventures, commissioned Project for Public Spaces, Terremark Partners, Shook Kelley, and Gibbs Planning Group to draft a preliminary concept for a pedestrian-friendly vision for the city’s september–october 2013



“The last fifty years has been a disintegration of community. We’re trying for an approach defined more by people and community in a space.” Fred Kent, Project for Public Spaces

core that uses critical arteries as streets for people, rather than cars. A 50-page booklet called “A Placemaking Vision for Downtown Detroit” shows Grand Circus Park as a home to fountains, children’s play areas, climbable structures, a dog run, cafés, and a beer garden. Campus Martius, a two-block district that marks the 24-hour commercial center of Detroit, will add food trucks and pop-up vendors to an already-vibrant space. A wide promenade will give right-of-way to foot traffic and lead past ice-cream kiosks, sidewalk cafés, ground-floor retail that opens onto sidewalks, and other “place-making” features that identify the people as the centerpiece of the design. Fred Kent, president of the Project

ABOVE Lafayette Greens, designed by Kenneth Weikal Landscape Architecture, uses three quarters of an acre in downtown Detroit for community-run food production. OPPOSITE Lafayette’s galvanizedsteel beds are planted with fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, the majority of which is donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank.


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for Public Spaces, says the project’s main goal is to create an attractive neighborhood and to do it in a “lighter, quicker, cheaper” way. Kent insists that landscape urbanism, the idea that design should begin with parks and natural features, ultimately misses the point by taking people out of the equation. “The last 50 years has been a disintegration of community because of a silo of disciplines that define their own agendas around their own purpose for a narrow focus,” Kent says. “We’re trying for an approach defined more by people and community in a space.” So what will that community look like? For a lack of a better word: fun. If Kahn’s idea was to provide a brighter, more open space for autoworkers, Kent’s is to provide a new generation of creative professionals and software engineers with a brighter, more open space they can enjoy and live in when they’re not working. Architecture is thus extended from the interior to the exterior, from the producer to the consumer, and a new idea of community emerges. For Detroit, a promenade—from the French word promener meaning ‘to take a walk’— is a powerful symbol. The beginning of Woodward Avenue, the first divided highway in America, is not merely a thoroughfare to the suburbs, but it’s also a walkway from the office to the ballgame, beer garden, casino, and bedroom. Although the transformation under way in the city’s core might not properly be called landscape urbanism, it is undoubtedly making the city greener. Just one block from Compuware headquarters, bordered by the renovated Westin Book Cadillac Hotel and the Detroit Federal Building, Lafayette Greens, a

half-acre fruit and vegetable garden and bioswale designed by Beth Hagenbuch of Kenneth Weikal Landscape Architecture, is sparking conversation about how urban agriculture and community gardening might make productive use of empty land and increase residents’ access to fresh produce in the inner city. Meanwhile, the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is nearly finished with the first phase of a $300 million project to renovate the 5.5-mile riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park. About three miles of greenway, lined by plazas and parks, is complete and has spurred capital investment and shoreline development, including the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority terminal and wharf, the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor, and the Dequindre Cut, a below-grade abandoned rail line that has been restored to a bicycle trail and is anticipated to connect the river to Eastern Market. But the question remains as to whether the revitalization of Detroit’s inner core will extend outward to regions of severe poverty and blight, where many of the city’s residents have limited bus service, dilapidated schools, traffic lights without power, and a hard time finding a nearby grocery store that carries a fresh head of lettuce. A curious mind might wonder whether the agrarian vision of public land use outlined in Detroit Future City and being enacted at more than 800 urban agriculture sites throughout the city can exist in easy harmony with Gilbert’s digital start-up playground of lawn games, upscale grocery stores, and beer gardens. Darin McLeskey believes it can. The 22-year-old environmental engineering graduate student at the University of Michigan is cofounder of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI). Three years ago, he bought a 30-foot by 100foot cinder block home that rests in the drained, peaty soil of the former Black Bottom, home to a vibrant mid-century

The inner core of Detroit, seen here from the west along Michigan Avenue, was a gallery of vacant high-rises just 15 years ago. Today it is 95% occupied.

Urban Farming Takes Root According to a 2009 study, there were more than 875 farms or community gardens in Detroit, which means there are considerably more today as projects such as Lafayette Greens (pictured) achieve unprecedented levels of funding and visibility. Other gardens include D-Town, a public demonstration project that helps the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network raise awareness about issues of food sovereignty.


Can the agrarian vision of Detroit Future City exist in easy harmony with this digital start-up playground of lawn games, upscale grocery stores, and beer gardens?

ABOVE Students from Lawrence Tech University reclaimed a vacant parcel of land east of Michigan Central Station and have created a free miniature golf course that is open to the public 24/7. TOP RIGHT The Dequindre Cut bike trail, which begins near the Globe Building (opposite page), will be extended north to a Whole Foods Market that opened in June 2013. BOTTOM RIGHT A rendering shows how Bloody Run Creek will run parallel to the Dequindre Cut, adding to the scenery of the urban bike path.


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A Cycling City Detroit will add 70 miles of bike lanes in 2013, nearly tripling the previous year’s total. LivingLAB, a Detroit-based landscape architecture studio, is planning LED-lit bike lanes near Wayne State University, creating a non-motorized link between the Woodbridge, Tech Town, Midtown, and New Center neighborhoods.

Reopening Greenways Bloody Run Creek was buried in the early 1900s to create an urban sewer system that would limit the spread of cholera. A $1 billion, 10-year daylighting plan will restore wildlife habitat, reduce strain on Detroit’s water treatment plant, and prevent sewer overflows into the Detroit River.

Detroit Adventureland

The Globe Building once housed an engine-manufacturing operation where Henry Ford reportedly apprenticed. Its new life will similarly foreshadow the city’s future. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources plans to transform the building into a “discovery center” with a rock-climbing wall, zip lines, an interpretive forest, an archery range, and classroom space.


They planted in June and sold peppers and tomatoes to the city. They gave away pumpkins to children. Gradually, they earned their neighbors’ trust.

ABOVE During a photo shoot for this magazine, MUFI cofounder Darin McLeskey’s adopted dog gave birth to 11 puppies in a nearby abandoned house (opposite page). RIGHT MUFI lines the street near its headquarters with seasonal flowers and grows vegetables in a plot behind it. The group raised 2,100 pounds of produce in 2012.

jazz scene, a young Stevie Wonder, and the nation’s first black public housing development, the Brewster Project. The original neighborhood was demolished in the 1960s, effaced by the Chrysler Freeway and the construction of the residential development, Lafayette Park, designed by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe. McLeskey paid $3,000 for the home at a Wayne County tax auction, and it is now part of MUFI’s larger farming initiative. The nonprofit community farm and resource center McLeskey and his partner Tyson Gersh began in 2012 raised a sizeable 2,100 pounds of produce on a five-acre plot of Brush Street in New Center in its first season. Some neighbors initially viewed the farm with suspicion,


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McLeskey says, a “colonist’s” land grab no different from the strategy of any number of absentee speculators gobbling up distressed properties, only to let them sit vacant and become targets for vandalism and crime. In spring 2012, MUFI cleared the sight, and remediated the soil using black tarp solarization to leave an organic layer of grass. They planted in June and sold peppers and tomatoes to the city. They gave away pumpkins to children. They lined the median of Brush Street with red canna lilies. Gradually, they earned their neighbors’ trust. They have received funding from Ford, General Motors, Kroger, and Gap. They have 4,000 loyal Facebook fans, 7,000 volunteers, and visitors from Belgium, Germany, and France. McLeskey speaks of future plans for a shipping-container caretaker studio, and he talks of vermiculture composting, Chicago Board of Trade market prices on soybeans, gentrification, Henry Ford’s early experiments with soybean-powered cars, hoop houses, and his new friends from Brooklyn—a farming couple who moved to Detroit because of the vast, un-

derused space and lack of development restrictions. McLeskey’s latest ambition is to convert a single-family home into a yearround, thermally insulated growing garden by preserving the wood, brick, wires, limestone block, and windows, before backfilling the foundation with drainage and topsoil and building a hoop house— all at a fraction of the $15,000 cost the city would have to pay to have the house demolished and sent to landfill. All of this is changing my mind about Detroit. It can be a place for people. It can be an intelligently planned community where people wake up and eat and work and sleep. A city whose green landscape is friendly to the vision of those who grow businesses and those who grow plants. Detroit was a dying city when I left. Today, the new growth is impossible to ignore. The renaissance some thought would never come is very much under way. gb&d Editor’s Note: This article was produced in partnership with the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The two young farmers have 4,000 loyal Facebook fans, 7,000 volunteers, and visitors from Belgium, Germany, and France.

Tyson Gersh (left), Darin McLeskey, and Shelby Wilson are the brains and calloused hands behind the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. McLeskey is hoping to buy this home from its owner, who lives in California.


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Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List 94



51 Astor Place


Adobe UTAH campus

Why ‘sustainable’ is better than ‘fun’

A promising geometric oddity in Manhattan Bullitt Center

Seattle’s new icon should last 250 years


One Channel center




Spurring growth in an outdated district

Sterling and Francine Clark art Institute

A master plan for learning and landscapes University of the District of Columbia student center

Gathering space and a giant green roof



Adamsville Regional Health and Community center


Dell Children’s MEdical Center

Providing for an underserved community A third bed tower also targets Platinum





Metro Verde Development

A LEED Platinum desert community Manhattan Micro-Loft

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sp a ce S W O R K




crea s 94

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The new Adobe campus outside Salt Lake City merges radical design and collaborative creative processes to make a workplace that upends the idea of the ‘fun’ office Written by Benjamin van Loon Photography by Eric Laignel and Weston Colton

t i v e The first of two phases of construction on the Adobe campus in Lehi, Utah, were completed in 2012. The LEED Gold campus was designed to create an inspiring environment for employees, yet it avoids the contrivances of other contemporary “creative” offices.

t gb&d


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You’re at work. Your office has a threestory slide in the atrium, three-day weekends, mid-week field trips, bringyour-dog-to-work days every fourth Friday, free daily brunches—it even has breakdancing classes. The owners claim that the office is fun, and it certainly appears that way—but how do they explain the high turnover? The gratuitous amount of overtime logged? The fact that the slide is dusty? Maybe ‘fun’ at the office is a farce. Or maybe it just hasn’t been approached the right way—yet. A ‘fun’ office isn’t necessarily characterized by quirky colors and non-sequitur management policies—it may be something that can be expressed only through design. Take the new Adobe Systems campus near Salt Lake City. Designed by WRNS Studio and interior architect Rapt Studio, the Adobe campus has the bright colors, the sweeping mountain views, the commissioned wall art, and even a regulation-size basketball court. But these aren’t contrivances drawn up by an anonymous board of directors. Rather, they’re representative of a shift in how we perceive work, and the idea that fun happens because we work—not in spite of it.


september–october 2013

how we got here

The evolution of office design and architecture over the past century is a dynamic reflection of our perceived function as workers in the modern professional world. The genesis of this self-perception traces itself back to the Industrial Revolution, which not only reinforced the division between the laborer and the boss but also gave rise to a new class of worker—the bureaucrat, or the administrator—who, alongside the manual laborer, found the functions of his efforts increasingly commoditized. The abstract activities of the bureaucrat were made as real as the work of the meat packer. The rise of this new class was reflected by the new architectural necessity of a ‘front office,’ which served a dual purpose by a) providing a face of the business and b) centralizing administrative function. A position in the physical office reflected accomplishment, importance, and security— especially as the modern economy tended toward commodification and mechanization and devalued manual labor. Office architecture, as a new category, rose and matured along this same self-realized (and self-aggrandized) trajectory.




Location Lehi, UT Site 38 acres Size 200,000 ft2 (Phase 1), 80,000 ft2 (Phase 2) Completed 2012 Cost $100 million Program Office campus

General Contractor Okland Construction Client Adobe Systems Interior Architect Rapt Studio Architect WRNS Studio Associate Architect GSBS Architects Structural Engineering DUNN Associates & Holmes Culley Mechanical Engineering Colvin Engineering Associates Electrical Engineering Spectrum Engineers Civil Engineering Ensign Engineering and Landscape Landscape Architect Wallace Roberts and Todd

Certification LEED Gold Materials FSC-certified woods, recycled and regionally sourced materials, low-VOC finishes Energy Evaporative cooling systems Site Alternative transit encouraged with bike racks, showers, and locker rooms Health Basketball court, climbing wall, pool, gym Landscape Drought-tolerant native plants Lighting Glass façade and atria maximize daylighting

The new Adobe campus offers almost shockingly open communal gathering spaces, extensively daylit for energy savings and employee wellness. The transparency also communicates an Adobe value to passersby.

communal dining space

photo: Eric Laignel

recreational equipment

As modern capitalism evolved, office buildings became the cathedrals of commerce, the forms of which are best expressed through modernist architectural iconography, as with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building in New York or Crown Hall in Chicago; their naked skeletal framework and streamlined imposition reflects the true realization of the administrator as a desiccated, ennobled functionary. The mimesis of Miesian modernism, and its countless imitators, recognizes the irony of the administrator’s contingency by making offices cold, simplistic, and geometrically stagnant. Miesian forms do not naturally appear in the world and neither do bureaucrats. Following the economic upheaval of London’s Big Bang in 1986, which effectively commoditized the labor efforts of the so-called ‘creative industry,’ the general understanding of ‘work’ again gb&d

shifted, deflating the power of bureaucracy by expanding the white-collar labor base. The self-concept of the worker again began to change, and in response to the commoditization of the creative class, a strange architectural response has risen from the corpses of hollowed-out modernist steadfasts. The ‘fun’ office. With their slides, flat screen TVs, and workout rooms, these offices attempt to encourage fun, but the function of the worker—and the self-perception of that function—remains unchanged, suggesting that such attempts are misguided and will ultimately fail. To truly change the worker, and consequently the perception of ‘work,’ a more radical, organic architecture is necessary. The design of the new Adobe campus is, by all contemporary accounts, ‘fun’ but not through simple surface treatments, which are as contrived as they are con-

descending. It’s deeper than that, and it starts well before the ground is broken. A New Face for Adobe

In 2009, Adobe acquired Omniture, a Utah-based web analytics firm, with the transaction value estimated at $1.8 billion. Not wishing to dissolve the Omniture business unit, which was then located in nearby Orem, Utah, Adobe saw the

“We made a building that reminds people every day that they can and should innovate— and they might need to break some rules to do it.” David Galullo, Rapt Studio september–october 2013



This entry area features a variety of seating, a custom Kasthall Hagga rug, and digital touchscreens displaying Adobe statistics on adjacent walls.

Entry seating Area

basketball court

photos: Weston Colton

custom art installation

This regulation-size basketball court is branded with the Adobe logo, which can be seen from the nearby highway. Many of the murals were created by street artist El Mac and tattoo artist Mike Giant.


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opportunity as a license to begin developing a new campus for itself while also expanding a new branch of its services. This was also an opportunity for Adobe to announce itself as a future major labor source for the Salt Lake City area, and by locating the campus along I-15 in Lehi—a roughly 20-minute drive south from the Salt Lake City center in an area techies are starting to call ‘The Silicon Slope’— Adobe was also able to forecast the site’s potential to publicize and broadcast the activity at the new campus. “The project was not only supposed to be a good place to work but also a recruiting tool—and in some senses, a new face for Adobe,” says Brian Milman, a partner at WRNS and principal in charge of the Adobe campus master plan. “We embraced all of these ideas by not only wanting to do something new and vigorous and exciting, but because WRNS is a fairly new office (founded in 2005), we were also able to bring some of that energy into this project.” The 38-acre campus, built by Utahbased Okland Construction, sits on an oblong site flanked on its southwest side by I-15 and on its northeast side by the expansive Wasatch Mountain Range. The site is planned to house three barshaped buildings at 200,000 square feet each with an additional 80,000-squarefoot amenities building attached to the four-story central building. Both the amenities building and the central barshaped building comprise the first phase of construction, which was completed in 2012 and is currently targeting LEED Gold certification. There is space for up to 1,100 Adobe employees in this first phase, and although the campus is incomplete, the facilities already seem fully cohesive and functional. Prior to the completion of phase one, a road connecting Digital Drive and Cabela’s Boulevard, the frontage roads flanking the perimeter of the site, divided the campus. In the interest of cultivating a unified campus, Adobe and WRNS gb&d

developed the central building to create both a literal and metaphorical bridge over the road, which is now called Adobe Way. By extending the landscape program, which was designed by Wallace Roberts and Todd and features droughttolerant garden spaces, the texture of the site establishes a common theme that is also intimately tied to the Salt River Valley ecology. Additionally, all three campus buildings follow an identical form—that of a bar bent at an obtuse angle, allowing the buildings on the reflex side to face I-15, and on the obtuse side to have sweeping views of the rugged Wasatch pastorals. The buildings, which feature dramatic atria, public areas, ecospaces, and recreational amenities, also have entirely glass façades, achieving a triune function of maximizing daylighting, providing comprehensive outward views, and creating opportunistic inward views to accent Adobe’s intention of transparency and openness.

‘Break Some Rules’

More so than other office projects, WRNS and Rapt worked closely to ensure that the Adobe campus would achieve its intent without a sense of contrivance or pretense, but rather to use the brand to inspire the design. Aesthetically, the project’s radicalism is most apparent through the finishes and aesthetic flourishes of the building interior. Street artist El Mac and tattoo artist Mike Giant were contracted to compose murals and art on the interior, using the same Adobe software that has tangentially influenced the styles of both artists. Floor-to-ceiling Pantone swatches also appear throughout the building as flourishes, further iterating the precedence of both technicality and creativity in the context of Adobe’s mission. “The culture and brand of Adobe led us in a direction to develop a space that is powerful but also tells a story of who Adobe is and why they matter,” Galullo

“What we tried to do in Lehi was to embody what Adobe is within a workspace. We want it to be sustainable, collaborative, and transparent.” Jonathan Francom, Adobe Systems “We tried to push this building to be true to who Adobe is,” says David Galullo, a design principal at Rapt and interior architect for the Adobe campus. “We wanted to create a building that was genuine to the place it was being built; that took in the landscape of Utah and exploited it; that was genuine to its construction; that wasn’t simply designing a building and applying a bunch of materials to it to make it something else. From the moment you approach the building, the story starts to be told.”

says. “Adobe said that its need is to always be innovating, so we made a building that reminds people every day that they can and should innovate—and they might need to break some rules to do it.” Of the turns made by the construction industry following the wave of 21st-century ideas of sustainability, the idea of ‘integrated design’ has now been largely coopted by entities in all sectors of architecture, design, and construction. However, in the case of Adobe, the cooperation between the team members september–october 2013



was much more intentionally capitalized upon with Adobe—as the client—posing and challenging ideas and approaches throughout the duration of the project. “You can’t build a great building without a great client, and from the beginning stages of this project, we knew it was a great client,” Milman says. “They wanted to do something new for Adobe, and for that area of Utah—and that’s not something we could have created without the client. Adobe had the message, and it was our job to communicate that message to the world.” empowering company culture

Adobe’s activity in the design of its campus primarily reflects the company’s role and reputation in the creative industry. Much like Apple and Google, Adobe’s role in culture knows no referent. It’s inimitable. Adobe’s influence extends to every creative industry, from advertising and publishing to filmmaking and art, and even if this influence is not always explicitly detectable, it’s pervasive. The brand’s role as an active client in the context of the Lehi campus is an extension of its corporate mission, which suggests that a fundamental ingredient for a ‘fun’ office must also be driven by a progressive client ethos. If the client also happens to be a major employer and business driver, all the better. It has a greater potential to make something impactful. In the case of Adobe, or any such company, it may be granted that the commodification of white-collar labor is unavoidable, but rather than exploiting this, the people at Adobe, WRNS, and Rapt asked what it meant to design a building that works inside out, and outside in. Jonathan Francom, senior director of corporate real estate and facilities operations for Adobe, says that one of his main goals for this project was to help create a space that would help Adobe “attract, retain, excite, and enable” the workforce to do great work. “What we tried to do in Lehi was to embody what Adobe is


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within a workspace,” he says. “We want it to be sustainable, collaborative, and transparent.” The art and amenities at the Adobe campus reveal what seems like a ‘fun’ place to work: a full-sized basketball court, a climbing wall, a pool, a gym, ping pong tables. There is an area for bicycle parking and locker rooms to promote alternative commuting as well as extra physical activity, which can be a hard thing to come by in the white-collar labor world. Myriad public seating and meeting areas promote collaboration, and the various requisite green features (FSC-certified woods, recycled and regionally sourced materials, low-VOC finishes, evaporative cooling systems, proximity to alternative transit) also emphasize the humanity of the campus. But, as both Galullo and Milman explain, the animated vibe at the campus is not contrived but an extension of the company culture. Fun is a by-product, not a suggestion—or an obligation. One of the ways the campus achieves this architecturally is by giving equal treatment to the internal and external aspects of the design—Adobe actually hired Rapt, the interior architect, before WRNS, which did the campus master plan. Adobe’s location along I-15, with the mountain panorama in the background, locates the campus site in a context of wide open space—the same space from where many Adobe employees draw their lifestyle habits such as mountain biking, climbing, and hiking. Because the atria of the buildings are surrounded by the clear glass façade, it brings an openness to the interior volume. Further aided by the comprehensive daylighting, which is partly shaded in the main building with vertical aluminum fins/extended

mullions, this sense of open space is observable from an exterior stance. “When you’re driving along the highway, you can see all of the inner workings of the building—the activity inside, the colors, the vibrancy,” Milman explains. He references the way the basketball court is framed by a large picture wall overlooking the highway, with the back wall of the gym, as designed by Rapt, showcasing a giant, red Adobe ‘A,’ a type of not-so-subtle but not-so-aggressive advertising for Adobe’s presence, activity, and intended role in the area. There has been a lot of economic activity in the so-called Silicon Slope, with young tech companies capitalizing on the affordable land, advanced education of the labor force, and access to Utah’s natural outdoor amenities, and Adobe’s activity in the area sets a new precedent that counters old ideas of office construction and informs conceptions of what makes a happy office. It’s an idea that attracts the types of young tech startups who are not only relocating to the Silicon Slope but also looking to companies like Google, Facebook, and Adobe as symbols of success. “In setting the framework for this project, I told the teams that what we were about to do would be even bigger than this project,” Francom says. “We really pushed the team to think more radically. It was about transforming how Adobe views the workplace, and how we push the envelope—not only in the outcome, but in the process.” Through the integrated, collaborative, sustainable design, the Adobe campus logs a new, radical entry in the changing perception of the worker and the work. Fun can’t be forced, but it can be designed. gb&d

photo: Weston Colton

“You can’t build a great building without a great client. Adobe had the message, and it was our job to communicate that message to the world.” Brian Milman, WRNS Studio

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Sh a p e Shifter Edward Minskoff and Fumihiko Maki team up for the highly efficient, delightfully shaped 51 Astor Place By Benjamin van Loon

It’s a rectangle, on top of a rhombus, on top of an irregular pentagon. It has an address, comprises 440,000 square feet in Manhattan, is targeting LEED Gold certification, and is the newest and most provocative high-rise office building north of Delancey. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, whose signature style blends Eastern and Western influence and plays with material interaction, the 13-story 51 Astor Place stands not only as a relevant architectural entry in the neighborhood (it’s part of the same streetscape as Cooper Union), but doubles as a bold developmental experiment. According to Edward J. Minskoff of New York’s Edward J. Minskoff Equities (EJME), the developer of 51 Astor that was able to secure a $160 million construc-

tion loan despite having no committed tenants at the time, both the architecture and the development are representative of a new phase of office tower construction. “It’s rare that you can get an iconic location like this—an entire square block—unencumbered,” Minskoff says. “There is excellent retail, proximity to mass transit, two major universities, dozens of restaurants, walking distance from four different hotels—these are all things you need for an office building.” Minskoff is no stranger to working with top-tier architects, and having developed nearly 37 million square feet across the country—some in conjunction with names such as SOM, Cesar Pelli, Kohn Pederson Fox, I.M. Pei—he has likewise developed a reputation for targeting unique projects that go beyond pure util-

The 13-story 51 Astor Place takes up the entire block between Third and Fourth Avenues in New York City. The location, next to New York University and Cooper Union, gives the building and its tenants visibility to young intellectuals looking for jobs.


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51 Astor Place is made of three different volumes: a rectangle as the tallest structure, on top of a rhombus, all on top of an asymmetrical pentagon at the base.

PROJECT LOCATION New York City Size 440,000 ft2 Cost $300 million Completed 2013 Program Office building

TEAM DEVELOPER Edward J. Minskoff Equities Architect Fumihiko Maki, Maki and Associates Associate Architect Adamson Associates International Structural Engineer Ysrael Seinuk Mechanical Engineer Flack + Kurtz Geotechnical Engineer Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers Landscape Architect Thomas Balsley Associates Telecommunications Eze Castle Integration

GREEN CERTIFICATION LEED Gold (expected) Site Urban infill, public transit access Water Green roofs on two floors Energy 8 watts per rentable square foot, 460-volt three-phase main service

ity. “We interviewed four or five architects for 51 Astor but decided that Maki would be a great fit for us,” Minskoff says. “We created a very efficient floor plate and a very tight core, and Maki’s office worked very well with us.” With a black and silver, low-E, reflective glass exterior and an aluminum curtainwall enveloping the entrance to diminish heat gain, the building has a cool, unaffected, and modern appeal. The building entrance is accented with an art installation by Jeff Koons in the lobby and a sculpture in the outdoor plaza. These features are typical of both Maki’s architecture and Minskoff’s artistic interests.

“There is excellent retail, proximity to mass transit, … dozens of restaurants, walking distance from four different hotels—these are all things you need for an office building.” Edward J. Minskoff, Edward J. Minskoff Equities 104

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Beyond aesthetics, however, what’s happening behind the scenes is just as impressive. Firstly, Maki’s design solves the problem of being seated on an irregular site. Although the floor plates go from 42,000 square feet in the base to 25,000 square feet in the tower, with roughly 14 to 18 feet from slab to slab, the building wastes no space by offering private green roofs on the fifth floor (the rhombus). Two cooling towers, with a combined capacity of 1,400 tons, deliver water-cooled air-conditioning operated on a variable air volume system to each of the floors, and there is space for a third 700-ton tower to handle increased tenant load if necessary. Minskoff also contracted Eze Castle Integration to develop a state-of-the-art, ‘fully redundant’ telecommunications system for 51 Astor, good news for the high-profile tenants 51 Astor is expected to attract. “There has been a lot interest in full-floor tenancies,” Minskoff says. “This building has significantly changed the entire neighborhood.”gb&d


Designed to meet Living Building Challenge criteria, the Bullitt Center in Seattle is a next-generation office building, aiming to achieve net zero energy and water.


bulliTt center Miller Hull Partnership photo: Benjamin Benschneider


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Conceptualized as a living showpiece of sustainable design in harmony with the environment, the Bullitt Center was made for the Bullitt Foundation, which has been committed to protecting and restoring the environment of the Pacific Northwest since 1992. The immediacy of the need for radically sustainable architecture prompted the center to do the Living Building Challenge. Stairways are designed to be inviting alternatives to the out-of-the-way elevator. The parking garage houses bikes, not cars. And tenants have energy budgets set in an effort to further encourage efficient living and working within the building. A 44,752-square-foot photovoltaic array supplies all of the building’s electricity, and rainwater is harvested in a 56,000-gallon cistern to as the sole water source. gb&d

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 ne Channel Center is part of a O larger redevelopment of Boston’s Seaport District, which will create more than 1.1 million square feet of residential, office, and commercial space.





Location Boston Size 525,000 ft2 Completed 2014 (expected) Program Office and commercial space

Developer AREA Property Partners and CV Properties (joint venture) Architect ADD Inc (office) and Spalding Tougias Architects (garage) MEP Engineer C3 General Contractor Suffolk Construction Landscape Architect Halvorson Design Partnership

Certification LEED Silver (expected) Site Urban, former industrial area Water Low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets Energy Rooftop solar array, energy management system Landscape Native plants

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the seaport district’s office Anchor CV Properties makes a green statement through its commitment to revitalize a forgotten area of Boston By Julie Schaeffer

As One Channel Center—an 11-story, LEED certifiable building with 521,000 square feet of office space, 4,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space and a 980-car above-ground parking garage—moves into the final phase of construction on its major development along A Street in South Boston, CV Properties has increasing evidence that the development will continue to revitalize the Seaport District, a 1,000-acre area that represents the single largest urban redevelopment in the nation close to a major downtown area. Richard Galvin, president and founder of CV Properties, explains how. gb&d: Why was it important to focus on Boston’s Seaport District?

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C 3 is nearing its 25th year in business serving the real estate industry in Boston, across the USA and overseas. Our core focus is providing important practical information to our clients in acquiring or renovating properties, or in building new projects like One Channel Center for Commonwealth Ventures.


Richard Galvin: For the longest time, the formerly industrial Seaport was a bunch of empty parking lots in the hinterlands, at least from a Bostonian’s perspective. It was also inaccessible; you had to cross over the Fort Point Channel to get there. Two big things happened that unlocked the potential of the area. One was the completion of the Big Dig, which opened up highway stops on the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 93 right into the area, making it much more accessible. The other was the construction of a convention center and a Westin Hotel. Once we got past the recession, going into 2010 and 2011, pent-up demand was

released, and developers started taking advantage of the opportunity. It was a classic 30-year overnight success story. gb&d: It was still pretty close to the economic downturn, so how did the building project get off the ground? Galvin: Channel Center is a seven-acre property. We bought the property, which consisted of five existing buildings—totaling approximately 370,000 square feet—and development rights for an additional 751,000 square feet of office and residential space on three separate unoccupied parcels in March 2007. The first few phases were renovations of the existing brick-and-beam buildings. We always thought one of the other parcels— a parking lot permitted for a couple of big office buildings—could be a great site for the right user, but the timing was wrong. During the crash of 2008 and the recession of 2009 and 2010, we focused on leasing those buildings. Then, in 2011, State Street Corporation began looking at alternatives to its existing location that would allow it to consolidate. It signed on as the sole tenant of the building and proceeded with design and construction. gb&d: What was the impetus for making the building LEED certifiable? Galvin: There are requirements in Boston that require new buildings to be LEED certifiable, but much more than regulation drove this decision. Sustainability has become the rule rather than the exception for sophisticated corporate tenants such as State Street. They recognize that new employees, the talented 25- to 30-year-olds they want to recruit, are much more grounded in sustainable september–october 2013



“It’s become clear to me as a developer that I have to be sustainable. I can’t win otherwise.” Richard Galvin, CV Properties

practices and want to know the companies they’re working for and the buildings they’re working in are attentive to that. So what was viewed as a cute fad several years ago is now the norm. If you don’t do it, you aren’t going to be competitive as a building owner or employer. gb&d: What did you do to meet those green needs? Galvin: We did everything to meet demands for sustainability and LEED Silver requirements. For example, we’re going to have a solar rooftop array and are working directly with State Street on an energy management system. We’ll have native landscaping, bicycle storage, and energy-efficient lighting. We’ve also been paying close attention to travel distances, where demo materials went and where new materials are coming from. gb&d: What are some of the building’s notable elements? Galvin: Visually, all of the Channel

Center properties mix modern details while preserving the architectural charm of the past by combining cutting-edge office space with loft-style buildings. This building is no exception. Brick-and-beam architecture is reminiscent of the area’s former life as an industrial community. The office building will be divided into two volumes by a lit glass pane and twostory pedestrian passageway, and it will connect the office building to the garage and a 1.7-acre park on the corner of A Street and West First Street. As for the garage, we wanted to soften the precast concrete structure’s appearance, so the garage’s eastern side will be wrapped with a graphic designed by a local artist, and its western side will be wrapped in another graphic. gb&d: Has the community had anything to say about the building? How has it reacted? Galvin: We’re fulfilling the promise of the area, and that’s been welcomed. The community has also reacted positively to

the planned public-use park, which will include a beautiful, green lawn area, a recreational area, a half basketball court, and a dog park to make it very active. Street improvements are also involved in the immediate area. They include the construction of Richards Street from A Street to the South Boston Bypass Road and the extension of Medallion Avenue from Iron Street to Richards Street. We’re also making streetscape improvements, including new sidewalks, street trees, and lighting. gb&d: What have you learned from the experience? Galvin: It’s been a complicated, multifaceted project, and that was a challenge. But through the effort, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of sustainability even more. From the very beginning this was going to be a LEED-certified building for the reason’s I’ve noted. But also through the process, it’s become clear to me as a developer that I have to be sustainable. I can’t win otherwise. gb&d

The Channel Center area was home to the wool industry in the 1930s but saw a continuous decline in the ’50s and ’60s.


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The Clark, Williamstown MA

Landscape Architecture


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sp a ce S L E A R N

B r i ng i ng L an D The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is no still life. Its ongoing master plan, a 21st-century masterpiece in its own right, opens up almost 140 acres to the public in pursuit of an accessible and reinvigorated arboreal utopia.

t o L i fe By Kathryn Freeman Rathbone


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Designed by Tadao Ando, The Clark’s newest addition will provide educational and gallery facilities that were missing in the past. The master plan also prioritizes the health of its surrounding 140 acres.

s cape s A

t the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the definition of art transcends manmade objects and includes the natural landscape. The institute, known simply as The Clark, sits on 140 acres of the verdant Northern Berkshires in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Since 1955, it has served as one of the country’s leading art museums and art education centers. Its collection contains European and American works, many of which touch on pastoral themes, spanning from the Renaissance through the early 20th century. It makes sense, then, that today The Clark projects a kind of sustainability that prioritizes landscapes, both the natural and represented. In 2001, The Clark announced an ambitious master plan that put its landscape at the heart of its mission. The plan reshapes the campus’s reach by integrating its architecture and its landscape. The plan, developed by Cooper, Robertson & Partners, proposed a major overhaul, expansion, and unification of The Clark’s physical structures and its 140-acre site. It would be the first large

design project taken on since the Manton Research Center was added to The Clark in 1972, so the new expansion needed a sophisticated design team to make the disparate pieces come together. After much deliberation, The Clark and its trustees assembled a team with four lead design firms. Pritzker Prize winning architect, Tadao Ando, would design two new buildings, Annabelle Selldorf would update the existing structures, architecture powerhouse Gensler would be the executive design firm on-site, and Reed Hilderbrand would knit the entire project together with an ambitious landscape architecture proposal. The buildings are of incredible importance to The Clark’s goals as an art center, yet it’s the landscape that truly embodies its mission to be stewards of the environment, serving as the cornerstone of the sustainability plan. “The sustainability aspect was hugely interesting to the trustees,” says Madeline Burke-Vigeland, the principal architect at Gensler who has overseen the project since its initial stages. “The Clark has a deep affection for the land, so the trustees wanted to make sure that the landscape was the treasure and that the design would do everything to honor it.” To realize its master plan, the design team broke it into three main phases: september–october 2013



“Before, The Clark was an institute sitting on an amazing site. our collective efforts will bring new dimensions of sustaining health and beauty to the land.” Gary Hilderbrand, Reed Hilderbrand

Permeable parking lots

VECC Original museum complex

VECC water retention ponds

PROJECT Location Williamstown, MA Size 140 acres Completed Ongoing Program Renovated museum and library spaces, new exhibition spaces, new landscape architecture elements

TEAM Client Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Architects Tadao Ando Architect and Associates (VECC), Selldorf Architects (Manton Research Center, Existing Museum)  Landscape Architect Reed Hilderbrand Architect of Record/Sustainability Consultant Gensler Civil Engineer Vincent P. Guntlow & Associates Construction Manager Turner Construction Company Project Advisor Rise Group Project Manager Zubatkin Owner Representation Concrete Installation Manifort Brothers

GREEN Certification LEED Silver (expected) Materials LED lamps and Lutron dimming system, FSC-certified Oak flooring Water Reduction of consumption by 1 million gallons per year, pervious parking lots, rooftop collection basins, low-flow plumbing using 100% nonpotable water Landscape Rain gardens, 640 new trees, woodland growth restoration, meadow restoration, two miles of walking paths

a message from Reed Hilderbrand

Reed Hilderbrand has supported The Clark’s stewardship of its land and its cultural resources for more than a decade; we take enormous pride in our partnership with this institution and its remarkable team of designers and professionals. We congratulate The Clark on advancing its legacy for generations to come.


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Ando’s design for the new Stone Hill Center, completed in 2008, comprised phase one; a new mechanical plant, completed in 2010, comprised phase two; and the ongoing construction of Ando’s new Visitor, Exhibition, and Conference Center (VECC) and the Selldorf renovation of the 1955 Museum and 1972 Manton buildings comprise phase three. The landscape architecture work, meanwhile, has taken place continuously over the course of the entire project. Stretching the work across a 12-year period has enabled The Clark to remain open to the public and has allowed the site to organically adapt to all the implemented changes. It has also allowed the planners to take a macro approach to the design, giving them the time necessary to consider and reconceptualize portions of the project as their understanding of The Clark’s position and goals evolves. “Our point of view has always reached beyond the edges of the property,” says Gary Hilderbrand, the principal landscape architect behind the project. “The Clark is 140 acres, and it’s almost seen as a town common, so the character of its campus had to be familiar to the community. We needed to enhance [it] and make it urbane—it’s a different kind of take on sustainability.”

Trail system

Stone Hill Center

For the new Stone Hill Center, the first phase of the project, Hilderbrand and his team actually had to clear land in order to foster healthy forest regrowth. “We cleared nine acres of declining woodland that wasn’t regenerating properly,” he says. “This became the site for the building and a new meadow.” Made from quietly elegant concrete, glass, and wood, Ando’s 32,000-square-foot structure looks out over Williamstown to the Green Mountains beyond. Inside, it houses 2,500 square feet of gallery space, a 1,000-square-foot studio art classroom, and 12,000 square feet of facilities for the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. “The view is tremendous,” Hilderbrand says, attributing this quality to Ando’s precise understanding of the site’s elevation.

Set dramatically among the Berkshires in northwest Massachusetts, The Clark is working to maintain the health of its site through the woodland and meadow restoration, as well as integrating the built and natural environment.

photo: Kenn Kennefick (top)

The new master plan added two miles of walking trails through the 140-acre site to provide better access to the area’s woodlands, meadows, and streams.

Hilderbrand and his team also built more than two miles of trails to connect the Stone Hill Center to the original Museum and Manton Center buildings. The trails diverge into three separate paths and different types of landscapes: one cuts through a meadow, and two wind through the woods. “People love them,” Hilderbrand says. “They offer everybody, from the museum public to Williamstown residents walking their dogs, cross country skiing, etc., the chance to experience The Clark’s grounds.” Follow the paths downhill, and they lead back to the structures and grounds under construction in phases two and three. Phase two, the new mechanical plant, is of utmost importance to The Clark as an art institute. “It’s mainly underground, but it’s the lynchpin that keeps the facilities going,” says Phillip Johns, The Clark’s project manager. “Once it was completed, we were able to remove the old infrastructure and make way for the new systems. We were also able to keep the collections open because the building houses a loading dock and art transport spaces.” With the logistics cared for, phase three, the renovation of the original buildings and Ando’s new VECC, could begin. The Ando structure is the architectural gem of the plan’s ambitions. The 44,000-square-foot, one-story concrete building, done in a style that parallels the Stone Hill Center, will house 10,500 square feet of temporary exhibition space, an expansive multipurpose pavilion, public programming spaces, dining facilities, and a connecting glass concourse to the original museum. But it’s gb&d

the broad three-tiered pool at the VECC’s entrance that’s the truly breathtaking design move, both technologically and aesthetically. Its visual impact instantly directs the visitor toward the grounds’ beauty, and its technological systems enhance sustainability throughout the campus. “The water feature is key,” says Burke-Vigeland. “It ties all the systems together. It operates on a cycle of evaporation and bioretention, which allows the water to go back through the water table and into the landscape. The feature also connects to the campus’s cooling tower and reservoir, and that greywater is used for irrigation and plumbing. It’s 100 percent nonpotable water, and it’s going to let The Clark cut down on its water consumption from 4 million to 3 million gallons of water per year.” The Clark’s successful completion of its master plan rested on the immense collaboration undertaken by a design team unified from various fields. Johns, Burke-Vigeland, and Hilderbrand all agree on this point. “The collaboration needed with the client and the signifi-

cant team of consultants and contractors has made this one of our most complex projects yet, and it has gone exceedingly well,” Hilderbrand says. “This approach has made the designs enormously successful—you cannot separate the landscape experience from that of the buildings. Before, The Clark was an institute sitting on an amazing site. Now, it will be a robust working campus, and our collective efforts will bring new dimensions of sustaining health and beauty to the land.” gb&d

“The water feature is key. it ties all the systems together, operat[ing] on a cycle of evaporation and bioretention, which allows the water to go back through the water table and into the landscape.” Madeline Burke-Vigeland, Gensler

september–october 2013


Greening the District


When completed in 2014, the new LEED Platinum student center at the University of the District of Columbia will have the third-largest green roof in the city By Jeff Link


oming out of the Van Ness-UDC Metro station, students commuting to the University of the District of Columbia this past fall had to walk along a fencedin pathway with the rumble of construction crews in the background. The construction company, Parkinson/ Forrester Joint Venture was laying the groundwork for a new $40 million student center topped with a 14,000-squarefoot green roof right across the street from a Giant supermarket and blocks from the International Chancery Center, home to 20 diplomatic offices. The new building, designed by Cannon Design in partnership with


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Marshall Moya Design, is the centerpiece of a ten-year, campus-wide renovation aimed at establishing the university as a national model of energy sustainability while raising the school’s profile as a selective four-year university. Scheduled for completion in late 2014, the student center arrives on the heels of the new College of Agriculture, Urban Studies, and Environmental Sciences building and represents a physical and metaphoric bridge to the wealthy, tree-lined residential neighborhoods of northwest Washington, DC. With a clock tower, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a rain garden of grasses, oak, and native holly to mark its presence at the inter-

ABOVE The new student center at the University of the District of Columbia is intended to bring many more amenities to students, including the university’s growing population of international students.

section of Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street, it also gives the university a recognizable gateway—something that, until recently, it lacked. “It was possible to pass the university and not know it is there; this is a way to welcome people to our campus and further develop our ‘town and gown’


Walking toward the new student center from the older campus buildings there will be a landscaped area filled with plants such as inkberry holly and geraniums.

Big Plan on Campus

Project LOCATION Washington, DC Size 96,000 ft2 (78,000 new, 18,000 existing) Completion 2014 Program Dining area, bookstore, wellness center, locker rooms, lounges, offices, ballroom

Team CLIENT University of the District of Columbia Architect Cannon Design, Marshall Moya Design Landscape Architect Lee and Associates MEP Engineer Setty and Associates International Structural Engineer Restl Designers Civil Engineer Delon Hampton and Associates General Contractor Parkinson/Forrester Joint Venture

Green Certification LEED Platinum (expected) Materials FSC-certified architectural woodwork, recycled-content tile and carpet, 75% of construction waste recycled Energy Extensive green roof, 4,400-square-foot geothermal field Water Automatic sensors on plumbing fixtures Lighting Daylighting, lighting dimmers, sensors installed throughout

The new student center is only one piece of the university’s massive sustainability plan. A recent $12 million plaza deck renovation above the parking garage added a 90,000-square-foot permeable-paver roofing system, storm-water collection cisterns, and a water fountain that reuses captured rainwater. Student- and faculty-led efforts have revitalized a campus rose garden by removing invasive species such as kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, and English ivy. Plans are underway for a sustainable agriculture outdoor learning center designed in partnership with students and faculty from the College of Agriculture, Urban Studies, and Environmental Sciences. It is anticipated to include vertical gardens, a fishpond, and an EPA-certified water-quality testing lab.

relationship, if you will,” says Erik Thompson, senior project manager of the university’s Capital Construction Division. “My very first meeting with then university president, Allen Sessoms, I was told, ‘This is a building by the students and for the students. They should be involved in every decision because they are helping to pay for it. We should give them things they want and need.’” The university’s goal of building the first LEED Platinum student center on the East Coast, and only the third building in DC to achieve this standard, is intentionally lofty, Thompson says, and it has relied largely on the input of students and community members. Prior to finalizing the design, the design team gathered input from students, faculty, staff, and community members using one-on-one interviews, surveys, and focus groups. Many of the university’s 6,000 students, including a rapidly growing

cohort of international students, were invited to evaluate early progress drawings and asked why they came to the university, what they would like to see in the new building, and what they have seen in other green designs. The DC City Council contributed $35 million for the project, and the remaining $5 million was generated through a student fee. The new student center is a far cry from the brutalist concrete and tinted glass hardscape that characterized much of the former campus. Many of Cannon Design’s architectural features added to the sustainability of the building, including a recessed green roof garden planted with Liriope and Pennsylvania sedge in a lightweight soil-free media. Atria in the student center and adjoining plaza provide natural daylight, and a wedgeshaped rain garden serves as a small park and simultaneously filters storm water through an underground treatment system. gb&d

CAPitAL IMPROVEMENTS DC’s FIVE Largest Green roofs Green roofs are especially effective in cities such as Washington, DC, where so much surface area is taken up by low, flat rooftops. Through a program of the District Department of Energy, property owners are eligible for base funding of $5 per square foot of green roof. The incentive aims to reduce storm-water runoff, filter air pollutants from rainwater, and reduce energy consumption. Here are DC’s five largest green roofs.

400,000 ft2

93,000 ft2

90,000 ft2

68,000 ft2

55,000 ft2

United States Coast Guard Headquarters

District of Columbia Office of Taxes and Revenue

University of the District of Columbia Student Center

United States Department of Transportation

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives


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Adamsville Regional Health and Community Center Stanley Beaman & Sears Atlanta

The Adamsville Regional Health and Community Center was unique in the fact that it would be serving multiple purposes as a primary care clinic, child-care facility, dental clinic, and workforce community center. To accomplish all these things under one roof, Stanley Beaman & Sears set a goal to make the building feel vibrant and alive through architecture. The roof was conceived as a metaphoric blanket for the building, and the two-story entrance atrium serves as a connecting link between the various functions of the building. Quilting is a social activity in the community, so the architects used quilt patterns as well as the collaged paintings of Atlanta artist Radcliff Bailey for inspiration in the building by connecting things that don’t traditionally go together and creating a randomized pattern on the façade. gb&d

The 34,000-square-foot facility was constructed in an underserved community in Atlanta. The building houses primary care, dental, and behavioral health clinics as well as childcare facilities.


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photos: Jonathan Hillyer

Providing health care to underserved populations, the Adamsville clinic uses its dramatic roof as a metaphoric blanket, offering comfort to patients and visitors.


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GOING Double Platinum After being the first hospital to achieve LEED Platinum certification, Dell Children’s Medical Center seeks a second Platinum certification in a new category: LEED for Healthcare By Jennifer Hogeland



LOCATION Austin, TX Size 86,204 ft2 Completed 2013 Program 72 patient rooms, rehabilitation units, and other medical facilities

CERTIFICATION LEED Platinum (expected) Site Brownfield site, outdoor healing garden Materials Toxin-reduced products, recycled content, sustainable sourcing Water Low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets, site irrigation from reclaimed water Energy Outdoor air units with exhaust heat recovery, two solar PV arrays, solar-thermal system, LED lighting, lighting controls, 4.5-megawatt cogeneration plant Landscape Natural pond, native and drought-tolerant plants, organic vegetable garden

TEAM Owner Seton Healthcare Family Architect Polkinghorn Group Architects General Contractor Beck Group LEED Consultant Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems MEP Engineers CCRD


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ust five years after Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas, was completed in 2008, its owner, the Seton Healthcare Family, built a third bed tower, designed to the highest sustainable standards. “Since the hospital achieved LEED Platinum when it was built, it was the goal from the onset to achieve LEED Platinum status on the tower,” says Doug Strange, senior facilities project manager for Dell Children’s third tower. This time, the $28 million construction project is applying for LEED for Healthcare, which was established after the main hospital finished construction. The new tower is designed to LEED Platinum certification, and once certified, it will be the first building to attain such a high certification under the LEED for Healthcare criteria. “When you set the goal of Platinum, every credit is on the table,” says Michele Van Hyfte, the manager of environmental stewardship at Seton. “You have to take everything into consideration.” During construction of Dell’s new 72-bed tower, the team made sure to recycle as many construction materials as possible. “Our reports revealed our construction waste recycling is at 95 percent, which we feel is a success,” Strange says. The hospital installed a cogeneration plant that supplies all of the electricity, hot and chilled water, and steam for the new tower. In the new building, Dell took the opportunity to try techniques not used on the original hospital project such as installing photovoltaic panels and solar hot-water heaters. It has all LED lighting that is controlled by a lowvoltage control system, and the building is on track to have a 35 percent water reduction due to low-flow fixtures and dual-flush toilets. One of the biggest priorities in the new tower has been indoor air quality. “There is the first layer of toxicity that most certified projects address, but when it comes to health care, you can


where art meets engineering

These photovoltaic arrays plus a 300 million Btu-per-year solar-thermal system results in an energy reduction of 5% for Dell Children’s new bed tower.



Engineering of a different stripe. It’s what our clients have come to expect. AUSTIN DALLAS DENVER HOUSTON MIAMI NASHVILLE PHOENIX RICHMOND


“When you set the goal of Platinum, every credit is on the table. You have to take everything into consideration.” Michele Van Hyfte, Seton Healthcare Family

go deeper and deeper into the toxicity of products,” Van Hyfte says. “We’ve made a tremendous effort to ensure the levels are the lowest possible.” Before manufactured products were brought into the addition, they were sent to a central warehouse where they are unpacked and allowed to off-gas. To actively promote health and wellness, the tower has an extensive healing garden for employees and patients to use. The space contains shaded respite areas, native plants, and an area for a future vegetable garden. gb&d a message from CCRD

ccrd is proud to be the MEP engineer for Dell Children’s Medical Center bed tower three and a Seton Healthcare partner. Sustainable design has been at the core of our engineering solutions since 1980—back when ‘green’ was just a color and a carbon was a copy, not a footprint.


ABOVE Once the third bed tower is complete, a 4.5-megawatt cooling, heating, and power plant will provide 100% of its electricity, chilled water, and steam at an average efficiency of up to 65%.

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Higher Education • K-12 Schools • Government Retail, Hospitality and Gaming • Power Generation Historic Restoration • Mixed-Use Developments General Building Construction

september–october 2013



Desert in bloom NetSolar’s LEED Platinum homes spark interest from eco-minded buyers in New Mexico By Lynn Russo Whylly


s an architect, Javier Cabrera had issues convincing contractors to use green materials. So he partnered with his cousin, Emmanuel Dominguez, who has a degree in civil engineering, to launch NetSolar. The company does construction but also manufactures structural insulated panels and installs photovoltaic systems. Starting in 2010 in their hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Cabrera and Dominguez built four custom homes as NetSolar before breaking ground on the Metro Verde Development, where the company decided to go for the maximum of LEED Platinum certification. NetSolar recently completed the first two homes, each roughly 2,500 square feet, and have four homes currently in construction. We spoke with Cabrera about the challenges of achieving LEED Platinum in a residential environment. gb&d: Why did you decide to go for LEED Platinum for the Metro Verde homes? Javier Cabrera: We are trying to set the LEED standard on homebuilding here in southern New Mexico. Not only is it the right thing to do and better for the consumer, but it is healthier and less expensive than a traditional home to operate. Also, the Metro Verde subdivision was already green certified for its drainage and roadways. It was the first green-certified subdivision in the state. gb&d: What challenges did you overcome to build to LEED Platinum standards?


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Inside a Metro Verde Home

Cabrera: One of the main challenges was educating the subcontractors, suppliers, and all of our employees because they were not used to customers asking for recycled material and energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. With suppliers, we needed them to get FSC-certified lumber and GreenGuard-certified tile. Realtors also had to be educated on energyefficient features so they could sell the homes. Another challenge in the region was finding a green-certified appraiser. gb&d: What were some of the sustainability lessons you learned in the process of building the first two homes? Cabrera: We learned that building green is not more expensive than building a traditional home. It just takes a little extra time to plan ahead. It helps somewhat that we’re doing the manufacturing of the insulation. We learned the process for certifying LEED, and we learned better techniques to improve the performance of the house, so on these next four houses, we will reduce errors and increase performance time. gb&d: What has this success done for your firm? Is your sustainability practice driving your business growth? Cabrera: Yes, lots of people are interested. An article was written about the two completed Metro Verde homes in the local newspapers, and people who are interested in buying green homes are reaching out to us. Also, other homebuilders are approaching us for either

Energy A low-profile, two-kilowatt solar system generates clean energy while the HVAC system is 14.5 SEER and 95 percent efficient. A Nest thermostat learns the habits of the owner and adjusts itself after a few days. Ductwork inside the conditioned envelope maximizes efficiency, windows are Energy Star 3.0 certified with double low-E glass, and the house uses polystyrene SIPs to provide a solid insulation core with no gaps. Air Quality A plastic membrane under the slab serves as a barrier for vapor, radon gas, and termites. Materials All wood is locally purchased and FSC-certified. Water Faucets are WaterSense-certified, toilets are low-flow, and tankless water heaters have a direct line less than 50 feet to each faucet to avoid recirculation. Landscape elements were designed to prevent runoff.

products or advice, so that’s a good sign of improvement. gb&d: How will you stay above the sustainability curve going forward and continue to innovate? Cabrera: We’re always doing research and taking lessons online from places like Energy Star and the Environmental Protection Agency. We also are members of the USGBC and the AIA, so we regularly get information from them on new technologies. We talk with customers about what they are looking for in a home and what they wish they could do differently, and we spend time at the open houses to get people’s feedback on what they like, what they don’t like, and how we can improve from there. gb&d


A staircase becomes both a dresser and storage space in this tiny Manhattan apartment, which comprises a mere 425 square feet.


manhattan micro-loft Specht Harpman

photos: taggart sorenson

new york city

The story of the Manhattan Micro-Loft is like the nerd-to-knockout transformation typical of a ’90s teen movie. Architects Scott Specht and Louise Harpman buffed the awkward, ugly, uninhabitable excuse for an apartment into a sleek, functional abode that is the envy of many a city-dweller. The apartment accommodates a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and rooftop terrace in a footprint of 425 square feet. Although only four pieces of furniture (a couch, queen-size bed, convertible coffee table, and ceiling lamp) define the spaces’ functions, built-in features compactly substitute more traditional furnishings. Water flows from a spigot on the glass-covered side of the shared wall between the sunken kitchen and living space, and an entertainment center is housed on the painted-brick reverse. The two dark wood and white-paneled staircases double as storage units with arrays of cabinets and drawers that extend back underneath the steps. The partial ceiling created by the bed’s steelsupported platform maximizes daylight from windows in the living area and off the terrace. gb&d


september–october 2013


IFMA’s WORLD WORKPLACE 2013 The Facility Conference & Expo

PHIL ADEL PHIA Oct. 2-4 | Philadelphia, PA, USA

Leading FM: Advance Business, Get Results Save the date! Oct. 2-4, 2013

For more than 30 years, IFMA’s World Workplace has been leading groundbreaking discussions on the management of facilities, FM teams and workplace projects. As more employers recognize the direct impact of efficient facility management on business profitability, we’re making sure you have what you need to Advance Business and Get Results.

Join us this year in Philadelphia!


Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List

124 exploratorium at pier 15 A science museum requires underwater work 128 wythe hotel Rustic, reclaimed luxury in Brooklyn


september–october 2013



Net Zero Working on Water

Exploratorium at Pier 15 San Francisco Nibbi Brothers General Contractors By Matt Alderton


More than 1,000 dilapidated pilings were repaired or replaced by Power Engineering during the Exploratorium construction.


PHOTOS: Amy Snyder


Number of solar panels in the Exploratorium’s 1.3-megawatt SunPower photovoltaic array, which will generate all of the museum’s electricity

The Embarcadero is quintessential San Francisco. It’s the city’s eastern waterfront, meandering along the San Francisco Bay, traipsing around the tip of the peninsula and toward the iconic red-orange suspensions of the Golden Gate Bridge. At one end is the San Francisco Ferry Building, and at the other is Fisherman’s Wharf, a tangle of restaurants, shops, and attractions. But in between, thousands of tourists and locals stroll along the waterfront, drinking in the spectacular scenery—it’s the perfect spot for a new, super-sized science museum. At least that’s what the Port of San Francisco decided in 2004 when it partnered with the city’s popular hands-on science museum, the Exploratorium, in pursuit of a novel idea to turn two vacant piers, Piers 15 and 17, into a nine-acre museum campus that would reenergize both the Embarcadero and the Exploratorium. Since opening in 1969, the Exploratorium had been located at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco’s Marina District, a beautiful but remote location some three miles from the bustling Embarcadero. The museum had long ago outgrown its space and was in the midst of a many-year search for new real estate. The massive size and strategic location of Piers 15 and 17 made them an ideal solution. There was just one problem— turning the 20th-century piers into a 21st-century museum would require an unprecedented act of intricate marine surgery.

LEFT The Exploratorium project, in San Francisco, includes the construction of a new observatory building and two pedestrian bridges. The entire project has a vast solar array that spans three acres of rooftop space.


Most scientists don’t believe in walking on water, but they do believe in building on it. Thus, the Exploratorium accepted the Port of San Francisco’s proposal in spite of the construction challenges but not at all oblivious to them. In 2005, it retained preconstruction services from San Francisco-based Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, which in 2001 had completed a similar renovation of Pier 1. Among Nibbi’s first orders of business was a preconstruction survey of the 2,400 piles beneath Piers 15 and 17, a significant number of which would need to be repaired or replaced in order to support the new museum and protect it from earthquakes. The need to refurbish and seismically upgrade the piers meant construction would take place not only above the San Francisco Bay, but also below it, where piles extend more than 160 feet into the bottom of the bay. An added challenge was historic preservation. The museum’s design, courtesy of San Francisco-based EHDD Architecture, included a new all-glass observatory between Piers 15 and 17, yet the primary component was a historic warehouse, spanning the length of almost three football fields, on Pier 15 that would be renovated into the Exploratorium’s main exhibit space. Although interior upgrades to the warehouse were allowed, its architectural façade would remain largely untouched. As if that weren’t challenging enough, the Exploratorium made sustainability a major priority early on in the planning phase. Endeavoring to be the world’s largest net-zero energy museum, it required architects and builders to incorporate into the museum’s design an ambitious roster of features to offset the facility’s energy consumption, including one of the city’s largest solar roofs and a cutting-edge bay-water heating-andseptember–october 2013


EHDD Architecture team members tour the installation of a new seismic joint between Piers 15 and 17, which replaces a connector building that was removed to reopen the San Francisco Bay to the community.

cooling system that naturally regulates the museum’s indoor temperature. Along with reducing its environmental impact, the goal was to make the museum a living exhibit, showcasing the science of sustainability. Because the facility includes several energy-intense components, including a theater, two retail stores, and a café, all of which are expected to host more than a million people every year, achieving it wouldn’t be easy. “Being able to incorporate all these environmentally driven elements dovetails nicely into what the Exploratorium is all about, which is really the direct correlation between science and nature,” says Nibbi Brothers vice president of business development and marketing Joe Olla, who expects the museum to achieve LEED Platinum certification. “For its massive size, not using any power from the grid is amazing.”


Square footage of indoor space at the new Exploratorium in San Francisco, in addition to the 1.5 acres of free, public outdoor space created in the design


Gallons of water saved annually by the Exploratorium’s bay-water heating-and-cooling system, which avoids evaporative cooling towers by drawing water from the San Francisco Bay

Turning the 20th-century piers into a 21st-century museum would require an unprecedented act of intricate marine surgery. 126

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Based on its waterfront experience and preconstruction efforts, Nibbi Brothers was retained as the project’s general contractor when construction commenced on the Exploratorium in November 2010. Almost immediately, Nibbi Brothers set to work solving the structural and seismic challenges of the piers. “Gigantic bulkheads at the far water side and then closer to the Embarcadero would be tied together to provide rigidity in the structure,” Olla says of Nibbi Brothers’ solution. Five teams of divers worked on installing four sets of gargantuan steel pilings in the bottom of the bay to support the bulkheads. Each piling is 135 feet long and six feet in diameter. The work was arduous, but the substructure beneath the piers needed to be upgraded because the original pilings dated back to the early 20th century. “You basically had a scaffold hanging underneath the deck where workers were working between the bottom of the deck and the water, where you are contending with rising tides and other concerns, such as the marine life,” Olla says. “A tremendous amount of effort was focused on that specific work.” The piers’ seismic overhaul means the Exploratorium can withstand up to an 8.2-magnitude earthquake.


“Being able to incorporate all these environmentally driven elements dovetails nicely into what the Exploratorium is all about.”

PHOTOS: Amy Snyder

Joe Olla, Nibbi Brothers General Contractors

With the base secured, Nibbi Brothers could focus on making the building use no more energy than it produced. A 1.3-megawatt SunPower solar power system will generate 100 percent of the Exploratorium’s electricity. The galleries will use daylighting with windows that have high-performance glass designed to reduce heat gain. For water conservation, the bathrooms will have waterless urinals and low-flow plumbing fixtures and a roof rainwater system that collects water for restroom use in the building. The bay-water heating and cooling system was the most difficult to install because the MEP systems had to be retrofitted into the historic structure without disturbing it. The job was accomplished using a 3-D spatial model created by InnovTech. Developed by Nibbi Brothers and Power Engineering Construction Company, the system captures water from the San Francisco Bay, filters and cleans it, then pumps it through a heat exchanger via eight 50-ton heat pumps made by Multistack. Depending on the season, the pumped bay water either heats or cools an estimated 73,800 gallons of water that recirculate through the facility via 200,000 feet of radiant tubing made by Uponor. Spanning 82 different heating-cooling zones controlled by individual thermostats, the tubing will save 2 million gallons of water annually by not using evaporative cooling towers for heat rejection. “There were a lot of challenges as it related to the bay-water intake system,” says Olla, whose firm learned how to address those challenges when it attempted a similar, but ultimately unsuccessful, system during its 2001 renovation of Pier 1. “The first concern was, ‘What if the system breaks?’ So, we put in two [systems] to create redundancies. The next concern was, ‘If the system breaks, how are [we] going to get it out to repair it?’ because this thing is gigantic and sinks all the way down into the bay. So, the room where we built it has an opening in gb&d

the ceiling where it can be pulled out for maintenance.” Despite the technical challenges associated with building over the water and integrating a net-zero-energy goal, Nibbi Brothers successfully completed construction on the new Exploratorium in November 2012. When the museum celebrated its grand opening in April 2013, the fruits of its labor were plain to see, even though its most intricate work—hidden under the floor and beneath the sea—was not. “Before, it was a dilapidated pier,” Olla says. “Now, it’s safe, it’s inviting, and it allows people to really enjoy the waterfront, whether they’re in the museum or not.” gb&d

BELOW Nibbi Concrete at work. In total, more than 4,800 cubic yards were poured, including 210,000 square feet of structural slab. BOTTOM A special machine ensures that any debris created by the pile restoration is collected and disposed of responsibly in order to protect marine life.

september–october 2013



Gut Rehab From Barrels to Beds Wythe Hotel New York City Morris Adjmi Architects By Suchi Rudra


september–october 2013

“The idea of juxtaposing something new and historic is the type of work I do, so we had to figure out the right tone of intervention.” Morris Adjmi, Morris Adjmi Architects

photos: Jimi Billingsley; Florian Holzherr (before)


Located in the historic Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, the new Wythe Hotel raises its nostalgic brick and modern glass façade eight stories above the street level. Named as the Best Hotel Under 100 Rooms by Travel & Leisure magazine in 2013, the hotel is Morris Adjmi Architects’ latest gut rehab masterpiece. It was not, like most masterpieces, a simple or certain endeavor. In 1901, the building was first constructed as a cooperage, or barrel-making facility, and was later redone for a window treatment manufacturer. It served as a storage or manufacturing facility most of its life, making its transformation into a hotel especially difficult. But Morris Adjmi, founder of Morris Adjmi Architects, saw the hotel as a project rife with opportunities. “We took advantage of [the building] by peeling away layers to go back to the original beautiful structure,” he says. Adjmi’s practice has experience working on projects in historic districts, and his philosophy about architecture and cities reflects this. “Something is always changing, even the historical context,” he says. “There’s an opportunity to take the essence of that history and rethink how that gets recontextualized over time. With the hotel, we tried to look at a building and create a dialogue between what we added and what was there historically.”





Height in stories of the Wythe Hotel’s recycled neon sign. The centerpiece was created by local artist Tom Fruin.


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Built in 1901 as a cooperage, the structure’s original brick was left exposed to add warmth to the new hotel, which was designed by Morris Adjmi and opened in Williamsburg in 2012.



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“I didn’t want it to compete with the architecture of the original brick building. What really gives the hotel warmth are the brick walls.” Morris Adjmi, Morris Adjmi Architects

wood ceilings and a concrete floor, it’s the inverse of what you normally see,” he says. Cork was used in the hallways because of its acoustic properties, its ease of maintenance, and eco-friendly nature—and because the client had vetoed the use of any carpet in the hotel.

ABOVE The Wythe Hotel’s lobby area features wood floors and ceilings as well as a table and seating made from reclaimed timber, referencing the barrels that were once made there.

photos: Matthew Williams (lobby); Mark Mahaney

Construction on the hotel began in the first quarter of 2011 and ended in May 2012, but Adjmi admits that this stretched-out schedule offered the benefit of more time to test the brick blasting and create 3-D mock ups, which isn’t often the case. The overall aim was to reuse the building, which called for an upgrade of the building envelope. “The idea of juxtaposing something new and historic is the type of work I do, so we had to figure out the right tone of intervention,” he says. “Being able to take a building in disrepair and make it something that respects its past was really what this project was all about.” The hotel’s west façade features an enormous factory window as a reference to the building’s original purpose but is repositioned for incredible views from the guest rooms. To achieve this, Adjmi and his team shaved 20 feet of brick off the back of the building and put in a glass factory window wall that opens up to dramatic views of Manhattan. On the east side of the building, the guest rooms feature punched openings reminiscent of the original windows. For the three-floor addition on top of the building, Adjmi wanted to keep the new elements simple and rational. “I didn’t want it to compete with the architecture of the original brick building,” he says. “What really gives the hotel warmth are the brick walls. We took a lot of care to figure out what was the right amount of removal of paint and mortar and blasted the ceilings to expose the wood.” Like many buildings of yesteryear, the hotel structure has tall ceilings with windows placed too high up on the wall for anyone to catch a view. Adjmi solved this by building the floor up 20 inches, so guests can enjoy the view even while lying in bed. The addition allowed Adjmi to pour a new concrete slab with radiant floor heating. The absence of radiators makes the rooms feel larger, and the floors were left exposed. “With warm

When the client purchased the building, this area was outside the ‘hip’ district of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, but the hotel now sits solidly in the middle of a wildly popular scene filled with galleries and restaurants, including Reynard, the hotel’s own restaurant, which serves a seasonal menu.



ABOVE Original signs were repainted by local artists on the neighboring building façades to give guests an authentic turn-ofthe-century view.

photos: Matthew Williams; Mark Mahaney (guest room)

RIGHT The Wythe Hotel put a major emphasis on local sourcing. Even the guest bath products are from Goldies, which is based in Queens.

To discover the hotel’s true personality, one only has to look to its details. More than 6,000 square feet of wood removed from the structure has taken on new life more than a century later as beds and desks for the hotel, all thanks to the craftsmanship of local artisans. “We used what was on the inside to introduce elements that relate to the building’s architecture,” Adjmi says. “While the building physically contains pieces of the original structure, spiritually, it’s connected to artisans currently living in the area. The hotel’s aesthetic is aligned with the Williamsburg area, so the hotel really feels rooted in its place.” Adjmi points out the importance of the carefully selected details, like the Ann Sacks tiles, vintage bathroom mirrors, Lefroy Brooks faucets and washbasin stands, and the welded neon lettering that makes up the hotel’s five-story sign, which was created by local artist Tom Fruin. For Adjmi, one of the especially attractive details of the hotel can be found in the back bar where the window faces Manhattan. “As you look over the line of bottles that create their own skyline,” he says, “you also see the skyline of Manhattan.” gb&d


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The pale blue guest room wallpaper was designed by a local illustrator, Dan Funderburgh, and hand-screened by Brooklynbased Flavor Paper.


Square feet of original wood was repurposed from the structure for hotel desks and beds

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Up Front Approach Trendsetters Green Typologies Inner Workings Features Spaces Tough Builds Punch List 136

Landscapes Edition


Material World




On the Boards





New codes require new insulation Urban furniture from rebar Seaholm EcoDistrict, Austin, TX Landscape Architect to Watch

Nina Chase, Sasaki Associates On the Spot

With guest editor Lucia Athens

september–october 2013



Toolbox Landscapes Edition

As our population shifts to urban centers, design minds are inventing creative ways to bring real vegetation—bonus if it’s edible—to our concrete jungles Text by Lindsey Howald Patton

The Rise of Living Architecture ▲ UF FARM Created by Swiss company UrbanFarmers, this commercial-scale aquaponic farm prototype is pushing green roofs into higher production. Here’s how it works: the system, designed to integrate into existing rooftops, combines aquaculture and agriculture by housing fish that nurture the farm with their waste. The symbiotic relationship between the fish and plants makes for a totally closed loop. The pilot farm, called UF001 LokDepot, went up in Basel, Switzerland, last year as the first aquaponic rooftop in the world. UF001 is perched atop a former engine shed, lending sweeping views of the industrial part of the city as tilapia and trout wriggle in fresh water inside near the tomatoes and lettuces. Then it delivers fresh fish and veggies via electric bicycle to nearby restaurants. Once these filter their way into America, we want to see them at supermarkets and grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, and neighborhood CSA programs, just to name a few.


september–october 2013

Inside a hardcover hewn from recycled material, this commemorative book by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities features on-point Q&As with more than 50 industry leaders. An introductory essay by Green Roofs founder Steven Peck paints a portrait of a not-so-far-off future when buildings are no longer inorganic blocks isolated from the larger natural landscape.


▲ Planterworx Element Looking to add a little postmodern edge to your next project? The sweeping angles of these planers are inspired by ocean jetties, and they have a Cor-ten steel surface you can buy ready-patinated to a golden red rust.

Modern Farmer Magazine A farmer’s almanac for today’s socially conscious food culture, the publication offers features such as “Scenes From A Pot Farmers’ Market” and illustrations for how to turn a space-challenged city backyard into a four-season farm.

▲ Greenhouse and Cabinet of Future Fossils Conceptualized by artist Jenny Sabin, this greenhouse-without-glass prefab structure looks a bit like the bleached rib bones of a 52-foot-long whale (it’s really recycled plastic lumber board). Tucked among these ribs are 110 cold growing trays with brightly colored translucent lids, creating 110 mini-greenhouses.

▲ EcoWalls Chefs Wall Garden Who needs a farm-to-table lifestyle when kitchento-table is faster and fresher? This hydroponic vertical garden, designed with the restaurant industry in mind, allows chefs to grow herbs and leafy greens in-house.


september–october 2013



Material World Polyiso Panels

Two of Hunter’s most popular products are Hunter Xci Class A, which is a polyiso insulation manufactured on line to embossed foil facers, and Hunter Panels Xci Ply, which is bonded to fire-treated plywood. Both provide continuous insulation for various types of wall construction.

Hunter Panels sees enormous potential in bringing an old material to new applications By Julie Schaeffer


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The continuous insulation is provided for standard wood frame, steel stud, concrete masonry unit (CMU), and masonry cavity exterior wall construction. It can be installed directly on steel studs in a variety of wall assemblies without the need for gypsum sheathing.

Hunter Xci is free of hydrochlorofluorocarbons, has zero ozone depletion potential, and has negligible global warming potential.

Thicknesses range from 0.5 inches to 4.5 inches, and R-values range from 6.3 to 19.5.

photo: samantha simmons

For most of its existence, Hunter Panels has focused on roofing products made from polyisocyanurate, or polyiso, a thermoset plastic used as rigid thermal insulation. Now, as the US Department of Energy’s Building Energy Code Program increases R-values on exterior walls, the company has introduced a new line of wall insulation, Hunter Xci. The United States has more than 5 million commercial buildings and industrial facilities that spend $202.3 billion on energy each year. Thirty percent of that energy is used inefficiently or unnecessarily according to Energy Star, which means close to $20 billion could be saved annually and greenhouse gases would be significantly reduced if the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings improved by just 10 percent. So the federal government stepped in. “The government wanted to push people toward building more energy-efficient buildings, and in doing so, began requiring continuous insulation in walls,” says Grant Stahl, the national sales manager for Hunter Panels. Enter polyiso, also referred to as PIR or ISO, which is Energy Star approved and contributes to LEED certification. “Eliminating the thermal leakage that may occur due to conductivity of wood or steel framing is not a concept that’s new, but it makes sense,” Stahl says. “And polyisocyanurate offers the highest Rvalue per inch and best fire performance of any foam plastic material, both at an economical cost per R.” gb&d


Reclaimed Rebar Renewed

DIALOGUE With guest editor Lucia Athens Continued from p. 20

gb&d: Some critics have implied that your office isn’t aware of the benefits of a results-oriented approach, but your background in landscape architecture and your work in Seattle seem to suggest that you are very aware of those benefits.

BRP by Bison is finding new uses for recycled steel bars with its Urban Renewal collection of landscape furnishings By Julie Schaeffer Developers and landscapers looking to avoid the same-old look for public outdoor furnishings have a new option in BRP by Bison’s Urban Renewal collection, made from 100 percent recycledcontent rebar. Like most all-metal products, these steel bars, which are most commonly used as tensioning devices in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures to hold the concrete in compression, can be sold as scrap. Now designers are finding new uses for the material. BRP’s new line of rebar benches come in many configurations, including backed and backless, single and double width, and 48-, 72-, or 96-inch lengths. The brand also fabricates receptacles from rebar for recycling, litter, ash, and plants that are designed to complement the benches or stand alone, offering

cled al’s 100% recy Urban Renew tally en m on vir r is en content reba stainability su es te an ar friendly and gu arranty. e structural w with a lifetim

a unique look in any park or on any streetscape. Bicycle security stations are also available. All pieces come with BRP’s Weatherbeater Mastercoat finish and two warranties—a 10-year finish warranty and a lifetime functional warranty. “People came to the ASLA show where we launched the collection and said, ‘The benches don’t look like they’d be comfortable,’ but you’d be surprised,” says BRP by Bison president Nick Cusick. “They feel a lot like those beaded seat covers taxi drivers sit on.” The Urban Renewal line is a new design collection for the Lincoln, Nebraska-based company, but an idea whose time had come. According to Cusick, aesthetics were the first driver. “Lincoln has been going through a significant rehab, revitalizing its downtown and building a new arena, and it seems as if everyone’s looking for something different—something edgy with an urban feel—for the construction elements,” he says, adding that the product’s green cred was an added bonus. “Everyone’s interested in sustainable construction, and rebar is as sustainable as you can get as a recycled product that will last a lifetime.” gb&d

Athens: Well, one issue is that you can’t do a simple cost-benefit analysis for everything you do as a city. We are public stewards, and we have to take a very long-range view of what public stewardship means and what the right decision is. Every single decision we make isn’t going to pencil out with a simple, bottom-line calculation. An example would be ending homelessness. It’s very difficult to give a cost-benefit analysis of that, but over the long haul, there are community benefits that are fairly wideranging, but you’re probably not going to see a return immediately. gb&d: What sort of metrics have you been able to gather? Athens: One of the completely metricsbased projects we’re spending a lot of time on, and piloting, is the STAR Community Index, a benchmarking tool for citywide sustainability ranking. It was created by teams of subject-matter experts across the country—that’s how LEED was created as well—coming together and crafting what they thought were the most important benchmarks in a broad variety of different sustainability applications for a city. And it is pointbased, so at the end of the day if a city goes through the process of collecting all that data, we will be able to compare how we’re doing to other cities. There’s a big interest in this because every time you turn around, there’s another ranking of cities that comes out. Usually they’re black boxes, and you don’t know what they’re really basing it on. So cities actually have quite an interest in creating something like this, where they can contribute to the creation of it and vet the tool, and then look at how they’re doing compared to one another. We should have our STAR ranking complete by sometime in the late fall. The conversation continues on p. 140


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DIALOGUE With guest editor Lucia Athens Continued from p. 139

On the Boards Seaholm EcoDistrict

gb&d: You grew up in Texas, in San Antonio, the daughter of the head of the local Sierra Club. Does it feel like fate that you’ve returned to Texas to work in sustainability? Athens: It feels very much full circle for me. I wouldn’t say I planned to move away from Texas and then finally move back, but I finally reached a point in my career where I paused. I took a two-year break from government work—I was little burned out on government work at the time—and I was finishing up my book, Building an Emerald City, but I realized that I really loved working as a public servant. And then this job came up—I was contacted by their recruiters—and it was just the perfect position for me, and the timing was great. So there’s a lot of kismet for me in the things that I’ve done and how one thing has led to the next. I’m very lucky. gb&d: It reminds me of my own story. I grew up the son of a landscape designer and a soil conservationist— Athens: Oh wow. gb&d: —but once I got the journalism bug and became interested in media and publishing, I didn’t necessarily expect to wind up back in this world at all, and yet here I am. Something about sustainability values stays in a person a long time. Athens: It does. And it’s great that you guys are doing this work because there’s such a tremendous need for us to communicate and learn and get that information out to a really broad audience, so having people involved in the media is really key. LEED really helped transform the marketplace because it created a common language for people. It’s a rating tool, but it’s also a communication tool. And, having a tool with a point system is actually really useful for market transformation because everyone wants to win and get the most points. They want to outshine their peers, whether its an architect, a developer, or a mayor who wants to have the most green buildings in their city. gb&d: It sounds like the perfect setup for a reality TV show. gb&d


september–october 2013

If the past decade gave rise to the “green building,” the next decade is poised to usher in the era of the “ecodistrict,” and the Seaholm EcoDistrict in Austin, Texas, will help pave the way. Opportunities for renewable energy, low-impact design, and alternative transit increase exponentially when individual buildings are integrated with one another, thus the master plan for this 70-acre former industrial park calls for comprehensive strategies that leverage parcel-to-parcel relationships. Goals for the public-private partnership—which includes the City of Austin, Seaholm Power, Trammell Crow Company, and Lake Flato Architects—are ambitious: zero outside water use, 100 percent historic building shell preservation, 100 percent collection rate for recyclables, 90 percent wastewater treatment, and 40 percent non-vehicular transit. To achieve these benchmarks, the city is using the Portland Sustainability Institute’s EcoDistrict framework, which focuses on eight distinct areas of an urban community’s health, including equitable development, materials management, and access and mobility. Austin’s chief sustainability officer Lucia Athens says that in addition to integrating district buildings with each other, the city will also look for opportunities to connect Seaholm to its surrounding neighborhoods. “Cutting across these site boundaries is part of it,” she says, explaining that the decommissioned power plant on-site will house an enormous huge rainwater-collection system that could provide irrigation for a nearby park. The development will also have the first Trader Joe’s in Austin. gb&d


Amount of clean energy that could be produced on the Seaholm site through building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) alone. Austin is studying the results of a pilot project in Chicago where the Willis Tower has installed Pythagoras Solar BIPV glass panels to test market viability.

Planners of the Seaholm EcoDistrict will work with local conservation groups to both protect and leverage the benefits of nearby Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake, two of Austin’s most treasured and valuable natural resources.


Join the conversation @gbd_mag


Pounds of food per year that could be produced within the boundaries of the Seaholm EcoDistrict, according to the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems in Austin.

A new library by Lake Flato Architects is just one piece of the plan.

The Seaholm Power Plant, decommissioned in the 1990s, anchors the renewal happening in southwest Austin. It will soon house office and social space, and existing subterranean vaults will be converted into giant rainwater cisterns.


september–october 2013



Landscape Architect to Watch Nina Chase

Interview by Kathryn Freeman Rathbone gb&d: What drew you to landscape architecture? Nina Chase: As a kid, I was interested in design and spaces. My family always took notice of good design. We would drive around neighborhoods, and my parents would say, “That’s a nice house,” and I would mimic, “nice house, nice house,” from the backseat. When I got to WVU, I thought I wanted to go into restoration and preservation. Then, I enrolled in “Introduction to Landscape Architecture.” It merged architecture, ecosystems, biology, engineering, hydrology—I was hooked. gb&d: Why go on to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) after earning your bachelor’s degree at WVU? The two programs are so different. Chase: WVU did a great job at teaching and showing its students how to design landscape architecture for people, communities, and spaces. I knew I had a good base coming out of WVU. I specifically wanted to learn more about theory, and I was interested in urban systems, but I wanted to stay in landscape architecture because of ecology. The GSD gave me the chance to dive into all three areas. I learned so much from the incredibly intelligent people who are there.


september–october 2013

gb&d: Sasaki Associates, much like the GSD, takes an interdisciplinary approach to design. What do you enjoy most about working there? Chase: The level of collaboration is amazing. It’s a big firm, which is intriguing to me, but also very intimidating. Everybody works together and brings their expertise to the table. I work alongside engineers, planners, architects—the collaborative approach pushes all the fields forward. Sasaki also supports individual research and encourages teaching, which is very exciting. Right now I’m working with Ruth Siegel and Chris Merritt on a project that examines sea-level rise in Boston and its impact on the built environment. This past summer, we worked with Sasaki’s interns to propose design solutions for the city. gb&d: Have you always been interested in hydrology? Chase: My senior year at WVU was the first time I investigated hydrology. My thesis focused on storm-water management, and I made hydrology my topic of interest at the GSD. For my final studio, led by Phil Enquist at SOM, the class looked at the south branch of the Chicago River. Chicago has all these industrial spaces along the river that are no longer in use, so we asked, “How can we

repurpose the land?” I chose the Pilsen industrial corridor and designed a water research center where people could come and study fresh-water resource management. I reversed the old shipping slips to accept storm water. Each slip became an example of a different storm-water filtration system. At Sasaki, I’m researching water’s place in an urban context. It’s a key issue for our generation of landscape architects. Sea levels are rising, and as we continue to expand our cities, we have to make room for water. Hydrology must be considered in plans for new spaces and where infrastructure already exists. gb&d: Aside from hydrology, what most excites you when you think about landscape architecture’s future? Chase: Advocacy. Landscape architects have the engineering, ecological, and cultural know-how to help lead urban design conversations and to advocate for landscape urbanism. The American Society of Landscape Architects has been pivotal in advocating for the profession. Landscape architecture is becoming better known, and we’re coming together and engaging other professions, like urban design, environmental science, and real estate development. Landscape architects are breaking down professional barriers, and the community is only growing stronger. gb&d At Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Nina Chase’s final studio explored the creation of a “Slip District” along the Chicago River’s South Branch. A new edge condition includes a riverwalk, kayak lanes, riparian buffer, and restored habitats.

photo: Bennett Earle (Portrait)

“Landscape architecture needs to make a bigger splash,” Nina Chase says confidently. She should know. Chase is already making waves in the industry, having earned her bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture at West Virginia University (WVU), her master’s degree in the same at Harvard University and having joined Boston’s Sasaki Associates in November 2012. Her work of better integrating the natural landscape with the urban world is making her a frontrunner in her field. Oh, and there’s one other thing. She’s 25 years old.

“Landscape architects have the engineering, ecological, and cultural know-how to help lead urban design conversations.” Nina Chase, Sasaki Associates

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Hunter Panels, 60 I IBS, 48 IFMA, 122 Integrated Art Group, 26 International Leak Detection, 77 Intus Windows, 92 Ironsmith, 79 J Jakob Rope Systems, 92 Johnson & Shute, 47 K KeyBank, 47 Kramer Management Group, 119 L LiveRoof, 144 LiveWall, 144 Loring, 48 M Manatee County, 58 Mark Architectural Lighting, 65 Masters Building Solutions, 26 MetroLINK, 48 MG Engineering, 101 O Ozanne, 26

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september–october 2013



On the Spot... with Guest Editor Lucia Athens

One book everyone should read

The one question industry professionals

Nonfiction: A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink. How right-brained people will rule the world. Fiction: Solar, by Ian McEwan. A moral tale with a main character who serves as a metaphor for modern society.

should always be asking themselves

An article you recently shared

The perfect city would have

next thought leader nobody’s talking about

Lance Hosey’s article in The New York Times, “Why We Love Beautiful Things.”

Historic buildings, green oases, sidewalk cafés, views, interesting people-watching, a trail system.

Smartphone app you’re always using

The thought or idea that centers you

Austin Food Cart. Every city should encourage mobile food trailers and have an app to track their locations, menus, and fellow foodie reviews. Food carts can enliven temporarily vacant lots, provide affordable dining choices, and foster small businesses.

“I am not alone.”

Rob Bennett, executive director of the Portland Sustainability Institute and orginator of the EcoDistricts Initiative. Also, Chris Krager, principal of KRDB Architects. He designed and developed the SOL zero-energy subdivision in Austin.

Austin, Texas’s chief sustainability officer is pro-food truck, anti-acronym, and sees hope in the world’s trash

“Who is not in this conversation who should be?” Twitter feed you tell everyone about


The first step to becoming a steward of the

One technology on the horizon that can


change the world

Look at the simple things you do every day and begin to understand their impacts. Where do things come from? Where do they go? What are the unseen consequences? Someone who is not within the discipline where the problem lies.

Not so much a technology as an approach: Making useful and beautiful things out of trash. See Waste Land, an inspiring story about the journey of Brazilians who live off of recycling materials from the largest landfill in the world, and the Landfill Harmonic project, where children make symphony instruments out of refuse.,

your child

Blog that you follow religiously

Favorite place you’ve traveled

“It’s okay not to know all the answers right now. Part of the joy of growing up is the journey of discovery.”

The Atlantic Cities website and daily email.

Santorini, Greece.

Your topic if you were asked to give a TED Talk

The boldest idea in sustainable design

“Do What You Love, the Rest Will Follow.”

Walking on a sunny day, arm in arm with a friend.

Most impactful experience in nature

had 30 seconds

Camping and beachcombing in Olympic National Park, discovering thousands of starfish clustered around sea stacks at low tide.

Create a massive job and economic development solar program covering every feasible rooftop in the country.

Magazine you subscribe to but never read

Social media—helping or hurting?

Elle Décor. I love to look at the pictures but never read the articles.

Both. So powerful, while so overwhelming. Probably a net positive though.

Industry jargon we should banish

Trend you hope will never go out of fashion

Anything with an acronym that isn’t intuitive.


Favorite Instagram feed

Aditya Zulizar T (@aditzt) from Indonesia. I love seeing what someone else sees, from a country so totally different from where I live.

The next big idea will come from

What you’d tell the green movement if it was

Cause you’d support with a billion dollars

Provide everyone on Earth an electric bike and a solar electric-charging station.


september–october 2013

What you’d pitch to President Obama if you

photo: caleb fox

Austin City Limits Live recording studio. Touting a Willie Nelson Boulevard address, this mixed-use LEED development near Austin’s hike and bike trail includes retail, a W Hotel, and condominiums. The 2,700-seat theater has state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, zero-waste operations, an outdoor music porch, and a legends of rock-’n’-roll photography gallery.

Favorite mode of transportation


smarter LED Light. Good lighting illuminates more than books; Cree LED lighting does it while cutting energy use and improving sustainability. We make inviting interior and exterior LED luminaires for campuses and classrooms, as well as commercial, retail and residential applications. We make light for learning, teaching and working. Cree makes light for living.


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2013 NOV. 15-18


The largest gathering of landscape architecture professionals and students in the world. 6,000+ Attendees 500+ Exhibitors 130+ Education Sessions Earn up to 21 professional development hours

w w w. A s L A .O R G / 2 0 1 3 M E E T I N G

gb&d Issue 23: September/October 2013  
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