Page 1

WGL plugs into the right mix: affordability, efficiency, sustainability, and resiliency p. 58

In Conversation with Rochelle Routman, VP of Sustainability at Mohawk Industries and chair of our WSLA Alumni Group DESTINATION: LA A LOOK AT 2015’S BEST IN SUSTAINABLE DESIGN IN CALIFORNIA’S CAPITAL OF ALL THINGS GREEN

p. 46


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Extremely complex project. Extra-tight timeline. Enter EFCO. For this defense contractor’s state-of-the-art office building, we used 3D software technology to design the framing system and to determine the size, radius and angle of the building’s curved glass. And we created custom angled horizontals allowing the exterior covers to remain parallel to the ground. The result? A building delivered on time. On budget. And precisely on target with the architect’s design intent. Mission accomplished. BAE Systems gb&d

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november–december 2015



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In This Issue November+December 2015 Volume 6, Issue 36

46 23

Typology: EMerge Alliance

A look into the undeniable benefits of DC microgrids






Featuring ASSA ABLOY, MechoSystems, and Viracon

A look at 2015’s best in sustainable design in California’s capital of all things green

Affordability, efficiency, sustainability, resiliency—WGL strives to provide it all

We honor 20 women who are shaping the sustainability landscape of tomorrow


Destination: LA



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Table of Contents November+December 2015 Volume 6, Issue 36



In Conversation Rochelle Routman


Editor’s Picks From Mohawk Industries’ Living Building Challenge project


Product Spotlight Naturepedic


Event Preview Greenbuild and the USGBC LA Chapter’s Green Gala

40 november–december 2015

Punch List

Spaces 88

Protecting Art with Precision Science The Whitney Museum of American Art’s iconic new headquarters energizes New York City’s skyline by housing an even more iconic collection of art— and a LEED Gold certification


A “Living Laboratory” Breaks New Ground This environmental research facility goes all in on sustainable design


The Foundations of a Sustainable Resort A look at how eco- conscious concrete will usher in LEED Gold status for the MGM National Harbor

102 Touting Timber A natural wood exterior builds a healthy hospital

108 Sustainable Solution Peerless Architectural Windows & Doors 110 In Profile Stephen Schrader 112 Material World Fabcon USA 114 On the Spot Rochelle Routman


Up Front



“It was a focus on doing it right, from the beginning to the end. In my opinion, the highlight was that this was a process that worked; there was no cost cutting. It’s a project that I’m really happy to have contributed to.” 92 gb&d

november–december 2015



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Editor’s Note Chris Howe

Earlier this year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the pLAn, the city’s roadmap to greater sustainability, and following that announcement and its proposed goals comes this issue’s colorful 12-page cover feature on the city of angels (starting on p. 46). As the pLAn itself states, “By addressing the environment, economy, and equity together, we can move toward a truly sustainable future.” Now that’s what we here at gb&d like to hear about one of our favorite cities. So, what does that future look like? For one, LA— which faces one of the worst droughts on record—has set a goal of reducing per capita potable water use by 20% once 2017 rolls around. The city will also continue to recycle 100 million gallons of water per day and will try to expand this by at least 6 million more gallons by 2017 as well. Plus, the LA River Revitalization Corporation—the organization created to coordinate restoring the LA River—received $1.35 billion from the Army Corps of Engineers to begin the project and restore 11 miles of the 51-mile river (for more, turn to p. 49). Also with the arrival of 2017 comes a goal to more than triple solar power capacity and an exciting ambition to expand the Better Building Challenge by more than 60 million square feet. On top of these shorter-term goals (2017 will be here before we know it), the city aims to eliminate coal-fired electricity by 2025, and by 2030, 50% of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s electricity will come from renewable sources (for more on LADWP, check out our cover and p. 48 where we explore the iconic building’s 50th anniversary and recent retrofit). But this cover feature isn’t all about future goals; in fact, its larger purpose is to celebrate what LA has accomplished this year with regards to sustainable design and the general “greening” of its metropolis. It’s a feature I hope to be able to present about various cities throughout the United States and beyond as more and more municipalities turn their focus to the sustainability within the built environment. gb&d

As Garcetti wrote in the pLAn, “These are the keys to a city that Angelinos have said they want their children to inherit—one that can continue to thrive and provide good health and opportunity for its residents. This is the way I view sustainability.” Well said. Sincerely,

Chris Howe, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

ON THE COVER The historic Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) John Ferraro Building, located in DTLA just recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Presenting the storied building with a LEED Silver certification marked the occasion, a distinction earned by adding a variety of energy efficiency installations since the 1990s.

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Editor’s Note Laura Heidenreich

Last year, we launched the Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards to illustrate the importance of diversity in the sustainability field and to celebrate the women leading the charge in making the world a better, greener place. Recipients of our inaugural WSLA included Hillary Clinton; Cindy Ortega—the CSO of MGM Resorts International; Bea Perez—CSO of Coca-Cola, and Rochelle Routman—director of sustainability for Mohawk Industries and now our first-ever chair of the WSLA Alumni Group (as well as the subject of this issue’s In Conversation interview with our managing editor Amanda Koellner on p. 13). For this year’s awards, we looked for women in leadership roles with a commitment to sustainability that have the ability to create lasting change by setting corporate trends and best practices. Our judges, Rochelle Routman; Green Building & Design publisher and CEO Chris Howe; senior VP of community advancement and conferences/events for the USGBC, Kimberly Lewis; senior


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VP of community development banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Charmaine Atherton; and myself, were so inspired by this years nominees that we chose 20 women to proudly honor. We asked them for advice (“Embrace the spirit and practice of constantly learning,” says eBay’s director of global impact, Lori Duvall on p. 72), wisdom (“Voice is more important than vision,” says William McDonough+Partners director of communications Kira Gould on p. 79), and personal musings (“When I am clear that my work is about the message and the change we are trying to make, everything falls into place,” says Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute president of the built environment, Stacy Glass on p. 80). We honored women from companies of all kinds, including United Airlines (managing director of environmental affairs Angela Foster-Rice), Wells Fargo (head of environmental affairs Mary Wenzel), Zipcar (founder Robin Chase), and more. Although everyone in the sustainability field —men and women alike—is doing important, inspiring work, we hope that WSLA will play an important role in changing the fact that the challenge of sustainability has opened new opportunities in fields long filled by men. Some jobs are completely new; others require new approaches to new tasks. Hopefully this year’s WSLA will motivate young women to rise to the occasion and join the ranks of our awards alumni group— certainly inspiring company to keep. Sincerely,


Green Building & Design EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


Laura Heidenreich MANAGING EDITOR

Amanda Koellner ART DIRECTOR




Brian Barth, Russ Klettke, Kris Lenz, Margaret Poe, Emily Torem DESIGN INTERN


Vincent Caruso MAIL

Green Building & Design 1765 N. Elston Ave. Suite 202B Chicago, IL 60642 The Green Building & Design logo is a registered trademark of Green Advocacy Partners, LLC Green Building & Design (gb&d) magazine is printed in the United States using only soy-based inks. Please recycle this magazine. The magazine is also available in digital formats for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play (tablet and mobile) or at Green Building & Design is a certified B Corp. B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit BLab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Laura Heidenreich, Associate Publisher


Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List


12 In Conversation

Rochelle Routman

14 Editor’s Picks

From Mohawk Industries’ Living Building Challenge project

16 Product Spotlight Naturepedic 21 Event Preview

USGBC LA’s Green Gala and Greenbuild

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november窶電ecember 2015


In Conversation Rochelle Routman

IN CONVERSATION with Rochelle Routman

By Amanda Koellner, managing editor

Rochelle Routman is the kind of person who, upon reading the Living Future Institutes’s website a while back, realized that she had finally found her tribe. “The intensity of my feelings about the environment was finally shared by this group of people,” she told me when we spoke on the phone in September. “It was kind of like an epiphany for me.” It’s this complete and total adoration for the environment and those that work to protect it that led Routman to not only receive one of our inaugural Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards last year but also become the chair of the alumni group (which, with the publishing of this issue, now has 20 inspiring new members). Routman has now worked in the sustainability sphere for more than 30 years, and her impressive resume includes gigs at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Sustainability Division. Today, she is the VP of Sustainability at Mohawk Industries, working to establish continuity in sustainability programs across the commercial, residential, international, and hospitality sectors and to continue to position the company as the flooring industry leader with regards to sustainability. She is fiercely passionate, endlessly curious, and truly committed to making the world a better place. Here, we talked about trudging through the mud and loving it, the importance of women in this field, and “all the possibilities that green building presents and how important it is in our mission to have a sustainable future.” gb&d


Rochelle Routman is the chair of our WSLA alumni group, plus, we asked her to fill out our questionnaire.

PART 1 COURSE OF NATURE gb&d: When did your interests in this field and this topic start and what sparked this career path for you? Routman: I was always trying to seek and experience new places and new environments. I grew up in western Pennsylvania in a community that was surrounded by parks and forests, and I was so enamored with nature that I would spend hours hiking with my dog. I was always the kid out there with muddy feet looking under all the rocks and examining all the amazing little creatures that lived in the mud. I was just fascinated with the natural world. In fourth grade, I had an earth science teacher named Mr. Hall—I still remember his name—and he

”I was always the kid out there with muddy feet looking under all the rocks and examining all the amazing little creatures that lived in the mud.” took us on a field trip and basically what we did was park on the side of Ohio River and climbed up a very steep hillside. We got incredibly muddy and he gave us each a little eggshell carton and he said, “By the end of the day I want each of you to fill each little egg compartment with a fossil.” And I thought, “My, gosh, this is going to be really strange because here we are on top of this hillside. What kind of fossils are we going to find?” And mostly what we found were seashells. It made such an impression on me to learn that this land that was now a firm ground, a hillside leading up to all the mountains surrounding Pennsylvania was at one time under the water. It just inspired me in such a way that I was so curious about trying to understand and learn about this. I started taking geology classes and we started going on these fabulous field trips The conversation continues on p. 17


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Editor’s Picks From Mohawk Industries’ Living Building Challenge








(pictured above) For Mohawk Industries’ new product design center, which will be their very own Living Building Challenge project and the first registered in the southeast, they went with the sustainability focused company’s very own carpet, Tranquil Beauty.

The Living Building Challenge’s first paint company to win listing with the organization, ECOS, was an obvious choice. Their prestigious “Declare” labeling came because of the company’s transparency of ingredients, safety, and eco-friendliness.

The Dalton, Georgia-based design center will feature Daltile’s pearl grey polished marble. Considering the company offers an “unmatched wealth” of online tools that make it easier for customers to determine how Daltile projects can achieve LEED, it’s a great (and green) fit.

This company’s EQ faucets make saving water look good with its latest line of EQ electric faucets. The new center will feature the curved series for a design as sleek as it is sustainable.

Toto is generously donating toilet fixtures to the project. At the time of print, Toto President Bill Strang was still determining which styles would work best, but we do known that these are the first toilets to have been issued a Declare label, essentially the “nutrition label” for the building industry.”

Also with a Declare label is Teknion Studio, whose workstations and office furniture will populate the inside the center. Mohawk chose the brand’s District Desks and Interpret workstations and will also use their Projk Synchro-Tilt Task Chairs. teknionstudio. com

november–december 2015


Curated by Rochelle Routman


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781-826-8162 november–december 2015



Product Spotlight Naturepedic Mattresses

By Vincent Caruso

It’s a no-brainer that people expect their mattresses to be comfortable, but “supremely comfortable” is the benchmark touted by bedding woodcrafters Naturepedic. Such excellence is achieved through supremely detailed design and synergetic craftsmanship carried out by a tight network of specialists traversing the tracts of human health and physical serenity. By pursuing alternative routes such as omitting elements appended by toxic chemicals, sourcing organic materials, and devising novel supplementary features, the award-winning Naturepedic


november–december 2015

begets a host of products that surpass the standard-bearers of comfort and luxury. Here, we speak to Naturepedic founder Barry Cik, the mage behind the mattresses. gb&d: What determines which experts and specialists Naturepedic collaborates with to design quality organic mattresses? Is there a set of standards and ethics all parties must share, for instance? Cik: All of our design approaches begin with a no compromise understanding that toxic chemicals are not permitted. Built into the design process is an understanding that health and safety is at the core. In terms of experts and specialists, Naturepedic works with a variety of parties. We have garnered insights and suggestions for our products from pediatricians and medical professionals, chiropractors, environmental experts, industry experts, and of course, consumers.

gb&d: It is noted on the Naturepedic website that products designed by Naturepedic’s team are constructed by Amish craftsmen. What unique contributions do this group offer that can’t be found elsewhere? Cik: Our Amish craftspeople bring a special attention to detail and quality. Their commitment to craftsmanship is in line with our dedication to quality. Like the slow food movement that focuses on careful preparation and integrity of movements, our workforce brings a type of “slow” approach to mattresses focusing on quality of materials and construction. Of course, our Amish craftspeople are anything but slow. Watching them build a mattress is like watching a skilled dancer, full of grace, speed, and accuracy. gb&d: You systematically enhanced the organic mattress alternative by adding waterproof and non-toxic elements. How does Naturepedic stay true to your legacy


There’s nothing more rejuvenating than a good night’s sleep, so why not rest up in a natural, non-toxic way?


IN CONVERSATION with Rochelle Routman Continued from p. 13

and I thought, “So this is what geologists do? They get to travel and experience all these new and exciting places?” So I ended up studying geology, and in my senior year went to Montana and I won a scholarship to go to field camp and all geologists have to go to field camp, it’s a requirement, to get a degree in geology, and you learn how to create geological maps. That was a wonderful experience. gb&d: Did you know going into college that you wanted to study something along these lines and work toward making sustainability part of your career?

ABOVE Naturepedic products are certified organic and nontoxic to the Global Organic Textile Standard.

of originality and innovation? Cik: We love challenges at Naturepedic, and our ethos is to never accept status quo as satisfactory. Our corporate culture is built on constantly looking for better products and designs. That commitment to innovation led us to find a PLA made from non-GMO potatoes rather than the GMO corn often used in the industry. It’s also what led us to fine-tune our EOS modular design to mattresses, which is influencing mattress designs throughout the industry. We will continue to innovate and create. That’s what we do. gb&d: What are some of the chemical harms we’re dodging by choosing Naturepedic? gb&d

Routman: My father was very, very interested in the environment and we spent many hours every Sunday hiking together. He basically had me out there before I could even walk, and I distinctly remember him pushing me up and down hills. What we were learning was biomimicry. Now I know what it was, but back then he would say to me, “This mossy ground is just like your mattress in your bed, and this is where we’re going to take a nap.” He did have a huge impact, so yes. When I went to college I was trying to combine my interest in art and earth science together and geology actually was a place I could do that because within the field of geology a lot of it has to do with reconstructing what’s known as paleoenvironments for understanding the landscape before humans even arrived on the planet, and there’s certainly an art to geology. It’s one of the more creative sciences in that we don’t know all the answers. Even now people are trying to understand climate change and the impact on the earth by taking carbon out of the earth’s crust and releasing it into the earth’s atmosphere. There are still a lot of unknowns. So a lot of geologists have that right brain-left brain aptitude because it really takes both. I was very happy when I entered UGA. And that was back before we had so many environmental laws and regulations. It was back in the ‘80s but I saw with the information that I was learning in that course how critically important it was to all of us. gb&d: How did you get your start out of college? Routman: I went to go work for the Geor-

gia Environmental Protection Division, and there I was doing compliance work and specifically working with various regulated companies and waste management The conversation continues on p. 19

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“We love challenges at Naturepedic, and our ethos is to never accept status quo as satisfactory.” — Barry Cik

Cik: There are so many. Our products don’t use chemical flame-retardants, which are proving problematic for both humans and the environment. You won’t find formaldehyde, antimony, or melamine resins. We do not use adhesives, a common source of some very nasty chemicals. We don’t use vinyl, meaning no phthalates or phthalate substitutes. No Triclosan or other biocides. By using organic cotton, you’re avoiding the pesticides, toxic chemical processing agents, and whiteners often associated with conventional cotton. The list goes on. gb&d: Child health and safety is a central point of Naturepedic’s business platform. What benefits to child health and development have been quantified?

gb&d: How does Naturepedic source its organic materials? Cik: Naturepedic products are certified organic and nontoxic to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). As a result, all materials must be approved by GOTS. Our latex is certified to the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). All of our vendors, then, are carefully vetted, with many holding additional environmental and social certifications, so for example our organic latex is purchased from FSC-certified vendors whenever possible. We source our certified organic cotton filling from a cooperative of US growers,


november–december 2015

Naturepedic sources their certified organic cotton filling from a cooperative of US growers, supporting American small farms.

supporting American small farms. gb&d: How essential are green accreditation systems like Greenguard and Green America to Naturepedic? How have these systems fundamentally improved the quality of output from Naturepedic? Cik: Certifications quantify the good work we already do, and provide a common language to showcase our dedication to healthier materials to the public. The certifications themselves have not changed our approach, which from the beginning was benign by design, but rather provide a level of proof of the quality of materials we use. We hold ourselves to higher standards than even those put forth by certifications, even conducting our own independent tests. Nonetheless, with rampant unsubstantiated claims and greenwashing common in the industry, accreditations systems provide a way for us to differentiate ourselves and validate our integrity. gb&d


Cik: From Naturepedic’s beginning, we have focused on child health and safety. By law, a mattress maker cannot make medical claims, and even if we could, it would be difficult to quantify how many issues were avoided by removing toxic chemicals from the sleep environment. What can be quantified, however, is the growing body of research drawing more and more connections between flame retardants and phthalates, often found in conventional children’s mattresses, and a wide range of health, developmental and behavioral issues ranging from attention disorders to endocrine problems and even obesity.


IN CONVERSATION with Rochelle Routman Continued from p. 17

companies assisting them in avoiding any detrimental environmental impact from their operations. There was a lot of legal controversy and a lot of negativity in the relationships between the state agencies and the different companies because there was always a concern about whether or not the companies could afford to do these cleanups when there was a contamination that had taken place. And I started to question that point early on if there was a way to avoid these negative impacts in the first place. I started to see the bigger picture and started to think maybe sustainability is a key, as opposed to going through these lengthy lawmaking processes and having to withstand all this debate where it can take many years to reach a resolution. At that point, an electric utility company, Georgia Power and Southern Company, hired me, and I developed a very strong understanding of energy and how it is generated and how it is distributed to homes and businesses. I guess I didn’t really know anything about the building industry other than when I was working at Southern Company, and something very monumental happened. I presented a proposal to get our building recertified. This was kind of my entrée into green building. It was a LEED existing buildings project. I was able to make the case to senior level management there to get the building recertified and as we pursued the project, I became more and more interested in green building. At that point, I studied and became a LEED accredited professional with a focus on operations and maintenance. That really opened my eyes to all the possibilities that green building presents and how important it is in our mission to have a sustainable future. We spend 90% of our time in buildings and buildings use the majority of the electricity at 40%. PART 2 MESHING WITH MOHAWK gb&d: And when did Mohawk enter the picture?

ABOVE From the beginning, child health and safety has been a central point of Naturepedic’s business platform.

Routman: Well, meanwhile, Mohawk had contacted me, and it was a very serendipitous situation where as I had just talked to a friend about this, Mohawk was looking for someone to head their sustainability mission and create a new strategy for the company. Then I attended Greenbuild in 2012, and I heard the former execThe conversation continues on p. 22


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Event Preview November 2015


By Vincent Caruso

There’s a slight difference DETAILS in how USGBC’s Green Gala What Green Gala conducts their annual eco-conWhen November 12 scious networking convention Where Los Angeles compared to most. In addition Web to the busy schedule stocked widget/event-2021869 full of experts, lecturers, and other varying personages belonging to the green cognoscenti, Green Gala tends to be a bit more celebratory and revelry in nature. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, this year’s 11th annual Gala is set to do well in maintaining this distinguished position. The festivities will commence by hosting a VIP cocktail reception before a gourmet dinner open to guests. In attendance will be 500 of the foremost thinkers and leaders in government, real estate, technology, and architecture. The most anticipated ceremony of the evening will be the 5th annual Sustainable Innovation Awards, which will highlight the many fruits of genius concocted by our leading green industry minds. The Green Gala invites you to begin the Road to Greenbuild with a spark of glamour.


From an aerial view, cities look like a neatly organized network of building infrastructure. And, in one sense, that’s actually what they are. The Greenbuild Expo and Conference adopts and embraces this overhead simulation, providing a platform for those who are in any form invested in buildings to network with one another, exchanging ideas and business cards with the object of ensuring that the environment is made a priority when acting out our various architectural and design pursuits. The Greenbuild ethos implicates that each building is an artful monument collectively forming a community, and it is important that communication be in constant flow among participants to advance the cause for a sustainable future. The event will span three days in Washington, DC, the epicenter of legislative mobility and political reform. The largest expo and conference focused on green building in the world, the three-day convention will feature leading industry figures, various educational workshops, and green building tours to offer a first-hand demonstration in the multifarious innovative ways in which creators are applying sustainable practices to their craft. gb&d

DETAILS What Greenbuild When November 18-20 Where Washington, DC Web

november–december 2015



IN CONVERSATION with Rochelle Routman Continued from p. 19

-utive director of the International Living Future Institute speak. I sat in the front row, and he asked if there were any manufacturers in the room. I was the only one who raised my hand. After his presentation, I went up and asked him if he was working with any foreign companies, he said he was not and asked who I was with and I told him Mohawk. He said, “We need to talk.” So for several months, we did talk. We all got together with the institute team and realized that we had more in common than we realized. The thing that really made all this possible was that we had very similar cultures. Mohawk is a very progressive, entrepreneurial, fast-moving

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gb&d: What has that partnership looked like?

PART 3 WOMEN IN THE FIELD gb&d: Do you feel women are well represented in the field of sustainability or could more be done in the name of equality?

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Routman: I do think more can be done, I do think more women should be represented. It’s a tough question because I know there are a lot of men who really

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Routman: What we’ve been doing is providing some financial support, however the main focus of our partnership is on educating people and establishing what is known as Living Building Challenge Collaboratives across the nation. Living Building Challenge Collaboratives are groups of people that are supporting the Living Building Challenge, learning together, and registering Living Building Challenge projects and pushing this whole effort forward and creating more activities and more projects that are Living Building Challenge registered.

november–december 2015 INFORMATION Job Number



2.375 x 9.8417 in

Modification Date



Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List



26 JLC-Tech

Office ceilings are looking as smart as they function

28 PNC

DC microgrid efficiency you can take to the bank

30 NextEnergy Center

Why Motown is where the DC microgrid action is

32 Nextek Power Systems DC microgrid innovation: Smarter

power for the First and Third Worlds

33 The New Enernet

A guest column by Brian T. Patterson, president of the EMerge Alliance

november窶電ecember 2015




OF INNOVATION: DIRECT CURRENT MICROGRIDS The smart grid revolution includes a rational and game-changing rethinking of alternating versus direct current, leading to a cost-reducing conversion for buildings, cars, devices, and renewable energy technologies. By Russ Klettke


november窶電ecember 2015


It’s very hard to get people excited over the things we cannot see, feel, smell, hear, or taste. This is a problem for anyone involved in what is in fact quite thrilling, the evolution of electricity through smart grids. A great lasagna can be exciting. So too are sporty, clean electric cars. For many of us, better lighting and air conditioning at a lower cost, sourced from renewables, make us happy to be alive. So let us start with each of these things and consider how a very specific form of smart grids—DC (for direct current) microgrids—is about to change life as we know it in all kinds of ways. DC microgrids essentially can solve a problem that has always existed and has been getting worse as of late. It is that the predominant means by which electricity is transmitted by utilities to end users—homes and businesses—is by alternating current, or AC. It’s really the best way for electricity to travel long distances. But most appliances and devices in the home—LED lighting, air conditioning, computers, printers, phone chargers, flat-screen televisions, and some hybrid and electric vehicles—run on DC. This very often requires a converter, the box at the end of the electric cord that is attached to the plug prongs (called a “wall wart”). This brings the power down from a higher voltage to the lower, unidirectional flow of electric charge used by a majority of common electrical devices—especially those that serve our digital world. The conversion from AC to DC involves a loss of almost 20% of electricity. By the predominant systems currently in place, that degree of loss can also happen between rooftop photovoltaic panels and the outlets and devices just a few feet below. This is where the lasagna, lighting and cooling, and electric cars are directly connected to, and share excitement with, DC microgrids. The development of these grids essentially cut out this conversion process and the loss of electrical efficiency. Power from renewable sources (e.g., rooftop solar) and batteries (collectively known as “distributed generation”) can run your television (where you can watch a cooking gb&d

show about lasagnas) and your electrical kitchen appliances, charge your electric vehicle, and light your home, all with greater efficiency. Scale up these features to commercial buildings and the savings become significant. This is also where the EMerge Alliance plays an important role. The San Ramon, California-based non-profit creates standards for the development and use of hybrid AC/DC microgrid power in buildings. Their mission is to improve safety, better utilize cables and wires, increase electrical efficiency, and reduce the need for materials such as copper and steel in converters (for additional cost reduction). First and foremost, the use of DC increases the flexibility, modularity, and resiliency of the system on a building-by-building or cluster-of-buildings basis. The EMerge Standard defines a convenient and safe system of interfaces between interior finishes (ceilings, walls, floors, and furniture) and the devices that use and control power within that space. A lasagna, a clean-running car, and a lower electric bill can all thrill the senses. The case studies here show us how, in tangible ways, this is starting to happen.

november–december 2015



JLC-Tech’s T-Bar LED lights are conveniently built directly into the ceiling grid.


november–december 2015





Office Ceilings are Looking as Smart as They Function

Things should be getting brighter in workplaces soon. That’s because there’s a new way of lighting offices and similar spaces that look and operate smarter—and work optimally off DC microgrids. This is the mission of JLC-Tech, a Pembroke, Massachusetts-based company and its T-Bar LED Smartlight system. Described as the “next generation green lighting solutions for suspended ceiling applications,” the product elegantly combines light-emitting LEDs with the familiar suspension system that otherwise supports ceiling panels. Gone are translucent panel sections that were covers over fluorescent or other types of light bulbs because the T-Bar LED lights are built directly into the ceiling grid. LEDs require direct current power sources; therefore within a DC system, these lights work at optimal efficiency. “Our T-Bar LED offers a number of advantages,” says Mia Antonia, principle partner of JLC-Tech. “Designers can now almost paint with the light, placing the fixtures wherever light is needed in the space. A T-Bar LED installation in open spaces and hallways will provide a more even foot-candle distribution than traditional fixtures. Installation costs can be 40 to 50% lower, and because the ceiling tiles are consistently used everywhere in the room, a greater reflectance of daylighting can be achieved.” The system was patented in 2010, introduced in North America at Greenbuild International/Toronto a year later and has been manufactured in the US since 2012. Sales and production levels doubled in 2014 and tripled in 2015, according to Antonia. An installation of T-Bar LED Smartlights is featured at the 2015 Washington, DC Greenbuild Expo (November 18-19) Net Zero Energy Pavilion, which serves as a showcase of EMerge Alliance and microgrid technologies. The entire pavilion will be powered by solar energy as a demonstration of direct, no-conversion-necessary transmission from photovoltaic panels to end-use devices that includes lighting and appliances. gb&d

A permanent installation of the T-Bar LED Smartlight with a DC Microgrid system is at the Worthington Industries (Columbus, Ohio) conference and focus group rooms. The ceiling-lighting plan here demonstrates the integration of several microgrid technologies including Armstrong’s DC FlexZone Ceiling. Antonia explains that the T-Bar LED runs off of 24-volt DC power. With a normal AC installation the products would use one universal adapter for every 10 linear feet to bring the voltage to the products. With a DC microgrid the adaptation from AC to DC takes place one time only, saving a considerable amount of energy. The minimalist aesthetic of the system is what stands out to the casual observer. Antonia adds that the light that replaces the grid minimalizes building materials (creating virtually zero waste on construction sites), and reduces installation costs by half. Additionally, with energy consumption savings of up to 50% (compared to a traditional lighting system), it’s the people in finance who might be most impressed. The T-Bar LED Smartlight system is an innovative solution for medical, educational, retail, and hospitality applications, in addition to offices.

ABOVE The T-Bar LED system features a minimalist aesthetic and leads to results in energy consumption savings of up to 50% (compared to a traditional lighting system).

november–december 2015



DC Microgrid Efficiency You Can Take to the Bank

Nana Wilberforce, energy manager for PNC Bank, is part of a very green effort going on within one of the biggest retail banking organizations in America. The financial services company has constructed more than 250 new and retrofit buildings to green standards since 2000. And thanks in part to direct coupling technology, developed by Nextek Power Systems, a new-build, 4,620-square-foot Fort Lauderdale, Florida branch is the company’s first net-zero retail location. “It’s in our culture of innovation to strive for efficiency on every project,” says Wilberforce. “We are always looking for the next big thing.” Direct coupling certainly can qualify as a big thing. While the vast majority of buildings with rooftop solar must convert the DC from photovoltaic cells to AC, which then is inverted back to DC at the device level, direct coupling regulates the solar array and the power to load. This reduces power loss and enables this branch


november–december 2015

to get more electricity for free from all that Florida sunshine. The direct coupling technology facilitates photovoltaic production of between 60 and 120 volts (DC) through a maximum power point tracking controller to a constant output voltage for distribution through a power server module (PSM). Under high-demand circumstances, the PSM combines DC from the solar array with AC from the grid. Note that this is hurricane country, where post-storm power outages can last for days and sometimes weeks at a time. Microgrids such as this enable buildings to generate their own energy and return to service regardless of the status of the utility grid. Every location is different, cautions Wilberforce, such that one cannot project with confidence that every new or renovated PNC location from here on out will essentially have its own DC microgrid. He stresses that the climatic zone will

determine the loads: in the subtropics, the air-cooling demand is greatest, as is the available solar energy. Note that “plug loads”—for lighting (overhead, task, and parking), computers, printers, signage, etc.—constitute approximately 75% of electrical needs at a comparable bank building in Florida. But here LEDs were used, which also run most efficiently on DC. This particular building has achieved a LEED Platinum certification. How might this system affect employees and customers? Wilberforce says it largely goes unnoticed. But he cites a 2012 study out of the University of Notre Dame, which found that LEED-rated PNC branches generate higher consumer deposits and loans. Given how microgrids can reduce long-term operating costs, it seems possible that the application of direct current might catch on the way direct deposit paychecks did a generation ago.


This 4,620-square-foot Fort Lauderdale, Florida branch is PNC’s first net-zero retail location.


“It’s in our culture of innovation to strive for efficiency on every project. We are always looking for the next big thing.” - Nana Wilberforce, energy manager, PNC Bank


november–december 2015




Why Motown is Where the DC Microgrid Action Is

If there is a nexus for thinking on DC microgrids, it’s here in Detroit. This is where NextEnergy is based, and it’s no accident that it’s in the city built around the automobile. Since the introduction of hybrid electric vehicles, the Motor City has been the place for developing the key components of microgrids. Jim Saber, vice president, business & technology development for NextEnergy, is quick to point out that the inspiration for and applications of microgrids reach from huge wind turbines and photovoltaic systems to urban skyscrapers, storm ravaged residential communities, and remote military installations. The possibilities are sufficiently exciting such that the non-profit research accelerator and its entrepreneurial industry partners draw investment from the state of Michigan, corporations, and venture capital firms. They have created a setting where entities such as research universities, utilities, and private enterprises can take innovative electrical technologies through R&D to commercialization. “This is a catalyst for economic devel-


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ABOVE The center includes R&D and office space for partners engaged in energy development, an alternative fuels platform, and what they call the Microgrid Pavilion (MGP).


RIGHT Solar panels populate the roof of NextEnergy.


BELOW In Detroit’s NextEnergy Center, having different enterprises and various thinkers together in one place produces an interesting crossfertilization of ideas.


opment in Michigan, but the applications apply to cars, renewable energy sources, and smart grids anywhere,” says Saber, who adds that the hot topic of energy storage factors into the discussion as well. The center, based in Midtown Detroit, is a small campus that includes R&D and office space for partners engaged in energy development (including Nextek Power Systems, see pg. 32), an alternative fuels platform, and what they call the Microgrid Pavilion (MGP). The facility also includes “NextHome,” an actual 400-square-foot house that is wired for both alternating (AC) and direct current (DC). It serves as a living lab within NextEnergy’s testing and validation platforms. Having different enterprises and various thinkers together in one place produces an interesting cross-fertilization of ideas. For example, Saber offers how the control and management systems of cars (which provide for cabin comfort and entertainment features) can be transitioned to home and building management systems. Another example of how NextEnergy helped leveraged the region’s manufacturing capabilities into energy was when they dissected how wind turbines are built and determined that vehicle equipment companies had capabilities for manufacturing wind energy components. This led to new business opportunities for Michigan firms. Of note to architects and builders is that the innovations with the NextHome and microgrids as a whole require very few changes to the design and construction of buildings. The current DC microgrid economics are currently best suited for commercial buildings because the commercial building owner/operator payback is typically shorter and more achievable than in residential. Suffice it to say, with so many ideas on how microgrids can be built and deployed, the Cadillac-level systems of today might well be considered “Chevy standard” in the near future. november–december 2015




POWER SYSTEMS DC Microgrid Innovation: Smarter Power for the First and Third Worlds

Nextek Power Systems is a tenant-partner in the NextEnergy Center in Detroit. This is a tenant any smart building should want—they helped build it to be the DC (direct current) microgrid showcase that it is. The technology firm is all about developing means to save on energy. They devise systems to leverage high-efficiency power converters that optimize energy usage—particularly from renewables such as


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rooftop solar, as well as from batteries and the standard utility grid. The goal is to improve ROIs and functionality in lighting systems. In a world migrating to the use of LEDs, DC microgrids provide the best and most efficient means to optimize the use of electricity in these systems. “We consolidate the AC to DC conversions, moving them upstream from each device to a converter for whole parts of

buildings,” says Paul Savage, CEO of Nextek. “This creates an ideal point for solar photovoltaic inputs or battery inputs to the building’s power system. We don’t look at buildings as collections of devices anymore; we think of them as devices themselves.” The long transmission lines of the utility grid generally still operate on AC. As Savage explains it, “In the conventional synchronous AC grid architecture, large economies of scale must be reached, and generation must always equal consumption—otherwise the system is unstable.” But as buildings, communities and special installations (think of remote military operations or disaster emergency camps) strive for more efficient and independent electrical systems, microgrids configured to run on direct current make more sense. “A DC power system is asynchronous, and therefore can easily and efficiently buffer electricity inputs and outputs.” The NextEnergy Center’s Next Home installation helps demonstrate Nextek’s own patented technologies. “We think having renewable energy inputs, battery storage, electrical vehicle charging, and DC loads all on a common bus is the optimal set-up for a net zero energy home,” Savage says. “We will have lots of opportunity to license this arrangement to developers and integrators in the US.” This is not just about the über-cool homes or gleaming skyscrapers of coffee table magazines. For the approximately 25% of the earth’s population that currently lacks an electric grid altogether, microgrids using direct current might be a way to bring them into electrical modernity. “We feel like we are onto something world changing, with large benefits available to both the top and bottom of the economic pyramid,” says Savage. “For the highly developed world we bring high efficiency, easier integration of different power generating technologies, greater safety, and flexibility. For the developing world, these scalable DC microgrids can bring real infrastructure to people who have none today, much faster than the hub-and-spoke grid model.”


“NextHome” is wired for both AC and DC current.




A Guest Column by Brian T. Patterson, President of the EMerge Alliance

We now live in a new “Electron economy.” Since the invention of the solid-state transistor in 1946, we have experienced a mind-boggling transformation from an electro-mechanical to an electronic world. To power this new world, we consume almost 18 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity each year—mostly generated and distributed by 100-year-old technology. Personal computers, tablets, smartphones, flat screen TVs, the Internet, electric vehicles, data centers, and a host of other new uses of electricity, many of which are intended to reduce or replace the unsustainable, unclean consumption of fossil fuel (and added to by the simple growth of the world’s population) have put us on a seemingly runaway path of electric consumption. Consider that half of all electricity ever generated by man has been consumed in the past 15 years. And despite a focused effort at conservation, this growth continues at a double-digit rate. But even increased centralized utility scale production of alternate energy sourced electricity, delivered by a “smart grid,” leaves us with increasingly troublesome issues, mostly centered on the unsolved challenges of synchronizing and transmitting electricity over considerable gb&d

distances. Transmission loss, the environmental, social and economic impact of overhead power lines, and the vulnerability of these exposed and unsecured lines to natural and man-caused disasters simply is not the perfect solution. So consider an expanded role for the building industry. Commercial and residential buildings alone consume 65% of all electricity. Currently almost 20% of the electricity delivered to those buildings is wasted on unnecessary conversions of AC electricity to DC electricity, the kind we need to power our expanding digital electro-active built environments. We also need to sharply and immediately focus on the prospect of net zero energy buildings, the kind that produce as much energy as they consume. This emphasis will significantly reduce our overreliance on the utility grid for economic and environmentally responsible energy surety. At the same time, we need to apply the lessons of the Internet. It demonstrates an architecture—one that has allowed us, as one world community, to be connected, and to utilize even the smallest bits of information created. It equally treats and accommodates its users, from big data crunchers to the smallest of tweets and text messages. This incredible network of information creation and distribution simply didn’t exist just 30 short years ago. And its bio-mimicked neural topology continues to fuel the information age’s innovation engine, one that it moving on to empower an “Internet of Things,” not just people with computing and other personal information devices. We need a similar network to support local electric power creation and distribution by buildings. While we might have to change a few things, like allowing the hybrid use of both AC and DC power in the same network—sort of like having iOS and Android devices to live in the same Internet—we could have the enormous ability to realize the full potential of today’s power technologies, and spark the

same kind of innovation that continues to advance the Internet. Connecting power creation to power consumption in a true mesh network of massively distributed local building microgrids would give us the power of an ‘Enernet’ or electric energy network. If you’re having trouble imagining such a system, I invite you to visit Greenbuild 2015 being held in Washington DC this month to witness a live hybrid AC/DC microgrid, a core node in the new Enernet of Electricity, provide locally harvested power to a tradeshow floor. As an example of the fundamental building block of the future Enernet, it will power the Greenbuild 2015 Net Zero Zone pavilion of exhibits that demonstrate the latest in Net Zero products and technologies. Come see the future, come see ‘Greenbuild Unplugged!’ gb&d

Brian T. Patterson is the President and a founder of the EMerge Alliance, a 501c non-profit corporation developing application standards for hybrid AC/ DC power building microgrids. Patterson has an extensive technical and work history in electronics, fiber optics and building technologies and holds patents in those fields. He is Managing Director of B. L. Coliker Associates, a technology consulting firm and formerly General Manger of Armstrong World Industries. He is the US representative to IEC SEG 4 on LVDC, a member of the IEEE, NEMA, CABA, SEIA, SEPA, PSMA, and an active participant in UL/NEMA/ NFPA/Emerge task group on DC power.

november–december 2015



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Available from ASSA ABLOY Group brands: CORBIN RUSSWIN | SARGENT | SECURITRON Get to know ASSA ABLOY sustainable building solutions:

34 november–december 2015

Copyright © 2015 ASSA ABLOY Inc. All rights reserved.


Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List



The doors, locks, and security solutions providers “bring less in and take less out”

38 MechoSystems

A sunny San Francisco headquarters finally finds shade

42 Viracon

The manufacturer brings new life to a Florida office building with a sleek and sustainable exterior renovation

november–december 2015




ASSA ABLOY Bring Less in, Take Less Out By Kristofer Lenz


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the history and traditions of American manufacturing. In the mid-1990s, at the same time that he was starting his career, the US Green Building Council began releasing its rating system. Smith was on the frontlines as attitudes toward sustainable design shifted and a new consciousness dawned, both within his industry and the public’s desire for healthier homes and workplaces. “I just fell in love with it,” Smith says, “What a great concept that our buildings could be green, energy efficient and healthy.” Thus, he became a LEED-accredited

professional, and a career was born. In 2010, Swedish-owned lock manufacturer ASSA ABLOY reached out to Smith to run their sustainability programs. He was mutually drawn to the company based on their corporate culture and dedication to industry innovation. But what sealed the deal was closer to Smith’s heart, “[ASSA ABLOY] has 28 factories in North America, and I’ve always been very proud that we are a company manufacturing products in the United States.” ASSA ABLOY is the world’s largest manufacturer of door opening solutions


When you enter any green-built home or commercial building, with just a cursory glance, you might notice the double-paned windows, the motion sensing lighting arrays, or even the reclaimed wood floors beneath your feet. But you’re unlikely to have considered the most important threshold—the point of access and exit, the place that blurs the line of within and without—the door opening you just passed through. Doorways trade gulps of air with the outside environment, making them essential to the health impact of a building. Understanding how someone can access a structure—and controlling what they bring in and what they leave behind—is essential to a building’s ecosystem. And while designers and builders have taken great, industry-wide strides toward eco-friendly practices, the environmental impact of entrances and exits is widely under-examined. Enter Aaron Smith, director of sustainable building solutions for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. It is his passion (and his job) to raise awareness of the importance of doorways and locking systems in sustainable building practices. For Smith, the job begins at home, as he leads ASSA ABLOY’s efforts to optimize and implement sustainable manufacturing and distribution systems—not only to create more environmentally friendly products, but also to serve as an example for the company’s suppliers and competitors. Smith was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where his father was a factory worker. As an adult, Smith entered the building materials industry bearing a deep and abiding pride in


RIGHT The company’s 1.1-megawatt solar array at a factory in Connecticut provides 20% of the plant’s power. FACING PAGE Aaron Smith, director of sustainable building solutions for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions

and has appropriately complex operations that span manufacturing, distribution, product testing, sales, and installation. During his time with the company, Smith has helped conceive and enact enterprise-wide initiatives to make ASSA ABLOY more environmentally friendly. “We already had good programs in place, but what we’ve been focused on is really driving sustainable concepts into the fabric of our culture and to really engage our employees,” comments Smith. “You can have a “top-down” edict, but its more fun when it starts to come “bottom-up” and you start to get great ideas from employees, partners, and customers.” Smith is happy to discuss the progress ASSA ABLOY has made on the manufacturing side, with several plants working toward zero waste-to-landfill. One recent project resulted in the installation of a 1.1-megawatt solar array at an ASSA ABLOY factory in Connecticut, providing 20% of the plant’s power. “We’ve been making locks in Connecticut for 150 years, so it’s really cool to be using an old line manufacturing plant that is green across its operations.” Efforts like this can perhaps secure the company’s presence and lessen the environment impact in the region for another 150 years. One initiative close to Smith’s heart is the leadership role ASSA ABLOY has taken with Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and the influence the company can have on their suppliers. “I was the only manufacturing representative on the board of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative,” he recalls. “In 2011, I was asked whether we would disclose the ingredients of our products, and because our gb&d

mission as a company is to protect people and buildings, it felt like a natural parallel to have materials that protect people and places.” ASSA ABLOY became one of the first manufacturers to participate and now has 150 HPDs and EPDs across all product categories. “We want to lead the transformation of our market sector; others will come along, but we are ready to lead.” The company has also developed a “Red List” of hazardous materials and works actively to audit and educate their 800+ suppliers in an effort to remove the materials from the supply chain. HPDs and EPDs are focused on educating consumers about the impact of the products they purchase and use, but as Smith and ASSA ABLOY learned, companies participating often learn unexpected things about their own products. “When we performed a lifecycle assessment of an electronic access control system, we discovered that the majority of our impact was from energy use, so we developed ultra-low energy consumption access control projects,” Smith says. “The EPD process really taught us where to focus and starts a sort of virtuous process of product innovation.” Smith’s goal with ASSA ABLOY is to flip the paradigm regarding sustainable and green products. While the focus on transparency engendered by HPDs and EPDs is essential, Smith imagines a future where products are assumed to be eco-friendly, and products that aren’t safe are labeled. “If we are successful, and we have a long way to go,” he concludes. “Every product we come out with will have sustainability embedded into it, made of the healthiest, most environmentally-friendly materials.”gb&d

ABOVE ASSA ABLOY became one of the first manufacturers to participate in HPDs and EPDs and now has 150 across all product categories.

november–december 2015




MECHOSYSTEMS A sunny San Francisco headquarters finally finds shade By Vincent Caruso


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year. It’s a fact that, though perhaps not well known, has been of critical use to certain players in the architectural world. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) headquarters is one recent example of a building designed to make sunlight its foremost survival need. The building that houses the San Francisco PUC is a towering structure, topping at 13 stories tall and housing more than 900 employees. One might reason that to support the daily functions of an office of such stature, a great consumption of energy would be in order, but that would be a mistake. The American Institute of Architects recognized the San Francisco

ABOVE The SolarTrac adapts automatically to the natural ongoing changes of the sun.


San Francisco is blessed in a variety of ways. Aside from the big tech corporations of Silicon Valley pumping vast wealth into the veins of the California economy, the Bay Area is praised from both within and afar for things like its rooted demographic diversity, stability of employment opportunities, and a dining scene that is of such an esteemed caliber that it is often joked that Sunday brunch is its own economic sector. But some of the city’s most important touchstones are naturally endowed. Though its looming fog is the subject of popular derision, San Francisco enjoys a sunshine rate that’s reported to rest above the US average for nine months out of the


The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) glass facade shines.


november窶電ecember 2015


PUC headquarters consumes 32% less energy than similarly sized edifices, and 45% less than the standard model of all buildings belonging to the Class A (the PUC’s) category. PUC building as one among the top 10 sustainable buildings in 2013. And, always ahead of the curve, window shading solutions provider MechoSystems’ pioneering technologies and innovations aided this esteemed distinction. By employing a careful set of energy-saving techniques and useful eco-conscious installations, the PUC headquarters consumes 32% less energy than similarly sized edifices, and 45% less than


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the standard model of all buildings belonging to the Class A (the PUC’s) category. From dawn until dusk, the San Francisco PUC Headquarters building bathes in sunrays, as the large structure is comprised of glass from the ground up—allowing for maximal sunlight harvesting. While light shelves were installed to optimize collecting of natural daylight, shading devices were also abundantly deployed through-

out the building’s interior to control intrusions like pestering glares and heat gains. To perfect the quality of lighting levels, different areas of the utility building were given careful consideration to determine which sort of lighting units would work with respect to each area. While dimmable LED fixtures were harnessed throughout the building, the brightness needed to amply light the workspace is dramatically insignificant due to the building’s sleek glass constitution where daylight travels freely. From a technological standpoint, one of the most impressive features bestowed by MechoSystems was the company’s computerized automation shading system, SolarTrac. According to Guido Murnig, senior vice president at MechoSystems, the device was programmed “to insure the control of daylight on all elevations,




adjusting to the altitude and azimuth of the sun while identifying the profile and incident angles of the sun on each elevation throughout the solar day and the entire solar year.” Essentially, the SolarTrac shading system adapts automatically to the natural ongoing changes affected by the sun, tweaking itself to fit the present terms of solar exposure. “We have to remember that the sun is dynamic and the exposure at different elevations and changing times of the day create continually evolving scenarios and solar encounters in the ever changing micro-climate,” Murnig says. By having the shades adjust in real time, daylight utilization, and thus human comfort and energy savings, are lifted to their optimum. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission building is an exemplary piece of gb&d

ABOVE Automated shades by MechoSystems allow PUC employees to enjoy the sun’s rays when it’s comfortable, aiding productivity and happiness in the workplace.

architecture in more ways than one. Its commanding size, its beaming glass profile, and the highly advanced green technologies it comes equipped with, to name a few of the PUC’s striking qualities. But perhaps the most outstanding of all is the sheer feasibility of the prospect of abrogating oneself of the requisite personal responsibility to enhance the conditions of the environment, instead placing them in the hands of a faultless digital mechanism. The future of green building is looking easier, and greener, than ever. gb&d november–december 2015




VIRACON The manufacturer brings new life to a Florida office building with a sleek and sustainable exterior renovation By Kristofer Lenz

In Hollywood, Florida, the weather is downright lovely 90% of the year. The 10% of time when the weather isn’t, it can be deadly. With the extremes of heat and rain, plus the danger posed by hurricanes, the exteriors of construction projects in Florida bear more responsibility for the comfort and safety of tenants than is required in other parts of the country. With an aging building on their hands and the annual threat of severe weather overhead, the owners of Ganot Plaza faced a conundrum. Built in the late 1970s, the bones of


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the structure remained strong and usable, but the exterior, 50% glass and 50% stucco, had seen better days. Constructed before hurricane-resistant standards were commonplace, the existing curtainwall wasn’t impact resistant, and the aluminum framing had suffered during the nearly 40 years of intense Florida sun. The original glass façade had inconsistent film that struggled to keep out sunlight, causing discomfort for the building’s tenants. And from an insulation standpoint, the windows were a sieve, letting cold air

out and water leakage in. The building’s owners were paying a fortune in cooling costs while water damage wreaked havoc. In addition, Ganot Plaza is located near a highway and at times the roar from passing traffic was tremendous. The exterior bore visible signs of this distress and ownership feared it was affecting their ability to attract “Class A” lease tenants. Many factors weighed against a teardown/rebuild, so in pursuit of the most fiscally responsible and environmentally friendly action, project manager David


“No matter how bright the sun is, when you look outside it feels like you’re wearing sunglasses.” DAVID LOOPER, PROJECT MANAGER AT GANOT CAPITAL LLC

FACING PAGE Inconsistent film on Ganot Plaza’s former glass façade led the building to be encased in Viracon Glass.


THIS PAGE The most financially responsible and environmentally action for the building was an exterior facade renovation.


Loper and his team at Ganot Capital LLC decided that an exterior façade renovation was their best bet. After receiving multiple proposals, including several “low-ball” offers from companies they found questionable, Loper and architect Iraj Shojaie chose Minnesota-based architectural glass fabrication manufacturer Viracon. As Loper explains, “We interviewed several glass companies and heard good reports on Viracon, regarding the quality of their products and service reputation, but ultimately it meant more to us to choose a reliable US manufacturer than simply getting the lowest price.” Viracon has been providing materials to builders since 1970. Their dedication to quality made them the first US glass manufacturer to achieve ISO certification from SGS Yarsley ICS. The company’s widely dispersed client-base included office buildings, hospitals, museums, residences, and more. Having completed many projects in Florida, the Viracon team was ready and willing to meet the client’s diverse needs. For the Ganot Plaza project, Viracon focused on the three essential requirements: hurricane resistance to the extreme nature of the Florida climate; energy efficiency to save the building and tenants on HVAC costs; and the exterior must be aesthetically striking to upgrade the “curb appeal” of the building. After assessing the relatively extreme requirements of the project, Viracon presented VUE-30, their most high-performance coated glass, as an optimal solution. Engineered to meet the increased market demand for low-emissivity coating glass, VUE-30 helped Ganot Plaza project exceed domestic energy code requirements. The glass also offered the transparent appearance requested for the project, making the building visually pleasing while also

allowing for natural light, reduced glare, and optimal rates of heat gain and visible light transmittance. With plans to encase the building in Viracon glass, the tenants of Ganot Plaza were due for increased comfort, but safety remained a concern. To attain the appropriate level of hurricane resistance, Viracon delivered the glass to local Florida glaziers, Crawford-Tracey Corporation, who know the dangers of hurricanes all too well. The glazing utilized Pro-Tech 7SG, a seven-inch, four-sided structurally glazed curtainwall system that is approved by both Miami-Dade County and State of Florida building requirements. Crawford-Tracey Corporation then installed the exterior façade ensuring safety standards that met or exceeded Florida’s stringent codes. With the addition of some interior renovations, including roof insulation and an updated HVAC system, the results speak for themselves. By choosing to renovate rather than rebuild, Ganot Capital limited the environmental impact of the upgrade while still meeting all goals for the project. Loper estimates that the building is saving upwards of 40% in energy costs, and the owners and tenants can rest assured knowing the building is well protected during hurricane seasons for years to come. And regarding curb appeal, the change is nothing less than transformative. The building has been born anew, with crisp clean lines that shimmer in the persistent Florida sun. “No matter how bright the sun is,” comments Loper, “when you look outside it feels like you’re wearing sunglasses.” After earning Loper’s certification as “the most beautiful building in the area,” Ganot Plaza has reached 40% occupancy, with more leases to come once interior suites are complete. gb&d november–december 2015


Visit us at Greenbuild Booth #437

4 9 0









november窶電ecember 2015


Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List


46 Destination: LA

A look at 2015’s best in sustainable design in California’s capital of all things green

58 WGL

Affordability, efficiency, sustainability, resiliency—WGL strives to provide it all


We honor 20 women who are shaping the sustainability landscape of tomorrow

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A look at 2015’s best in sustainable design in California’s capital of all things green Introduction by Dominique Hargreaves, executive director of the USGBC’s LA Chapter Additional Text by Vincent Caruso


As a world-class destination for shopping, beaches, and celebrity sightings, your LA story depends on where you look. Sustainability in the built environment is all around. Gaze upward, and you’ll find the skyline dotted with cranes. Mixed-use neighborhoods and the soon-to-be tallest hotel on the West Coast are shooting skyward, providing thousands of construction jobs. Along with the newest architectural darling, the Broad Museum, you’ll find historic gems that serve our local government. Don’t miss the LA Department of Water & Power’s John Ferraro Building, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a LEED for Existing Building Certification this year. You can expect to see gridlock traffic, but you can also find yourself with thousands of Angelenos biking or walking down Sunset Boulevard (closed to cars during ciLAvia—see p. 51). At the end of the day, how about becoming carbon neutral by sipping an organic cocktail from the city’s only distillery (p. 50)? Very LA. We welcome you to visit LA in October 2016 when we host the International Greenbuild Conference & Expo for the first time. Until then, read on to see what we’ve been up to in the City of Angels.


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Within the walls of this modestly brutalist architecture, located in downtown LA, is where over 900 LA city water and power employees have worked for decades.


The historic Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) John Ferraro Building just recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Presenting the storied building with a LEED Silver certification marked the occasion, a distinction earned by adding a variety of energy efficiency installations since the 1990s with the assistance of the “deep green” engineers at Integral Group. Among these were solar panel parking lot fixtures and electric vehicle charging stations. A thorough overhaul of lighting and cooling systems enabled the plant to effectively curb consumption while exterior grounds were scrapped and water conservation gardens were implemented in their place. All this, amazingly, took place long before the prospects of chasing a LEED accreditation were even discussed. In fact, innovations were being adopted before it had yet assumed its John Ferraro Building name. In the 1960s when the headquarters building was constructed, it bore the comparatively simplistic title General Office Building, and even then, teams worked to regulate the climate—ultimately reducing its HVAC consumption by a third. Later, when the headquarters renamed in honor of a long-serving city council president, the transition symbolized a new era and thus a new frontier of sustainability.



Once the primary source of water for many southern Californians, the Los Angeles River is now mostly scant and dry, aside from when it sees heavy rainfall and severe weather. Residents occupying much of its flood plain have suffered through reckless and unpredictable floods that often caused considerable damage to infrastructure. But in 2009, a nonprofit group founded by the city, the LA River Revitalization Corporation, was born to coordinate resorting the river. This year, renowned architect Frank Gehry joined the group and a $1.35 billion Army Corps of Engineers project to restore 11 miles of the 51-mile river with walkways, bike paths, and parks is underway. Although the full restoration of the dry riverbed is reported to cost $100 million a mile (with no set plans for where the funding will come from), 2015’s exciting developments bode well for the future of the river.

Aiding in the recent LEED certification, solar panels were added to one of the parking lots and electric vehicle chargers were also installed.


Notoriously dry pockets of the Los Angeles River will be repurposed as public attractions for LA residents.


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GREENBAR DISTILLERY One of the most effective means of inspiring sustainability is by imbuing a sense of pride in a people’s local community. When one’s living community is celebrated as a badge of honor, people and business owners alike are encouraged to shop locally. Such is the case with Greenbar Distillery, which boasts “the world’s largest portfolio of organic, handcrafted spirits,” the husband-and-wife duo mans a seemingly endless liquor cabinet stocked with their original takes on rum, tequila, whiskey, gin, bitters, and fruity liqueurs. In addition to sourcing local produce, they also adhere to a strict set of business ethics to concoct their libations by limiting themselves to organic ingredients, opting for recyclable lightweight bottling, and planting one tree per bottle sold. This year Greenbar will soon be offering infusion classes that allow guests to infuse their own spirits, on top of the current tours/tasting they offer weekly. ABOVE Greenbar Distillery boats the world’s largest portfolio of organic handcrafted spirits, including vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, rum, and liqeur. TOP LEFT Founder and head distiller Melkon Khosrovian samples some of Greenbar’s spirits.

Planting the seed for sustainability in April of this year, Mayor Eric Garcetti carved in stone “The Sustainable City pLAn,” a set of policy implementations aimed at sustaining the environment of Los Angeles while at the same strengthening its economy and social equity. One of central focuses of the pLAn pertains to maximal harvesting of local resources. As Los Angeles enjoys a sunbath year round, the pLAn entails equipping the city with solar energy technologies. Inversely, the condition California’s water supply is less rich as the state struggles waist-deep in the midst of a drought. The pLAn will work to remedy this by enabling plants to capture and clean stormwater in reign back dependence on imported water. Here’s a breakdown of just what the pLAn will tackle: ENVIRONMENT Protecting LA’s environment ensures that we harness our natural resources efficiently and effectively, while providing a clean, healthy, and safe city for present and future generations of Angelenos.

ECONOMY Strengthening the economy of Los Angeles ensures we can satisfy our basic needs for housing, jobs, mobility, and resiliency.

EQUITY Building equity in our city ensures all Angelenos have access to healthy, livable neighborhoods. It also strengthens a sense of collective ownership of our common future.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE The city of Los Angeles has long been a leader on environmental, economic, and social equity issues. Leading by example on sustainability performance, inspires both Angelenos and the nation to take action.


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“Tactical urbanism” is the way that a growing number of proactive urban cyclists are describing (and working to promote) the mingling of healthy living and alternative transport in LA. Drawing inspiration from the weekly Columbian tradition, CicLAvia temporarily shuts down certain roads and extends an open invitation to denizens all over the greater Los Angeles area to partake in a critical mass, cycling across routes whose vehicular congestion may typically prohibit pedestrian cyclists. This year, former deputy mayor Romel Pascual was named the new executive director of CicLAvia after serving on the CicLAvia board and actively aiding in the organization’s expansion.

Los Angelenos take to the streets as certain roads are temporarily blocked to cars, allowing cyclists to ride freely.


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GENSLER’S GLUMAC LA stunning example of reinventing and applying basic energy efficient design reformations that include quantifiable upticks in human health and productivity to modern workplaces. Designed with an “open office plan,” the GLUMAC encourages a sense of community and promotes teamwork while allowing plentiful washes of natural daylight permeate richly. Rather than the tired cubicle floor model, Gensler’s design instead features eight-seating “neighborhood” workstations, facilitates the exchange of ideas, and fosters a climate of collectivity that better treats creative collaboration between parties. As part of the project’s Net Zero Certification validation, its energy consumption has been tracked throughout 2015, and it’s set to officially be certified by the end of the year.


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By executing greener design methodologies, employees have reportedly experienced greater productivity and a healthier outlook.


Gensler’s GLUMAC LA project is a


COMMERCIAL: ENERGY RESOURCE CENTER In the conception of the Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) Energy Resource Center, the aim was to serve as a “one-stop idea shop”—a place where customers can quickly and easily come to find the most efficient and least expensive energy solutions best tailored to their own individual energy needs. While “technical assistance, energy, and air quality computer tools and simulations, as well as air quality and environmental information” are among the many energy-efficient services offered by the ERC, their green merits are on full display before you even enter the building. Designed by a nine-member team of specialists of differing expertise, the building itself was constructed by using recycled materials from the previously standing building (erect in 1957), 62% of that which was demolished. Sleuthing through the various rooms and hallways of the ERC, multiple energy inThe Southern California Gas Company’s Energy Resource Center is a place that both exhibits sustainable energy practices in its own constitution but also helps customers follow a similar path.


dustry themes are represented. Among them, according to the SoCalGas website are, “air quality, combustion, climate control, large equipment, residential new construction, food-service equipment, natural daylighting, and natural gas vehicles.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the building performs best in what’s exhibited by ERC’s very name: energy. The ERC earned an Energy Star Building distinction from the US EPA, surpassing code by 45%. This was due in part to a variety of smart building strategies pertaining to the building envelope, applying roof and window coating techniques to reduce HVAC overconsumption. T-8 compact fluorescent bulbs, translucent window walls, and skylights reduced lighting needs by 40%, and overall consumption is monitored digitally to review and make adjustments as needed. gb&d

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When Mayor Garcetti makes strong declarations about Los Angeles’s position as a future leader in sustainability, he’s on solid footing. LA is filled with people who’ve been at the vanguard of the movement for years. For example, LA-based green homebuilders LivingHomes constructed the first ever home to be awarded a LEED Platinum certification from the USGBC. The home was noted especially for the calculation that it would achieve 80% greater energy efficiency than standard, similarly sized homes, and that it was produced using 75% less waste during construction. And they have, if anything, only accelerated their efforts from there. Today, LivingHomes works with renowned architectural and design teams to build residences that can happily claim zero energy, zero water, zero waste, zero carbon, and zero emissions.


LivingHomes strives to create homes that are as healthy as possible and that have minimal ecological footprints.


LivingHomes constructed the first ever home to be awarded a LEED Platinum certification from the USGBC.


PERSON OF INTEREST: MATT PETERSEN Eric Garcetti’s Los Angeles mayorship has been an ambitiously eco-conscious one. He has been outspokenly vocal regarding his goals for bringing down citywide energy consumption across all departments and ushering in tens of thousands of new green jobs. And to hit targets such as these, the aim of the archer must be of outstanding repute. This is why Garcetti has recently announced his appointing of Matt Petersen to the position of Los Angeles Chief Sustainability Officer. The position is a new one created by Garcetti specifically for Petersen, which in itself speaks to the quality of Peterson’s pedigree. Petersen’s first push as a known name into the world of sustainability was as CEO of nonprofit Global Green USA. It was there that he developed marketing strategies for energy-efficient cars and solar power and led campaigns to combat climate change by spearheading projects involving the greening of schools, public housing, and city buildings. In 2008, he was recognized by TIME Magazine for his leadership role working with Global Green USA on aiding the recover of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. As Los Angeles’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Petersen will work to increase use of recycled water and solar power, upgrade their oft-overlooked public transportation system, create a plethora of new green jobs, and encourage LA residents to participate in the efforts make LA as green as it is great. november–december 2015



“The Resort,” contains cabanas, designated adult and kiddie pools, an outdoor fireplace, and a state-of-theart fitness center.


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On the lower Westside of Los Angeles, less than 15 minutes away from LAX, there rests the land where one Howard Hughes retreated in reclusive fashion from the insincerities of Hollywood, toiling over aerospace machinery at his Hughes Aircraft Company. Since long gone, Playa Vista now occupies the property—a planned urban community that is close-knit and dense, comprising of both commercial and residential vacancies, much of which is walkable with a groundswell of public parks. The inland utopia was designed with a concentrated focus on human and environmental health. In addition to the 19 neighborhood parks, Play Vista’s communal planning incorporated “two pools, a spa, fitness center, and outdoor event space” to encourage community residents to stay healthy and engaged while making the process easier and more inclusive. One of the most recent Playa Vista developments is the succinctly titled “The Resort,” and it contains cabanas, designated adult and kiddie pools, an outdoor fireplace, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Before the construction process even began, Playa Vista was awarded an EPA Energy Star based on the promising “trendsetting” qualities of their Sustainable Design Guidelines. 92% of the materials comprising the Hughes plant were recycled and put into construction developments, and it has maintained a 90% recycling rate since. While Playa Vista belongs to the city of Los Angeles, the example they set is sure to be noticed by metropolis brain trusts nationwide.


LA’s Playa Vista neighborhood is a slice of green paradise, boasting any residential or commercial one might need, while maintaining a green streak that the city at large is working arduously to follow.

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Plugging Into the Right Mix Affordability, efficiency, sustainability, resiliency—WGL strives to provide it all by Brian Barth

The JBG Companies are one of the largest investors and developers of real estate in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. By all measures, they are doing everything right in terms of sustainability. The vast majority of their 23.6 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space is comprised of urban infill and transit-oriented development projects—in other words, places where people can get where they need to go without getting in a car. Many of their facilities are LEED certified, but the company has gone one step further and taken a close look at not just the efficiencies that can be gained through design, but those that come through their energy supply. In doing so, they’ve entered a much broader conversation about sustainability and expanded the impact of their sustainability investment. WGL—one of the primary natural gas and electricity providers in the DC area—has taken up the sustainability conversation with JBG and helped to ensure that the power coming into their buildings is as clean as possible. “We purchase renewable energy for 50% of our electric usage,” says Jessica Long, LEED AP, sustainability manager for JBG. “WGL provides us with those credits for our Virginia portfolio.” Take, for example, JBG’s multi-tenant office building at 800 North Glebe Street in Arlington, Virginia. This 10-story, 316,000-square-foot LEED Gold for Core and Shell project has all the bells and whistles that add up to an Energy Star score of 89. It also has individual metering for each tenant, “which allows us to be more transparent with our energy use,” Long says. “Plus, the tenants are more cognizant of how they use energy when they’re paying directly for it.” Because 50% of the energy used in the building comes from wind power provided by WGL’s network of wind energy partners, JBG is able to attack the challenges associated with fossil fuel use in three ways—through design, careful monitoring of use, and purchasing from a renewable source—which in turn gives them a leg up on attracting the top-tier tenants who share those values.


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tions. In other words, they listen to what their customers want, and they figure out the most efficient way to get it done, whether that’s a combined heat and power, fuel cell, or a solar solution. “We look at a customer holistically and map out the best way for them to achieve their goals,” Mahan says. “Sometimes it’s about mixing two or three products in order to have the right combination to fulfill sustainability and affordability goals, as well as to fulfill the

“The first step is always to reduce consumption. The next step is to look at energy as a commodity and figure out how to get it more sustainably.”—Sanjiv Mahan, president of WGL Energy them available at a competitive price. By doing so, WGL enables greater use. “[Building] energy managers want to drive down energy use, while still providing comfort to their customers, and they want to do it in a way that shows they are being good to the environment,” Mahan says. “At the end of the day, we have to be ‘green’ in two ways: in terms of the environment and in terms of the bottom line.”

The Energy Ecosystem WGL Energy Systems, the division of WGL for which Mahan is president, is the arm of the company that deals with energy solu-

need for resilience and reliability.” WGL Energy’s systems business works mainly with large government and commercial customers who have a mandate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating customized “energy ecosystems” in partnership with local utility providers. They’ve been at it since 1997 and have now spread far beyond the Washington DC area to work with customers in 16 states and the District of Columbia. WGL has invested over a half billion dollars in this arm of the company so far and is currently ramping up their capacity significantly: they’ve recently announced plans to invest another $100 million per year for the next 5 years. One key to their success, says Mahan, is


And that, says Sanjiv Mahan, president of WGL Energy, is exactly the intention. “The first step is always to take advantage of the ‘low hanging fruit’—LED lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, replacing windows, etc.—to reduce consumption. The next step is to look at energy as a commodity and figure out how to get it more sustainably.” Mahan says WGL’s goal is not only to increase the availability of renewable energy sources, it’s to make


RIGHT The scope of WGL’s offerings is impressive: they supply natural gas, electricity, green power, carbon reduction and energy services to more than 1.4 million customers nationwide.

their depth of experience. WGL originated more than 165 years ago as the Washington Gas Light Company, chartered by Congress to supply energy to the growing national capital. The first gas lamp that was lit on Capitol Hill was powered by the company. Their dexterity in navigating the evolving energy industry is now one of their greatest assets. “We want to make sure that energy managers have the tools they need at their fingertips to manage their consumption in the most intelligent, simple way possible,” Mahan says. “It’s one thing to put in all the technology, but it’s also important to have the right levers in front of you to make follow-up adjustments to meet the needs of customers. Otherwise it gets to be a very large, complex system that people don’t quite understand.”

Net Zero: structures that produce as much energy as they consume, including the energy used to construct them


The Net-Zero Nest The scope of WGL’s offerings is impressive: they supply natural gas, electricity, green power, carbon reduction and energy services to more than 1.4 million customers nationwide, including all the federal buildings in Washington DC, and they are increasingly involved in renewable technologies, ranging from wind and solar to innovative approaches like solid oxide fuel cells, and combined heat and power systems (CHP). In addition to providing these technologies to the federal government, Fortune 500 companies, and other heavy-hitting clients, they also make a point to reach out to the young people who will lead the way into a future where fossil fuel-based power sources are likely to be less and less prominent in the energy landscape. Terry McCallister, WGL’s current chairman and CEO, has seen to it that students at Missouri University of Science and Technology, his alma mater, have the materials they need to pioneer new approaches to energy efficient design. Every two years, a team of students at the school collaborates on a design for the Solar Decathlon, the US Department of Energy’s biennial student competition gb&d

for solar-powered houses. The teams are encouraged to reach out to corporate sponsors for funds and materials; through their connection with McCallister, WGL has become a generous donor and provided the solar panels for the most recently completed home at Missouri S&T. Known as the Nest Home, this year’s submission is the school’s sixth to be accepted to the competition, more than any other college to date. It is built largely november–december 2015



Thanks in part to the solar panels provided by WGL, the Nest Home is a net-zero structure designed to produce more energy than it consumes.

The house is based around three upcycled shipping containers with interiors insulated with a product derived from recycled blue jeans.

Carpet in the Nest Home is woven with discarded fishing nets, adding to the overall sustainability of the project.

Far from being a one-off creation, the home is designed with off-the-shelf materials and waste products that can be found in virtually every community.


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A History of WGL 1848 - Washington Gas Light was chartered by Congress to provide gas service to the Capitol 1900 – WGL grows to serve 30,000 residents in Washington DC, nearly 10% of the city’s population 1940 – WGL becomes a publicly traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange 1963 - WGL assists with the installation of the eternal flame marking President Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery 1988 – WGL Systems is formed (now WGL Energy) as a subsidiary of Washington Gas to focus on energy conservation and renewable solutions

1997 – Washington Gas Energy Services (now WGL Energy) is launched as a third party market retailer of energy products


2002 - WGES begins providing renewable energy credits for wind and solar to customers 2004 – WGL added its 1,000,000th customer and brings its services to 25 states unities 2012 – WGL’s new LEED Gold Operations Center opens in Springfield, Virginia


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“The Nest Home is built largely with local, found materials—just like the way birds collect natural objects from their environment to build a home that fits their family.” —Chris Ramsay, director of the Student Design Center at the Missouri University of Science and Technology


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ABOVE Lou Hutchinson, WGL’s chief revenue officer, says that now, “in the 21st century, there are multiple revolutions going on, one of which is a requirement for diverse energy sources.”


with local, found materials—“just like the way birds collect natural objects from their environment to build a home that fits their family,” says Chris Ramsay, the director of the Student Design Center who oversees the crop of student’s working on the Solar Decathlon house each year. The house is based around three upcycled shipping containers with interiors insulated with a product derived from recycled blue jeans and exteriors insulated with closed-cell spray foam, clad with wood from old shipping pallets. Even the carpet is woven with discarded fishing nets. Greywater from the home is purified and reused in hydroponic gardens that produce enough vegetables to feed a small family. Thanks in part to the solar panels provided by WGL, the Nest Home is a net-zero structure designed to produce more energy than it consumes. Far from being a one-off creation, the home is designed with off-the-shelf materials and waste products that can be found in virtually every community. It is truly a modular home where additional shipping container ‘rooms’ can be “added or removed as a family grows or as children leave the ‘nest’,” says Mary Puleo, the student project manager for the team. “It makes it a truly scalable design.” The shipping container also makes the Nest Home a truly shippable design—it was disassembled and loaded onto trucks for the Solar Decathlon event that was

held this fall in Orange County, California. If you happened to have been on an interstate somewhere between southern Missouri and southern California in late September and saw a caravan of tractor trailers loaded with very unusual-looking wood and steel structures, you were lucky enough to witness one promising possibil-


THIS SPREAD The Nest Home is a part of this year’s Solar Decathlon, the US Department of Energy’s biennial student competition for solar-powered houses, and was built largely with local, found materials.

ity for the future of energy efficient design whizzing by.

Working Toward a Smarter, More Diverse Grid


When Terry McCallister took over as CEO in 2009, WGL had already been investing in energy efficiency for decades. But the new chief envisioned a much more aggressive approach to tackling the challenges of a “carbon-constrained future,” as he put it. The company had a century and a half under its belt as a leader in the energy indus-

try; the question on McCllister’s mind was what would WGL need to do to remain a leader for the next century and a half? A cost-effective mix of clean energy sources is the key to answering that question. Lou Hutchinson, WGL’s chief revenue officer, says “we started 165 years ago to light the Capitol; we’ve seen many changes in the industry since then, but in the 21st century, there are multiple revolutions going on, one of which is a requirement for diverse energy sources.” The company’s dual bottom line approach was reinforced as McCallister came on board in the midst of the Great Recession.


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“When you can provide the entire energy spectrum, there may be some components you can be very competitive on in terms of price compared to others.”—Lou Hutchinson, WGL’s chief revenue officer The federal government, one of WGL’s largest clients, was establishing stringent targets for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020, but at the same time, “there was an acute need to focus on macroeconomic recovery,” Hutchinson says. “Our goal is to always be an asset to our customers. What I mean by that, is that we tend to be on the better side of their balance sheets, while also supporting their GHG reduction mandates.” Most energy customers expect to pay a premium for ‘green’ energy, but is it really possible to have clean energy with lower rates? WGL is one of the few players in the energy market today that can answer that question in the affirmative. And the ability

to do that, says Hutchinson, rests on the ability to provide multiple energy sources to each client. “When you can provide the entire energy spectrum, there may be some components you can be very competitive on in terms of price compared to others. When you look at the overall per unit spend across that spectrum, the answer is very much yes.”

Distributed Generation, Distributed Impact One linchpin in the energy mix that supports financial and sustainability goals on an equal basis is known as distributed generation. Simply put, distributed generation is

any energy source that comes from a clean on-site source, rather than through the grid. This may be a photovoltaic array, methane capture and conversion to electricity or other small scale, sustainable systems. These package systems may be installed at an office complex, residential development, campus environment, or a mixed-use development. They may not supply the total energy requirement of the site, but they offset the amount, and thus the cost, of the energy coming from the grid. With technologies like wind and solar that may have larger daily fluctuations in productivity, the energy can be sent back to the grid when it is in excess of consumption, ‘running the meter’ backwards, as it is known in the industry, and saving the client


even more money. The combination of multiple sources of distributed energy in a geographic area that are all tied to the same grid of ‘conventional’ energy is known as a distributed energy system—exactly the type of energy infrastructure that WGL is developing. A side benefit of having such an integrated, multi-faceted energy system is stability, which has its own intrinsic economic value. After all, conventional energy is important as a back-up “when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow,” Hutchinson says. Having multiple energy sources available satisfies the mandate for infrastructure resiliency that has arisen in light of recent natural disasters, but the notion of resiliency can also be applied to the marketplace. “Volatility can come from many places,” says Hutchinson, “whether it’s dramatic changes in the weather or as a result of macroeconomic shifts.” He says that blending all these energy sources together, and factoring in their various direct and indirect benefits, allows WGL to offer a “blended price” to customers that reflects the total efficiency of the system, a phenomenon that he likes to refer to as “distributed impact.”

Building the Grid of the Future On a practical level, integrating local and site-scale systems with the grid can occur in myriad ways. In Washington DC, WGL is involved in the formation of various ‘eco-districts’—neighborhood-scale systems that are being built across the city where the energy infrastructure is being planned in a systematic way. The company has embraced a mentality that every drop of energy counts, which runs counter to the approach of most large utility providers that generate huge quantities of energy at a single site and then distribute it in a vast, centralized system. In Minnesota, says Mahan, the COO, WGL is implementing a series of 40 kW photovoltaic systems for schools and small businesses. “There are very few companies of our size and nature where

Distributed Generation: on-site power sources that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy reliability you have small 40 kW systems and large 5 MW systems in the same portfolio,” he says. “We don’t build utility scale systems in the middle of the desert. That’s not our model.” Instead, the WGL model is to identify the missing pieces of the energy ecosystem in any given locality and come up with a cost-effective plan to fill them. Not only do they provide a plan, they provide financing and work with local contractors to bring the systems into reality. The company then sets up an agreement that provides a fixed price for the energy produced for a 15 or 20 year period to the customer. “That way they’re not worried about what’s going to happen on the market and whether the price of energy from the grid will spike,” Mahan says. With each installation WGL has one more drop in its energy bucket and one more customer who is getting clean energy at a competitive price. “It offsets their need for energy, but more importantly it offsets their need for capital. They can then take that capital and invest it in their core business.” In this way, the grid of the future will not only be ‘cleaner’, it will have a more stable foundation in times of uncertainty. By shielding its customers from the negative economic implications of a shifting energy landscape, WGL is securing its role as an industry leader for a long time to come. november–december 2015


THE BUSINESS CASE FOR SUSTAINABILITY WGL wisely invests in efficiency at the company’s operations headquarters in Springfield, Virginia

Scope: 5 stories, totaling 438,768 ft2 on a 20-acre site Context: Suburban Office Park Program: Operations Headquarters Certification: LEED Gold Design: Fox Architects

Local: 21% of building materials were harvested or manufactured in the region


Impact: Greenhouse gas emissions have dropped 92% compared to the previous operations center


When WGL laid plans for a new operations center, the environmentally friendly energy solutions providers knew that they had an opportunity to showcase the technologies and strategies that they supported in their customer base in one of their very own facilities. In the spring of 2012, Springfield Center opened its doors, giving the energy industry a window into the level of efficiency that can be possible when sustainability concerns are taken to heart. The LEED Gold facility encompasses everything from reclaimed wood to low-flow plumbing fixtures, but its star attraction is the Bloom Energy Server—an innovative type of fuel cell—which is an excellent example of the company’s approach to distributed generation. gb&d

The Bloom Energy Server Runs 24 hours/day and 365 days/year, converting gas to electricity without combustion Has 60% or better conversion efficiency—compared to 33% conversion efficiency typical at coal-fired plants Provides 200 kW of power, enough to meet the demand of an entire office building or 160 homes 2 fuel options: natural gas or biogas Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50% compared to conventional grid electricity Converts fuel to electricity with 2X the efficiency of older model fuel cells On-site generation means zero energy loss through transmission lines—compared to 10% in some domestic grid systems and 50% in the developing world The Springfield Center has the 1st system of its kind installed on the East Coast

Corporate Sustainability Goals The Springfield Center is helping to achieve WGL’s goal of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from its fleet and facilities 70% by 2020, compared to a 2008 baseline. WGL aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12% for every therm of natural gas delivered to customers in 2015, and at least 18% by 2020, compared to a 2008 baseline.

Technology: The Bloom Energy Server—a solid oxide fuel cell that converts natural gas to electricity— provides up to 35% of the electricity for the complex Reduce: 30% reduction in water use over baseline* as a result of installing low-flow restroom fixtures throughout the facility

Re-Use: 31% of the total building materials used are recycled content, including recycled wooden pallets reused as walls

Recycle: 89% of construction waste was diverted from landfill during the construction process *below the baseline established by the Energy Policy Act of 1992

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For more, head back to p. 10 where our associate publisher Laura Heidenreich dives deeper on our annual Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards. And for the scoop on this year’s judges, flip to p. 81.

We honor 20 women who are shaping the sustainability landscape of tomorrow

They hail from small towns or big cities and learned their craft at great universities or on construction sites. Just as many cite their mothers and grandmothers as key influencers as do others mention authors and scientists. A universal characteristic among the 2015 gb&d Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards honorees is a deep authenticity. They believe in protecting the earth and that their work makes it cleaner and greener. They also recognize the interrelatedness of people, the planet, and the practical matters of finance, business, public policy, and human behavior. There is also a shared belief in the power of women in sustainability. Several referenced men who have shown them a path to effective advocacy, but names such as Rachel Carson and Janine Benyus surfaced in several interviews. Sustainability in its many forms is inspired by fathers and mothers alike. But the daughters are getting it done. And they are more than willing to share what they’ve learned, and what they do, with the generations to come. Text by Russ Klettke


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an article you read or organization you heard about or skill you picked up in one place will be exactly what you need in a completely different context.”

“‘Sustainability’ has come to mean ‘environmental sustainability.’ In truth it’s still a question that covers people, the planet, and economic viability. If you forget that, you risk partial solutions and unintended (negative) consequences.” “Sometimes people think that becoming a leader of people is primarily about gaining power and influence over them. The very best of leaders know that the more power you have, the more selfless you need to be. It becomes less about you and more about everyone else and how you can help them be successful.”

Lori Duvall

general commerce. She works with company leaders and engages rank and file employees in the company’s environmental strategies. It’s clear by what she says here that she leads this charge broadly and holistically. “Never think that a particular job is ‘not a sustainability’ job. We’re trying to re-engineer the global economic paradigm. I’d say that makes just about every job a sustainability job.”

Given the nature of eBay’s business, Duvall fairly places the reuse of goods as part of the circular economy, where “molecules/materials/products are kept at their highest value at all times,” she says.

Duvall oversees eBay’s Greener Commerce strategy, which encompasses the company’s own environmental impacts and finds ways to drive green directions in

“Embrace the spirit and practice of constantly learning. I mean that not only in the work context but also broadly across your whole life. You never know when

Reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring affected her as a teenager. “I was so mad,” she says. “Her book… definitely pushed me to choose the path I’m still on today.”

Director of Global Impact, eBay

“What I’m doing now feels like my most important expedition, making a healthier world for all of us.” Arlene D. Blum, Green Science Policy Institute

Arlene D. Blum, PhD Founder & Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute Based upon extensive research and policy work focused on flame retardants and other harmful chemicals, Blum endeavors to protect human


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health and that of global ecosystems. The Green Science Policy Institute (GSPI), which she assembled in 2008, educates and builds partnerships among scientists, regulators, businesses, and public interest groups to develop innovative solutions for reducing harmful chemicals in products, including those in the buildings and furnishings industries. Fast results from speaking up. “We looked at fire retardants in children’s sleepwear

called ‘tris,’ and found they caused cancer and changed DNA,” she recounts. “I wrote a lead article in Science, and three months later, tris was removed from children’s sleepwear.” She later discovered tris was being used in furniture and fabrics, which makes its way into breast milk and causes thyroid problems in pets. This led her to form the GSPI, which counts among its victories keeping two billion pounds of toxic chemicals

out of electronic equipment manufactured worldwide. That effort was a wide-ranging collaboration of scientists, firefighters, and non-government organizations experts. Blum also organizes mountain climbing for women. “I love going on expeditions, using every bit of your mental ability and physical strength to do something,” she says. “What I’m doing now feels like my most important expedition, making a healthier world for all of us.”


“Embrace the spirit and practice of constantly learning. I mean that not only in the work context but also broadly across your whole life. You never know when an article you read or organization you heard about or skill you picked up in one place will be exactly what you need in a completely different context.” Lori Duvall, eBay

“Voluntary action is important. But the kinds of change we need to build a sustainable world will require political courage and public investment. That’s not just at the global/national level—some of the most important policy progress is happening at the state and local level. Look for opportunities and allies everywhere.”


Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir CEO/Inventor, mnmMOD Building Solutions Erla’s Santa Monica, California-based design studio Minarc developed an award-winning, high-performance, factory-manufactured paneling system (in partnership with her husband, Tryggvi Thorsteinsson) that employs passive sustainable components (recycled steel framing, a waterproof membrane, thermal break, and mechanical chases that replace traditional home insulation). The no-VOC system is manufactured off-site, ships flat, and is adaptable to design and construction variation. When asked for five key learnings about leadership and sustainability, this native Icelander gave us eleven.


“You don’t do anything alone, so say thank you,” Erla says. “Never give up. Never doubt that you can make a difference tomorrow. Don’t worry—things have the tendency to work out. Try your best. If you don’t make mistakes you are most likely not doing anything. Don’t give up; sometimes it feels like running a marathon, but when you feel like you are hitting the finish line, you

have to do it all again. Don’t give up! Don’t be afraid of competition, it can help you spread the word. Be a good sport … show them how to do it. It takes a lot of education changing the world. Waste is a major problem—I am sure your mom told you to tidy up your room—it goes the same with Mother Earth. You will never please everybody so educate those who listen. Let your actions speak louder than your words.” Erla grew up in a country that values women, where the country’s president from 1980 through 1996 (Vigdís Finnbogadóttir) was the first female head of state in all of Europe. Erla tells the story (incidentally, told to her by actress Gena Davis) of a letter received by Finnbogadóttir from a young boy. It read: “I am a boy. Do you think I could ever be a president?” She is fascinated by products that make her ask, “Why did I not think of that?” citing coffee machines, Mac computers, white boards, the electric car, and salted caramels as examples. But among the many strong women of Iceland who she is inspired by, she names her daughters and her mother, a surgical nurse who managed the biggest surgical department in Iceland while her father spent weeks at a time in the North Atlantic as a fishing boat engineer.

Hilary Beber Firestone Senior Project Manager/Advisor, Energy Efficiency Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Firestone has spent most of her career working for city governments. “I’m a firm believer that policymaking is a necessary driver to get things done,” she says, noting that policy drives how people view and act on sustainability initiatives. “As someone who has a tendency to desire immediate action, I have learned the importance of delayed gratification,” she says. “Critical—and multifaceted—goals cannot be achieved at once. Regarding policymaking, it can take time to conceptualize and develop a regulation, have it adopted into law and roll out implementation, all before you start to see its impact.” “A true leader cannot get a project completed by herself, and the importance of teamwork becomes paramount.” She says leaders should build teams of partners: “Not just an internal team, but a multidimensional one. For instance, ensuring the private sector is working with non-profits, and both are working in coordination with government, allows for


meaningful collaboration, and thus real change.” Firestone is inspired by a variety of leaders. “One of my mentors, Laurie Kerr [Director of Policy, Urban Green Council], taught me that if you can back bold ideas with data, sound reasoning, and technical justification, it becomes difficult for skeptics to look the other way. The sustainability movement has seen a surge of leadership in recent months; Pope Francis, President Obama, and Chinese President Xi Jinping are taking serious actions in the fight against climate change.” Firestone moved from New York to Los Angeles and had to start networking anew. She went on “blind dates, the professional type,” and discovered leaders who were very welcoming. They include Marcie Edwards, the first female GM of LA Water and Power. “She is smart and strategic, and simply excels at getting the job done in a department that is notoriously complex. I find that continually motivating.”

“A true leader cannot get a project completed by herself, and the importance of teamwork becomes paramount.” Hilary Beber Firestone, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

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Deborah Marton Executive Director, New York Restoration Project Since 2011, when she assumed the role of the head of this conservancy for under-resourced communities in the five boroughs of New York, Marton works with some big names: Founder Bette Midler, board members Michael Kors (celebrity designer), Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone founder/ publisher), and Maria Rodale (multimedia publisher), among many others. They entrust and empower Marton, her staff, and volunteers to build green spaces that make life better for New Yorkers of all stripes. “Leadership and sustainability are the same thing,” Marton says. “It’s about systems persisting over time. You want to manage resources as well as staff to continue after you are gone. Just as you would want resources flowing in a systemic way, you want your staff and your board to function to the best of their ability.” But you can’t operate on gut feelings alone; accountability matters. “We know that seeing and experiencing nature and exercise, that air and water quality, can affect lifespans, birth weights, local economies, and civic engagement,” she says. “We are partnered with hospital and research institutions to determine if we can conclusively link green spaces to how people are able to live their lives.”


“It’s important to mentor anyone you can, male and female,” Marton shares. “I tell people there are two important things: to know yourself and to be honest about your skills, including where you can make improvements. Also to take chances. That builds leadership skills.” She adds that compassion, empathy, tough persistence, and not being defensive when wrong help get things done. Her grandmother, born in Hungary and a refugee from communism, ranks up there with The Divine Miss M (Midler) as her inspiration. gb&d

november–december 2015


Dawn Rittenhouse Director of Sustainable Development, DuPont Company

General Director & Founder, Revitaliza Consultores

A Mexico City-based architect (LEED AP BD+C), Silva is widely regarded by colleagues as an empowering influencer and is responsible for scores of LEED certified structures in Latin America and the US, among other services for builders and designers. She also holds leadership roles with Sustainability for Mexico (SUMe) and the Mexican Institute of the Intelligent Building (IMEI). What brought her to working in sustainability? “I have learned that sustainability is something that you live,” she says, explaining this formed while working in Seattle from 2002 to 2009 when she met community leaders that transformed her way of thinking. “This impacted my family, my lifestyle, and my approach to developing an organizational culture where life-work balance is cared for and achieved in order to have a sustainable life.” “I have seen how inspiration only comes with passion,” she notes. “I need to really love people and society to understand how to make a difference but passion is the engine that keeps me going.” Silva works with international


november–december 2015

“As a woman working in a male dominated industry I have learned that gender does not matter when you know how to work together,” she notes. “Women make fabulous teammates when working toward a sustainable goal because they put their heart into the task at hand.” “Selecting your team right is the most important thing to be able to delegate,” observes Silva. “I am so proud of my team, their intelligence and capabilities. We have evolved together. We can do much bigger things when we work as a team.” Tesla Motors excites Silva, in part because of her experience working on solar power installations. She believes that next-generation batteries will transform homes, business and communities that may not yet even have electricity. She draws her own inspiration from authors Carol Sanford (The Responsible Business and The Responsible Entrepreneur), David Heinemeier Hansson (Rework: Change the Way You Work Forever), Adam M. Grant (Give and Take), Chip Health (Made to Stick) and Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In).

“Have a vision. You need one both for where you want to lead and for yourself personally. Over time it will almost certainly need to be tweaked, or even reset, but having your north star is important.” “Walk the talk. You can’t be credible leading others if you don’t challenge yourself to do what you talk about—whether that is taking time for yourself to re-energize, or turning off the lights when you leave the office, or not printing documents unless it is necessary.” “Sustainability is a long-term journey. I have been privileged to work under three CEOs who have led DuPont to where we are now. Especially in the business world where the planning horizon is at most a year, you have to be able to focus on changes over a much longer time period. Year to year it is often impossible to see progress, but over the 17 years I have been working on sustainability, we have achieved a lot. Two steps forward, one backward, does eventually get you someplace.” “Love what you do. If you love your work and are committed to it, working on the challenges is interesting and rewarding.” Who inspires her? “My mother. She started her career at a time when she was required to quit her job when she got married. Amazingly that didn’t deter her. Over my lifetime I have watched her take on and learn new things to give her access to new job opportunities—from accounting to computers.”


Alicia Silva

teams in Peru, Spain, Mexico and Colombia, observing “the potential and love for this earth is everywhere and that all we need is tools to transform our work into something that will benefit everybody’s quality of life.”

“I have seen how inspiration only comes with passion,” she notes. “I need to really love people and society to understand how to make a difference but passion is the engine that keeps me going.” Alicia Silva, Revitaliza Consultores

With the global, Delaware-based company since 1997—where she initially had neither budget nor staff—Rittenhouse has developed one of the most integrated and revered sustainability programs in the world. She is passionate about environmental conservation and has a deep understanding of the unique role women play in the effort. Here, she offers advice.


Heather White Executive Director, Environmental Working Group (EWG)

White empowers consumers to live in healthier homes and communities. Hailing from the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee—an upbringing which she says “sparked my love for nature”—the wife and mother of two says her motivation today is to create a greener, healthier world for future generations. “Sustainability brings my passion for science, math, law, and policy together.” Studies in New Zealand, Kenya, at the universities of Virginia and Tennessee (environmental studies and law, respectively), and in women’s outreach for former Vice President Al Gore’s presidential bid in 2000, inform her work overseeing EWG’s advocacy and consumer education programs.


She helps people know what’s in their tap water. EWG informs to the public about chemicals in products that include shampoo and household cleaners, about pesticides in foods, and knowing how nearby farms, factories, and fracking operations might affect human health. The organization employs digital technologies to empower consumers to individually live sustainable lives.

ture of creativity will bring about the innovations necessary for sustainability, and this next generation will expect it,” she says. “Create space at work for your teams to connect with each other and play. Since empowerment is one of our core brand values, I created a monthly ‘empower hour.’ Staff share skills they have that may or may not be related to the environment but it’s fun, engaging, and personal.” She cites author Tara Mohr (Playing Big) for detailing the pitfalls of perfectionism for women in leadership positions. Mohr “provides fascinating strategies to tap into your inner confidence to relax and just go for it,” White says. Her grandmothers are just as inspiring to her. One was a calculus teacher and the other earned her high school equivalency diploma later in life. “They knew that education and hard work would open new worlds. My grandmothers taught me that if the door of opportunity opens up you honor those before you by walking through it.”

“The ‘hero’ model of leadership is outdated,” she says. When White is not testifying before the US Congress or meeting with White House officials on such matters as farm bill reform, energy policy, and toxic chemical pollution, she works with staff and others in the cause. “Leaders must empower everyone to be creative and come up with solutions. The monumental challenge of climate change and environmentally related disease will require everyone’s best thinking.” Green chemistry, affordable solar batteries, and non-toxic buildings make White hopeful about the future. “A cul-


november–december 2015



At the core of all this are leadership and sustainability. “There is no distance between leadership and sustainability if you care about what’s best for your company and your employees,” she told us. “I’ve found that people want to work for companies that value the health of the environment, and certainly those companies that lead on green have a competitive advantage over the laggards.”

Robin Chase Founder, ZipCar, Buzzcar, Veniam

Author, Peers Inc: How People and Platforms are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism

A serial entrepreneur (Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world; Buzzcar, a French peer-to-peer carsharing service; GoLoco, an inline ridesharing company, and Veniam, building the networking fabric for the “Internet of Moving Things”), Chase keeps a busy schedule of writing, lecturing, serving

Mary Wenzel Head of Environmental Affairs, Wells Fargo In her position with the global banking company since 2004, Wenzel and her staff develop environmental strategies and drive organizational change to support the company’s sustainability efforts. Responsibilities include a focus on environmental philanthropy, operational sustainability, environmental and social risk


november–december 2015

It only makes sense that Chase has made being a transportation entrepreneur her life’s work. She’s a study in motion, and what interests her most affects us all. “I have been championing low cost wireless connectivity, especially mesh networking, for years because I see it as a key requirement for “smart” (rational) consumption of energy and transportation,” she says. “We can only respond to congested roads and peak electricity demand when we know about it and are charged a premium for it. One of the reasons Zipcar reduces CO2 emissions is because people see and pay the full cost of driving each and every time.” Chase fully embraces the

management, and clean technology financing and lending. This means that she must lead the company to integrate environmental policies and processes into company operations and community development initiatives. Consider the results: $11 million in grants to more than 385 environmental nonprofits in 2014 alone ($40.2 million since 2012). Environmentally sustainable businesses received $37 billion in investments and loans since 2012. The company also financed $3.8 billion in environmental initiatives in low-to moderate-income communities since 2012.

Wenzel notes they keep their own house in order as well. “Since setting new goals in 2012, Wells Fargo has achieved a 24% increase in energy efficiency, 38% increase in water efficiency, and 18% increase in waste diversion (recycling rate),” she writes in a company environmental blog, adding that from 2008 to 2020, the company will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35%. It’s no small task to engage the broadly distributed company and its 80 businesses. Wenzel’s department keeps those businesses aligned through a Corporate

“There is no distance between leadership and sustainability if you care about what’s best for your company and your employees,” Robin Chase, ZipCar, Buzzcar, Veniam

rapid technological changes to come. She believes self-driving cars as potential game-changers, able to significantly reduce road fatalities while providing lowcost access to jobs, education, and healthcare. Air quality will improve (if the cars are electric), and congestion will be reduced, with less space overall needed for parking and roads. Her top recommendation to women looking to develop leadership skills: Be honest with one’s self, learn your strengths and weaknesses, surround yourself with people who complement you. “Really listen to how people respond to your ideas,” she says, “then take this feedback to improve how you explain your company or your idea the next time.” Chase confesses being “in awe” of Christiana Figueres, chair of the UN Climate Summit in Paris (December 2015). “She communicates urgency and upbeat energetic hope while pressing for very concrete action. She appears tireless.”

Sixty Wells Fargo Green teams, involving 4,000 members, volunteered 71,000 hours in their local communities last year alone.

Environmental and Social Risk Management policy, while the Wells Fargo Supplier Code of Conduct provides a holistic framework of environmental stewardship with 30,000 vendors in more than 36 countries. Employee engagement in green initiatives is part of the company culture. Sixty Wells Fargo Green teams, involving 4,000 members, volunteered 71,000 hours in their local communities last year alone.


on boards, and, by the way, running companies. A list of awards and honorary degrees from the likes of Harvard, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Business Week, and Fast Company populate her CV.


Jane Palmieri Business President, Dow Building & Construction In a prior position as general manager of Dow Solar, Palmieri (who trained as a mechanical engineer) drove strategy and commercialization of DOW Powerhouse Solar Shingles. Now she continues to lead in sustainable energy and efficiency while also championing the corporation’s climate change policy proposals. Her beliefs on sustainability leadership: “Goals are critical for making progress and energizing the organization. Bold goals that align to a sustainability vision not only can demonstrate to the market that you are a sustainability leader, but also motivate employees, who are more commonly choosing employers based on their commitment to the future.”


“Collaboration is absolutely essential. Our sustainability challenges are so multi-dimensional that anyone who thinks they can go it alone probably will not get very far. Collaborate with the markets, with industry peers, with NGOs and with governments. As co-chair of the Alliance to Save Energy, I’m seeing that collaborating across industries

can help drive energy efficient technologies into practice, as one step toward a sustainable future.”

Kira Gould

“Communication of the value of sustainability is tough but critical. We need consumers to be aware of how they are impacted by energy efficiency, and to ask for technology that will save energy and save them money.

Director of Communications, William McDonough + Partners Co-Author, Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design (with Lance Hosey)

Gould is a writer and a LEED AP whose current role is sharing the possibilities of the Cradle-to-Cradle and Upcycle philosophies birthed by William McDonough. Widely published in her own right and described as a “powerhouse” of organization and leadership, she shares what she’s learned from many years of green building advocacy:

“Sustainability innovation takes time and patience. Like any new product, commercialization of a sustainable technology can proceed at its own pace, and understanding how that product fits into the long term sustainability needs of the market can be critical to maintaining focus on its success.”

“Listening is powerful. The best way to continuously learn is to listen—to people and to place. In a fast, information-saturated world, there is ever-greater pressure to prove one’s value with assertion and action before hearing and synthesizing inputs. (Synthesis is often devalued or even dismissed as a “female trait” and an impediment to decisive action.)”

“Business and public policy have to be in sync to enable sustainable technologies to succeed. To be a real sustainability leader, you have to be in sync with public policy, and encourage public policy that helps us get to where we all want to go.” “I find that many young women are too reticent to ‘embrace their inner leaders’ early in their careers. Don’t wait until someone gives you a formal leadership roll—leadership [can] shine through when you are able to influence a group, team, or decision without being officially or hierarchically in the position of leadership.”

“Don’t wait until someone gives you a formal leadership roll—leadership [can] shine through when you are able to influence a group, team, or decision without being officially or hierarchically in the position of leadership.” Jane Palmieri, Dow Building & Construction

“Voice is more important than vision. This dichotomy became very clear during the research for Women in Green, and was especially reinforced by the writings of leadership expert/author Sally Helgesen, and especially her book, The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership. Vision tends to relate to a worldview in which truth is abstract and objective, whereas voice represents an interactive, inclusive process in which truth relates to context and circumstance.” “Finding leverage points is critical to making change. Donella Meadows taught us this in her seminal “Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System,” a brilliant, approachable treatise based on serious system analysis. “Monocultures fail. Monocultures are a dangerous invention of a species that appears to be proving that it values cleverness over wisdom, and homogeneity over diversity. Monocultures are dangerous (and often suicidal, ultimately) in the context of companies, teams, communities, and physical environments. Human organisms thrive on diversity.” “The natural world is a powerful model. We are a part of the natural world, within which are many models—many of which evolve far faster than we do—to inspire us to adjust our thinking.” Gould is clearly inspired by McDonough, but also cites Janine Benyus (Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature), Rachel Carson (Silent Spring), and Stewart Brand (How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built)—as well as the biophilia hypothesis and the framing of buildings and communities as social contracts – as significantly impactful and beneficially disruptive. “Once you understand the implications of these concepts, it’s difficult to think about a building or a community the same way ever again,” she says.


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Stacy Glass VP, Built Environment Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

Managing Director of Environmental Affairs, United Airlines United Airlines is now using advanced sustainable aviation biofuels (Fulcrum Bioenergy), reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 80% over traditional petroleum jet fuel. Foster-Rice, an attorney who has been with the carrier since 2002, spearheaded agreements with the biofuel suppliers to make this happen. This is a game changer for a fuel-hungry industry. “There will continue to be incredible advancements in fuel efficiency for aviation through both aircraft innovation and operational measures,” she says. “To take aviation to the next level in reduction in carbon intensity, I believe sustainable aviation biofuels has tremendous promise. Waste materials as feedstocks—such as municipal solid waste—can also protect natural resources and turn waste into a beneficial product. Importantly, development of a sustainable aviation fuels industry can (longer term) help with fuel diversification to protect against price volatility and energy security while contributing to a clean energy economy.” Foster-Rice’s passion for sustainability is on the ground as much as up in the air. She expresses excitement for micro-grids “that don’t require significant investments in infrastructure nor associated impacts on the environment,” for solar energy, for systems that utilize waste materials to generate heat and electricity, and for evaporative refrigeration that requires no power at all. She warns against being


november–december 2015

“Be confident and don’t wait until you are sure about your abilities, dive in!” Angela Foster-Rice,United Airlines

distracted by “shiny objects,” advising to “stay grounded in the strategy you have built with your team. There are many more ideas to chase in sustainability than are possible to effectively implement.” Part of the leadership skills necessary to do this, says Foster-Rice, is to empower stakeholders and team members to remain honest with her even if the ideas clash. A key element is to provide mutual respect. How fast can a $38 billion company (2014 revenues) in a tight margins, highly competitive industry embrace green ideas? “Environmental leaders in companies must keep close to the pulse of broader company objectives and cost pain points,” she says, noting the need to be flexible and to hold onto the sustainability vision through periods of market volatility. “Continue to build that strategy through small, medium, and large steps. This is a marathon not a sprint.” Foster-Rice advises women to trust themselves and their capabilities. “Be confident and don’t wait until you are sure about your abilities,” she says. “Dive in!” She cites her sister, Renee Foster, as the source of her inspiration. “She is bold, successful, and a great leader, all while keeping perspective on what is truly most important in life.

“When I am clear that my work is about the message and the change we are trying to make, everything else falls into place,” Stacy Glass, Crade to Cradel Products Innovation

company (CaraGreen, LLC) from a regional to national player. She now spends much of her time educating the design community on selecting green-certified products. A colleague points out that Glass has been a critical force in the harmonization of material chemistry programs to accelerate industry change. She led the formation of the Material Health Harmonization Task Group at the US Green Building Council, which makes up the LEED v4 Material Ingredients credit. She acknowledges that leadership has been on her mind since she worked an administrative position early in her career. “I read the classic, On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis,” she says. “The book resonated with my personal values. I felt like ‘I’ve got this!’ It helped me understand that if I am true to my values and execute them at my best, I will be a good leader.” Several women inspired her. Her mother (a full-time professional), business coach Mary Kralj, and Kimberly Jenkins, who introduced Glass to the C2C concept and a career in sustainability.


Angela Foster-Rice

“We don’t have a waste problem, or a toxins problem, or a population problem, we have a DESIGN problem.” Glass cites this quote from William McDonough (Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things) as the light bulb moment that inspired her career. Now fully engaged in the C2C cause, Glass offers a list of leadership skills that mean the most to her: work is about the message, not the self; every team member should have “energy pointed in the same direction;” scalability and organizational sustainability won’t happen if she’s the smartest person in the room (i.e., it’s OK if smarter staff challenge the status quo); forgiveness “is my favorite human trait;” and “do what you say you are going to do” with transparency and trust. “When I am clear that my work is about the message and the change we are trying to make, everything else falls into place,” she says. “Insecurities disappear, competition turns into collaboration, judgment becomes empathy, and people become more collaborative and creative. When I remember it’s not about me, I have the best chance to achieve the change I seek.” In earlier work, Glass successfully built a green building materials distribution and marketing


Michelle Moore CEO, Groundswell

Groundswell organizes local residents and institutions into collective purchasing groups, guiding them through the process of securing clean energy. The organization is based in Washington DC and helps end-users in the mid-Atlantic region to request supplier bids and to negotiate optimal rate schedules. Additionally, it organizes consumer activists to advocate for cleaner energy and healthier local environments. Moore took the helm of Groundswell in mid-2015, but is also a strategic advisor to the International WELL Building Institute and an advisory board member for Tribal Planet, which builds mobile platforms that motivate consumers to take action for social good. She is also a senior fellow with the Council on Competitiveness, a Washington-based NGO that joins labor leaders, corporate CEOs, university presidents, and national laboratory directs in such things as infrastructure rebuilding. Moore believes in the free market. “Information and consumer markets move a lot faster than government,” she observes. “The things the sustainability movement is fighting for—from clean energy to healthier food—are analogous

“The green building movement is a beautiful demonstration that it doesn’t cost a pound of flesh to do the right thing and that you can build economic prosperity without destroying the place we live.” Michelle Moore, Groundswell

to a technology upgrade for our economic system,” the White House and Clinton Foundation veteran says. “It’s prosperity and profitability that doesn’t come at someone else’s expense.” She suggests a greener world requires people who can lead others. “As David Gottfried [author, Explosion Green, and considered father of the global green building movement] has reminded us time and time again it’s about the people,” says Moore. “It wouldn’t be a movement without all of the individuals who’ve dedicated their time and bet their businesses on a better way.” Those people should include women who are paid the same as men. “Culture plus commerce equals change,” she says. “The green building movement is a beautiful demonstration that it doesn’t cost a pound of flesh to do the right thing and that you can build economic prosperity without destroying the place we live.” Moore holds a pay stub from one of her two grandmothers who both worked in cotton mills more than 40 years ago. A week’s work paid $60 in 1966. “I will never forget how hard they worked alongside my grandfathers to raise and educate my parents, nor will I forget that their hard work is why I am here,” she says.

Meet the Judges Chris Howe is the publisher and CEO of Green Building & Design, while Laura Heidenreich serves as the publication’s associate publisher and president. Howe and Heidenreich are the co-founders of gb&d’s parent company Green Advocacy Partners, LLC and the creators of the WSLA. Together they formed their company, which advocates for meaningful and lasting sustainable change with the mission of creating a more sustainable world. Kimberly Lewis: Lewis is the senior VP of community advancement and conferences/events for the US Green Building Council where she works to integrate, diversify, and globalize USGBC’s community of volunteers, chapters, and emerging professionals from around the world. She also serves on the advisory boards of Starwood Hotels, Marriott International Hotels, and convention visitors bureaus in New Orleans. Rochelle Routman: In her role as the VP of sustainability at Mohawk Industries, Routman evolves the company’s corporate strategic strategy, engages employees, supports Mohawk’s customers in meeting their sustainability goals, and communicates the program to external audiences. She is a proven leader and expert sustainability strategist and the chair of our WSLA alumni group.


Charmaine Atherton: As a senior VP Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Atherton works for the company’s Community Development Banking Group in Southern California and strives to improve the economic development of underserved communities and serves as the organization’s women’s leadership chair. ULI Los Angeles, a district council of the Urban Land Institute, also recently named her its new chair.


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Dagmar B. Epsten

Fulya Kocak

Director of Sustainability, Clark Construction Group


“In order to create change, a leader must be strong in the technical aspects of sustainability, as well as a strong diplomat, effective communicator, sincere networker, inspiring speaker, creative author, savvy salesperson, and more.” The Bethesda, Maryland-based national construction firm counts on Kocak to be the “boots on the ground” implementer of green buildings and LEED certification. Calling herself a change agent and evangelist, Kocak says, “A successful leader in sustainability is not just an expert in one facet of their work but a well-rounded professional. In order to create change, a leader must be strong in the technical aspects of sustainability, as well as a strong diplomat, effective communicator, sincere networker, inspiring speaker, creative author, savvy salesperson, and more. A successful sustainability leader reminds me of a modern day Renaissance man, someone whose expergb&d

tise spans technical, social, financial, and environmental subjects. Kocak began her career in operations, “in my hard hat and steel toed boots,” she notes. From there, building relationships was her true strength. “My network is composed of people at various states in their careers, including students, new graduates, senior mentors, and decision makers. Networking must always be approached as a two-way street.” She is a fan of rapid change. “I admire the US Green Building Council’s success in transforming the building market worldwide in a very short period of time. Leveraging the LEED Rating system, USGBC made a strong business case around green buildings. As building professionals, we all learned how to incorporate sustainable solutions in our work as a norm in less than a decade.” Five steps that Kocak offers for women looking to develop leadership skills: Build your network by volunteering. Understand operations inside out. Discuss organizational priorities with peers and senior leadership—listen, do not assume. Learn what sustainability costs and when it will pay back. And don’t wait for a sustainability position to happen to you; instead, do things to build experience. She met Native American families at the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation (Montana) building a straw-bale literacy center as part of her graduate studies. Their culture and spiritual beliefs inform her work.

“Being an environmentalist could be depressing, and we need to remind ourselves that we need to keep our eyes clearly focused on good goals and uplifting actions!” Dagmar B. Epsten, The Epsten Group, Inc.

President & CEO, The Epsten Group, Inc.

A LEED Fellow and founding member of the USGBC Atlanta chapter, the German-born Epsten has received multiple building design and achievement awards. Her firm is responsible for a broad variety of projects on several continents and speaks at conferences from Oslo to Tokyo, Melbourne, and Riyadh. She thoughtfully shares ideas on sustainability leadership: “It takes courage to lead an organization. I have become less reactive and more strategic over the years, using a strategic plan and creating regular time for long-range planning. I try to avoid looking at daily issues in an isolated way, and rather see them as symptoms of what may be needed in the long run. I have become fairly fearless over time in leading my organization and related initiatives.” “It helps being an optimist. When I hear a discouraging statement, sometimes I just say, ‘I am an optimist.’ And then I try to find something to say that gives the person something to work for and to look forward to. That seems to help people some. Being an environmentalist could be depressing, and we need to remind ourselves that we need to keep our eyes clearly focused on good goals and uplifting actions!” “There is beauty all around us. I found that yoga helps me to stay focused and calm and carry me through a busy week. If I can’t stay calm, it is hard to be an effective leader. The other thing that helps is to just appreciate beauty whenever we can catch a glimpse of it—a flower in my front yard on the way to work, the sky when I turn around before I go back into the house, and the vegetables that we pick in our backyard garden for a meal.” “Carry out an ant to the backyard. Making buildings tight to the outside, including using operable windows with screens, allows insects to stay outside where they belong and keeps them in the ecosystem. I also like to design buildings so that birds don’t hit them (there are many resources out there for bird-friendly design, and let’s please keep cats away from our songbirds).” “Life on earth is amazing. I have traveled in more than 50 countries. We can learn much about addressing resources and climate by taking a more indigenous approach to buildings, and we should have an open eye toward adapting creative, simple ideas for current and future sustainable design and construction.”

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Chief Executive Officer, Clean Energy Trust (CET) Chicago-based Francetic oversees the non-profit’s mission to accelerate the development of clean energy technologies and businesses in the Midwest. The organization has thus far awarded $3.2 million in funding to startups—largely commercializing research from labs and universities—that subsequently raised $70 million in follow-on funding and has created at least 300 jobs. The former Silicon Valley executive shares her thoughts on sustainability leadership: “Solving real problems in clean energy and sustainability takes patience, political grit, and generally big investments. It’s not the place to look for instant gratification. Communicating the big ”why” for any kind of scientific breakthrough is difficult but is critical to success. Communicating with charisma and passion, but also simplicity, is necessary.” “Millennials are pissed that they are inheriting a climate crisis and they want to do something about it. They should not be underestimated in politics or in business. Our elected officials

are lagging behind the public when it comes to views about climate and sustainability. It may take a few election cycles to get them aligned. We cannot let our despair prevent us from voting. Climate denial is dying a slow death.” “Next generation battery storage at the grid, building, and vehicle level has the potential to disrupt and remake our modern electrical infrastructure. It is the foundation of our post-modern life. It will take everything we’ve got to help it achieve its potential—scientists, investors, engineers, politicians, and marketers. Michael Polsky, CEO of Invenergy, is running the largest independently held renewable energy company in the world. He is a fearless, wicked smart CEO. He believes that we are only at the beginning of the clean energy revolution.” “Find a posse of like-minded women and support each other. CET is one of the founding members of the Chicago chapter of Women’s Energy Network, a national professional organization that supports women in the energy industry. There is also the C3E initiative that promotes and recognizes mid-career women in the clean energy field. For women in their 30’s, stop looking for mentors and start being mentors.” “If you don’t feel like what you are doing matters, work is pretty empty.”

Lisa Colicchio Director of Corporate Responsibility, CBRE From her global real estate firm’s corporate headquarters in Los Angeles—the first corporate office to achieve the WELL Building Standard Certification— Colicchio is a hands-on manager who spearheads green programs from conception to implementation. She says that sustainability leaders need to engage in a breadth of venues. Here’s her advice.

“Jump in and give back: seek out all opportunities to take on additional responsibilities both as work and in the community. The experience that’s gained working with a wide variety of groups in these diverse environments is priceless and can greatly enhance leadership skill development.” Lisa Colicchio, CBRE

“Get involved with as many organizations, committees, and industry conferences to network with peers and learn from others. Exchanging ideas and best practices with others will help to continually improve your skills and expand your experience. Seek out all relevant industry certifications and training programs to gain experience and exposure and to learn new skills. The sustainability industry is dynamic and continues to evolve and grow; online news publications and social media outlets are some of the best sources to stay current on topics and trends.”

“Jump in and give back: seek out all opportunities to take on additional responsibilities both as work and in the community. Serve on committees in local business organizations, volunteer for charities; get involved in local community events. The experience that’s gained by working with a wide variety of groups in these diverse environments is priceless and can greatly enhance leadership skill development.”

“Seek opportunities to improve and lead—and embrace change. I regularly read what other top leading firms are doing in sustainability to learn best practices and study where trends are going. Change is inevitable and can be uncomfortable, but change always has positive outcomes. I focus on how I can make change work in my favor to seize on opportunities it presents and expand in new directions I hadn’t considered.”


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“Janine Benyus is the queen innovator in the sustainability world. An expert in biomimicry, she employs the principles of nature to influence and inspire innovation and has made significant contributions in studying how nature’s best ideas can solve our toughest 21st century problems. Additionally, Vandana Shiva is truly inspirational and a real environmental superhero. Trained as a physicist and one of the original “tree huggers” (literally) she has dedicated her life to being an advocate, activist and intellectual seeking peace, sustainability and social justice.”


Amy Francetic


Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir CEO/Inventor, mnmMOD Building Solutions

Katrin Klingenberg


Executive Director, Passive House Institute US (PHIUS)

Klingenberg, a registered architect in Germany, built her first Passive House in Urbana, Illinois in 2003 and followed it up with three more for first-time low-income homebuyers. She founded PHIUS in 2007, which provides certification programs for architects and construction professionals as well as annual conferences. What does she say about leadership? gb&d

“Keep the eye on the prize,” she says. “PHIUS’ mission—to reduce carbon emissions from buildings to globally agreed-upon limits— looked daunting 10 years ago, and to some it still does. But we are obligated to try. Staying in touch with one’s original vision and motivation, and nurturing that motivation, is important to be able to manifest the desired change. So is

learning from mistakes and being kind to oneself, taking responsibility and committing to doing it better next time. “Stay flexible and open to creative and maybe unusual solutions. Sometimes they are the best ones. Remembering that the carbon reduction challenge—especially in the building sector—is not a sprint but a marathon. In 2012, we had a dozen certified projects. Today we have hundreds. Each was a critical steppingstone to a critical transition. Getting committed, self-motivated, resourceful, and talented people on the team is priceless. Teamwork is clutch.” Klingenberg credits her mother Ingrid for inspiring her career path. And she cites Amory Lovins (of

“Staying in touch with one’s original vision and motivation, and nurturing that motivation, is important to be able to manifest the desired change.” Katrin Klingenber, PHIUS

the Rocky Mountain Institute) as someone of impact. “His vision has the potential to increase resource efficiency not only in technical terms but on a whole systems basis by uncovering existing synergies on all levels. He helped me to see another way, the alternative to constant growth, which in the beginning seemed totally counterintuitive. His writings create a significant shift in how we think about energy and how we can generate and provide for energy needs without continuing to deplete our resources.” gb&d november–december 2015





BUSINESS Kutol Products Company of Sharonville, Ohio has been in the clean-hand business since 1912. Sustainability is a big deal at Kutol. It’s no wonder they chose Fabcon Precast panels for the envelope of their 160,000 square foot state-of-the-art LEED® Silver headquarters. We’re green to the core.


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©2015 Fabcon Precast


Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List


88 Protecting Art with Precision Science

The Whitney Museum of American Art’s iconic new headquarters energize New York City’s skyline by housing an even more iconic collection of art—and a LEED Gold certification

94 A “Living Laboratory” Breaks New Ground

This environmental research facility goes all in on sustainable design

98 The Foundations of a Sustainable Resort

A look at how co-conscious concrete will usher in LEED Gold status for the MGM National Harbor

102 Touting Timber

A natural wood exterior builds a healthy hospital

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Protecting Art


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with Precision Science



The Whitney Museum of American Art’s iconic new headquarters energize New York City’s skyline by housing an even more iconic collection of art—and a LEED Gold certification By Emily Torem


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TOP LEFT Bordering the Southern entrance of the Highline and the Hudson River, this 185,000-squarefoot building houses more than 21,000 paintings by more than 3,000 artists. RIGHT The window jambs help with airflow throughout the building.

tribution to the building comes in: via CFD analysis. CFD, or Computational Fluid Dynamics, models and tracks how air flows through a building, accounting for variables like furniture, windows, materials, and HVAC systems. “You can see hot spots or cold spots where air doesn’t circulate enough,” Tuluca says. “Once you do that, you feed that data back into the energy model and supply more hot air or less hot air. Or you change the insulation location and type. Then you can take those results, put them into the energy model and see what difference it makes in terms of dollars or CO2 emissions.” The floodwall presented yet another puzzle. “It had to be concrete and it had to be insulated on the inside which was difficult,” Tuluca notes. “It included collaboration between all teams, from engineering and mechanical, and we came up with the best solution that we could given the circumstances.” Tuluca and his team used spray foam insulation that was customizable enough that it provided an elegant—if uncommon—solution for their needs. “If you put too much spray foam, you get moisture condensation, if you put too little, you get other problems,” Tuluca explains. “We looked at getting it to a level where you balance condensation concerns and temperature concerns. In some places there are four inches, in others there are eight inches. It’s unusual. It’s almost like a sandwich of insulation inside.” Beyond the CFD analysis, the Vidaris team employed several other strategies to ensure that the building nailed its LEED Gold goal. Among the energy efficiency measures are the CO2 sensors,



or quite some time, New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art was in need of a new place to house its ever-expanding offerings of art, events, and educational facilities, and in 2010, it moved forward with a stunning new angular design by Italian-born architect Renzo Piano. Complying with energy metrics was of prime concern, and the team of designers and architects ambitiously sought to pursue a cut above the city’s requirement of LEED Silver and aim for LEED Gold. After Hurricane Sandy flooded the Whitney’s former home in 2012, filling the basement with more than 30 feet of water, museum director Adam Weinberg knew that a flood protection plan was crucial to the museum’s new construction, as Adrian Tuluca of niche energy & envelope consulting firm Vidaris, principal-in-charge for the project, emphasizes. To comply with New York City’s energy metrics for The Whitney’s new building, Vidaris, along with architect of record and JBB/MEP designer Cooper Robertson, had to consider their client’s collection of precious artwork with an eagle eye. Local 86 laws in the Big Apple require all new city-funded construction to meet LEED Silver Certification and come in at 25% under par for energy efficiency. The Whitney made for a unique client—its vast collection demands delicate monitoring of humidity and temperature levels, so as not to damage the artwork it has spent almost 85 years amassing. Bordering the Southern entrance of the Highline and the Hudson River, the 185,000-square-foot building houses more than 21,000 paintings by more than 3,000 artists. Protecting the collection—both on display and in storage—from humidity, harmful condensation, and temperature changes, while also keeping guests comfortable, was a challenge for both insulation and HVAC. “You may take care of the condensation, but there is another problem as well; the average temperature could be good, but if the difference between foot and head is too high, people might feel uncomfortable,” Tuluca explains. That’s where Vidaris’ most comprehensive con-



ABOVE The Whitney made for a unique client—its vast collection, amassed over 85 years, demands delicate monitoring of humidity and temperature levels.


RIGHT The Whitney’s nine stories capture storm water and redistribute it to irrigate its terraced green spaces and feed its cooling tower.

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ABOVE Protecting the art from humidity, harmful condensation, and temperature changes was an insulation challenge.


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which gauge the amount of occupants in a room based on CO2 levels in the air. They’re also able to circulate more hot or cool air efficiently based on the density of people, balancing energy efficiency and patron comfort, according to project manager Darcy Kottler. The building also makes use of cogeneration engine technology, which repurposes the heat byproduct that occurs when you burn natural gas to make electricity. According to Tuluca, the cogeneration engine uses about 25-30% of the heat produced by burning the natural gas to produce electric-

ity. Instead of venting the rest of the heat, it then channels most of it into hot water tanks that can be used to help offset the building’s energy costs. Carrying on this trend of reusing runoff, The Whitney’s nine stories capture storm water and redistribute it to irrigate its terraced green spaces and feed its cooling tower. Tuluca is no stranger to complex energy efficiency projects—in fact, he was consulted when New York City was writing the Local 86 laws in 2005. But what really struck him about the project was the level of care the

longterm Whitney team exhibited towards maintaining the integrity of the building. “One thing that they’ve done that is uncommon is they asked us to do a manual on how to operate the building so that it could continue to operate optimally after we completed the project,” Tuluca recalls. “It was a focus on doing it right, from the beginning to the end. In my opinion, the highlight was that this was a process that worked; there was no cost cutting. It’s a project that I’m really happy to have contributed to.” gb&d





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A “Living Laboratory” Breaks New Ground

This environmental research facility goes all in on sustainable design By Margaret Poe

PROJECT Location Edgewater, MD Clients The Smithsonian Institution and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Size 92,000 ft² facility on 4.6 acres of wetland Completion 2014 Program Mathias Laboratory renovation and addition Certification LEED Platinum Cost $56.5 million


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decade ago, many of the scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) worked in rusting trailers scattered across a patch of cleared forest. The researchers at the site, located on the Chesapeake Bay in Edgewater, Maryland, conducted vital climate change experiments, but their facilities left much to be desired—environmentally, functionally, and aesthetically. The nearly 200 scientists, technicians, and students needed a safe place to conduct their research, store their specimens, and work together. Today, they have that in the Mathias Laboratory, the Smithsonian Institution’s greenest building to date. Within the lab, architect Howard Skoke,

principal of EwingCole, set out to create an environment that fostered open communication among researchers. He accomplished that, in part through the creation of six “guilds” focused on areas such as marine studies or molecular ecology, giving scientists across 15 distinct laboratories spaces in which they can easily collaborate. The three-story facility is at the heart of what Skoke calls the “core research campus.” The lab is just one component of the SERC’s 2,650-acre Rhode River site, which is used for recreation, K-12 educational programs, and environmental research. Construction began in 2011 on the renovation and adaptive reuse of 23,000 square feet of existing facilities and the construction of 69,000 square feet of new laboratory




Architect/MEP Engineer/Interior Design EwingCole Landscaping Architect POOLE DESIGN LLC Structural Engineer Woods Peacock Engineering Consultants Civil Engineer Alpha Corp. Fire Protection Engineer LaSalle Engineering Energy Modeling Atelier Ten Commissioning Agent Bo Petersson, Director of Engineering Services, Cornerstone Cost Estimating Crawford Consulting Service Signage Consultant ex;it Vertical Transportation Consultant Lerch Bates Inc. General Contractor Hensel Phelps Geo Technical GeoConcepts Envelope Consultant Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

and offices—all without interrupting the researchers who kept working at the site throughout the three-year building process. The first Smithsonian project to achieve LEED Platinum status, it’s a showpiece for what is possible in the realm of research facility design. The certification is especially impressive given that laboratories require three to four times as much energy as other buildings, due to the energy-intensive work that takes place within their walls. The team slashed the project’s environmental footprint by maximizing daylighting and diving deep into renewables. A 352-kilowatt solar panel array provides water heating, covering 15% of the annual electricity usage. The 250 geothermal wells offer heat exchange, helping the building use 43% gb&d

THIS SPREAD This lab was designed to feel like a scientific community that fosters open communication among researchers who deal with finding answers to today’s biggest challenges.

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A 352-kilowatt solar panel array provides water heating, covering 15% of the annual electricity usage.

Unrevealed downspouts direct roof water to runnels that deliver water to wetland ponds and eliminate the need for potable water for irrigation.

Outside the facility, scientists have access to a “living laboratory,” a space for them to conduct their work.


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ABOVE The wetland surrounding the lab offers a home for wildlife.

about environmental issues, says landscape architect Kathy Poole, of POOLE DESIGN LLC. Managing stormwater on the site became an opportunity to showcase how wonderful landscapes can also accomplish important, infrastructural work, says Poole, who characterizes the series of stepped terraces and wetland pools that filter pollutants and regulate water flow, as a “machine in the garden.” The rehabilitated landscape covers the full extent of the geothermal field and provides opportunities for wildlife habitat as well as scientific experimentation. “It’s very rare I have the opportunity to express what’s going on inside the building on the outside,” she says. The Machine in the Garden connects building and landscape water systems into functional and aesthetic expression—an apt metaphor for the close collaboration between designers and client that enabled the project’s successes and its LEED Platinum accreditation. The team shaped the design around both the lab’s current function and its future uses, Skoke says. “Throughout the planning and programming, we were always coming back to: What’s the immediate impact and the long-range impact?” That consideration ensured the lab’s longterm viability, noted SERC director Anson “Tuck” Hines: “The new lab provides us flexible space for future cutting-edge research,” he stated in a release. “[It] gives our scientists the ability to explore new territory in a more sustainable way.” gb&d


less energy than the baseline for a building of its type. EwingCole and its partners embraced the potential of geothermal, Skoke says, because it’s a fairly reliable source of clean energy, and one that is far more cost-efficient than other options would have been given the site topography. The lab’s stewardship extends to water use; an interconnected system allows the facility to recycle 100% of its water. Greywater is treated on-site and then reused for fire protection, water-closet supply, and irrigation. Three cisterns, totaling 16,000 gallons, collect rainwater for the wetland, which filters stormwater and provides a habitat for native flora and fauna. These measures reduce the facility’s overall water consumption by 77%. All told, the facility emits 37% less CO2 than a similar lab that doesn’t meet the LEED standards, and it saves 42% on energy costs. Moreover, 96% of the construction waste was recycled, and more than twothirds of the materials were sourced regionally. The commitment to conservation is evident in the building’s atrium, where an online dashboard reports the real-time energy usage and water savings. It’s a constant reminder of the lab’s sustainable design and operation. Outside the facility, scientists have access to a “living laboratory,” a space for them to conduct their work in a holistic environment, one that both informs the research and serves to educate the public



SUPPLIERS Mechanical/ Plumbing Joshua Construction Electrical Singleton Construction Concrete Chaney Enterprises Solar NORESCO/Standard Solar Geothermal Allied Well Drilling Landscaping Ruppert Curtainwall and Glazing Glass and Metals Lab Casework & Fume Hoods Manufacturer Kewaunee Scientific Corporation Office Furnishings Teknion by Workplace Environments Roofing Dealer MetFab Roofing Northeast Roofing Metal Wrap, Metal, Panels, and Standing Seam Metal Roof Materials CENTRIA Metal Wrap, Metal, Panel Installer Dellovade Framing and Drywall Pillar Fire Protection Bayside Fire Protection Building Automation Controls Siemens Automation Digital Dashboard Lucid Paint and Coatings Sherwin Williams


The Machine in the Garden, a series of wetland pools, runnels, weirs, and planting, provides an infrastructure for many beneficial processes beyond its aesthetic intention of creating a landscape scaled sculpture: eliminating potable water use for irrigation; managing stormwater; acting as receiving basin for fire protection ‘waste’ water; and providing opportunities for scientific experimentation and public education.




Mathias Laboratory


Geothermal field beneath meadows and wetlands


The Machine in the Garden: experimental wetlands pools + sustainable stormwater/recycled water treatment system


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The Foundations of a Sustainable Resort A look at how eco-conscious concrete will usher in LEED Gold status for the MGM National Harbor

MGM National Harbor into its environment and provide benefits to the community. Plus, the local largess will include thousands of new jobs for residents and a boost to the local tax base from both gaming and non-gaming taxes, as well as provide additional revenue from the tourists drawn to the resort. And on a more fundamental level, the resort has been optimized to lessen its impact on the environment and provide a sustainable source of income and diversion for generations to come. Following the success of their CityCenter project in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International (MGM) has reaffirmed its dedication to sustainable building practices, as every new project has the goal of reaching LEED Gold certification. “We believe in being great community partners in the areas where we


By Kristofer Lenz


leek, low-slung, and encased in glimmering glass, MGM National Harbor aims to stand side-by-side with its sister resorts as an international travel destination in MGM Resorts International’s portfolio. Perched on the banks of the Potomac River, it will serve as a beacon, calling invitingly to the dignitaries and high-rollers just upstream in Washington D.C. Totaling 1 million square feet, visitors will find all of the expected accouterments that come with a life of luxury: more than 300 rooms, a conference center, gaming floor, and a spa alongside restaurants and retailers. At first glance, there may seem to be nothing subtle about this world-class resort, but at its very foundation, the designers and builders have diligently sought a way to blend


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have the opportunity to operate,” says Todd Megrath, executive director of sustainable development at MGM. “Sustainability and reduction of environmental impact is something that helps us be better corporate citizens.” MGM National Harbor is no exception. Led by Russell Perry, vice president and co-director of sustainable design at SmithGroupJJR—architecture firm of record—every construction partner, contractor, and provider was vetted in an effort to achieve enterprise-level focus on sustainable practices. The result is a resort that takes great strides forward in green design in ways both overt—like the 750,000 gallon cistern that will collect rainwater—to subtle, like the eco-conscious concrete masonry blocks used in the resort’s foundation. The latter provides a perspective from which to examine the unique attention to detail that can result in significant lessening of the resort’s environmental impact. At the request of Perry, the 195,000 concrete masonry gb&d

ABOVE Upon completion, MGM National Harbor aims to be one of the largest properties to be certified as LEED Gold. RIGHT CarbonCure Installation Manager Diane Praught demonstrates the CarbonCure computer interface, which controls the injection of carbon dioxide gas into concrete mix.

OPPOSITE The designers and builders diligently sought a way to blend the MGM National Harbor into its environment.

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PROJECT Location National Harbor, MD Client MGM Resorts International Size 1,000,000 ft² Completion 2016 Program Mathias Laboratory renovation and addition Certification LEED Gold certification (targeted) Cost Witheld


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TEAM Architect of Record SmithGroupJJR Design Architect HKS

SUPPLIERS Masonry Cement Ernest Maier

BELOW Todd Megrath, executive director of sustainable development at MGM.

laurels. “We are trying to take a leadership role to demonstrate the importance of providing our guests and employees with healthier spaces in which to interact,” Megrath says. An important goal for MGM and their partners is increased transparency in the environmental and health impact of products. And here again, MGM and CarbonCure were natural partners. CarbonCure provides Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health

Product Declarations (HPDs) for all products made using t heir technology—aiming for an increase in awareness of manufacturers and builders who follow sustainable practices. For decades to come, visitors to MGM National Harbor will marvel at the dazzling sights and non-stop entertainment, without noticing the dedicated measures taken to reduce the resort’s environmental impact directly under their feet. For MGM and their partners, like SmithGroupJJR and CarbonCure, the ultimate reward is not recognition, but instead providing an example that shows how sustainable practices are commercially viable and should be the rule, rather than the exception. gb&d

print by 3,150 pounds of CO2, roughly the same amount of CO2 sequestered by 1.2 acres of forest in a single year. MGM’s commitment to sustainability echoes from the top down; in the words of Hunter Clayton, executive vice president of MGM resorts development, “Partnering with CarbonCure in the construction of MGM National Harbor demonstrates that this world-class resort will literally be grounded in sustainable technology and designed from the bottom up with environmental conservation and green building in mind.” Upon completion, MGM National Harbor aims to be one of the largest properties to be certified as LEED Gold. With such an ambitious and high-profile project in the works, MGM is not content to rest on their


blocks used in the construction of MGM National Harbor were sourced through Maryland-based Ernest Maier. The company manufactures their concrete masonry using proprietary technology from CarbonCure, which introduces CO2 gas captured from smokestack emissions into concrete, where it becomes safely and permanently converted into a calcium carbonate mineral. The cement industry is historically one of the largest CO2 culprits, accounting for an estimated 5% of the world’s emissions. CarbonCure is at the forefront of a movement toward finding more sustainable ways to produce the prodigious amounts of concrete, which uses cement as the main ingredient, needed for construction. The CarbonCure solution adds captured CO2 into the concrete during the mixing process, trapping and chemically converting 10-30 grams of gas in each block. Which, for a construction project on the scale of MGM National Harbor, can have a significant impact. By using the Ernest Maier concrete masonry units used with CarbonCure technology, MGM National Harbor reduced its carbon foot-

LEFT Hunter Clayton, executive vice president of MGM resorts development.


LEFT The resort will house more than 300 rooms, a conference center, gaming floor, and a spa alongside restaurants and retailers.

“Partnering with CarbonCure in the construction of MGM National Harbor demonstrates that this world-class resort will literally be grounded in sustainable technology and designed from the bottom up with environmental conservation and green building in mind.” Hunter Clayton executive vice president of MGM resorts development

Anyone call the concrete in your project innovative lately? MGM Resorts International and SmithGroupJJR paved the way for innovative sustainability by specifying Ernest Maier concrete masonry made with CarbonCure’s CO2 recycling technology in the MGM National Harbor. Architects can now easily specify masonry and ready mixed concrete with a reduced carbon footprint through CarbonCure partners across North America. Ask about our EPDs and HPDs! Who knew that building with concrete could be like planting trees?

Ernest Maier products are available in D.C. metro. Visit:


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Touting Timber

A natural wood exterior aids in the building of a healthy hospital By Kristofer Lenz


uilt of “locally-sourced” timber and stone, the twelve bed/one operating room Owensboro City Hospital accepted its first patient in 1899. In the century-plus that followed, the hospital became an organizing force in the health of the residents in and around Owensboro, Kentucky. Generations of residents were born, received life-long care, and watched following generations do the same at the


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hospital. More than a few updates were made, including a major rebuild in 1970, which also expanded the hospital’s reach into a regional facility. The structure served admirably for decades, but in the 2000s, it became clear that a new building was necessary to meet the changing needs of the population. In designing a new hospital, the Owensboro Health Board of Directors found a suitable site nearby, but they faced a multitude of problems. Certain environmental issues were at play, including the presence of a flood plain and seismic zones. Top-of-mind for architect, HGA Architects and Engineers, was developing a space that relied on sustainable building practices to lessen the environmental impact of the structure, while creating an

THIS SPREAD The plan was to design and build a structure where patients could receive exemplary care now, and hopefully, for another century into the future.



environment where the hospital itself was a part of the healing process. The plan was to design and build a structure where patients could receive exemplary care now, and hopefully, for another century into the future. HGA Architects reached out to natural wood rainscreen manufacturer Prodema for a unique application for the hospital’s façade. According to Prodema, the Owensboro Health Regional Hospital rainscreen system consists of a “natural wood panel backed by a ventilated cavity that will expel moisture through air convection. The result is preventative care for “sick building disease,” which develops from moisture penetrating a building’s structure. Many people are under the impresgb&d

sion that wood materials are, by nature, environmentally irresponsible or require extensive maintenance. But Prodema shatters those notions and was selected for the Owensboro Health Regional Hospital for both the exceptional quality of their materials, and for the company’s com-

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ABOVE The rich wood blends seamlessly with the idyllic natural environment.

were important to the designers and builders of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, both efforts were in the service of superior patient care. The hospital’s overall plan was focused on the natural healing properties of the environment. Tall windows allow sunlight throughout the building, a rooftop garden sits atop the women’s services unit, and an outdoor walking trail winds throughout a property rich with trees and grassy areas. Following this effort to create a holistic and healing environment throughout, Prodema’s natural wood was an easy choice for the building’s exterior. The rich wood blends seamlessly with the idyllic natural environment. Today, patients can take rejuvenating walks through the grounds and maintain that sense of well-being as they re-enter the hospital. Inside and out, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital was built following a proud tradition of patient care, and through foresight and innovation, represents the future of holistic, sustainable hospital design. gb&d


mitment to sustainable manufacturing practices. The rainscreens for the project were built using ProdEX, a high pressure laminate (HPL) panel that is considered a highly-durable decorative surface material. The ProdEx panels are chemical, fire, and wear resistant, and the thermos-setting process transforms resin into plastic, contributing to the exceptional durability. Prodema’s rainscreens are essentially maintenance-free, a rarity for natural wood building products. Prodema was the first company in their sector to obtain ISO 14006 ECOdesign Certification on a worldwide basis, reflecting their company-wide focus on eco-friendly design. Prodema has taken great strides for lowering their environmental impact, including superior durability, use of recycled materials, and more efficient packaging. As a result, the use of Prodema’s materials can earn up to 16 points in the LEED certification grading system. The company releases Environmental Declarations (ECOlabels) for their products, making it easy for architects to weigh the impact of their designs. While durability and sustainability


The rainscreens for the project were built using ProdEX, a high pressure laminate (HPL) panels.


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novmeber窶電ecember 2015


Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List


108 Sustainable Solution

Peerless Architectural Windows & Doors

110 In Profile

Stephen Schrader

112 Material World


114 On the Spot

Rochelle Routman

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Sustainable Solution Peerless Architectural Windows & Doors

By Vincent Caruso

The waterfront tracing the fringes of Alexandria, Virginia is a famously tranquil harborside. Lined with public parks, water taxi docks, and restaurant patios, the novelty of the district paints the town with an assuring sense of security. Though modern and cosmopolitan in temperament, Alexandrians enjoying their quaint paradise have had little reason to stir civic change. So much so that when architectural firm EYA first surveyed the former office of the Sheet Metal Workers International for a possible refashioning, they learned that it had been quietly unoccupied since 1986. Before forging ahead with a brand new condominium complex, the firm stripped the former union office down to its steel frame in some areas and demolished it entirely


november–december 2015

in others, allowing this adaptive reuse enough room for a modern redesign. And key to architectural modernization in the Information Age is attention to sustainable engineering practices, which is where Peerless Architectural Windows & Doors entered the picture. Working under the property owner’s budget, Peerless produced a variety of essential glazing solutions tailored to the project’s specific needs. And as is the case with the unique geography of any individual space, the Oronoco’s location possessed its own set of both opportunities and obstacles that inspired ample creative wiggle-room when it came to utilizing the Peerless proven touch. As Peerless products sales representative Ned Burns says, “While staying true to the design team’s intent, the Peerless systems were designed and engineered to provide exceptional performance structurally, acoustically, and thermally.” Whereas common commercial structures typically require “cookie cutter sizes for their windows,” as Peerless president Coby Jones puts it, “Oronoco needed very large sizes” to meet their eco-conscious objective. And one of the first things you recognize when laying eyes on the Oronoco Waterfront Residenc-


Fort Scott, Kansas-based Peerless brings its signature palette of sustainable glazing techniques to a quaint Virginia town and turns a rundown union office into a luxury condominium residency


While allowing for enticing views of the serene Alexandria Harbor, the glazing at Oronoco also draws maximal amounts of natural sunlight into the building.

OPPOSITE PAGE Before considering a brand new condominium complex, the former union office was stripped down to its steel frame in some areas and demolished it entirely in others. ABOVE Specialty IG’s and innovative frame and glazing packages were deployed to deaden the uninvited sound from the nearby airport and assist in evening out distribution of heat among the building envelope.

es, beside its stair-shaped profile, is the large glazing job occupying much of the structure’s body. This adorns the otherwise modestly postured building with a slice of modern class. It’s also central to the required sustainability measures that made the waterfront space a piece of extraordinary architecture. “Without compromising structural performance, Peerless was able to provide window spans as large as 74” wide by 116” tall,” Peerless sales engineer Jason Davis says. While allowing for enticing views of the serene Alexandria Harbor, this large glazing also draws maximal amounts of natural sunlight into the Oronoco. “This natural daylight will reduce the energy costs because not as many lights will need to be on in the residences,” Davis says. gb&d

The Oronoco glazing has also been noted for its treatment of acoustic insulation. Hardly three miles away from the condominium complex sits the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which is the source of continual noise projected by the frequent comings and goings of air travel busybodies. Last year alone, the airport handled over 21 million passengers, an uptick from the record-setting 20 million from the year before. Burns details, “The glazing that was selected for this project was a Low-E coating with a high visible light transmittance.” The coating is essentially invisible, so daylight is allowed to flourish as heat transfer is greatly diminished. Meanwhile, “specialty IG’s and innovative frame and glazing packages” were deployed to deaden the uninvited sound from the airport and assist in evening out distribution of heat among the building envelope. Through the complex frame design, applying thermal isolators, and “incorporating an 0.030 inch laminated interlayer while varying the density of the glass,” a laudably high STC 39 (Sound Transmission Class) level was reached. The STC 39 acoustical glazing design extends to the glass used to barricade the condominium balcony areas, but as

with the rest of the Oronoco complex, this function is just one of many features encapsulated within a single Peerless piece. The barricade glazing also comes fully tempered and heat-treated. And as with the acoustical rating, Peerless aimed high at fulfilling the ideals in terms of thermal efficiency, attaining a U-value rating (the metric used to measure heat flow resistance) of below the required 0.4. “The most distinguishing feature of the window system for the Oronoco,” however, Burns insists, “is the fixed and operable openings.” Advancing aesthetics and green cred together as one, Burns highlights, “the window-wall system was designed to maximize the glass and minimize the aluminum framing,” a feature best demonstrated by the “fixed, project-out awning windows.” Burns also notes that the terrace doors were required to meet the standards of the Fair Housing guidelines, trumpeting, “Peerless was one of the few manufacturers able to provide these doors with a 1/2” ADA sill while maintaining 12 pounds of water performance.” The eco-conscious competence exemplified by Peerless’s work on the Oronoco Waterfront Residence is embodied also by their LEED Silver certification. By employing characteristic Peerless qualities such as high-performing architectural aluminum windows, Low-E glass, unparalleled thermal performance (still while maintaining large openings), the Peerless team was able to gift Oronoco St. with the most desirable condominium residence in Alexandria. “All parties including the owner, designers, general contractor, and consultants have shared their pleasure in the efforts put forth by Peerless,” Burns points out. As far as why it’s been so widely viewed as among their most successful adaptive repositioning efforts, Jason Davis believes it’s just simply by doing what any good business does. “We work together and listen to our customers. We are focused on designing the most innovative window solutions.” The result of such diligence is that even the residents not living in the Oronoco Waterfront enjoy the luxury of its resting architectural charm. gb&d november–december 2015



In Profile Stephen Schrader The landscape architect on designing in the south, the endless benefits of CAD technology, and the future of his industry Interview by Kristofer Lenz

Schrader: [Alabama’s] environmental regulations are probably the most lax in the US, which is both difficult and an opportunity. If there isn’t a regulatory framework, it can be hard to convince a developer to avoid flattening a space from property line to property line. The day will come when regulations change and we will have to adapt. The good news is that most municipalities are starting to update their stormwater standards, and a lot of the civil engineers that we work closely with are used to working in jurisdictions that have much more stringent regulations. gb&d: Do you ever find yourself advocating for sustainable solutions when the client hasn’t specifically requested it?

Stephen Schrader is a CLARB-certified landscape architect who was born and raised in the South and remains deeply connected to the region. At Birmingham, Alabama-based Holcombe Norton Partners, Inc., Schrader and his team have developed large-scale public projects, including new buildings on several college campuses that have achieved LEED certification and won several awards. Schrader joined gb&d for a discussion of the benefits and difficulties in sustainable landscape planning and design in the South and how changes in technology have facilitated greener solutions.

Schrader: [Laughs] I’m sure, I’m trying to

THIS SPREAD Landscape architect Stephen Schrader works on largescale public projects with the help of Vectorworks Landmark design software.

cut down fewer trees and move less dirt to get a building pad prepared all the time. The truth is, you can get something with a whole lot more character, and it’s in your and your clients’ best interest, if you work with the land. And as it gets more expensive to move dirt around, it becomes easier to convince developers. We always advocate for more efficient solutions, which are typically greener one way or another, whether it’s because we burn less fuel by moving less dirt, cut down fewer


gb&d: You’re a southern resident through and through; is there a special connection to the land that can be found in your projects? Stephen Schrader: Absolutely. While I think it would be interesting to do projects in other parts of the world, there are many benefits to having intimate knowledge of the plant and hardscape materials that are durable and work well with the context of the places where we work. I do have a good connection to this part of the world and don’t have any desire to move out of the South—unless it is to the South of France, maybe [laughs]. gb&d: Are there any unique opportunities or difficulties you’ve experienced working in the South?


november–december 2015


trees, or disturb fewer habitats. But in the South it isn’t that difficult to convince anyone that open, green spaces are more enjoyable, and we always need more trees for shade! gb&d: You’ve been at Holcombe Norton Partners for over 10 years, how have changes in CAD technology affected your practice? Schrader: I’m sort of at the perfect age where, when I was in school, using computers to draw, or especially to fix a drawing, was nearly forbidden. In my first job I would do our layouts in CAD for precision (since nothing in New Orleans is square or level), but then I would switch over and draw all the details by hand. With the advent of the rating systems like LEED and the Sustainable Sites Initiative, CAD has gotten much more useful because with a couple of clicks I can quantify my open space, design planting areas, and create a water budget, and then work back to that baseline to see if I’m meeting criteria in order to get credits. Our whole office uses Vectorworks Landmark design software, and I can’t imagine trying to do those calculation-oriented tasks without it. gb&d: Are you able to use the charts and tables you described in client presentations to help push them toward more sustainable approaches? Schrader: Yes, definitely. For all kinds of local codes and landscape ordinances, once I’ve got the requirements balanced out I’ll put the worksheets right on the design drawing, making it really easy for anyone reviewing gb&d

to ensure I’ve met the letter of the law, so they can see I’ve done all the background work.. gb&d: Are there other ways Vectorworks Landmark software helps you organize and design? Schrader: Certainly, with LEED projects I’ve got my plant database set up with water requirements for all the plants that we use. Once I’ve got a landscape area and its microclimate conditions set up, it will tell me what effect plant species and densities will have on water usage. I’ve also got a pretty fancy worksheet that I’ve put together that is basically the same as the LEED template, so it is easy to gather all of that information. It will also run the baseline calculation to see if I’m making the 50% water reduction. And when I change my design, I can click “recalculate” and see if I’ve made it better or worse.


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gb&d: What changes in the industry have you seen? Any predictions for the future of landscape design? Schrader: Today, even if a client isn’t pursuing LEED certification or other credits, when they approach a landscape architect there is an expectation that they will receive a sustainable solution. There has also been more interest in utilizing native plants in projects. Regarding the future, the only thing I can say is that land is one resource we aren’t making any more of and it seems like all of the “easy” jobs are already done. So projects in the future will be more about optimizing existing space for greater sustainability and enjoyment. gb&d

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november–december 2015



Material World Fabcon USA Midwestern hand hygiene specialists give their manufacturing facility a cleanse By Vincent Caruso


november–december 2015

keep the construction process consistent with those qualities, with the respected assistance of precast, pre-stressed concrete panel manufacturer and constructor Fabcon USA. “They adopted this philosophy due to the gaining momentum in the marketplace to produce LEED buildings,” says Fabcon sales engineer Mark McSweeney of Kutol’s vision. The company’s approach was to reduce overall operating cost for the new facility and utilize their green philosophy as a strong marketing tool.” To achieve this, materials had to be carefully considered. Working in collaboration with Cincinnati Commercial Contracting (CCC), Fabcon introduced


What hygiene has in common with green building is that the two both play essential roles in serving fundamental aspects of human health. For this reason, it makes sense that sustainability would be in the interests of Ohio-based Kutol Hand Hygiene Specialists when scoping out new turf to settle the company’s new manufacturing facility. Vocally committed to remaining in line with the principles of the “green movement,” Kutol’s sights were set on constructing the building within the finite parameters of the US Green Building Council’s rigorous LEED system. Championing a catalogue that produces an assemblage of eco-conscious products, the brand intended to


structural insulated precast concrete wall panels to CCC for the first time. According to McSweeney, “CCC historically had used site-cast for these types of projects,” but quickly adapted to Fabcon’s alternative and found that it effectively pushed the structure further in the direction of LEED territory. The result ultimately was a LEED Silver certification, no easy feat for a manufacturing facility. In fact, Kutol’s plant was one of the first manufacturing centers in its industry (janitorial and maintenance supply) to ever attain the accreditation. McSweeney shines a light on precisely which signature Fabcon products were selected and how they were applied. “In evaluating the use of this new facility for Kutol, Fabcon chose to utilize a ‘Hybrid Panel Layout’ to accommodate the proposed openings,” he says. The “hybrid” combines both the 8’ and 12’ sizes of the VersaCore+Green panels. The reason for this, Fabcon project manager Brian G. Hamilton explains, is that “many times it is more desirable to have a wider panel at the dock area so that the opening is contained within one panel rather than across two.”

Meanwhile, “narrower panels worked to fit into the model and the look of the building so it is a benefit to offer both.” The hybrid panels also enabled the team to reduce welding, which amounted to a helpful increase in cost savings. Geothermal heating and cooling also now curbs energy consumption, and other key green features included sensory lights, an internal recycling system, and an incentive program to encourage employees to drive low-emission, high-MPG vehicles. The success of the facility inspired expansion plans, which are currently underway. The Fabcon team intends to maintain the same design and construction approach they used on the initial building, and if that’s the case, it should take no time at all. Hamilton recounts of their work pace, “we were able to beat the anticipated schedule ultimately allowing our customer to open their doors sooner which in turn helps generate revenue sooner.” Communication is key as the mantra goes, and Hamilton affirms. “From my side of things, this job was successful due to communication. From pre-planning, to manufacturing, to job site performance, to job close out,” all

parties involved were routinely touching base. “Nobody was afraid to pick up the phone and discuss issues which really helped make this a successful project.” The Kutol ownership’s endgame was fulfilled—and quantified. For example, McSweeney notes of the new building, the facility’s carbon footprint has improved by 65% and Kutol is enjoying a 100% increase in building volume. And thanks to incorporating the geothermal methodology, utility and operating costs have seen a pleasant decline. “Our ability to provide an insulated panel with a static R-Value of 9.6 that is both cost effective as well as offer accelerated schedules as compared to other wall systems,” Hamilton touts, “makes us very competitive. This combined with the multiple finishes offered makes Fabcon appealing in many markets.” Kutol’s presence in the market is appealing as well, particularly from an environmental standpoint. A number of products purveyed by the company have been Green Seal Certified and/or USDA BioPreferred. Accordingly, now Kutol Hand Hygiene Specialists is as eco-conscious as their panels. gb&d

Fabcon’s EPS billeted VersaCore+Green panels provide an R-Value up to 24 and are lighter, therefore more cost efficient, to load and deliver. OPPOSITE The Kutol plant’s carbon footprint has improved by 65%, and Kutol is enjoying a 100% increase in building volume.


november–december 2015




november窶電ecember 2015


On the Spot Rochelle Routman

The subject of this issue’s “In Conversation” interview, Mohawk Industries VP of Sustainability Rochelle Routman, answers our questionnaire and explains the importance of following your dreams.


Honesty and seriousness of intent; a lot of people are jumping on board and it’s not always about the environment. THE BOLDEST IDEA IN SUSTAINABLE DESIGN

Photovoltaic paint.


Mohawk’s Living Building Challenge project at our design center in Dalton, Georgia. MOST COMMON GREEN MYTH

It should cost more.



A safe and healthy environment for humans and other living beings, diversity in every sense of the word, and beauty of course, in all of its forms. ONE TECHNOLOGY ON THE HORIZON THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD






Be more peaceful and will have evolved beyond prejudice and hatred. FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION

Walking, because you can see the small, beautiful details in life: the interplay between tiny plants and pebbles, the sparkle of concrete, and interesting bugs.

Mother Nature will continue long after we will. It might be different from how we know it, but the stars will continue to shine and the moon will continue to exert its force on the tides. We can never take that away.

Worrying about things that happened in the past. YOUR TOPIC IF YOU WERE ASKED TO GIVE A TED TALK

Don’t quit pursuing your dream even if your friends get annoyed and stop talking to you because they are tired of hearing you repeat yourself.



The Statue of Liberty, because my grandparents and so many others saw this as their beacon of hope for freedom and a better life.



The term “global warming” because it hasn’t helped the cause.

Homelessness in our cities.


Emphasize economic growth. Be positive. Embrace everyone in the conversation. Listen. WHAT YOU’D PITCH TO PRESIDENT OBAMA IF YOU HAD 30 SECONDS

Let’s take the patchwork of state renewable portfolio standards and come up with a federal solution.


Continued from p. 22

care about the environment also, but it’s true everywhere that in the senior ranks of corporations and even non-profits it’s traditionally been men leading organizations. And if we limit the leadership roles to men, then we’re missing out on half the population expressing their voice and contributing their talents to this. We have to change our ways so we can have a better world. I would like to see more women get recognized. What’s traditionally happened is there are a lot of women doing work and very good work but in many cases they’re not the ones getting recognized because they’re not the ones that have risen to the levels of leadership where they should be. gb&d: Which women in the sustainability field have inspired you?

It’s helping!

In-vitro protein, in which food is grown in laboratories instead of raising animals for meat. This would save all of the energy, water, resources, and sadness associated with feeding, slaughtering, and transporting animals to their final destination on your dinner plate.

Nature, as they all do...


I’m waiting for a blockbuster that will reach the masses and will result in a major shift in how people care for the environment. I don’t think it’s happened yet.

IN CONVERSATION with Rochelle Routman

The Origin of the Species, by Charles Darwin.

Routman: I would have to say that there are two. One of them is Rachel Carson who grew up not too far from where I did in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She of course is the author of the book Silent Spring, and it was her effort that resulted in the formation of the EPA. And the reason that she’s so inspirational to me is that she persevered even though she was under extreme criticism for her concern and her scientific analysis of the impact of pesticides on bird populations. She was just such an amazing person. The other is Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, who started a tree-planting effort all over Africa, and has just done very groundbreaking work in Africa, which was certainly a continent that needed some representation and a voice for the environment, and she was the one that provided that. gb&d: What advice would you give young women entering the field of sustainability? Routman: Focus on your passion, and do not be afraid of your passion. Really speak up and speak out often, and don’t give up until you find your true role in the world. Keep going. Each step in your career is building skills that will take them to even higher and greater places where you can have more influence. We need women that are passionate about the environment and sustainability in a desperate way. Also, don’t get sidetracked. gb&d

november–december 2015



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november窶電ecember 2015



Directory & Index


A American Hydrotech, Inc., 119 800.877.6125

ASSA ABLOY, 36 +46 (8) 506 485 00

CarbonCure, 100 902.442.4020 Covestro, 2 844.646.0545 Elkay, 20 630.574.8484 Fabcon USA, 112 800.727.4444 IFMA, 8 713.623.4362 Integer, 4 303.393.3000 JLC Tech, 15 781.826.8162 KBIS, 117 877.267.4662 Mohawk, 44 212.471.3688 Wasco Windows, 109 800.558.2882 WGL Energy, 120 844.427.5945 Workrite Ergonomics, 3 800.959.9675


november–december 2015


A Alexandria Harbor, 109 Antonia, Mia, 27 Army Corps of Engineers, 49 ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions, 36 B Benyus, Janine, 71 Bloom Energy Server, 68 Blum, Arlene D., 72 Burns, Ned, 108 Buzzcar, 78 C CaraGreen, LLC, 80 CarbonCure, 100 Carson, Rachel, 71 CBRE, 84 Chase, Robin, 78 CicLAvia, 51 Cik, Barry, 16 Cincinnati Commercial Contracting (CCC), 112 CityCenter, 98 Clark Construction Group, 83 Clayton, Hunter, 100 Clean Energy Trust (CET), 84 Colicchio, Lisa, 84 Council on Competitiveness, 81 Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, 80 Crawford-Tracey Corporation, 43 D Davis, Jason, 109 Dow Building & Construction, 79 DuPont Company, 76 Duvall, Lori, 72 E eBay, 72 ECOdesign Certification, 104 Edwards, Marcie, 73 Emco Block, 100 EMerge Alliance, 25, 27 Energy Star, 58 Environmental Product Declarations(EPDs), 100 Environmental Working Group (EWG), 77 Epsten, Dagmar B., 83 EwingCole, 94 EYA, 108 F Fabcon USA, 112 Figueres, Christiana, 78 Firestone, Hilary Beber, 73 Foster-Rice, Angela, 80 Francetic, Amy, 84 G Ganot Capital LLC, 43 Garcetti, Eric, 50 Gehry, Frank, 49 Gensler’s GLUMAC LA, 52 Georgia Department of Natural Resources Sustainability Division, 13

Georgia Environmental Protection Division, 13 Georgia Power and Southern Company, 19 Glass, Stacy, 80 Gould, Kira, 79 Green Gala, 21 Green Science Policy Institute (GSPI), 72 Green Seal Certified, 113 Greenbar Distillery, 50 Greenbuild, 19 Groundswell, 81 H Hamilton, Brian G., 113 Health Product Declarations (HPDs), 100 HGA Architects and Engineers, 102 Hines, Anson, 96 Holcombe Norton Partners, Inc, 110 Hutchinson, Lou, 65 I Ingjaldsdóttir, Erla Dögg, 73 International Living Future Institute, 22 International WELL Building Institute, 81 J JBG Companies, 58 JLC-Tech, 27 Jones, Coby, 108 K Kerr, Laurie, 73 Klingenberg, Katrin, 85 Kocak, Fulya, 83 Kottler, Darcy, 92 Kutol Hand Hygiene Specialists, 112 L LA River Revitalization Corporation, 49 LEED Certification, 90 Living Future Institutes, 13 LivingHomes, 54 Long, Jessica, 58 Loper, David, 42 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) John Ferraro Building, 48 M Mahan, Sanjiv, 60 Marton, Deborah, 75 Mathias Laboratory, 94 McCallister, Terry, 61 McSweeney, Mark, 112 MechoSystems, 40 Megrath, Todd, 99 MGM National Harbor, 98 MGM Resorts International (MGM), 98 Minarc, 73 Missouri University of Science and Technology, 61

mnmMOD Building Solutions, 73 Mohawk Industries, 13 Moore, Michelle, 81 Murnig, Guido, 40 Naturepedic, 16 N Nest Home, 61 New York Restoration Project, 75 Nextek Power Systems, 28 NextEnergy, 30 NextHome, 31 O Oronoco, 108 Owensboro City Hospital, 102 P Palmieri, Jane, 79 Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), 85 Peerless Architectural Windows & Doors, 108 Perry, Russell, 99 Petersen, Matt, 55 Piano, Renzo, 90 Playa Vista, 57 PNC Bank, 28 Poole Design LLC, 96 Poole, Kathy, 96 Prodema, 103 Puleo, Mary, 64 R Ramsay, Chris, 64 Revitaliza Consultores, 76 Rittenhouse, Dawn, 76 Robertson, Cooper, 90 Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 109 Routman, Rochelle, 13 S Saber, Jim, 30 San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC), 38 Savage, Paul, 32 Schrader, Stephen, 110 SGS Yarsley ICS, 43 Sheet Metal Workers International, 108 Silva, Alicia, 76 Skoke, Howard, 94 Smith, Aaron, 36 SmithGroupJJR, 99 Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), 94 Solar Decathlon, 61 SolarTrac, 40 Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) Energy Resource Center, 53

Springfield Center, 68 Sustainability for Mexico (SUMe), 76 T Teluca, Adrian, 90 The American Institute of Architects, 38 The Epsten Group, Inc., 83 The Sustainable City pLAn, 50 Tribal Planet, 81 U US Green Building Council (USGBC), 36 United Airlines, 80 Urban Green Council, 73 US Department of Energy, 61 USDA BioPreferred, 113 V Veniam, 78 VersaCore+Green, 113 Vidaris, 90 Viracon, 43 VUE-30, 43 W Washington Gas Light Company, 61 Weinberg, Adam, 90 Wells Fargo, 78 Wenzel, Mary, 78 WGL, 58 White, Heather, 77 Whitney Museum of American Art, 90 Wilberforce, Nana, 28 William McDonough + Partners, 79 Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards, 13 Z ZipCar, 78


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gb&d Issue 36: November/December 2015  
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