gb&d Issue 38: March/April 2016

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G R E E N B U I L D I N G & D E S I G N M A R C H+A PR I L 2016

Typology: The future of the holistic healing center, p. 24

Why institutions as big as PepsiCo and NASA are turning to lighting experts to save thousands in energy bills, p. 62


RADICAL TRANSPARENCY The future of corporate sustainability depends on it, p. 52


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In This Issue March+April 2016 Volume 7, Issue 38

96 24


Explore two sustainable hospital designs, plus the latest venture from Delos and Mayo Clinic, set to center on human wellness—specifically in the workplace

Featuring solar innovations from Strategic Solar Energy and Smartflower, as well as sustainable lighting for hospitals and schools from Energy Focus


Typology: Holistic Healing




Interface’s Radical Transparency

The world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer continues to reinvent the strategy that brought it to the forefront of the corporate sustainability movement


Let There Be Light Why giant corporations have turned to industrial lighting experts Maneri-Agraz— who don’t make, vend, or distribute lights—to increase energy efficiency and slash costs


Material World: Mycoform

This non-profit design firm has crafted a new organic design and building material from mushrooms— yes, mushrooms

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Table of Contents March+April 2016 Volume 7, Issue 38


In Conversation Gary Cohen


Editor’s Picks Curated by the gb&d Staff


Product Spotlight REHAU ÄSPEKT

18 Defined Design Friday’s Floatwing 20 Report The Clean Energy Future 21


Event Preview Spring 2016


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Punch List

Spaces 74 The Architect’s Retreat

Inspired by The Bauhaus, this designer created a stunning, net-zero home that directly reacts to its rural environment


Into the Woods High schoolers on a semester-long mountain retreat thrive in a LEED Platinum campus that embraces their surroundings

84 88

A Forum for Practical Learning


A Natural Glow

Students at the University of Kansas’s Studio 804 put theory into practice with the creation of The Forum at Marvin Hall

Civic Sustainability

98 Software Solution OhmConnect 100 On the Boards Public Schools in Nepal 102 On the Spot Gary Cohen

On track for LEED Gold, this human-centric workspace redesign breaths new life into a historic space Philips lights up Denver’s 1801 California and rethinks the office space as we know it with smart LED technology


Up Front


Interface’s dedication to sustainability has evolved into the company’s Mission Zero commitment—the promise to eliminate any negative impact they have on the environment by 2020.



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Editor’s Note Chris Howe


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Our Typology section (p. 24) also serves as a wonderful look at these sentiments in practice with two new hospitals and the latest venture from Delos and Mayo Clinic—the Well Living Lab, which will aim to provide a more focused study of the connection between health and the indoor environment. And all of this comes back around to Ray Anderson’s quote, which honestly serves as the driving force for this magazine and our mission—“To create a more sustainable world.” Without working toward and for a real purpose, real progress can’t be made, even if business is good. The intersection of transparency, sustainability, and improved health for people in this country and around the globe all sound like a pretty great purpose to me, and hopefully you agree.


Chris Howe, Publisher & Editor-in-Chie

ON THE COVER Interface’s Net Effect, pictured here, is a carpet tile collection that “reflects the beauty in sustainability.” Turn to p. 52 to learn more about the company’s Net-Works program, which addresses the growing environmental problem of discarded fish nets in poor coastal communities with a focus on nylon recycling.


Our extensive feature (p. 52) on modular carpet tile manufacturer Interface ’s radical transparency starts with what might be the most inspiring quote in this issue: “For those who think business exists to make a profit, I suggest they think again. Business makes a profit to exist. Surely it must exist for some higher, nobler purpose than that.” Interface founder Ray Anderson said this as he decided to lead his company to the forefront of the corporate sustainability movement more than 20 years ago. And in 1997, Interface published one of the first ever Corporate Sustainability Reports, disclosing the company’s full impact on the environment. Today, their true transparency about ingredients, manufacturing processes, environmental impacts, health risks, and embodied carbon serve as a prime example that corporate sustainability is attainable, responsible, and good for business. And Interface isn’t the only one working toward a safer, healthier, more sustainable world. For this humans-and-health-centric issue’s In Conversation interview (starting on p. 12), we spoke with 2015 MacArthur Fellow Gary Cohen, co-founder of Health Care Without Harm—an international coalition of more than 500 members in 53 countries that work toward safe and environmentally healthy practices, processes, and products in the healthcare sector. As he told writer Brian Barth of the impetus for this organization: “We thought, ‘If we’re going to change our society so that our economy is not built on toxic chemicals that are poisoning our population, then we have to transform the one sector of our economy that actually has health as its mission: healthcare.’ If healthcare itself is one of the largest polluters, then there is no hope to build a healthier society.” In the United States, healthcare comprises nearly 20% of our economy, and Cohen notes that the sheer size of the industry, as well as the large amount of trust bestowed upon doctors and nurses, has enormous impact on the state of global sustainability.


JUST BECAUSE ALUMINUM WINDOW JOINTS ARE SCREWED, DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE. No matter how tight you screw an aluminum window joint together, eventually water gets through and bad things happen. Thanks to features like welded corners, continuous frame design and proprietary triple-seal technology, Äspekt casement windows are virtually leak-proof. Introducing Äspekt casement windows from REHAU, the perfect choice for your next commercial project.


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Editor’s Note Laura Heidenreich

gb&d Green Building & Design EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


Laura Heidenreich MANAGING EDITOR

As we centered in on our themes for this Humans and Health edition, lighting jumped to the forefront of our issue planning. At Lightfair International 2016 (check out our Event Preview on p. 21 for the details), “Light & Health” is a new program theme that will center on lighting’s impact on visual performance, as well as its effect on physiological and psychological health and well-being. Our story on Energy Focus (p. 44), a leading provider and true pioneer of LED technology, brings this to life by focusing on the company’s solutions for both hospitals and schools. In fact, it highlights a project in which the company donated new LED lighting for 50 special needs classrooms across the metro New York and tri-state area as part of its “Change a Light, Change a Life” initiative. They learned that some special needs students are incredibly sensitive to the flicker that is often associated with fluorescents and that LEDs eliminate it. After a lighting retrofit at another school district in Texas, they heard from teachers that


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“because the LEDs resemble sunlight, students are more alert and pay more attention.” Going even beyond health and wellness, efficiency has many meanings when it comes to lighting—from cutting maintenance costs to improving light levels to actually using less infrastructure. No one in this issue quite exemplifies that like Maneri-Agraz, industrial lighting experts and the subject of this issue’s second feature (p. 62). They’ve worked with the likes of PepsiCo, NASA, and Tropicana to increase energy efficiency and slash costs. As author Jeff Link writers, “Interestingly, Maneri-Agraz does not make anything, nor are they a vendor or distributor. What they do, Maneri says, in the manner of a turnkey provider, is educate their customers on ways they can improve light quality, cut costs, and use less energy in their facilities.” Aside from technological innovations, ample education and strong leadership are key when it comes to improvements in lighting—and sustainability in general. By featuring industry leaders who offer clear-cut solutions to the built environment’s problems, we strive to do our part in leading the charge toward a healthier, happier planet. Hopefully you walk away from this issue with new information to solve a problem you might be having, whether you’re an architect, builder, consultant, or building owner.


Amanda Koellner ART DIRECTOR



Christina Wiedbusch ACCOUNT MANAGERS

Colleen Kelley, Paige Moomey, Brianna Wynsma CONTRIBUTORS

Brian Barth, Vincent Caruso, Jeff Link, Margaret Poe, Maura Welch DESIGN INTERNS

Michael Curiel Alec Majerchin 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), 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

Gary Cohen

14 Editor’s Picks Curated by the gb&d staff 16 Product Spotlight REHAU ÄSPEKT 18 Defined Design

Friday’s Floatwing

20 Report

The Clean Energy Future

21 Event Preview

Spring 2016

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In Conversation Gary Cohen


By Brian Barth

Gary Cohen always found it odd that the healthcare system didn’t focus more attention on the health impacts of its own industry. Of course in the developed world, we are thankful to live in a society where most people have access to expert medical care when they need it, but what about the hospitals themselves and the medicines, foods, and other products consumed within them—what externalities do they create in regards to human and environmental health? What about the paint on the walls, the wood in the floors, and the power they pull from the grid? As a physical, social, and economic institution, does the healthcare system embody the well being it seeks for its patients? These are some of the tough questions that Cohen, president and co-founder of Health Care Without Harm (its membership organization Practice Greenhealth includes roughly 1,400 hospitals—almost 20% of the market), has explored in his 30-plus year career as an environmental health advocate. He says that while much has improved, the healthcare industry still contributes significantly to public health problems, which the earliest impacts of climate change are beginning to magnify. “We have to educate the one sector of our economy that actually has health as its mission: healthcare,” Cohen says. “And if healthcare itself is one of the largest polluters, then there is no hope of building a healthier society.” Hope in that department has grown considerably since Cohen first began knocking on the doors of healthcare providers and asking them to take a hard look at their own practices in the mid-1990s. This was when he discovered that medical waste incinerators were the largest source of dioxin emissions and a significant source of mercury emissions in the United States. Since then he has unraveled a laundry list of environmental hazards, and associated health hazards, stemming from the healthcare industry—work that has brought him recognition from both the public and private sector as a leader in the field of environmental health. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015 for his efforts. As president of Health Care Without Harm, Cohen leads an international coalition of more than 500 members in 53 countries that work to promote safe and environmentally healthy practices, processes, and products in the healthcare sector. He recently sat down with gb&d to discuss the evolution of his career and why climate change is as much a health problem as it is an environmental problem. gb&d


Turn to pg. 102 to read Gary Cohen’s answers to our questionnaire.

PART 1 ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS: THE DAWNING OF PUBLIC AWARENESS gb&d: What first drew you to look at the intersections between healthcare and the environment? Gary Cohen: It’s a funny roundabout story. My first job out of college was writing guidebooks—restaurants in Paris, pubs in London, walking tours of New York City, that kind of thing. After that, I went to India for almost two years, and when I came back, a close friend of mine from college who had gotten involved in supporting communities that were impacted by toxic chemical threats said to me, ‘You’re a guidebook writer Gary, why don’t you write a guidebook to toxic chemicals?’ I’d come back from India right at the time of the Bhopal chemical disaster, and people were realizing there were all these toxic waste sites around the country, people’s health was being impacted, and that there were no ‘right to know’ laws. People were worried a similar accident could happen in their community. gb&d: What was your response to your friend’s suggestion? Cohen: I said, ‘What do you mean? Nobody wants to go visit those places.’ He said, ‘No, no, it would be a how-to guide.’ So if you’re a mother in Pittsburgh, and you have some toxic waste site down the street, or an incinerator, or a chemical factory that is spewing all sorts of toxins into the air—how do you address that stuff? How do you organize your neighbors? How do you access whatever data might exist that the government has? How do you use the media to draw attention to the problem? How do you negotiate with the company? gb&d: What did writing that book, Fighting Toxics, open your eyes to? Cohen: I had a chance to start to meet all these mothers and fathers that were sitting This conversation continues on p. 17


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Editor’s Picks








(pictured above) Starting at $15, this outlet cover features three built-in LED lights that automatically turn on and off based on the lighting in the area. They cost less than 10 cents per year and last for more than 25 years, making them a sustainable alternative to any nightlight. Plus, the installation takes seconds and requires no wires or batteries.

Written by a team at the University of Cambridge, this book takes a technical look at how we make stuff, and, as Bill Gates (who endorsed the book) wrote on his blog, asks: “How can we meet the growing demand for materials without destroying the environment?” Available for free online at

As this clothing company points out, there are 2.8 billion people living in extreme poverty today. In order to help, CAUSEGEAR pays 5 times the norm to crafters in India, which “has more people who make $2/ day or less than any other country,” to create clothes designed in Chicago. Their vision is to eventually transform 1,000,000 people trapped in extreme poverty into self-sustaining workers.

Compass Group USA and Bon Appetit launched this program in order to fight food waste by purchasing deformed produce that might not meet the industry’s strict cosmetic standards. These companies are rescuing such produce to incorporate the fruits and veggies into recipes in their thousands of kitchens.

U.S. Battery donated several of its deep-cycle batteries that work in concert with a solar panel array mounted atop a school bus, which traverses the country teaching young students about physics, solar power, and sustainability. This museum-on-wheels was such a hit that the non-profit is looking to create another. Learn more and donate at

With heavy hitters from around the globe involved (Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates, to name a few), this new group is collaborating to work toward widely available, reliable, affordable energy that doesn’t produce carbon. Technology, research, and thoughtful investments are all part of the plan.

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Curated by the gb&d Staff


The education sessions offered at the BOMA Conference provide a wide variety of topics but most important to me was the interaction between the presenters and participants. The knowledge, insight and experience each brings to the conference is absolutely invaluable, giving you the benefit of a different perspective.

ARE YOU IN THE KNOW? Property professionals like you are resourceful—and work hard to stay on top. Know this: You’re guaranteed to discover smart new ways to improve building performance when you take advantage of commercial real estate’s leading educational program. Learn the most up-to-date CRE strategies and proven practices to keep your building operating at optimum efficiency. MAKE SURE YOU’RE IN THE KNOW.


Wade Lange, CPM, RPA, FMA, Vice President, Regional Manager American Assets Trust

Presented by BOMA International and BUILDINGS march–april 2016



Product Spotlight REHAU ÄSPEKT

Looking for up to 45% better energy performance in your windows? How about 1,500+ design options? Ample savings? Look no further. By Amanda Koellner

A sophisticated multi-chambered design. Highly engineered triple-seal technology. Savings of up to, for example, $14,000 in Maryland or $21,000 in Wisconsin within the first year of installation. These are just a few of the benefits of ÄSPEKT, the latest window system from REHAU—who has been providing polymer-based solutions for construction, automotive, office furniture, transport, and window companies since 1948. We caught up with Corrie Neukirchner, marketing manager for window solutions REHAU North America, to hear why ÄSPEKT is extraordinary, what makes it sustainable, and if it’s truly as worry-free as REHAU says it is. gb&d: What sets ÄSPEKT apart from other window systems?


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Corrie Neukirchner: ÄSPEKT’s ability to produce multi-lite configurations within one single perimeter/continuous frame opens up new opportunities for design, as well as the possibility to build really big window/glass elements. Most uPVC window systems are not suitable for commercial applications, as they were and are designed around the residential market and its requirements. Aluminum windows, on the other hand, find their application (mostly due to structural integrity) solely in the commercial segment. The designers of ÄSPEKT incorporated flexible design features to suit both markets. Plus, the intention for ÄSPEKT was to keep the system simple in terms of the number of profiles and variants, which is a direct response to the market’s demand for reduced complexity.


ÄSPEKT can produce multi-lite configurations within one single perimeter/continuous frame. In addition, the system can achieve U-values down to 0.17, while a comparable aluminum window would have a U-value of 0.36.



ÄSPEKT has fusion-welded corners and integral compression seals, and therefore practically zero leakage potential.

Continued from p. 13

around kitchen tables wondering why their kids had rare forms of cancer, or woke up choking at night, or had strange skin rashes after bathing. I was so moved by their bravery, their tenacity, and their willingness to go up against the most powerful companies in their communities because they were defending their family’s health. I also got involved with the National Toxics Campaign that was instrumental in winning the first community ‘right to know’ law in the country, which required companies to disclose the chemicals that were coming out of their stacks and being dumped in the water and on the land.

gb&d: The tag-line for ÄSPEKT is, “Because you deserve worry-freedom.” How does the window system make this sentiment a reality? Neukirchner: In the commercial construction market, all involved parties (architects, general contractors, project owners/developers) face a number of challenges. When it comes to windows in the commercial market, the framing material that is still widely used is aluminum, which has its limitations (and they are known to all parties): e.g., they leak after a number of years due to their mechanical corners, which causes problems for residents and ultimately the building owner. Leakage is so common with aluminum windows that their installation requires specific precautions, such as cutting receptors, sill flashes/sub-sills, and caulking mechanical corners. ÄSPEKT has fusion-welded corners and integral compression seals, and therefore practically zero leakage potential, which puts general contractors at ease because they do not have to worry about complicated, material- and time-consuming installation. They can also worry less about hitting the project budget and timeline. It also puts the building owner/developer at ease because ÄSPEKT will neither leak into the building walls and cause problems, nor will it cause mold and water damage in residents’ apartments and condos. Architects are worried about the performance requirements they have to fulfill (often structural, sound, and thermal), as well as being able to still design a space according to their wishes. Architects don’t have to choose between design and performance—they can have both. gb&d: Speaking of performance, what elements of this product make it a sustainable option? Neukirchner: The sustainability of the system is twofold. First, the material itself, uPVC, is a thermoplastic, which means it can be re-melted and is therefore recyclagb&d

gb&d: What then inspired you to focus on the healthcare system?

ble. PVC can be recycled roughly seven times and has a lifespan of around 140 years. REHAU actually uses, on average, 10% regrind of old uPVC profiles in our compound mixing. I know that there are still a lot of misconceptions out there about PVC, but a lot of them are simply not true; 57% of PVC is made out of chlorine, which is derived from common salt that is abundant on earth. The carbon footprint over the lifespan of PVC is about 4.2 pounds as opposed to 22 pounds for aluminum (or 24 pounds for cheese). PVC typically lasts longer than other materials, so it appears in landfills less often than its non-vinyl equivalents. PVC only releases dioxin if it is not incinerated properly, and claims that vinyl in landfills could break down and release toxins into groundwater are unsupported. On the contrary, most landfill liners today are made with PVC because of its enduring strength. gb&d: And what’s the second part of the sustainability behind the product? Neukirchner: Secondly, ÄSPEKT further contributes to sustainability through its superior energy efficiency based on precision engineering and design. ÄSPEKT can achieve U-values down to 0.17, while a comparable aluminum window would have a U-value of 0.36, which is more than double. This means that energy consumption for heating and cooling is significantly reduced, which is good for the environment as well as residents’ wallets. gb&d

Cohen: In the mid-1990s, there were some catalytic events that made me focus on healthcare. There was new science coming out that was showing that chemicals at infinitesimally small doses could impact the developing systems of children in the womb in the first couple years of life. This is where we first started to learn about endocrine disrupting chemicals. The other thing that happened at that time was the Environmental Protection Agency had identified medical waste incinerators as the largest source of dioxin emissions in the United States, and a significant source of mercury emissions. These two chemicals were the poster children for endocrine disrupting chemicals. gb&d: And from this I gather Health Care Without Harm was born? Cohen: We thought, ‘If we’re going to change our society so that our economy is not built on toxic chemicals that are poisoning our population, then we have to transform the one sector of our economy that actually has health as its mission: healthcare.’ If healthcare itself is one of the largest polluters, then there is no hope to build a healthier society. So that was the impetus to start Health Care Without Harm. PART 2 HEALING HEALTHCARE, FROM TOXIC BUILDINGS TO DAMAGED COMMUNITIES gb&d: Over time, your focus within environmental health has shifted away from the toxins themselves to the healthcare industry and its multifaceted contributions to enviro—

This conversation continues on p. 18

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IN CONVERSATION with Gary Cohen Continued from p. 17

nmental problems, which in turn become public health problems. What does that look like in the big picture?

Defined Design Friday’s Floatwing By Amanda Koellner

Cohen: The collateral damage of an economy that is built on fossil fuels and toxic chemicals are the people who show up at the front doors of hospitals. So the public health damage of this addiction to toxins and fossil fuels is directly related to the cost of healthcare, and to the approach of healthcare. gb&d: How can healthcare be part of the solution? Cohen: It’s an enormous part of the economy, and growing. In the United States, healthcare is 18% of the entire economy. Globally, it’s 10%. So it has an enormous impact. The only thing bigger is the military. If you can get healthcare to detox its supply chains and make healthier buildings and change its food purchasing practices—then it can have a broader outside impact on the rest of the economy. It also has a role as a messenger. There is no other sector of the economy that is as trusted. If doctors and nurses advocate for policies around phasing out toxic chemicals, around renewable energy standards, around sustainable agriculture policies that incentivize healthier food systems—it has an enormous impact.

Imagine a floating home that can generate a year’s worth of energy in just six months. Now picture this sustainable structure as a sleek, well-designed, completely customizable weekend getaway or summer lake house. Lucky for anyone who can afford the price tag, this dreamy mobile piece of architecture is a reality and can be shipped almost anywhere in the world, as its prefab nature allows it to be easily stored in two standard shipping containers. The company behind the design, Friday, is a spin-off of Portugal’s University of Coimbra that “brings together design,

engineering, certification, and marketing competencies focused on creating technologically advanced nautical and water related leisure devices and equipment.” The company’s other offering is a two-person compact submarine, but for now, learn more about this buoyant green getaway. gb&d

Modularity \moj-uh-lar-i-tee\ (noun) The use of individually distinct units, as in assembling an electronic or mechanical system. As far as the design goes, Floatwing can function as a “romantic getaway for two” or “a mobile house in the middle of a lake for the entire family or a group of friends.” A cozy studio, or a fully furnished threebedroom home—you decide.

gb&d: What sort of advocacy does Health Care Without Harm do with hospitals and healthcare providers? Cohen: We’ve been working on waste reduction, as well as mercury and other chemicals in the supply chain. And we focus on the buildings themselves, because they’re also full of toxic chemicals, and full of energy-inefficient technologies. We need to bring this agenda around healthy environments into the facilities themselves. We think healthcare facilities should promote the healing process. We should be building cancer centers without carcinogens and children’s hospitals without chemicals linked to birth defects and asthma. gb&d: More and more hospitals are LEED certified. Is that enough? Does that lead to the results you’d like to see? Cohen: In the past LEED was narrowly focused on energy, and the hospitals that we were working with said it didn’t really work for them. It didn’t focus on occupant health, This conversation continues on p. 21


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Autonomy \ȯ-ˈtä-nə-mē\ (noun) The state of existing or acting separately from others. When charged, this floating home is self-sufficient for at least seven days, leaving a wide array of traveling opportunities while aboard and enough electricity for the full kitchen, heat pump, AC generator, and wine cellar (yes, wine cellar). Floatwing produces up to 100% of its own energy needs after six months, and the period of autonomy can extend up to one year with some stored fuel and bags of pellets.

Eco-conscious \ˈē-kō-ˌkän(t)-shəs, ˈe-\ (adjective) Marked by showing concern for the environment. Three of the four available models come equipped with solar panels, with the exclusion being solar panel ready should the owner so choose to add them on. The entire structure has been designed with “low environmentally impactful materials and technologies that reduce its carbon footprint.” The house also boasts a sludge wastewater treatment plant, ample daylighting, and great options for natural ventilation.


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Report The Clean Energy Future A new report prepared by The Labor Network for Sustainability,, and Synapse Energy Economics presents a Clean Energy Future plan for the United States that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 By Amanda Koellner


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The Clean Energy Future Report is presented by The Labor Network for Sustainability—a project of Voices for a Sustainable Future, which is dedicated to bringing together nontraditional constituencies to achieve a sustainable future for the planet and, which encourages citizens to take action in reducing our carbon footprint. Research was conducted by Synapse Energy Economics, which provides research and analysis on energy, economic, and environmental topics.


The oft-discussed 2030 Challenge asks that all new buildings, developments, and major renovations be carbon-neutral by 2030, and this recent report presents an aggressive strategy with similar goals that center not only on energy efficiency and renewables, but also saving money and creating jobs. Specifically, under this plan, by 2050 the United States would see a reduction in emissions, and non-energy greenhouse gas greenhouse gas emissions that’s 86% below emissions in agriculture also come into 1990 levels in the sectors it analyzed; the cost play to meet that goal, and in fact, could of electricity, heating, and transportation even allow our country to exceed it by 2050. would be $78 billion less than current The plan also calls for expanding the most projections from now through 2050; and successful existing state energy efficiency more than 500,000 jobs would be created programs to the entire nation, and takes per year over business as usual projections into account the rapidly declining cost of through 2050. What’s more, the plan relies solar power, too. on no new technological breakthroughs, And as far as all of those new jobs but rather says we simply need to keep with are concerned, they would largely lie in current trends related to energy efficiency manufacturing and construction. The plan does point out that jobs will be lost and renewable energy. So how exactly would that work? The in fossil fuel-related industries, so it calls plan seeks to transform the electrical for “a vigorous program to provide new, high-quality jobs and/or system by cutting coal-fired dignified retirement for power in half by 2030 and those affected.” The plan fully eliminating it by 2050. TAKEAWAYS Under this plan, by 2050 the points out that hundreds The report also calls for the United States would see: of thousands of jobs would building of no new nuclear be created by expanding plants and a reduction of the  A reduction in greenenergy efficiency programs use of natural gas far below house gas emissions that’s and that a second wave of its typical levels. It covers 86% below 1990 levels in employment would arise the entire electrical system, the sectors it analyzed in the 2020s as renewable light vehicle transportation, energy programs increase. space and water heating,  The cost of electricity, From there, the 2030s and waste management— heating, and transportation would be $78 billion less could see auto industry assuming conversion of than current projections employment on the rise as all gasoline-powered light from now through 2050 the production of electric vehicles and most space vehicles increases, and in heating and water heating to  More than 500,000 jobs 100% renewable electricity— the 2040s, net energy savings created per year over busiachieving three-fourths of would result in a healthier ness as usual projections the 80% goal. Freight and economy, and therefore, even through 2050 transit, industrial process more jobs. gb&d


Event Preview Spring 2016 By Amanda Koellner

IN CONVERSATION with Gary Cohen Continued from p. 18

the health of the workers, or the health of the patients. So about six years ago, we helped develop what is called the Green Guide for Healthcare with the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems. It was based on the LEED framework, but each point had to have a health co-benefit, whether it was directly occupant health, or broader environmental health. It was our attempt to insinuate an environmental health framework into the green building world. Within a very short time we had almost 300 projects that were adopting the guide representing over 40,000,000 square feet of healthcare construction. gb&d: One of your recent campaigns was against toxic flame retardants in furniture that is commonly found in hospitals. Tell us more about that.


Living Future unConference


A perfect event companion to this issue’s When May 11–13 cover feature on Interface, the theme of this Where Seattle, WA year’s Living Future unConference is “Truth + Web Transparency.” Presented by The International Living Future Institute, this 10th anniversary event will celebrate a decade of sustainable design and “continue to refine the caliber of success—a human experience that is in unison with the natural world.” Keynote speakers include host and executive producer of “Living on Earth” Steve Curwood, International Living Future Institute CEO Amanda Sturgeon (who was also a recipient of our 2014 Women In Sustainability Leadership Awards), and board president and founder of the Institute, Jason F. McLennan.

Lightfair International


Set across six pavilions and 200,000 square feet When April 26–28 of space at the San Diego Convention Center, Where San Diego, CA Lightfair International offers 200+ hours of ac- Web credited courses and a multitude of networking events at the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference. More than 140 speakers and 550 exhibitors will comprise the largest Lightfair in its 27-year history with more than 28,000 attendees expected, spanning the design, lighting, architectural, engineering, and energy industries. gb&d

Cohen: In the last 18 months, we’ve been advocating around eliminating toxic flame retardants from healthcare furnishings because of the fact that they are ineffective and incredibly toxic. Our allies were able to convince the State of California to change its regulations to allow buildings to have furnishings that don’t have these flame retardants in them. We were able to get Kaiser Permanente and four other large systems to say they’re not going to buy furniture that has these toxic flame retardant in them, as well as furnishings that have formaldehyde, PVC and some other chemicals of concern. Within a very short time we had created a $50 million demand annually for safer furnishings. That created the momentum to bring the furniture manufacturers to the table and offer these innovations at a cost competitive price. PART 3 HEALTH CARE WITHOUT HARM AT THE COP21 CLIMATE CONFERENCE gb&d: Most recently, your attention has turned to the links between healthcare and climate change. How does one impact the other? Is this happening already? Cohen: We agree with the World Health Organization, which claims that climate change is the biggest public health threat of the 21st century. No one will be immune from the impacts of climate change. If you live in Beijing or Delhi, the air is too poisoned to go outside. Between those two countries, there are almost 2 million people that are dying each year just from air pollution. If you live in low-lying communities, This conversation continues on p. 99

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created more than 300 new jobs.


Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List



26 Gundersen Legacy Building

A six-story addition to an existing hospital that’s tracking LEED

30 Well Living Lab

An innovative new venture from Delos and Mayo Clinic

32 Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton A new hospital that benefits both

patients and the environment

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Holistic The topic of human health and its consequential relationship to the built environment is not a foreign subject to gb&d. And although we continue to chronicle the unprecedented growth of the medical industry’s bold sustainability efforts, there have been specific, extraordinary patterns in their approach to using design as a tool to advance patient care that begged for a return to the focus of this exact segment. Over the next nine pages, Vincent Caruso revisits the healthcare sector to document the medical design innovations that have begotten since we last left off, including Gundersen Health System’s latest zero-carbonfootprint addition, The Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s healing biophilia, and the groundbreaking innovations found at the upcoming Well Living Lab.


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Gundersen Legacy Building


To many residents in southwest Wisconsin, Gundersen Health System is hardly an unfamiliar organization. For more than a century, the nonprofit has provided a myriad of medical services across multiple specified facilities on a vast campus that spans 160 acres. Gundersen has long earned a revered status within its field for being among the first to begin experimenting with incorporating environmental sustainability in forging its infrastructure. Even before 2011, when construction commenced on the Legacy Building, Gundersen’s most recent addition, the campus had already garnered four LEED accreditations. It was with the introduction of the Legacy Building, a component of a broad campus renewal project by Gundersen, where sustainability served as the foundation of the facility, rather than vice versa. The six-story Legacy Building was built as an addition to the existing hospital, designed with the intention of expanding care services ranging from emergency and critical care to pediatrics. As lead architectural designer Matt Sanders of AECOM, the design team behind the project, tells us, “Portions of the existing building were retooled to accommodate new program elements,” while others were transported to varying corners of the newly constructed Legacy quarters. For example, “the existing Surgery Core was redesigned as the loca-


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The six-story Legacy Building was built as an addition to the existing hospital, designed with the intention of expanding care services ranging from emergency and critical care to pediatrics.


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tion for the new Interventional Radiology Labs, Hybrid Operating Rooms, and Catheterization Labs, and the existing Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was converted to new Labor Deliver Rooms.” This design was intended to enhance navigation and cooperation between facilities, while seizing the opportunity to increase sustainability, too. “Gundersen has gone above and beyond,” as Camille Helou puts it. Helou, vice president and director of healthcare at Kraus-Anderson Construction, points out that through adapting the colossal, 450,000-square-foot Legacy Building, “very high goals for sustainability and energy independence” were set and followed, to ultimately reach a zero carbon footprint in 2014. Two important elements that facilitated this enviable energy performance were the quality of the building envelope and sophistication of the geothermal heating system. To implement the geothermal system, Helou says, 156 production wells were drilled 400 feet beneath the hospital parking lot surface and kept at a 48-degree temperature. To determine whether heat or cooling is needed, a 300-ton geothermal heat pump circulates water throughout the system, acting as a moderator. During the cooler seasons, energy is transferred to the building from the underground pump to disperse heat, while during the warmer months, the heat is pulled from


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Noteworthy: Goals for this project were approached from the philosophy that the efficiency of the building is best pursued with human health in mind. As a result, patients’ and guests’ experiences are enhanced by sustainable features such as improved air quality, daylighting, and abundant thermal windows that capture sun energy. In areas that lack natural daylight, energysaving light fixtures that produce light closer to the spectrum of natural daylight are installed.

the building and routed to the wells. “It is Gundersen’s largest energy-saving component,” Helou emphasizes, “saving 70 to 80 kBtu (British thermal units) per square foot annually.” What’s more is that these goals were approached from the philosophy that the efficiency of the building is best pursued with human health in mind. “Patients’ and guests’ experiences are enhanced by sustainable features such as improved air

quality, daylighting, and abundant thermal windows that capture sun energy,” Helou recounts. Research that supports the psychological benefits for access to hearty amounts of daylight have been confirmed in innumerable studies, and the Legacy Building has responded accordingly. Helou illustrates, “Windows and access to daylight have been shown to reduce depression, pain, and agitation in patients,” not to mention the picturesque views of the Mississippi River outside. Inevitably, there are bound to be areas of any building where natural daylight is unable to reach. However, by employing “energy-saving light fixtures that produce light closer to the spectrum of natural daylight,” Helou and his team were able to reproduce the experience to the best effect money can buy. The Legacy Building is set to be the Gundersen Health System’s fifth building to receive a LEED certification.




This building is set to be the Gundersen Health System's fifth to receive a LEED certification.


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Noteworthy: According to EPA studies, Americans spend an average of 93% of their lives indoors, and the aim of this project is to study human beings in the habitat in which they spend this significant plurality of their lives.

What if there was a way to unobtrusively conduct experiments on human beings in real time for maximal accuracy? And what if the aforementioned behindclosed-doors laboratory was just in the next room over from the scientists at hand? The concept behind the Well Living Lab, a joint project between Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and WELL Building Standard originators Delos, aims to answer those very questions—and a heap of others related to human health and wellness. The idea was hatched in September of 2014, when it became clear that the two parties, who have a history of collaborative projects, shared an interest in exploring the relationship between the indoor environment and the natural human condition. Also based in Rochester, the Well Living Lab clinic has been designed almost as something of a “human ant farm” and is equipped with monitor technologies of the highest caliber. According to EPA studies, Americans spend an average of 93% of their lives indoors, and the aim of this project is to study human beings in the habitat in which they spend this significant plurality of their lives. “We started from scratch,” says Dana Pillai, executive director of the Well Living Lab. “The space was formerly an office.” And what was once just an office is transforming into an “experimental” space that has modular capabilities, allowing it to be reconfigured to take the form of a variety of settings—including an office, a classroom, an apartment, a hotel, etc. A “back of house” was also included, where Mayo and Delos professionals can observe what is taking place in the main area, where consenting volunteers will be housed and monitored via inconspicuously furnished, highly advanced sensor technologies. “What we want to figure out is if we can prioritize the kinds of effects environmental factors have on people’s behavior and work performance,” Pillai says. These factors include things like lighting, shading, temperature, and humidity.


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Experimenting with these variables will al- with Centerbrook Architects and Planners low the clinic to gauge how their subjects’ handling the design, managed to already overall happiness and general satisfaction register to pursue both LEED and WELL fluctuate. Unlike the traditional model of Building Standard certifications. Net zero simply surveying participants, Pillai and is also on the team’s radar, though they his team “can tie in their personal health view that as one component to a larger information with the environmental con- equation that too often goes ignored. ditions and their subjective responses to “The ideal home in our view is one that the environment.” uses minimum resources to give the best Though the development of the space experience to its occupants, and I think is still technically in its preparation stag- we have a setup now to quantify that,” Dr. es, the team is aiming to commence the Brent Bauer, medical director of the Well series of tests and experiments by spring. Living Lab, expounds. However, the Lab has in the meantime, Inching toward completion, the means


Well Living Lab


The Lab features advanced sensor technology and remote monitoring that allows researchers to create highlyrealistic living and working environments where people who participate in the studies can move about freely—as they normally would— unencumbered by wires, devices, and monitors.

Research is not limited to the Lab environment: wearable and biometric sensors, as well as a remote monitoring control center allows for the observation and tracking of study participants outside the Lab, at home, work, or play.


The Lab can take the form of a variety of settings. Removable access floor panels, reconfigurable ceiling support and plumbing, and a flex electrical system, which allows power to be routed anywhere in the space, all allow the Lab to create various modules for testing and observation.

to achieving this are beginning to manifest. “We’re learning how to make big complex systems communicate with each other and to create algorithms to generate them,” he says. In the next couple months, however, Dr. Bauer foresees the Lab learning things more extraordinary than they could have ever thought. Ultimately, the goal is to improve people’s performances at work by making the interior environment better. “Making people healthy and promoting their well-being,” says Pillai, “is how to make a workplace number one.” gb&d

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TOP LEFT Tranquil and rich with vegetation, HGA envisioned a medical center that could connect its guests to the natural environment that engulfs it. BOTTOM LEFT The design team employed “dark sky lighting” fixtures to reduce light pollution and keep patients comfortable.


NE Ge Medic

The main entrance breaks continuity with the rest of the building, fashioned in the form of an expansive, tubular-shaped protrusion, encompassed by a largely glass façade, and capped by a spherical summit.


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Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton

eorgia cal


The Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton is unique for a variety of reasons. Most immediately apparent is the unconventional design and ambiance of the physical structure housing it. The main entrance and lobby break continuity with the rest of the building, fashioned in the form of an expansive, tubular-shaped protrusion, encompassed by a largely glass façade, and capped by a spherical summit resting on an angle to tinge the otherwise sylvan setting with a streak of modernism. The halls of the medical center are carefully balanced by the rustic charm of wooden panels that line the walls and the support of smoky brick columns. But the recent opening of this new facility has been met with praise for more than just its physical appearance. NGMC Braselton is also not only exceptional because it was the first hospital that has been built in Georgia during the past 20 years, but because of the ways in which it sets itself apart from the rest that have preceded it. Patrick Thibaudeau, vice presidentsustainable design at HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), the architectural and engineering firm behind the project, explains that the team began by “trying to figure out what healthcare of the future should be like and then put a building around that.” The conclusion they arrived at, in collaboration with the client and MEP engineers Perry Crabb, was to go beyond simply “building green” to reduce negative consequence, and assemble a structure that actually benefited human health and the environment. The remote site of the hospital was a key component in influencing its design. Tranquil and rich with vegetation, HGA envisioned a medical center that could connect its guests to the natural environment that engulfs it. Big open spaces, healing gardens, and patient room placement all designed to capture striking views were march–april 2016




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Noteworthy: Hospitals consume a large amount of energy, and many in the existing area perform at an EUI (energy use intensity) of 236, a formidable waste compared to the NGMC Braselton’s design goal of 100, which amounts to about a 60% reduction in energy waste compared to other regional facilities (Energy Star Target Finder database). In addition, the building holds the 2015 award from ENR Southeast for Best Healthcare Project and is presently in the final stages of submitting for LEED 2009 HC Gold certification.


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The team began by “trying to figure out what healthcare of the future should be like and then put a building around that.”

tem. “Our project partners, civil engineers Kimley-Horn Associates and landscape architects HGOR, did a great job coming up with a plan to percolate rainwater right there in the site as much as possible without disrupting the local water cycle,” recalls Thibaudeau. As a result, the site is able to function entirely independent of the need for potable water consumption, which speaks to HGA’s general architectural philosophy on the project: “Instead of asking if we can get to zero, let’s start there,” Thibaudeau says. It’s a maxim that proved favorable for NGMC Braselton, as the building holds the 2015 award from ENR Southeast for Best Healthcare Project and is presently in the final stages of submitting for LEED 2009 HC Gold certification. The whole project was a group effort where integrated teams collaborated very closely to set bold targets and then worked with the client to achieve them. gb&d


among the ambassadors between visiting guests and the great outdoors. In ruminating on the possibilities, the geothermal capabilities soon became apparent to Thibaudeau. “Our target was to get this hospital to do something that has only really been talked about in a couple of places and achieved in even fewer,” he says, highlighting a ground source heat pump that was installed at the site. The pump system is a “hybrid,” which means that it uses the best of two different systems and its requirements also permit the installation the luxury of being ultimately more cost-effective than comparative models. “Hospitals use a lot of energy,” Thibaudeau explains. Most existing hospitals in the area perform at an EUI (energy use intensity) of 236, a formidable waste compared to NGMC Braselton’s design goal of 100 EUI. That amounts to about a 60% reduction in energy waste compared to other regional facilities (according to the Energy Star Target Finder database). In building at a far-removed location, ample space for installing complex heating mechanisms comes with the territory, but neighboring infrastructure is something that’s lacking. This means that the site remains considerably darker, which enabled the design team to employ “dark sky lighting” fixtures to reduce light pollution and any other potential disturbances that could come with being the sole glaring beacon in the middle of an otherwise lightless expanse. If it weren’t for dark sky lighting, Thibaudeau points out, light would trespass into other properties, which in addition to disturbing fellow residents, could also disrupt the habits and patterns of animal life. As Thibaudeau illustrates, less than 5% of all the total light lumens on the site emanate upward from their source, meaning that “at least 95% of the lumens point down and stay on the premises of the site. Thereby, the area is kept close to its predevelopment state in terms of lighting.” Aside from the project’s impressive lighting, an effort to minimize the water consumption was marked by the installation of a “purple pipe” water irrigation sys-


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Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List


40 Next-Level Solar Innovators

Strategic Solar Energy’s PowerParasols hit an Arizona campground

44 LED Lighting Pioneers

Energy Focus brings sustainable lighting to schools and hospitals

48 Solar Simplifiers

Smartflower introduces the world’s first all-in-one solar system

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Known as PowerParasols, these soaring structures contain 3,500 solar panels, which generate 80% of this campground’s total electricity needs.


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Strategic Solar Energy

The company’s new solar installation at a Tucson campground provides a 25-year energy value of more than $5 million By Margaret Poe


When the temperature climbs into the triple digits in Tucson, locals and visitors alike seek the same thing: shade. It’s essential in a city with some 350 days of sunshine a year. Two new installations at the Tucson/Lazydays KOA campground harness the potential of that blazing sunlight and simultaneously create some two acres of shade—all while preserving views of the mountains and desert beyond. Known as PowerParasols, the soaring structures contain 3,500 solar panels that generate 80% of the campground’s total electricity needs. The RVs that park underneath benefit from dappled sunlight, but because the solar canopy soars high above them, campers can still camp, gather and even barbecue at the site. And enough sunlight comes through to also ensure that the campground’s famous orange, grapefruit, and lemon trees thrive. It’s the first solar shade project to be developed in a campground, according to Chandler, Arizona-based Strategic Solar Energy. The company, which recently patented its design, has also installed its PowerParasols at Arizona State University and Fry’s Food Stores over the past five years. The KOA installations, implemented with the help of general contractor Robert E. Porter, are expected to generate an impressive 1.75 million kilowatt hours of energy in 2016. But the project was never aimed at energy generation alone. As Bob Boscamp, president of Strategic Solar Energy, describes the PowerParasol: “It’s a very elegant shade structure that happens to deliver a lot of energy.” Creating a timeless piece of architecture was essential to Jack DeBartolo, the lead design architect. “Especially on these very large outdoor projects,” he says, “we have to make sure we are sensitive to surrounding context,” from the mountains to the prevailing breezes. Placemaking is both his responsibility and his passion. gb&d

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“It’s a very elegant shade structure that happens to deliver a lot of energy.” BOB BOSCAMP, PRESIDENT OF STRATEGIC SOLAR ENERGY RIGHT The solar inverters, which transform the electricity, are hidden in this project (they’re typically bulky).


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1.75m Number of kilowatt hours of energy the installation will generate in 2016



Architecture, whether it’s a shade structure or a building, is all about “raising people’s awareness of place,” according to DeBartolo. Each PowerParasol is custom-designed to meet the specific needs of its location—a rigorous process. In this case, the team overcame several challenges, according to Mike Nothum, COO of Strategic Solar Energy. There was the engineering obstacle presented by the sheer length of the structures—each of the two is 558 feet, which is longer than a football field. Then there’s the shape itself. Large RVs can’t pull into a parking space at a 90-degree angle, nor can they safely navigate around an obstacle course of support beams. Instead of a traditional right-angle structure, the team eventually settled on a parallelogram, with as few beams between the drive aisles as possible. The electricity generation itself spurred another key innovation. The solar inverters—which transform the solar electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC)—are typically bulky structures the size of a truck, Nothum says. The team opted instead for 32 smaller inverters distributed throughout the two PowerPara-

sols. Installed within the vertical brace frames, they virtually disappear. They can be easily accessed when necessary, but otherwise you wouldn’t know they’re there. The PowerParasols create shade and send campers a strong message about KOA’s commitment to sustainable energy. But they also boost the bottom line, according to KOA president Pat Hittmeier. Over the next 25 years, he expects a 6% return on investment from the project. In other words; it makes sense both environmentally and financially. Looking to the future, that dual benefit will be especially critical for solar projects to be viable. With the eventual end of tax credits, solar has to pull its own weight. “As the market matures and incentives and rebates start to decline or are removed, you have to have some other value proposition to make the economics work on solar,” Boscamp says. For visitors to the campground, the main draw isn’t the ROI or even the sustainability of the PowerParasols. It’s the shade—and the striking design. For a steel canopy soaring 28 feet into the air, it’s surprisingly light and airy, Nothum says. “You feel the presence of the structure, but you almost don’t see it,” he says. gb&d

The length of the structures—more than that of a football field

28ft The height of the structures

6% The return expected in 25 years

$5.75m The 25-year energy value

153 The equivalent number of Arizona homes the structures could power

2 Acres of provided shade

30 Number of RV parking spaces covered

PowerParasol is a registered trademark of Strategic Solar Energy.


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Energy Focus

By Maura Welch


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Every day we flip a switch and turn on the lights. Suddenly, regardless of the time, season, or weather, we can hold meetings, perform surgery, and teach third graders. We evolved with natural sunlight, so quality of light affects our sleep, focus, moods, and more. We spend an incredible amount of time in artificial light given that our bodies are not really designed to live in it. Artificial (typically fluorescent) lighting has been so constant and ubiquitous in our schools, offices, and hospitals that we tend to forget how profoundly it affects us. Developments in LED technology have vastly improved the quality of artificial light available for use, and one of the leading providers of and true pioneers behind this technology

ABOVE The company’s 200D and 300D Series LED Tubes come in either frosted or clear. Their 200D Series LED’s use 15-18 watts per lamp as opposed to the 32-36 watts per lamp used by fluorescents.

is Energy Focus. The Ohio-based company produces a large suite of LED products and researches the myriad of multifaceted benefits they provide, while also exploring the ways in which these developments interface with many other technologies. So it’s no surprise that in recent years, Energy Focus’s phone has been ringing off the hook with requests to use their products in renovations and retrofits of both academic and healthcare facilities.


With a spotlight on well-being, this company designs its LEDs to make the built environment healthier and happier, which is why schools and hospitals are knocking down its door


PARTNERSHIPS FOR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING The Center for Green Schools: The United States Green Building Council, responsible for LEED certification, is also home to the Center for Green Schools, which works to make schools healthier and more sustainable. In 2015, the Center introduced Energy Focus as its newest Green Apple Partner. Energy Focus committed to donating 2.5 cents for every tubular LED product sold to the Center to further reinvest back in the schools. “We were drawn to the fact that they were doing really innovative work in LED technology and that they were interested in doing more work for schools,” says the USGBC’s Josh Lasky of why Energy Focus was an ideal partner for the program. Energy Focus also donated new LED lighting for 50 special needs classrooms across the metro New York and tri-state area, as a part of an initiative called Change a Light, Change a Life. Lasky says that high quality LEDs like Energy Focus’s Intellitube, which were used for the program, can do more than improve classroom aesthetics. They can improve

learning environments, especially for students with special needs. “Some special needs students are more light-sensitive, especially to the flicker that is often associated with fluorescents,” he says, noting that the company removes that flicker—something that not all other manufacturers do. “The lighting solutions Energy Focus put forward significantly alleviate that.”

This before and after of a classroom shows the dramatic difference in lighting quality after installing Energy Focus LEDs. This change in lighting can actually improve learning environments for students.


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E3 and the Big Sandy Independent School District: In 2014, Energy Focus products caught the eye of E3, a Texas-based contractor specializing in K-12 energy efficiency projects that reached out about using Energy Focus lights in a major retrofit in the Big Sandy Independent School District in Eastern Texas. “Two companies that want to do really high quality work came together and asked, ‘How can we do this better?’” says Tim Evans, vice president of E3, of the collaboration. Evans also says that Energy Focus’s 200D Series LED tubes satisfied the budgetary goals of the school district. “Cost was a major component for Big Sandy. The LED’s use 15-18 watts per lamp as opposed to the 32-36 watts per lamp used by the fluorescents,” he explains. “So it saves the schools money and they get a good return on investment.” Big Sandy staff members have also reported wellness-related benefits of the Energy Focus LEDs. “What we hear from teachers is, ‘I can’t explain it, but my kids are more attentive, especially in the afternoons,’” Evans says. “A lot of that goes back to circadian rhythms and how your body naturally responds to daylight. Because the LEDs resemble sunlight, students are more alert and pay more attention.”


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THIS PAGE Many teachers at schools who have gone through Energy Focus lighting retrofits say they see a positive change in the attentiveness of their students.


“Cost was a major component for Big Sandy. The LEDs use 15-18 watts-per-lamp as opposed to the 32-36 watts-per-lamp used by the fluorescents, so it saves the schools money and they get a good return on investment.” TIM EVANS, VICE PRESIDENT, E3


The Cleveland Clinic: Academic Ohio hospital the Cleveland Clinic elected in August of last year to replace all of the lights across its hospitals, family health facilities, and administrative buildings with Energy Focus’s “Buy American” Tubular LEDs. The installation is expected to result in energy savings of $2 million per year, and by the time it is completed, it will have replaced a whopping quarter of a million fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs that will cast a softer, more natural light on patients and healthcare providers. “LEDS allow us to use less energy, create a healthier environment inside our facilities, and save money,” says Jon Utech, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Office for a Healthy Environment. “The lights were the best eco-

nomic solution for us and also had local benefits. The vast majority of the tubes are being made locally. So it also benefits Cleveland, which is a manufacturing town.” One of the pilots for the LED retrofit is at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism. Dr. Thomas Frazier, director of the Center, explains some of the health benefits seen so far: “At this point, the lighting is easier on the eyes of our staff, and as such I have to believe it has helped with aesthetics for our children,” he says. “While we don’t know this leads to decreased headaches, I would not be surprised if it did as the fluorescent lighting seemed to result in an increased incidence of headaches in staff and some children.” gb&d

ABOVE Julie Marth (left), program manager for the Office for the Healthy Environment at Cleveland Clinic, watches a lighting demonstration from Mike Somers (center), regional sales manager at Energy Focus, showing the reduced energy usage of LED lights compared to other types of bulbs.


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Smartf lower

This Austria-based company simplifies the solar power user experience with the world’s first all-in-one system By Vincent Caruso


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ABOVE This Austriabased company has created the world’s first all-in-one solar system. Its sleek design is just an added bonus.

pany, makes this especially evident, having recently introduced to the market “the world’s first all-in-one solar system.” It’s called the Smartflower POP, and it has been received as the brand’s premier product—with good reason. Portable and easily foldable, the solar fixture is an extraordinary example of the combined ideal of maximal performance outcome and minimal user practicality. The device assumes the aesthetically appealing appearance of a robotic sunflower and is applied by way of a highly simplified ground mount installation that takes less than an hour to


As inhabitants of the digital world, we are more or less creatures of convenience. While we enjoy the fruits of labor’s most intricately designed commodities, we are continually looking for ways to simplify our navigation and utilization of them. Solar technology, for instance, is no cakewalk, yet with the popularization of green building mechanisms like solar roofing, the industry is finding itself increasingly able to turn up fresh innovations that appeal to consumer intuition and outperform market competitors who came before them. Smartflower, an Austria-based com-


The amount of energy that can be generated by the Smartflower POP ranges from 3,400 and 6,200 kilowatts annually, which is 40% more than conventional solar roof mechanisms.

An astronomical control system moves the solar modular fan horizontally and vertically along with the sun’s position, even when it’s cloudy. This guarantees optimum alignment with the sun—an exact 90° angle—during the entire course of the day, even when the sun is low on horizon in the winter.

Smartflower POP easily rids itself of dust deposits or snow by folding and unfolding itself. Thus, common losses in energy production (up to 5%) are minimized.


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“We wanted to create an intelligent solar unit that involved a fully integrated all-inone approach.” ALEXANDER SWATEK, SMARTFLOWER FOUNDER AND CEO

complete. “About five years ago we came up with the idea,” says Alexander Swatek, Smartflower founder and CEO. “We wanted to create an intelligent solar unit that involved a fully integrated all-in-one approach.” The “all-one-one” aspect of the Smartflower POP photovoltaic system is the product’s most famed quality, which is not surprising considering most solar fixtures


on the market are distributed as modules. Plus, unlike most solar panel outfits, the Smartflower POP isn’t merely limited to custom-made fixtures. On the contrary, it is industrially produced and can be simply transported to the purchaser and hooked up with plug-and-play ease. However, as far as distribution goes, the product’s availability is currently predominately limited to Europe. The results, still, have made themselves abundantly clear. The amount of energy that can be generated by the Smartflower POP ranges from 3,400 and 6,200 kilowatts annually, which is 40% more than conventional solar roof mechanisms, and rises comfortably beyond the energy requirements of the average household in a host of European countries. The high amount of electricity produced by the array, in addition, is used to charge a sophisticated automation system. Whereas your run-of-the mill roof unit is required to remain rigidly positioned in one fixed direction toward the sun, the Smartflower POP can trace the sun in its orbit. Supplementary to the Smartflower POP, ENERGY the company offers a modest variety of SURPLUS specialized variations of it: the Smartflower POP+, for example, harvests sunlight in ample quantities, impelling the system to either store or utilize energy depending


on the present solar condition. The Smartflower POP-e, on the other hand, is almost an entirely different apparatus. As sales of electric cars soar across Europe, this product equips the continental expanse with a charging station that upholds the same all-in-one principle for which the rest of Smartflower’s bounty is beloved. Smartfower also aims to please the customer’s aesthetic proclivities. Instead of a large mechanical slab crowning the roof of one’s home, the Smartf lower’s f loral figure imposes a more artful adjunct to its residence. These fixtures can be placed anywhere on the property that the owner deems most pleasing—a backyard garden, perhaps. “The units come in 8 different colors,” Swatek says, adding that it’s played a helpful role in getting them attention. Some people who aren’t necessarily interested in or privy to the issues of energy efficiency and sustainability are simply attracted to the design, thereby leading them to elucidating facts and information when they proceed to research the product. “Everyone says our product makes producing energy more sexy,” Swatek says. “It looks great, it’s not boring, and I’ve met people who own it that are quite emotionally connected to it.” gb&d

energy used energy surplus

Have you seen the latest figures? Yep, we’re officially working out of a Living Building.

37% The Bullitt Center produces 37% more energy than it needs.

Congratulations to the Bullitt Center team for achieving net-positive energy usage and final Living Building Challenge certification. PROSOCO is proud to have played a small part in its creation with our LS/CS and LSGuard concrete flooring products and our R-Guard FastFlash liquid flashing and air barrier system.


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You. Us. The project. 800 255 4255



Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List


52 Inside Interface’s Radical Transparency

The world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer continues to reinvent the strategy that brought it to the forefront of the corporate sustainability movement

62 Let There Be Light

Why giant corporations have turned to industrial lighting experts Maneri-Agraz— who don’t make, vend, or distribute lights— to increase energy efficiency and slash costs

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Inside Interface’s Radical Transparency The world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer continues to reinvent the strategy that brought it to the forefront of the corporate sustainability movement By Brian Barth


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For those who think business exists to make a profit, I suggest they think again. Business makes a profit to exist. Surely it must exist for some higher, nobler purpose than that.” So said Interface founder Ray Anderson in his gentle Southern-inflected tone as he asserted, unabashedly, that his company would lead the global movement toward corporate sustainability more than 20 years ago. Today, Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles, is widely considered to be the company that sets the bar for the industrial ecology movement. Considered a radical at the time, Anderson’s move to make environmental accounting central to Interface’s business proposition has paved the way for many, many other corporations to do the same. Anderson, who passed away in 2011, is well known as a sustainability pioneer. Perhaps lesser known is the surprising way in which he began his sustainability journey. It started with his own admission in 1994 that, as a highly successful entrepreneur in his sixties, he had never once thought about the environmental impact of his business. That quickly changed after reading Paul Hawken’s seminal book, The Ecology of Commerce, after which he hired a team of expert advisors to grade Interface’s environmental performance. Their report card painted a grim picture—conventional carpet manufacturing processes at the time were highly polluting—but rather than try to hide this information, he made it public and announced that Interface would be making a dramatic shift in long-term strategy to climb what he termed the “mountain” of sustainability. Such profound transparency has been at the heart of Interface’s sustainability mission ever since, though the meaning of the term continues to evolve in keeping with the times. These days, Interface employs transparency strategies—in ingredients, manufacturing processes, environmental impacts, health risks, and embodied carbon—as a means to push the building and construction industry toward a radical new paradigm where gb&d

it becomes an agent of positive change, rather than an obstacle that consumers and regulators are forced to push toward common societal goals.

Enter the EPD


‌irsten Ritchie, principal and director of sustainable design at global design firm Gensler, has some spreadsheets that would make any sustainability officer swoon. Trained as an engineer, she’s spent nearly three decades studying green building products and has an eagle eye for those that live up to her standards and those that are merely garbed in marketing hype. She has helped Gensler develop its own internal metrics for choosing among the many companies and products

Kirsten Ritchie, principal and director of sustainable design at global design firm Gensler. Ritchie has recently been working with Interface on two large projects, including major renovations at SFO.

claiming to reduce environmental impacts, and can whip up custom matrices for clients to weigh out which procurement choices best match their particular sustainability goals. “In many cases we have clients saying, ‘Hey, can you help us figure out which of these products that we’re looking to buy are the best in a particular category?’” she says. “Often, they’re looking to see where an environmental benefit would actually justify a price differential.” march–april 2016




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Interface’s GlasBac backing has been in production since 1973, and continues to set the industry standard. GlasBac backed carpet tile products have an average of 40% post-industrial recycled content.

its PCRs, which in turn has paved the way for environmental product declarations (EPDs) to take root as the new industry standard for comparing environmental impacts among products. By nature, EPDs do not contain a value judgment about the sustainability merits (or lack of) of a given product; they simply state the facts in a format that allows for apples-to-apples comparisons. “EPDs are not a rating,” explains Nicholson. “It’s just saying we are all going to normalize our results in the same way.” Carpet tiles provide a quick and easy illustration of why EPDs are so important. Carpet tile A might only last 5 years based on its fiber composition, while tenant turnover in the building it’s in averages 20 years. If carpet tile B has a 25-year life span, but has twice the carbon footprint of carpet tile A, is it still the more sustainable choice for that particular application because it results in a lower carbon footprint overall? That sort of information can be found in an LCA, but it might take a lot of digging and even extra calculations for the designer charged with making the decision of what product to choose. EPDs, which are based on the data in LCAs, make such correlations easier to see. Some companies have taken issue with the way that LCAs and EPDs expose what they consider to be proprietary information. But Interface has chosen to look at that not as a Interface is one of the only companies that has been asked by UL Environment to help pilot the initial changes that are being considered for the second generation of enhanced EPDs.


for the ovens for curing materials and finding ways to source cleaner energy, or simply working to improve the efficiency of their ovens. “They’ve been able to show over time how their products are improving from true measurable impact perspectives. Unfortunately a lot of manufacturers are doing LCAs because designers and contractors are asking for it to attain LEED certification. That was not really the hope. The hope is that they would be following the example of Interface and using it to inform their designs, to improve their production methods, and to improve overall performance.” In 2006, the transparency movement got a boost with the publication of the ISO 140425 standard for environmental labeling, which for the first time codified how companies should disclose claims regarding environmental impact. The key component of ISO 140425, says Anna Nicholson, a life-cycle assessment practitioner with UL Environment, are the PCRs—product category rules. “The goal was to create a consistent set of rules when you’re doing your LCA,” Nicholson says. “Product category rules stipulate what the methodologies and calculation procedures are for each product type so there is a valid basis of comparison between products.” The validity of LCAs has been greatly improved since the advent of ISO 14025 and

“Unfortunately a lot of manufacturers are doing LCAs because designers and contractors are asking for it to attain LEED certification. That was not really the hope. The hope is that they would be following the example of Interface and using it to inform their designs, to improve their production methods, and to improve overall performance.” — Kirsten Ritchie

Ritchie has been working with Interface on two large projects of late—a series of major renovations at San Francisco International Airport and new construction for a large and growing tech company (“Unfortunately I can’t give you their name,” Ritchie says)—where the clients have asked Gensler to provide a detailed cost-benefit analysis of the environmental and economic impacts of an array of building products. Lacking expert advice, many companies still rely on unverified manufacturer claims regarding environmental impacts, what Ritchie calls the proxy effect: “Making the assumption, for example, that any product that has good recycled content is a good proxy for having less environmental impact overall.” It sounds elementary, but procurement practices are still emerging from such primitive approaches to decision-making. Life cycle assessments (LCAs) were the first attempts to be more scientific about the process, but because they entail quasi-subjective decisions on the part of the practitioner who undertakes them, they leave a fair bit of room for interpretation. Ritchie says one of the reasons that Interface products so often receive high marks in her spreadsheet matrices is because they use LCAs less as a way to assert sustainability claims in the marketplace and more as tool for internal decision-making. “Interface was one of the first in the building products industry to undertake really good lifecycle assessments, and what we were really very appreciative of was that they actually use them as a design tool and a production tool,” she explains, noting that Interface has used them for a myriad of reasons, from recognizing the footprint of the energy that’s used


By the Numbers 6 of 7

Interface factories operate with 100% renewable electricity


of Interface’s total energy use is from renewable sources


reduction of total carbon footprint of Interface carpet since 2008

problem, but as a facet of their larger transparency strategy—an approach that continues to show fiscal benefits. “Emissions really embody wasted profit in the form of things that you throw away or that go up the smokestack,” says Nicholson. “I’ve worked with manufacturers that are so concerned that they don’t even want to disclose what percentage of impacts come from raw materials versus manufacturing. They feel like that is showing too much of their hand—versus the folks at Interface who lay it all out on the table.” EPDs are still a work in progress, and Interface, because it is so deeply involved in the thinking behind them, is helping to advance the discussion. UL Environment, who has completed 500 EPDs to date—more than all of their competitors combined—has a partnership with The United States Green Building Council to begin to define the next generation of EPDs to make them more streamlined and user-friendly. Nicholson says Interface is one of the only companies that has been asked to help pilot the initial changes that are being considered for the second generation of enhanced EPDs, adding that “they really are at the forefront of being sustainability leaders.”

Using Transparency to Leverage the Supply Chain


rin Meezan, vice president of sustainability at Interface, was one of thousands of corporate executives in attendance at the COP21 climate change summit in Paris last December. Walking around the exhibition hall in a sea of like-minded individuals, Meezan says she felt more hopeful than ever that the ethics of environmental stewardship had become a rising tide in consumer awareness, government policy, and corporate conscience. “In Paris, it was really interesting for the first time to see organizations like Architecture 2030, the USGBC, and The World Green Building Council all in one place talking about the problem of embodied carbon in the built environment—specifically the embodied carbon


in building products—and having a larger conversation advocating for solutions.” Efforts to reduce carbon emissions resulting from car-centric development patterns and inefficient, poorly insulated buildings has become ingrained in public policy, as well as in the business strategy of most corporations in the construction, architecture, and engineering industries. In many ways these are the low-hanging fruit in the race to reverse the effects of global warming. On the product side of the industry, reducing emissions from the smokestacks of the factories that produce the materials that go into every building is also an area where considerable progress is being made. But dialing down the embodied carbon that Meezan is referring to— which takes into account all the materials and processes of the supply chain behind a given product, as well those involved in its distribution, use, and eventual disposal—is a much more complex and lofty goal to aspire to. Yet it’s one that Interface has been hunting in the shadows for years, which is why Meezan was so pleased to see so much attention given to the subject in December. “I could literally see how this global conversation around carbon and the built environment at COP21 was starting to be


reduction in energy use per unit of production since 1996


reduction in GHG emissions per unit of production since 1996


of Interface’s total raw materials are recycled or bio-based


reduction in water intake per unit of production since 1996


reduction in waste sent to landfill per unit of production since 1996

connected and find its way as a solution to the climate challenge,” Meezan says. Perhaps the biggest reason it’s so hard for manufacturers to reduce the carbon footprint of their supply chain is that they don’t know exactly what goes on in their supErin Meezan, ply chain. As vice president of the first comsustainability at pany to commit Interface. Meezan, to publishing who recently EPDs for all of attended the their products, COP21 climate Interface has a change summit leg up in that in Paris last December, noted department. Of that the global course having conversation intimate knowlaround carbon edge of t he and the built environmental environment is impacts of your finding its way supply chain through to the does not necprocurement side. essarily mean those impacts march–april 2016



Interface’s dedication to “We spent a lot of time talking to customsustainability has evolved ers about really little issues that weren’t into the company’s Mission necessarily the biggest environmental imZero commitment—the pacts of the product. For example, both Inpromise to eliminate any terface and the customer initially thought negative impact they have that the backing polymer in its products on the environment by 2020. had significant impact, when in fact the majority of the impact is in the “EPDs were a really fantastic step forward for yarn,” Meezan says. “EPDs were us because they provide what we think of as a really fantastic really relevant data in a much shorter, more step forward for understandable format, which can be compared us because they Winning with Your Cards provide what we apples-to-apples across the industry. Plus it was think of as really on the Table relevant data in third-party verified, so you didn’t feel like it was a much shorthere is something refreshing just someone telling a story.” — Erin Meezan er, more underabout talking to the folks at Instandable format, terface. It’s rare that corporate want you to reduce the carbon in the raw which can be compared apples-to-apples executives will admit to any materials that we get,’ like the yarn we use across the industry. Plus it was third-party shortcomings about their comin products,” she explains. “Because we’ve verified, so you didn’t feel like it was just pany, unless of course they’ve been publicly done this deep dive to understand what is someone telling a story.” exposed for something and have no choice. in a finished carpet tile, and we share all Even the 10 to 15 page EPD is a lot for a But Ray Anderson instilled a culture of prothat data openly with our suppliers, we can non-expert to digest, which is why Interface active authenticity and openness about the say, ‘Here’s the best way you can improve worked with UL to come up with 1 to 2 page inner workings of Interface, a gamble that has now proven its worth many times over. your product. Did you know that you could summaries of each EPD, that they refer to as use renewable energy at your factory? And “product transparency summaries.” However, “A lot of people thought we were crazy by the way, look at how changes like that Meezan says it’s a fine line between simpli- when we became one of the first compacould impact not only your company and fying information in order to communicate, nies to come out and reveal the environfootprint, but the entire supply chain.’ It’s and oversimplifying it to the point of being mental footprint of our operations,” says been interesting how much we’ve been able meaningless marketing babble. It may not Mikhail Davis, who has been with Interface to leverage this with suppliers. Oftentimes be the easy road, but as Ray Anderson always since 2011 as the director of restorative enwe are bringing them information on their insisted, being an industry leader means terprise, and first met Ray Anderson as a making choices in support of long-term then-recent college graduate in the late stuff that they don’t know.” Interface has rallied around EPDs as goals, even if they make you a little uncom- ‘90s when he was an assistant to David a communication tool with their supply fortable in the short term. Brower, first executive director of the Sichains, as well as with the value chain con“Transparency is about being honest erra Club and one of the outside experts on nected to each product. In the past, Meezan with ourselves first, and then doing the Interface’s legendary sustainability “Dream says that the company was at times flum- work to figure it out” says Meezan. “I think Team.” “We said this is how much energy moxed by customers or environmental or- a lot of companies think about transpar- we’re using; this is how much water we ganizations that called out specific ingredi- ency as a strategy to deal with stakehold- are using; this is how much pollution we ents or manufacturing processes that they ers—particularly problematic stakeholders are generating; these are our carbon emiswere concerned with—which weren’t always or people they don’t want to deeply engage sions,” he says. “We put this all out in a those that their own analyses had found to with. They feel like, ‘Okay we’re going to do report in 1997 when that was crazy town. be of greatest impact. LCAs—“100-plus page this disclosure, now go away.’ For us, it’s Of course now it’s completely mainstream, academic documents,” says Meezan—which just as powerful a tool for internal deci- and all the big companies do sustainability Interface has been using for close to 20 years, sion-making. It helps us set internal goals, reporting.” In 1997, not too many of Interface’s cusweren’t always helpful in clarifying the com- and then disclosing them publicly reinforcpany’s sustainability strategy to stakeholders. es the need to actually meet those goals.” tomers were asking about the company’s

will be diminished. But as the saying goes, knowing is half the battle, and Interface’s approach to transparency has certainly proved that true. Meezan says the EPD process has catalyzed very transformative conversations with their suppliers. “We can say to our supply chain, ‘We


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Transparency Acronym Primer LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) A rigorous science-based, cradle-to-grave analysis of a product’s environmental impacts. Through the LCA process, Interface has determined that approximately 70% of the environmental impacts of their carpet tiles were related to raw materials used to make them.

EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) A standardized way to quantify and communicate the key findings of an LCA. Interface uses third-party verified EPDs to as a way to validate their sustainability claims.

HPD (Health Product Declaration) A standardized format for disclosing the materials and ingredients in a building product and any hazards associated with those ingredients. HPDs help to start the conversation around selecting appropriate building materials that will not negatively impact occupant health.

PCR (Product Category Rule) Based on the ISO 14025 standard, these define which data is used in a life cycle assessment and how the data is collected and reported. PCRs are an important means to ensure apples-to-apples comparison of the sustainability claims across all companies for a given type of building product.


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Cool Commute program launched, which subsidizes employee purchases of offsets to zero out the CO2 emissions from the fuel consumed while commuting to work.

Interface partners with the city of LaGrange, GA on the Landfill Gas Energy Project to convert methane gas from the local landfill into a green energy source.

Introduces first products with biobased fibers made from polylactic acid (PLA), a derivative of corn.

Interface introduces Cool Carpet, the industry’s first climate neutral certification.

Cool Blue technology is introduced, making GlasBacRE backing the first 100% recycled plastic carpet tile backing on the market.

Interface’s Atlanta Showroom is the first project to reach Platinum under the USGBC’s then pilot LEED-CI program.

Interface becomes the first carpet company to receive EPP (Environmentally Preferable Product) certification for its products.


2004 TacTiles, a glue-free installation system with virtually zero VOCs and an environmental footprint 90% lower than traditional carpet adhesives, is introduced.


President Clinton appoints Ray Anderson as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development.

Mikhail Gorbachev honors Ray Anderson with the inaugural Global Green Millennium Award for Corporate Environmental Leadership.


Interface publishes one of the first ever Corporate Sustainability Reports, disclosing the company’s full impact on the environment.


Interface establishes baseline metrics that will move the company up what Ray Anderson calls “Mt. Sustainability.”

Ray Anderson keynotes the first national gathering of the US Green Building Council.

ReEntry, Interface’s proprietary carpet reclamation program, is launched. More than 300 million pounds of carpet have been reclaimed to date, much of it for use in new carpet.

Founder Ray C. Anderson’s sustainability “awakening.”


The Interface sustainability journey begins with an aggressive waste reduction initiative, defining waste as “anything that goes into the product that doesn’t add value to the customer.”



Interface’s Sustainability Journey

Interface Americas makes 100% recycled nylon standard on all products made with nylon 6 yarn, reducing these products’ carbon footprint by more than 30%.


Interface introduces first generation GlasBacRE backing, offering the highest post-consumer recycled content in the industry.


Founder Ray Anderson realized the urgent need to set a new course for Interface toward sustainability.

Interface becomes the first commercial carpet tile manufacturer in North America to publish an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).


A 17-kilowatt solar array is installed at Interface’s Kyle Plant in LaGrange, GA., the company’s first foray into renewable energy.


Interface introduce Urban Retreat, which uses 100% recycled content nylon with GlasBacRE, for a total recycled content of 81%, of which 35% is post-consumer.

Net-Works, a partnership with NGOs and Aquafil, is piloted in the Philippines, buying discarded fishing nets from villagers as a feedstock to make recycled nylon yarn.


Interface begins using Life-cycle assessments (LCAs) to measure and reduce the environmental impact of all products.

Entropy, the first carpet tile design based on biomimicry, shakes up the industry with mergeable dye lots that eliminate the need for back stock, and randomized installation that results in almost no scrap.


(cont. on pg. 59)

Interface completed publication of EPDs for all standard products globally.

The Net Effect Collection is introduced, which includes the first products to be made with nylon recycled through the NetWorks program.


The Cool Fuel program is implemented, where Interface purchases CO2 emission offsets to help “zero out” the impacts of company car travel.



Interface’s Netherlands manufacturing operation completed conversion to 100% renewable energy, virtually zero water use, and near zero waste to landfill.

Expanded NetWorks partnership to new islands in the Philippines and to Cameroon in West Africa.

Introduced carpet tiles using very high recycled content nylon 6, (at least 70% recycled content, including postconsumer materials from carpet fiber).

“For those who think business exists to make a profit, I suggest they think again. Business makes a profit to exist. Surely it must exist for some higher, nobler purpose than that.” — Ray Anderson

Interface Americas agreed to purchase directed landfill gas, bringing total renewable energy use to over 96%.

Interface scored 98 out of 100 points on CDP disclosure of company and supply chain carbon footprint.




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Using the kind of randomized patterns found in nature, Interface’s biomimicryinspired “i2” styles enhance product life-span and replaceability while reducing installation waste by at least 50% at this LEED NC 2.2 Gold certified medical center.


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environmental impact, but by being the first to disclose it—even more so because they disclosed it without being asked to—they won the hearts and minds of many customers and consumer groups, and have reaped fiscal rewards accordingly. There now seems to be a similar tipping point occurring in the marketplace with product level disclosures. “When we put out our first EPD in 2009, there was no demand for that either,” Davis says. “But when LEED V4 came out in 2012 and suddenly EPDs were a thing, we already had them for all of our products. We were already able to show improvement in our EPDs when other people had only just published their first EPDs.” There are other direct economic incentives linked to transparency initiatives. By not just responding retroactively to consumer demand and political mandates for safer and more environmentally friendly materials, Interface stays ahead of the regulatory curve, which has become more and more restrictive over time. It also puts the company in a great position as the movement to put a price on carbon gains political traction. “A lot of companies are going to have a hill to climb if we ever get a price on carbon,” says Davis, “because they haven’t gb&d

been managing carbon as a business issue. But we are going to be in a great position—we are one of the most decarMikhail Davis, bonized companies in director of the world.” restorative By tying their brand enterprise says Interface is “one to sustainability at the of the most navel, Interface has decarbonized grown the market companies in the for environmentally world,” and notes sound products—a that the company positive feedback loop proactively put that keeps on giving. out its first EPD But as leaders in the in 2009, when field, they face intense there was no demand for it. scrutiny; as trailblazers, they’re the ones that have to find the way. This is why the company relies on a squadron of experts that specialize in the nitty gritty science of quantifying sustainability claims. Early environmental reporting methods varied considerably and tended to emphasize areas where a company had strengths and deemphasize their weaknesses. Of course that approach doesn’t hold water anymore, but the science of environmental and health impact reporting continues to evolve. Transparency has emerged as the great equalizer in this effort, says Davis, who likes to draw a comparison with the game Go Fish. If everyone put their cards on the table, the psychology of the game changes immediately. It’s no longer about trying give the impression of having the best hand (no matter how abysmal it is), and the real game of making concrete operational changes can begin. “It changes the conversation,” says Davis. “We’ve made a point of trying to claim leadership in this

space, and you expect your leaders to be continuously improving. If we were to put out an EPD and say here is our footprint now, and then we put one out two years later and say our footprint has actually gotten bigger, that doesn’t really wash.” Similarly, disclosing the data that goes into an EPD makes it harder to hide out behind dubious “greenwashed” claims. For example, “recyclable” doesn’t mean much if there isn’t a facility nearby where a product can be recycled and there is no mechanism in place to ensure contractors take it there. Interface publishes a sustainability blog in Europe called Cut the Fluff, which is exactly what EPDs are designed to do. “Once LEED became mainstream, it’s like there was this plateau where everyone was green enough,” Davis says. “Everyone knew they had to have a green claim, and they had one. But when you start to quantify things and put sustainability more in the realm of data, people can scrutinize you and ask what more can you do.” The goal now, says Davis, is to get the building products industry to the point where health and environmental disclosures are akin to the nutritional facts labels on food products—standardized across all products types and easy enough to understand so that everyone, including everyday consumers, has at least a basic idea what those numbers mean. EPDs are still evolving, and HPDs are emerging as another piece of the puzzle, one that Interface is actively working to refine. “But in the meantime we can establish a relationship with consumers that isn’t just based on the assumption that industry is going to try to get away with anything they can,” says Davis. The building products industry as a whole may not be there quite yet, but that has been the modus operandi at Interface for the last 20 years. gb&d

“A lot of companies are going to have a hill to climb if we ever get a price on carbon, because they haven’t been managing carbon as a business issue. But we are going to be in a great position—we are one of the most decarbonized companies in the world.” — Mikhail Davis



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He and Agraz did well at Honeywell, but they weren’t getting paid what they thought was fair. So they moved on to Aqualine Resources in 2000, launching an industrial lighting division for the now-bankrupt water conservation company. By 2007, the water business was sputtering. “We saw the writing on the wall; we had enough leverage to secure an exit agreement to get out of our non-competes. We couldn’t take employees or customers for 18 months, with one exception,” says Maneri, laughing dryly. “We formed Maneri-Agraz, with one account, PepsiCo.” Needless to say, it was a major coup. “In addition to giving us projects with Tropicana, Gatorade, and Quaker Oats, it really launched us with capital and references,” Maneri says. “We could tell any client we did a few million dollars of work for Pepsi, and say, ‘Give them a call and see how they like us.’ Our ability to sell off of these early projects was huge in getting the attention of National Oilwell Varco, and any other large manufacturer we’ve attracted.” Today, with just 17 employees, ManeriAgraz is one of the fastest growing lighting brands in the country. The Houston-based company specializes in energy efficient lighting upgrades and new construction specifications for industrial and commergb&d

John Maneri (Top) and Frank Agraz (Bottom) of Maneri-Agraz

cial workspaces. Among their recent accomplishments: making Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest growing companies in 2012 and 2013, seeing an increase of 289% in sales across the last three years, and being asked to write the lighting standards of two of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers, Frito Lay and Kellogg, according to Maneri. Interestingly, Maneri-Agraz does not make anything, nor are they a vendor or distributor. What they do, Maneri says, in the manner of a turnkey provider, is educate their customers on ways they can improve light quality, cut costs, and use less energy in their facilities. For qualifying projects— typically those in which the client stands to recover up-front costs in 2-3 years (requisite among many Fortune 100 companies)— Maneri-Agraz put these recommendations into action. Depending on the project, this might mean installing light-emitting diodes (LEDs), or other modern, low-wattage luminaires, eliminating unnecessary fixtures, reconfiguring how and when light is used in a space, while capturing utility rebates and federal tax deductions. Often, it means all of the above. march–april 2016



more light less energy A retrofit of the outdated lighting systems of a Clement Pappas production and warehousing facility offers a glimpse of the energy and cost savings that come from Maneri-Agraz’s approach.


Interestingly, Maneri-Agraz does not make anything, nor are they a vendor or distributor. What they do, Maneri says, in march–april 2016





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A retrofit of the outdated lighting systems of a Clement Pappas production and warehousing facility in Hendersonville, North Carolina offers a glimpse of the energy and cost savings that come from ManeriAgraz’s approach. PRICE OF MATERIALS Clement Pappas brings private label juices and cranberry sauce to markets AND LABOR AFTER across the country, says George OughterA $44,080 UTILITY son, the 61-year-old manager of accounting for all of Clement Pappas manufacturREBATE FROM DUKE ing plants. This involves many steps: the ENERGY company imports juices from around the world, reconstitutes them from dry ingredients, adds sweeteners, bottles them, and software, Maneri formulated a proposthen sends them off to big-name retailers al based on lighting needs, space, and and grocery stores: Walmart, Costco, and hours of operations, Cantu says. The proposal included several options for Target, among others. Oughterson sought a way to cut energy costs. “These facilities the upgrade, from low-cost retrofits to have old lighting technology that uses a an entire redesign. “We all do assesslot of electricity to generate light. We saw ments here. We listen to the customer an opportunity, with the price of utilities, and what their needs are,” Cantu says. to help keep prices down. When I saw “We don’t try to oversell them; they put we could do this with a 2-4 year payback and 10-year warranty, it was a no brainer,” Oughterson says. The project began in May 2015 after Clement Pappas’ energy consultant, Schneider Electric, presented Oughterson a summary of potential utility savings from a lighting upgrade and recommended Maneri-Agraz as the best industrial lighting provider. Oughterson contacted Maneri-Agraz’s vice president of national sales, James Wheaton, and got the ball rolling. Next, Maneri visited the facility to conduct an investment-grade assessment, says Roger Cantu, Maneri-Agraz vice president of operations. In the first warehouse, Maneri found a dense mix of eight-footlong T8 and T12 linear f luorescent luminaires. In the second, an unoccupied space lit by 400-watt HID high bays. Aside from being inefficient and antiquated, the lighting systems simply weren’t producing enough light. “There were a large amount of fixtures pulling a lot of power and not meeting the needs of the space,” Cantu says. Using C AD-based light-rendering gb&d

a trust in us to know what we’re doing, and we give them the best solution for their need at a great payback.” In one warehouse, that best solution was a design that cut the number of fixtures nearly in half, requiring minimal re-wiring and the installation of new LED luminaires. In the second warehouse, Maneri-Agraz upgraded the entire high bay system to high-efficiency, long-life LED luminaires with extended warranties. Ultimately, the cost and pricing structure of the proposal—$109,791 after $44,080 was captured through a utility rebate from Duke Energy—was a major selling point for Clement Pappas. Not only was the price competitive with other proposals for the same scope of work, Oughterson says, but the rebate was guaranteed as part of the proposal. “Several things came into play, pricing was right up front, the complete project price. A lot of times there are additional extras,” Oughterson says. “Here there were no additional charges. They said, ‘This is the price.’ They guaranteed the price, and estimated the rebate from the power company.” A four-man crew installed the system in seven days in mid-August 2015, and Blake Kehoe, 56-year-old director of engineering for Clement Pappas, says the process was uncharacteristically seamless. “I’ve got to say, they have some very professional installers. Normally, if I get a group in here, there’s a lot of interaction between myself, the manager, employees, and the would-be contractor. They went

Maneri formulated a proposal based on lighting needs, space, and hours of operations with CAD-based light-rendering software.

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over it, said, ‘Hey these people are going to be in here,’ and basically did the project without interruption to operation. They were able to work side by side with our employees with no problems at all,” Kehoe says. Each LED high bay is equipped with a sensor that controls light output based on occupancy and daylight, Cantu says. If no one is in the space or if there’s enough daylight available, then the lights dim

Blake Kehoe, director of engineering for Clement Pappas


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and turn off. They are individually con- only with the energy and cost savings, trolled and can be set to unique dimming but also what the enhanced light quality profiles with a remote control. “What is has meant to the employees inside the faneat is that the light will be off, and then cilities. “It’s been an incredible improvethe lights come on completely as you ment. Before, we had dark spaces where pass,” Oughterson says. we didn’t get a bath of lighting,” he says. A Maneri-Agraz energy and cost anal- “This lighting is brighter, clearer, and ysis of the project reveals a reduction there are no dark spaces in the facility. in the connected load from roughly 89 We’ve had a lot of comments from visikilowatts (kW) to 34 kW and an annual tors and employees about how much betdrop in kilowatt-hours (kWh)—the derived ter the lighting is. I think it’s certainly energy units, based on power and time of helped with morale, and there’s definiteuse, for which a company is assessed on ly been an improvement in productivity.” their utility bill —from 776,986 to 192,315. In another sign of Oughterson’s satisLighting efficiency was key to the savings: faction with the project, he came back to in short, producing more light with less Maneri-Agraz, requesting lighting retrofits energy. All told, the retrofit has led to of Clement Pappas’ Seabrook, New Jersey $33,092 in annual energy savings, $4,000 and Ontario, California facilities. Both in annual maintenance savings, and a 2.3 projects have gone under contract. “Those year simple payback. “The project dra- things unrolled very quickly: Ontario, Calmatically reduced the lighting load and ifornia is completed, and Frank recently increased foot-candles—a measurement went to Seabrook, New Jersey, to audit a we use in the industry to determine how facility there to begin phase two,” Cantu much light or lumens are coming out of a says. “As the customer said, they were very fixture at the task area,” Cantu says. satisfied with our solution and that led to Oughterson says he is pleased not more work.”



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seeing is believing MANERI-AGRAZ USES A RIGOROUS PROCESS OF ASSESSING EXISTING TECHNOLOGY, HOURS OF OPERATION, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND LIGHTING LEVELS TO MAXIMIZE SAVINGS For Maneri, service is what sets ManeriAgraz apart in a crowded lighting industry. Prior to a retrofit, he says, a Maneri-Agraz lighting certified (LC) practitioner meets with the client and conducts a formal site evaluation. Using proprietary link software, accessible by a tablet, the existing lighting system is assessed across a wide range of factors. Retrofitting a 500,000 square foot facility, a quality installation takes about 3-4 weeks without shutting down production, Maneri says. Custom lighting designs focused on minimizing energy use and ongoing maintenance costs are installed by trained crews. Materials are sourced from preferred original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and drop-shipped directly to the job site. Maneri credits this “turnkey” design-build approach with helping to earn the trust and repeat business of clients. “It’s about doing what you say you’re going to do, something that’s been instilled in our guiding principles and the culture of the company since way back when,” he

says. “There are not a lot of contractors who do that anymore. We satisfy clients no matter the cost. We don’t pinch pennies.” But they do find pennies—quite a lot of them. Maneri-Agraz handles incentive discovery for its clients, determining applicable utility rebates and federal tax deductions through the Energy Policy Act of 2015 (EPAct) and guaranteeing the kilowatt reduction and rebate estimates built into their proposals. If the rebates don’t come through, Maneri-Agraz eats the cost. “Sometimes we take it in the shorts, but it comes back three fold. We handle everything, so the client doesn’t have to do anything,” Maneri says. “In fact, we design projects to maximize federal EPAct tax benefits, which is key; if you don’t design a system properly, you get shortchanged on the deduction.” So how much does a company save through a Maneri-Agraz retrofit? A recent lighting project for the Houston-based National Oilwell Varco, for example, across five facilities, yielded $600,000 in annual energy cost savings and another $400,000 in cost offsets through rebates. By replacing high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures with high-efficiency linear fluorescent, ManeriAgraz reduced Recently extended by Congress the facilities’ through 2016, EPAct provides an connected interior lighting tax deduction—up load by more to $0.60/sq.ft and not exceeding the costs incurred for the energy than 50%. In efficient interior lighting system—for addition to commercial buildings. Maneri-Agraz strives to capitalize the deduction on-peak kW through its lighting design. savings, occupancy sensors reduced the amount of time the lights were actually turned on, Maneri says, leading to a nearly 70% usage reduction. Although Maneri-Agraz doesn’t actually make anything, R&D has been crucial to growing their client portfolio, Maneri says. In a workshop in their Houston headquarters, the Maneri-Agraz team vets new products, using tools such as a spectrometer and CAD-like photometric software to test light distribution, light levels, and other performance and compatibility as-

the manner of a consulting contractor, is educate their customers on ways they can improve light quality, cut costs,

pects against manufacturers’ claims, which LEDs are, of course, just the tip of the ice- ‘Hey it’s dark.’ Task tuning: Allows a building Maneri insists are sometimes misleading. berg when it comes to lighting innovation. Sol- We went into owner or operator to adjust light levels so they are appropriate to Through a near continuous feedback loop be- id state lighting (SSL) capabilities ranging from c o m p u t e r a space. A typical office employee tween Maneri-Agraz and their manufacturing task-tuned dimmers to wireless ceiling and fix- program to works in an environment partners—Maneri is not giving away names— ture controls have become so powerful a tool find the light with illuminated screens. For this and other reasons, many they’ve helped bring several ready-to-install for energy reduction that they have altered fixture over commercial buildings are overlit the methods companies use to assess their her desk, and retrofit kits to market. and can be dimmed to save energy without compromising “We want products you can take out of investments in lighting retrofits, Agraz says. turned it up. occupant satisfaction. box, ready to hang,” Maneri says, noting that “The financial benchmark has moved from a No else comthe company works with manufacturers to plained. We deliver products in such a fashion that they thought it was awesome,” Maneri says. “The beautiful part of the industry is it can easily remove them from the packaging One might think dimming lights would is still evolving. How does light affect and go straight to installation with little prep lead to a darker workplace with more risk for work. For example, if the application is a “cord eye strain. Not so, says Agraz. “In the ‘70s, envision, hormones, circadian rhythms, and plug,” then they want the right plug alergy consumption was not on anyone’s mind, sleep? How does it generate vitamin D ready attached to the cord. “On a typical projand there was too much light to begin with. in our bodies and affect so many other ect, 60-70% is materials, the rest in labor. On We’ve tweaked it to appropriate levels. A typisystems? What if I were to tell you, using a million-dollar project, that’s a lot of money. cal office employee works in an environment the right type of LED lights, installed If we can design luminaires and retrofit kits with illuminated screens. We have to take in a nursing station or hallway, I could that are as labor-friendly as possible, the overinto account the glare and the task being perreduce the amount of errors on the third all price to customer is going to go down and formed. Light recommendations in the ‘70s, their return on investment is going to go up. ‘80s, and ‘90s—even 12 years ago—were a little shift when nurses were giving medicine As a result, there’s a much better chance the different than today’s. A quality light source to patients? Or I could reduce the length project will pass their hurdle rate.” at lower illuminance values is appropriate to of a hospital stay from three days to how we use the space,” Agraz says. Inside its clients’ facilities, typically large two? Productivity is a thing we haven’t industrial warehouses populated by forklifts Still, with energy rebates shrinking and been able to put our finger on. Humanthe price of electricity on the rise, there is and machine assemblies, Maneri-Agraz has centric lighting is trying to answer that propelled a progressive shift, over the last reason to believe the industry is on the cusp in way that can be replicated and used as decade, from metal halide lamps to linear of another revolution, Agraz says, this one fluorescent lamps to LED arrays. Compared driven by research into human centric lighteasily as a ruler is used.” - Frank Agraz to gas-filled and fluorescent lights, LEDs offer ing. “The beautiful part of the industry is it is a significantly greater light output to energy still evolving. How does light affect vision, horconsumption ratio (lumens per watt), but it is first-cost analysis to a long-term analysis,” he mones, circadian rhythms, sleep? How does it cost that is driving the LED wave. In the last continues. “We talk less about the simple pay- generate vitamin D in our bodies and affect so three years, Maneri estimates that LED costs back method and, instead, highlight the total many other systems? We’ve taken the wattshave come down 50-60%, while dramatically cost of ownership. Through that lens, with per-square-foot down so far. Once LED has increasing in efficiency and radiance (130-170 energy, maintenance, and interactive HVAC permeated the industry, the next innovation lumens per watt compared to 70-80 lumens considered, LED is hands-down the winner. will have to go beyond energy savings because per watt—or 10 lumens per watt for your averIn Maneri-Agraz’s retrofit of NASA’s John- saving 50% of nearly zero won’t deliver the ROI age 60 watt incandescent). son Space Center offices, the improved effi- that clients expect,” he says. In fact, just as LED performance has im- ciency of the lights delivered a 30% kilowatt “What if I were to tell you, using the right proved, costs have come down so predictably, reduction; dimming them through a custom type of LED lights, installed in a nursing stayear after year, that there is a mathematical the- wireless system led to 35% energy savings tion or hallway, I could reduce the amount orem to describe the phenomenon, Agraz says. on top of that, Maneri says. “Each luminaire of errors on the third shift when nurses were Haitz’s Law, analogous in some ways to Moore’s is adjustable and controllable on its own; giving medicine to patients? Or I could reduce Law (the observation that computer processing they have a node in them that goes back to the length of a hospital stay from three days power doubles approximately every two years), a server, and they are controlled by zone or to two? Productivity is a thing we haven’t been states that every decade the amount of light individually. Through task tuning, we started able to put our finger on. Human-centric lightgenerated by LEDs increases by a factor of 20, dimming them a little every day to see how ing is trying to answer that in a way that can be while the cost per lumen falls by a factor of 10. far we could go. Eventually, one woman cried, replicated and used as easily as a ruler is used.”


and use less2016 energy in their facilities. For qualifying projects—typically those in which the client stands recover march –april




Solid-state lighting (SSL): A highly efficient lighting technology based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or organic LEDs (OLEDs). In addition to having the potential to be more energy efficient than filament, plasma, or gas-based lighting technology, it is controllable in intensity and direction, has a long life, and can be color tuned for aesthetic appeal. SSL is quickly becoming the industry standard for industrial and commercial applications.

up-front costs in 2-3 years (requisite among many Fortune 100 companies)—Maneri-Agraz put these recommendations gb&d march–april 2016



Maneri-Agraz is a national provider of turnkey energy efficient lighting solutions. Their mission is to design and install lighting systems that significantly reduce energy costs while improving the quality of light in commercial and industrial facilities.

A continuous, full-service approach includes research and evaluation of emerging technology, site evaluation and design, energy and cost analysis, proposal delivery, mock-ups and pre-construction, installation, and as-built analysis and service.

New lighting systems can be installed during off-shifts, weekends, or whenever it is the most convenient for the facility. Maneri-Agraz’s installation plan assures that our customers’ schedules are a priority, never forcing a shutdown of production.

Maneri Agraz specifies bestin-class products that have proven records of success and long-term warranties. Not tied to a particular manufacturer, vendor, or technology, the design team’s goal is to minimize the client’s net investment and maximize their return on investment.


The Clement Pappas project resulted in $33,092 in annual energy savings, $4,000 in annual maintenance savings, and a 2.3 year simple payback. into action. Depending on the project, this might mean installing light emitting diodes (LEDs), or other modern,




Agraz, as you might have guessed, is something of a lighting guru. He has worked in the energy efficient lighting industry for 23 years. As co-founder and principal lighting practitioner of Maneri-Agraz, he works primarily with Fortune 500 clients in developing projects that deliver appropriate light levels and meet financial hurdle rates. The technical yin to Maneri’s business-minded yang, he has been Lighting Certified by the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions since 2000 and is currently the District 4 Chair of the Illuminating Engineering Society. We spoke with him about making the business case for an investment in energy-efficient lighting. gb&d: When it comes to energy reduction and cost effectiveness, what do you see as the biggest change that has emerged in the lighting industry in the last 5 years?

Agraz: LED is the big elephant in the room answer. And with LED comes the ability to task tune, cost effectively. Task tuning is the ability to take a dimmable system and tune it down without a dial. By doing that to a specific room, fixture, or zone, you can customize the light level and energy consumption based on the task being performed. Dimming has existed for a very long time, but with linear fluorescents, it was very expensive and, certainly, you would not retrofit with dimmers, unless simple payback wasn’t an issue. Now, you have dimming as a cost-effective option when designing a lighting retrofit. gb&d: Okay, so what does it cost to retrofit a facility like some of those you’ve upgraded—NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Pepsi’s research and development facility in Valhalla, New York, and Tropicana’s manufacturing facilities in Florida and New Jersey? What kind of energy savings and ROI can a company expect on that kind of investment? Agraz: For a typical industrial facility, operating 24 hours a day at a decent utility rate, a good lighting partner who understands all the metrics and can capture utility rebates and EPAct tax deductions, can design a project in the two- to three-year simple payback range. So on a $100,000 investment, you’ll get your money back in two-to three-years. That’s the place where most Fortune 500 companies want to be. Then there’s another question: what’s the cost not to retrofit? We refer to it as “the cost of waiting”. Calling a contractor, going through a proposal process that takes literally three weeks to three months. What is one month of energy savings worth? Say it’s $30,000-50,000. Add on the procurement and RFP costs, and you’ve dwindled away $100,000 to save 2% on a bid. Plus, energy rebates are getting lower every year, and the cost of electricity is on the rise. The cost of waiting is the invisible killer. gb&d: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solid-state lighting (SSL) has the

potential to reduce U.S. lighting energy usage by nearly one half and contribute significantly to our nation’s climate change approach. What makes solid-state lighting so energy efficient and where do you see its greatest potential? Agraz: SSL technology moves away from the traditional gas-filled light sources that use mercury and other heavy metals. The way LED generates light allows for higher efficacy, lumens per watt, and better light distribution. That is, we can place light exactly where we want and minimize waste. Whether inorganic LED for ambient lighting, organic LED (OLED) for architectural and decorative lighting, or blue-laser LED for automotive solutions—like some recent BMW and Audi headlamps, I see SSL dominating every vertical market and application; it’s already started. gb&d: Apart from energy and cost savings, are there other benefits to renovating a facility with modern lighting innovations, such as maintenance benefits, and warranty protection? Agraz: Today’s lighting technology provides benefits that can be easily quantified and turned into dollars in a way that is easy to show to the customer. Others are more difficult to pinpoint. For example, one study shows reduced absenteeism in office environments with better light; people enjoy working there. In an industrial environment, light uniformity might reduce errors at an inspection station; in a warehouse, less glare can improve the rate of picking and stocking inventory. Many of these ideas are discussed in a field of study called human-centric lighting. On the warranty side, the long life of LEDs has moved the typical window from 2-4 years to 5-10 years. Then there’s ‘the Internet of Things.’ What we’re finding now is companies never in the lighting business are now getting in. Cisco, Toshiba, LG, Google. Lights are being integrated with security systems, Wi-Fi, and indoor GPS tracking.

gb&d marchor low-wattage luminaires, eliminating unnecessary fixtures, reconfiguring how and when light is used in a space, –april 2016



gb&d: All this sounds encouraging, but what are the downside risks of moving to LEDs? What should professionals be aware of before moving ahead with a retrofit? Agraz: When the industry moved to LEDs, we changed the basic definition of certain attributes of lighting. As new definitions

duction—up to $0.60/square foot and not exceeding the costs incurred for the energy efficient interior lighting system—for commercial buildings. How can companies capitalize on this program? Agraz: Until December 2015, we were living in a world in which EPAct had fizzled


arise, manufacturers are coming out of the woodwork. We see specifications sheets with clumsy data. Ratings for heat, Ingress Protection, and light levels may or may not hold up to the environment, and it’s up to consumers to sift through data to find out what’s real. The first question to ask is, ‘Who’s backing the warranty?’ That means doing your due diligence on the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Are they a start-up with a small garage? Or are they backed by a billion-dollar conglomerate? When you’re not going with a 100-year-old company, Phillips, General Electric, Sylvania, but ‘ABC Lighting’ who happens to make LEDs, you need to be careful. You don’t want to align yourself with products from a manufacturer who may not be around to honor the warranty. gb&d: The Energy Policy Act of 2015 (EPAct) provides an interior lighting tax de-


out. Then, after a year of not being able to take advantage of the program, Congress signed and passed a bill that resurrected EPAct from the dead. Now, you can secure EPAct incentives by retroactively certifying projects already installed in 2015 or certifying new 2016 projects; the Act will expire at the end of the year. One key is to work with a lighting partner who fully understands how to design a retrofit solution that maximizes the deduction. We offer EPAct administration services to customers for free as a value-added incentive. If you go with us, we’ll max out the deduction. gb&d: There are a number of other ways companies can save money with a lighting retrofit, right? Most utility companies are under pressure from their local Public Utility Commissions to reduce their peak demand, by offering “rebates” or incentives for large businesses that install energy ef-

ficient lighting products. How can companies capture these rebates? Agraz: Many utilities and some state programs offer incentives to offset the initial cost of a lighting upgrade. There are several types of programs: prescriptive, unitby-unit rebates, or custom incentives based on kilowatt-hours—how much energy you are actually saving. All of this gets really hairy, which is why we put these details in our proposals. What a lot of people don’t know is there are also rebates for new construction. We’re often the one to tell the customer, ‘Hey there’s a new construction rebate available for this project.’ Not only do we present a free bag of rebate money, but we also work with our customers to improve their baseline specifications by recommending higher efficacy products at a lower price. Another factor to keep in mind is the DesignLights Consortium’s Qualified Products List. Think of the DLC like a consumer reporting agency for LEDs. The bottom line is if you want rebate money for LED products, many utilities require that they must be on the DLC’s list. gb&d: So what’s the upshot of all this? In a lighting retrofit, what are three specific actions builders, owners, and sustainability professionals can take to improve the energy performance of their facilities and achieve cost savings? Agraz: There are two main ways to save energy: reduce the connected load or reduce the usage. If you can do both at same time, that’s when you get some really healthy dollar savings. Start by increasing the efficacy, or lumens per watt, of each luminaire. Next, decrease usage by installing variable controls: motion sensors, photo cells, task tuners. Finally, it’s important to design the lighting system based on today’s need. Look at how a space is being used and redesign the lighting system according to the return on investment. In short, give the user more control over their own light use. gb&d

capturing utility march–april 2016 rebates and federal tax deductions. Often, it means all of the above.


Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List

74 The Architect’s Retreat

80 Into the Woods

High schoolers on a semester-long mountain retreat thrive in a LEED Platinum campus that embraces their surroundings

84 A Forum for Practical Learning

Students at the University of Kansas’s Studio 804 put theory into practice with the creation of The Forum at Marvin Hall

88 Civic Sustainability

On track for LEED Gold, this human centric workspace redesign breaths new life into a historic space

92 A Natural Glow


Inspired by The Bauhaus, this designer created a stunning, net-zero home that directly reacts to its rural environment

Philips lights up Denver’s 1801 California and rethinks the office space as we know it with smart LED technology

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THE ARCHITECT’S RETREAT Inspired by The Bauhaus, this designer created a stunning, net-zero home that directly reacts to its rural environment


By Amanda Koellner


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PROJECT Location Hammond, LA Client Michael & Denise Holly Size 1,250 ft² enclosed, 1,950 ft² covered

TEAM Structural Engineer H&H Engineering MEP Engineer KME Salas Obrien Landscape Architect Perkins Dufreche Landscape Architects

SUPPLIERS General Contractor Premier Construction and Development, LLC (Hammond, LA) Structural Steel FireStruck Concrete Tycer Readymix Windows A-1 Glass Cabinets Woodworking Specialties Wood Ceilings and Floors Acadian Roofing Orleans Sheet Metal Inc., Berridge Manufacturing, Carlyle Manufacturing Countertops Solid Rock Creations HVAC Nick’s Heating and Air Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. Electrical Northshore HVAC and Electrical Plumbing AJ’s Plumbing Solar Collection System Southcoast Solar


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Twenty years ago, Michael Holly— principal at Holly & Smith Architects— and his wife Diane purchased a 15.5-acre site in southeast Louisiana just outside of their small university town, which sits about halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. “Originally, it was just a plain, old empty cow pasture,” he recalls. “But it became a beautiful blank canvas and a wonderful opportunity.” Years later, that opportunity manifested in the form of an eye-catching, modern, three-story home, dubbed “The Pond House at Ten Oaks Farm,” that operates at around net-zero energy and serves as a place for Smith to mediate, entertain, or house friends and relatives. “I also go there for lunch when I’m really stressed out,” he adds, noting that a six-foot alligator currently living in the adjacent pond feels closer than any other humans given the home’s orientation to the water and the lush surrounding wildlife. Here, we spoke with him about the project’s sustainable elements and the inspiration behind the design. gb&d: Can you walk me through exactly how the home is achieving its net-zero status?


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Holly: We have a solar energy array on the roof, oriented due south, which gives us total control over how the sun responds to the building, and it’s the optimum orientation for the PV panels. We do have a geo-thermal heat pump system in the house, which gives us a very high rating on operational costs. I also have access to the building remotely via the Internet, so I can monitor things and see how it’s performing without me being there. It’s totally automated. And as far as the orientation goes, there are trees to the east and west side of the home that shade the house during the summer, and when they drop their leaves, we get full solar heat gain in the wintertime. So the orientation, solar panels, proper insulation, and the geo-thermal heat pump all contribute to that aspect of net zero.



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The orientation, solar panels, proper insulation, and the geo-thermal heat pump all contribute to the home’s net-zero status.


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gb&d: Aside from how impressively green this is, it’s a stunning, sleek structure. Where did you look to find your inspiration for the design of the home? Holly: Right before I started the design, I went to visit my brother in Germany. He took me to see The Bauhaus work that was done by Walter Gropius. They were very simple, unique buildings done in the ‘20s. I was very inspired by it. The first series of design pieces included a flat roof, because in this particular arrangement, these low-income housing units that were done in the ‘20s had shared outdoor space on the roof. And I actually worked through that in my own mind because of the solar orientation and the fact that in Louisiana, you really want to get away from the sun. You need the shade, and so it came to me one day that what I needed to do was gesture toward the south and the pond. So this whole structure sort of reaches toward the sun and to the south and to the pond as if to say, ‘Welcome.’ gb&d: Did you think about biophilic design and marrying the outside with the in when you were planning out the home as well?


Holly: Absolutely. The idea of bringing the outside in and the inside out is why you see all of the glass. That was an initial driver of putting this building together. The site is in a rural area, but there are houses around. It’s right on the edge of a river basin wildlife area with a fast-moving creek, the Tangipahoa River, right there. It’s sort of the wildlife highway of the area. So this piece of property is fairly square, and from the vantage point of this house, you see nothing else but nature. There is no indication whatsoever that there is anybody else around. gb&d: What elements of this project make you most proud, both as the designer and owner of the home? Holly: Oh, gosh. The thing as a whole is gb&d

what makes me most proud. Right behind that is the net-zero status of the building and the fact that we did find a lot of materials that were leftover from construction that I was able to acquire. For instance, the maple floor was leftover from a gymnasium that I got from a friend of mine who is a supplier. The ceilings are cherry, and they’re from a mill shop where they were actually milling cherry, and these little pieces of it were sitting around. I looked at them and said, ‘Hey, this is an opportunity.’ Rather than have them go to waste, I purchased it—at a pretty good price, I might add. A lot of the exterior is cypress that has been reclaimed from the depths of the rivers around Louisiana. They call it sinker cypress; back at the turn of the century, many, many logs were cut in the swamps that they then attempted to float out, but instead, they sunk; they just left them. So now, there’s an industry where these folks go into the rivers and swamps and find the logs and pull them up, and they’re as good today as they were then. gb&d

While there are other homes in the area, from the vantage point of this house, you see nothing else but nature. “There is no indication whatsoever that there is anybody else around.”

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INTO THE WOODS High schoolers on a semester-long mountain retreat thrive in a LEED Platinum campus that embraces their surroundings

By Margaret Poe


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RIGHT The students hike to the site each morning, a five to 10-minute walk along scenic Jones Brook. BOTTOM RIGHT The facility achieved LEED Platinum certification, and thanks to its solar panels and highly efficient construction, it generates more energy than it uses.


Students at Burr and Burton Academy’s Mountain Campus spend a semester exploring the Vermont woods. All the while, they ask themselves a central question: how do we live well in this place? In a place with stunning natural beauty, living well involves immersing themselves in the environment, learning from it, and soaking it all in, but doing so with a light touch. Architect Randall Walter, too, focused on that central question in designing the campus facility. Located 15 miles from Burr and Burton’s main campus in Manchester, Vermont, it sits on several hundred acres of land. For the 40 or so secondary students who enroll in the mountain campus program, nature itself is the learning laboratory. Walter’s team at Bensonwood, a New Hampshire-based design-build firm that specializes in sustainable timber frames, homes, and custom buildings, kept that top of mind as they designed the campus. gb&d

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By leaving live edges on the wood, students and faculty can easily see how a piece of lumber was once a tree—and how it fit into the greater ecosystem.

“Anything we did would be secondary to what nature has to offer as a classroom,” he says. As Ben Freeman, director of the mountain campus, puts it: “Our classroom is just as likely to be outside as inside.” The academy envisioned the campus as a “semester abroad” environment within a day program format, offering a radical departure from students’ technology-driven lives. The teenagers hike to the site each morning, a five to 10-minute walk along scenic Jones Brook. It’s on that journey, Walter says, that the immersion begins each day. Whether tracking the progress of the beavers damming the stream or observing the day a specific wildflower blooms, they tune in to the frequency of the wilderness. Once they make it to campus, those observations are amplified. “Our building enhances these experiences by mirroring and enhancing what we see and feel outside,” Freeman says. From the oak trees that anchor the multipurpose room to the rafters patterned as leaf veins, the building truly brings the outdoors in. Even in timberrich regions like Vermont, materials have


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“It was definitely a project where we challenged the assumptions where each [material] would come from.” Randall Walter, Bensonwood Architect

become increasingly disconnected from their origins, Walter says. By leaving live edges on the wood, students and faculty can easily see how a piece of lumber was once a tree—and how it fit into the greater ecosystem. Bensonwood sourced timber and other building materials from a 100-mile radius, surpassing the traditional LEED standard of 500 miles. Two of the oak trees fashioned into columns, in fact, were harvested from the forest adjacent to the main campus by Burr and Burton alumni, who are now loggers. Walter says that kind of connection—between the main campus and the mountain campus, between nature and the individuals interacting with it— pervades all aspects of the project.


RIGHT The students learn a lot about the surrounding environment but also about the building itself.


BELOW From the oak trees used to the rafters patterned as leaf veins, the building truly brings the outdoors in.

The slate is native to Vermont, and by leaving it natural inside the building, it can be used as a makeshift chalkboard, letting students track everything from weather patterns to moon cycles. Even the finishes used throughout the facility, from the wood to concrete stains, are made by a local producer, Vermont Natural Coatings. Instead of a traditional petroleum-based finish, they are made of whey protein, a byproduct of cheesemaking. “It was definitely a project where we challenged the assumptions where each [material] would come from,” Walter says. Walter’s team approached the project with ambitious goals. In addition to supporting the curriculum, it needed to meet the highest standards of sustainability. The facility achieved LEED Platinum certification, and thanks to its solar panels and highly efficient construction, it generates more energy than it uses. Triple-glazed windows and doors and the building’s tight shell minimize energy loss, while sensors reduce electric light usage during daylight hours. A masonry heater captures a much higher percentage of heat, recirculating it throughout the masonry of the building, and heating a pizza and bread oven. The campus was constructed using Bensonwood’s “montage building” approach, in which pieces are manufactured off-site and then assembled at the location. As opposed to a traditional, linear process, this method gives the team more time during the design process as multiple pieces can be built simultaneously. In addition, it substantially reduces waste at the construction site, Walter says. Over the course of the semester, students learn a lot inside the building. But the real education, Walter and Freeman agree, begins when they walk out its doors. “We want the students to kind of wake up to the world around them,” Walter says. gb&d gb&d

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Students at the University of Kansas’s Studio 804 put theory into practice with the creation of The Forum at Marvin Hall By Maura Welch The University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design, and Planning is home to the highly regarded professional development program Studio 804. Graduate students in the final year of their Master of Architecture program have the option to learn about the design process in its most gb&d

practical application. Under the direction of professor Dan Rockhill, students have worked together to create one innovative building per year since 1995. Its long list of accomplishments includes affordable sustainable housing in Lawrence, the first new public facility in the tornado-ravaged town of Greensburg, and a research facility for the KU engineering school. Until 2014, one thing Studio 804’s tenacious architects-in-training had not done was create something for themselves. Since the 1940’s, the historic Mar-

vin Hall has housed the school, but with no centralized lecture space. Studio 804’s solution: a place for students to learn that exemplifies their studies in sustainability, innovative technology, and striking design— The Forum at Marvin Hall. Built as an addition to the historic Marvin Hall, the transition space from Marvin to the Forum serves as a student commons, and a new jury room for the review of student projects is housed in the rear of the Forum. In the front of the building is a 117seat lecture hall, which integrates holistic sustainability and natural aesthetics. march–april 2016



INTEGRATED SUSTAINABILITY FOR A HEALTHY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Smart Temperature Regulation: Double glass walls with three feet of space and tall wooden louvres in between them wrap the building. During cold months, the louvres open and light fills the space between the walls, which essentially cloaks the building in a warm blanket. On hot days, the louvres close to provide shade. Simultaneously, vents along the bottom and top of the building draw cool air up into the building, push warm air out, and introduce fresh air into the building. Soaking Up the Sun (But not Too Much): The Forum’s creators made a healthy learning environment by maximizing natural light. Along with the wraparound windows and adjustable louvres, they purchased a projection screen designed for outdoor presentations, so sunlight is welcomed even during multimedia presentations. While a 15-kilowatt rooftop array is projected to provide the vast majority of the Forum’s electrical needs, the rest of the roof used a white single ply membrane to reflect the sun’s rays, mitigating the heat island effect.


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Natural Resource Management: At the back of the lecture hall grows a living wall, which absorbs and dissipates sound to improve acoustics and air quality. It’s watered with rainwater collected from the roof, and the excess is diverted into a nearby bioswale, reducing strain on the campus’s storm drainage system. Benjamin Peek, an alumnus who worked on The Forum, describes how the natural elements created a healthy learning environment. “The green aesthetic is great. A green wall behind you as you have lecture, what could be better?” he says. “And the way you feel inside a wood building is hard to compare to anything else. The way the wood speaks to the green wall makes the space feel healthy.”


THIS SPREAD In the front of the building is a 117-seat lecture hall, which integrates holistic sustainability and natural aesthetics.

A LEGACY IN WOOD AND GLASS The Forum has physically brought the school together in a building that reflects its values, and the process of its construction has instilled upon its designers a deep understanding of what it takes to bring their ideas off the page and into the world. Renee Brune, another 804 veteran who worked on The Forum, explains what it meant for the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning: “At the time we all knew that this could be the answer to everyone’s prayers and we could have our own lecture hall. When it was complete we knew it would change everything for the school. The Forum connects the old with the new and opens up that space.” Peek says that nothing can compare to gb&d

the hands-on experience he got working on The Forum: “It’s the best learning process. The process I go by now is learning by doing. [Rockhill] is a very demanding professor and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The key words were doing, doing, doing.” Professor Rockhill says he hopes The Forum shows students that style and sustainability need not be at odds with one another. “Sustainability is often seen as a goal that shackles ones design ability,” he says. “It’s not driven entirely by aesthetics nor is it driven entirely by sustainability. It is the marrying of the two that is the success of this project. That is what I am most proud of.” The Forum at Marvin Hall is in the process of being LEED certified, and its designers expect it to attain Platinum level. gb&d march–april 2016





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On track for LEED Gold, this humancentric workspace redesign breathes new life into a historic space By Vincent Caruso



This workplace is slated to receive a LEED Gold certification with its focus on sustainable design and the pursuit of human comfort.


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Jennifer Preston, sustainable design director, BKSK

was a really unique and fun opportunity to see how could we impact the sustainability of the building while only able to operate on a few floors within a larger structure,” Preston says. As a matter of good fortune, it was discovered that the windows in the building had actually been replaced relatively recently and performed adequately, with only minor setbacks. “What had happened was that the installation of the windows hadn’t insulated around the frame,” Preston explains, “so if one held their hand up to the glass, they wouldn’t feel much difference between inside and outside air temperature, but your hand up toward the frame, and you’ll immediately feel a draft of cold air coming in from the edges of the windows.” By peeling out sections of the wall finish where necessary and applying

spray foam insulation around the frame, the building envelope—and thus human comfort—were neatly enhanced. In order for occupants of the Court Square Building to be able to effectively collaborate on projects with one another, they must first feel comfortable doing so. To animate the space, the team thoughtfully executed subtle, but meaningful, touches on a variety of factors that affect the human condition. “We wanted the space to be a little more holistic to comfort and set up something that the building can maintain and work with,” Centrella notes. Several green roof installations were implemented, many of which can be viewed from the conference room. Plus, architectural views from the windows in the building are markedly captivating, and the design team want-


In the heart of Manhattan’s Civic Center—nestled between Tribeca and Chinatown—you’ll find many of the city’s most distinguished municipal buildings—towering masses of well-aged and sturdily refined architecture. Among the rows of concrete nobility is the 22-story Court Square Building located at 2 Lafayette Street, which recently became the newly renovated home to both the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the Department for the Aging (DFTA) via the creative planning of BKSK Architects. The primary objectives for the project were simple enough. With the DYCD, “They wanted to consolidate their offices into a city-owned building,” says Joan Krevlin, partner-in-charge on the project, aiming merely to relocate and meet city requirements. Together with senior project manager Jenniece Centrella and sustainable design director Jennifer Preston, the team first launched a series of client meetings “to understand their own aspirational goals for their space,” rather than simply roll out rows of improved desk spaces. “We learned two things,” Krevlin recollects. “We learned that there were many different groups in the agency, and what they do there is manage public funds and allocate them toward programs for the benefit of community youth; and second, that they had a shared pride in the work they did and welcomed an opportunity to work more collaboratively.” This information would inform the BKSK team’s goal of pursuing an inviting and communal atmosphere. In observing the Court Square Building floors across which the DYCD would be relocated, the team took note of possibilities for optimizing the department’s energy performance and sustainability features. One obstacle the team was confronted with immediately pertained to the building envelope, considering an architect can generally expect to have the entirety of the building to work with. But in the case of the Court Square Building’s 22 floors, BKSK was only working on seven, which restricted their options. The team, though, viewed it differently: as a novel challenge. “This

“This was a really unique and fun opportunity to see how could we impact the sustainability of the building while only able to operate on a few floors within a larger structure.”



BKSK created a balance of a densely fitted primary workspace laid out throughout a generally spacious floor plan with conference rooms collected sporadically around the floor plan.

ed occupants to be able to enjoy them at all times. “We noticed that when the early morning sunlight would seep in, it’d cause a lot of glare, so shades would be pulled in the morning,” Preston explains. “And by the time the sun had moved around the building and become less obtrusive, they’d forgotten that they could also pull the shade up and enjoy a bit of daylight and gorgeous architectural design.” The team installed an automated shading device so as to absolve building occupants of the need to adjust the slats while keeping a privileged view of the city perpetually available. The irregular perimeter of the building was something that BKSK also used to their advantage. The floors themselves aren’t exactly sizable, and to boot, there were a certain number of city regulatory curtailments that do indeed concern desk size. “We used design to make the space feel bigger,” Krevlin says, which ultimately entailed a generally light floor plate as well as “workspaces grouped in a way that is efficient but that also compliments the perimeter shape, which was irregular.” The team converted spaces that weren’t being use into workspaces designed to accommodate larger groups working simultaneously. The result was a clever balance of a densely fitted primary workspace laid out throughout a generally spacious floor plan with conference rooms collected sporadically around the floor plan. The project is slated to receive a LEED Gold certification, underscoring the relationship between sustainable design and the pursuit of human comfort. gb&d gb&d

TOP LEFT BKSK installed an automated shading device so as to absolve building occupants of the need to adjust the slats while keeping a privileged view of the city perpetually available.

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A NATURAL GLOW Philips lights up Denver’s 1801 California and rethinks the office space as we know it with smart LED technology By Maura Welch

BREAKING AWAY FROM THE PACK Ledalite ArcForm operates at a low 40 wattsper-fixture (compared to the whopping 98 watts for the twin tube fluorescents they replaced) and is able to provide tenants with such high efficiency due in part to its pat-


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By the Numbers 40 watts-per-fixture: the low wattage of Ledalite, compared to 98 watts for the twin tube fluorescents they replaced 30%: at the time, Ledalite was 30% more expensive than the second choice, but each light could cover more ground 100-square-feet: Brookfield could space the ArcForms this far apart, meaning that fewer fixtures were needed to light the space 25%: the occupancy rate of 1801 California before Brookfield’s renovation 85%: the current occupancy of 1801 after the renovation and new lighting ented MesoOptics technology. The MesoOptics film on the lens allows the luminaires to turn small amounts of controlled brightness into soft light with minimal glare, which improves the appearance of the light while reducing energy consumption. “It’s like having a bunch of little prisms cut into a piece of film that reflects the light,” explains engineer Brett Pumphrey of BCER, the company Brookfield brought in as the primary mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers for 1801 California. “For every three luminaires, we used to need, we now only need two. The price


Since its construction in 1983, 1801 California Street has stood as one of downtown Denver’s most prominent towers. The second tallest in the Mile-High City, it’s been a large part of Denver’s development—home to the offices of a long list of communications, tech, and energy firms. But in 2011, the upscale property management firm Brookfield Property Partners bought the tower and embarked on a major renovation in 2012, aiming to impact lease signings to improve the building’s occupancy—which, at the time, sat at a meager 25%. Among the company’s top priorities: lighting that could differentiate the building in the eyes of prospective tenants. To carefully examine a myriad of lighting options, Brookfield turned a vacant suite in another one of its properties into a showroom where they narrowed down the competition. “We bought or borrowed about a dozen different fixtures, after our architects, lighting designer, and electrical engineer reviewed specs for a larger number,” says Pat Hilleary, vice president of Brookfield Property Partners. The team assessed the fixtures for quality and purity of light, energy efficiency, and the overall aesthetic effect the lights had on the office spaces. One fixture stood out for its attractiveness, its innovative energy efficiency, and the value it would add to 1801 California—Ledalite ArcForm by Philips.




Ledalite Arcform is an LED system that provides pure, white light and soft, balanced brightness. It requires extremely low wattage-per-square-foot, warms up quickly, and has a long life.

point is a little higher, but when you’re only using two-thirds the amount [of watts], you make that up really quick.” Additional energy savings were captured by using Response daylight harvesting sensors in the ArcForm. Each individual luminaire dims automatically in response to natural daylight. The drivers each operated independently, meaning that the luminaires in an internal hallway would conveniently produce more light than those in a corner office with lots of windows. At the time of the renovation, most LEDs on the market were merely updates of the luminaires that used to contain fluorescent lamps. Ledalite created a revolutionary, brand-new luminaire with ArcForm, designed around an LED source. “LEDs were still pretty new,” Pumphrey explains. “Many manufacturers were jumping into the market just taking their old luminaires and replacing their fluorescent lamps with new LED strips. Putting a big strip of LEDs where the old f luorescent used to be means that the light is just bouncing around in a cavity and pushing light out whereas the Ledalite was designed to put the light out evenly.” gb&d

ULTRA-WIDE DISTRIBUTION = SOFTER LIGHT AND SWEET SAVINGS Ledalite ArcForm also stood out from the pack because each luminaire was able to provide quality light to a greater area than most other LED fixtures. Due to the ultra-wide distribution, Brookfield was able to space the ArcForms 10’ on center, or one-fixture-per-100-square-feet. This means that fewer fixtures were needed to properly light the space, and resulted in extremely low power densities of about 0.51 watts per-square-foot. Hilleary explains that this was a deciding factor. “We had narrowed the choice down to two fixtures. At that time the Ledalite was about 30% more expensive than [our second choice], but the Ledalite could adequately cover 100 square feet versus about 65 square feet.” Ledalite ArcForm is so efficient, in fact, that Brookfield was able to receive a rebate through Xcel Energy, which provides financial incentives for installing products found on the DesignLights Consortium’s Qualified Products List. To give some perspective

Consumers can get significant rebates for purchasing energy efficient lighting, like Brookfield did for purchasing Ledalite Arcform. Many lighting companies (including Philips) have comprehensive rebate-finding tools on their websites to simplify the process. Federal rebates are also available for many EnergyStar labeled lighting products. But new lighting technologies (especially LEDs) are entering the market faster than they can be EnergyStar labeled. One of the organizations that have taken up that slack is the DesignLights Consortium. They serve as the efficiencyassessing authority, and maintain a Qualified Products List for companies and organizations that want to provide incentives for energysaving products while they await EnergyStar labeling.

on just how efficient the fixtures installed at 1801 California were, only about 3% of the indoor luminaires listed on the DLC’s Qualified Products List produce as many lumens as Ledalite ArcForm with the same wattage. All in all, Ledalite ArcForm allowed Brookfield to create a pleasing office environment by maximizing daylight, minimizing glare, and providing soft, balanced light. The luminaires’ high performance translates into long-term energy savings, which is appealing to any potential tenant. Today, four years after the renovation began, the office spaces at 1801 California are 85% occupied and home to remarkably efficient, truly beautiful places of work. gb&d march–april 2016



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Up Front Typology Trendsetters Features Spaces Punch List


96 Material World


98 Software Solution


100 On the Boards

Public Schools in Nepal

102 On the Spot

Gary Cohen

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Material World Mycoform

This non-profit design firm has crafted a new organic design and building material from mushrooms—yes, mushrooms By Amanda Koellner

“Why grow a surface?” The answer to this question has been successfully pursued by the designers at Terreform ONE, a non-profit design group that promotes smart design in cities, “aiming to illuminate the environmental possibilities of New York City and inspire solutions in areas like it around the world.” With Mycoform, one of their most recent ventures, they’ve created prototypes of a new building material that’s grown from strains of fungi and “added to precise compacted forms of inert waste.” The process “occupies the intersection of parametric CAD design and synthetic biology,” with the curved shapes being digitally cut and the specific segments being grown. The combination of fungal mycelia with organic substrates leads to expansion that’s carefully controlled with prefab molds, literally creating the growth of the structural materials. The main objective of Mycoform is to “establish a smart, self-sufficient, perpetual-motion construction technology,” Terreform ONE says. The result is 100% organic with minimal waste and energy expenditure; plus, it could also be easily transferable to the developing world. And at the end of its lifecycle, Mycoform can be composted, reintroduced back into the environment, and naturally biodegraded. gb&d


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These beautifully designed structures are originally grown from strains of fungi and take their shape via specific 3D fabricated molds.

Credits Terreform ONE + Genspace Principal Investigators Mitchell Joachim, Oliver Medvedik, Melanie Fessel


Team Maria Aiolova, Ellen Jorgenson, Shruti Grover, James Schwartz, Josue Ledema, Tania Doles, Philip Weller, Greg Pucillo, Shivina Harjani, Jesse Hull, Peter Zhang, Matthew Tarpley, Amanda O’Keefe, Bahar Avanoglu, Ipek Avanoglu, Brent Solomon, Pedro Galindo-Landeira, Yinan Li, Sophie Fabbri


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What could possibly make saving energy more worthwhile? How about cold hard cash? By Amanda Koellner Getting paid back for the energy you save by turning off appliances or hitting the lights during peak hours—it’s a great idea in theory, but how does it work in practice? The guys behind OhmConnect, a website that facilitates just that, figured it out and are helping people across the state of California reap the benefits of being kind to mother nature. Launched a little over a year ago, OhmConnect alerts its users (who can sign up for free online to authorize the company access to their home’s smart meter) when energy spikes occur. If you cut back your


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power consumption at those times, you (or your favorite charity) get paid for the energy. It’s the first company to provide such a service and strives to answer a simple question: “How clean is my energy right now?” We caught up with co-founder Curtis Tongue to learn more. gb&d: How did the idea for OhmConnect come about? Curtis Tongue: The idea came about when Matt Duesterberg and I teamed together at a hackathon in the Bay Area. We realized that taking action on climate change poses a mental challenge for most people because, first of all, most actions lack an immediate cause/effect relationship. And secondly, an action a person takes doesn’t directly affect their local vicinity. Keeping these concepts in mind while considering the wholesale electricity

market solved those issues. About once per week, a highly polluting and carbon-intensive power plant turns on in a local community. OhmConnect can pick apart market signals that indicate those power plants are about to turn on, and we coordinate energy savings across a community to ensure that the grid doesn’t need to spin up those generators. Not only does this significantly reduce our users’ environmental footprint, but by providing a valuable service to the electricity grid, we can actually pay our users for saving energy. gb&d: So OhmConnect is paid by California’s electricity market, the California ISO. Are regular people able to take advantage of this market in the way that OhmConnect allows them to without using your site/app? Tongue: No, California’s electricity market


Software Solution OhmConnect


IN CONVERSATION with Gary Cohen Continued from p. 21

rising water is going to make you an environmental refugee, or contaminate your water supplies. In many places, because of the warming temperatures, mosquitoes that carry dengue fever and malaria are going to travel to your neighborhood. Then there is heat stress; as the Earth gets warmer in many places, there will be more extreme heat days that will have enormous impacts on people’s health. gb&d: Tell us about the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge.

“By reducing your energy use just one hour per week, but at the right time, you can earn about 20 times what you’d normally “save” by just being more energy conscious.” requires energy reductions that far exceed what a home is capable of producing. OhmConnect coordinates with users so that the reductions are large enough to be valuable to the grid and we pass back those earnings to our users depending on how much they reduced. Using OhmConnect is completely free. Users simply need to connect their utility account at, and they’re set. gb&d: How much money do people typically earn per month and per year by using OhmConnect? Tongue: It ranges depending on the size of the home, how frequently they participate, and their location. We typically see payments somewhere between $100 and $300 per year. We’ve seen some amazingly creative uses of these payments. For instance, some local schools have created teams so that their collective earnings are all donated gb&d

for school supplies, Chromebooks, and other items they need. We’ve also seen office buildings, which can earn significantly more, connect some of their onsite loads and generate quite a bit. gb&d: What does that translate to in terms of energy savings? And is it really as easy as getting an alert on your phone that now would be a good time to turn some things off and doing so? Tongue: That’s the fun part about educating folks about our service. It’s far more important, both financially and environmentally, to be smarter about when you save energy. By reducing your energy use just one hour per week, but at the right time, you can earn about 20 times what you’d normally “save” by just being more energy conscious. We’ve made the platform as simple as possible for people to participate. It’s as simple as getting a text once per week. If you happen to have WiFi thermostats, electric cars, and other home automation equipment, you can easily connect those devices to our automation service. The service, which is all software by the way, orchestrates all the devices in your home to automatically reduce during #OhmHours. gb&d: Do you plan to expand out of just California? Tongue: The Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled on a decision regarding FERC Order #745. Their decision clears the path for programs like OhmConnect to spread across the entire nation, so it’s a very exciting time for us right now. gb&d

Cohen: It’s a way to create a framework for inspiring healthcare institutions around the world to make commitments around climate leadership. One focus is around climate resilience—making changes in building infrastructure and supply chains and developing strategies around community engagement that build and anchor community resilience. So that in the next Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Katrina, hospitals are able to be the first responders and address the increased medical needs. They need to be the last building standing. gb&d: How have recent climate-related natural disasters changed the way healthcare facilities are planned and built? Cohen: What we learned from Katrina and Sandy is that when hospitals fail, it creates chaos. On top of the fact that they can’t address the influx of patients, you’re actually evacuating the place. We want climate resilience to become a standard part of the planning for healthcare institutions around the world, and to leapfrog over current technologies. The more that you have onsite power, the more likely a facility can continue operating when the grid goes down. With both Katrina and Sandy, we saw that play out with hospitals that had combined heat and power generation, for example. They were able to operate for days when the grid was down. gb&d: So public health goes hand-in-hand with resilient power systems, which go hand-in-hand with renewable energy, right? Cohen: Yes, healthcare needs to lead by example and make the transition to renewable energy, to distributed energy, to co-invest with communities, and build infrastructure for a clean energy future. They’re not only saying that we’re putting in solar panels or investing in wind farms, they’re doing it be— This conversation continues on p. 103

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On the Boards

Public Schools in Nepal By Amanda Koellner


On April 25, 2015, an earthquake in Nepal killed more than 8,000 people, injured 20,000+, and wreaked havoc on the South Asian country’s infrastructure—displacing thousands and wiping away important buildings like hospitals and schools. In order to help with the aftermath of this catastrophe, New York-based SHoP Architects has partnered with Kids of Kathmandu and the Asia Friendship Network (AFN) to rebuild 50 public schools in areas that saw the most devastation. The schools will go beyond their traditional purpose, ensuring that local communities as a whole will benefit from their construction while also serving as a prototype for, hopefully, future non-governmental organizations to build full-service schools in a safe and responsible way moving forward. Here, we look at how this partnership will get the job done—eventually impacting the lives of 10,000 children—with sustainability and safety at the top of mind. gb&d


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The schools will be equipped with solar electricity generation, integrated water purification systems, new kitchens, and wireless internet that will power donated computers.

Roofing will direct rainfall away from the courtyard for collection. One meter overhangs will protect the building from heavy monsoon showers, while a breathable underlay will promote natural ventilation.

Designed to survive future earthquakes with concrete slab foundations and resilient steel truss roof systems, they’re also intended to serve as “safe havens” in the event of another future natural disaster or emergency.

The schools, both primary and secondary, will use locally sourced earth brick construction in addition to concrete and steel, in order to maximize volunteer labor—connecting the community and allowing its members to help out. The earth brick construction also slashes energy and money spent on transportation, as the process uses soil straight from the site.


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On the Spot Gary Cohen

IN CONVERSATION with Gary Cohen Continued from p. 99

cause it’s to the benefit of the health of their community. So it’s a rebranding of their efforts within the framework of healthy communities. And rebranding climate change to be a public health imperative. gb&d: In the way you put it, it’s as if climate change is becoming a platform to address a host of environmental problems, as well as social problems.

Gary Cohen—co-founder and president of Health Care Without Harm, 2015 MacArthur Fellow, and the subject of this issue’s In Conversation interview—talks India and the Dalai Lama, tells us what he’d pitch Obama if he had 30 seconds, and voices his passion for the undeniable importance of the intersection between health and sustainability.


To link his climate change agenda with his healthcare agenda to support healthy communities. MOST IMPACTFUL EXPERIENCE IN NATURE

Hiking across the Himalayas.


Regenerative design.


Creating healthcare as anchors for resilient communities. FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE TRAVELED



Better storytelling.


Lots of green spaces, bike trails, renewable energy grids, good schools, diversity, and strong community spirit and organization.






Make it about health.

Winning a treaty to phase out all mercury measuring devices by 2020.



Solar battery storage.

Stuff that is good for the earth and healthy for people.





The role of health care in healing communities and the planet (I did do a TED talk).



It costs more than toxic stuff.

The Dalai Lama.

Feel it.



Have a global consciousness and means to exercise it.


I am a vehicle for healing the world.




Using the resources of the planet in ways that guarantee that future generations will be able to also utilize these resources. WHAT YOU’D TELL THE GREEN MOVEMENT IF IT WAS YOUR CHILD

Stop being so arrogant.


Taking money out of politics.


How can I create health and justice along the entire supply chain? THE NEXT BIG IDEA WILL COME FROM

People under 30.


Your children’s health.

Cohen: All the polls say that if you can talk to people about climate change as something that impacts them directly and their families—especially their health—it’s the most powerful way to engage people and reach solutions. We need healthcare systems to act as messengers. Are they engaging in policy to use their political clout in developing policies that support renewable energy, put a price on carbon, include the public health costs of fossil fuels, support the president’s clean power plan? The goal is to get healthcare to weigh in on key policy issues around climate and tip the balance away from the fossil fuel industry and all of its money. gb&d: You and your colleagues were part of the events in Paris. That must have been an exhilarating experience! What was the result of the conference for the healthcare industry? Cohen: We were part of a number of events on greening healthcare—with the French Hospital Federation, the Paris Public Hospital Association, the World Health Organization, and with hospital systems, nursing and physician organizations, public health experts, and academics from around the world. We were able to create a lot of momentum for the 2020 Challenge in the lead up to Paris, which was super exciting. By the time the Paris treaty came around, were able to get more than 60 participants from 19 countries, representing more than 8,000 hospitals to join this initiative. We’re collecting information from hospitals all over the world that have joined the 2020 Challenge. They’re telling us how they’re doing it and sharing data with us, especially around their carbon footprint reduction and how they are moving toward renewable energy. It’s creating a set of healthcare players around the world that are setting a high bar for the rest of the sector to follow. We will continue to transform the healthcare sector so they expand their healing mission to heal the communities they serve and the planet that sustains us all. gb&d

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march–april 2016



Directory & Index


A AIA, 8 800.242.3837 B BOMA, 15 202.408.2662 Bay Photo, 37, 38 800.435.6686 C Clean Energy Trust, 22 312.487.4000 I Informa Exhibitions, 107 972.536.6300 Interface, 2 800.634.6032 L LightFair International, 105 404.220.2220 M Maneri-Agraz, 108 832-358-3900 Mechosystems, 3 718.729.2020 P Prosoco, 50 800.255.4255 R Rehau Construction, LLC, 4 800.247.9445


# 1801 California Street, 93 2030 Challenge, 20, 20 A AECOM, 26 Agraz, Frank, 63 Anderson, Ray, 53 Aqualine Resources, 63 Architecture 2030, 55 Asia Friendship Network (AFN), 100 ÄSPEKT, 16 B BCER, 92 Bensonwood, 81


march–april 2016

Bhopal, 13 Big Sandy Independent School District, 46 BKSK Architects, 90 Boscamp, Bob, 41 Brookfield Property Partners, 92 Brower, David, 56 Brune, Renee, 87 Burr and Burton Academy, 81 C Cantu, Roger, 65 CAUSEGEAR, 14 Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, 21 Centerbrook Architects and Planners, 30 Centrella, Jenniece, 90 Change a Light, Change a Life, 45 Clean Energy Future Report, 20 Clement Pappas, 65 Cleveland Clinic, 47 Cohen, Gary, 13 COP21, 55 Court Square Building, 90 Crabb, Perry, 33 Curwood, Steve, 21 D Davis, Mikhail, 56 DeBartolo, Jack, 41 Delos, 30 Department for the Aging (DFTA), 90 Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), 90 DesignLights Consortium, 93 Duesterberg, Matt, 98 Duke Energy, 65 E E3, 46 Energy Focus, 44 Energy Policy Act of 2015 (EPAct), 67 ENR Southeast, 36 Evans, Tim, 46 F Frazier, Dr. Thomas, 47 Freeman, Ben, 82 French Hospital Federation, 103 Friday, 18 G Gensler, 53 Green Apple Partner, 45 Green Guide for Health Care, 21 Gropius, Walter, 79 Gundersen Health System, 26 H Hawken, Paul, 53 Health Care Without Harm, 13 Helou, Camille, 28 HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), 33 HGOR, 36 Hilleary, Pat, 92 Hittmeier, Pat, 43 Holly & Smith Architects, 76

Holly, Michael, 76 Honeywell, 63 I Illuminating Engineering Society, 71 Imperfectly Delicious, 14 IntelliTube, 45 International Living Future Institute, 21 K Kaiser Permanente, 21 Kehoe, Blake, 65 Kids of Kathmandu, 100 Kimley-Horn Associates, 36 Kraus-Anderson Construction, 28 Krevlin, Joan, 90 L Lasky, Josh, 45 Ledalite ArcForm, 92 LEED Gold, 91 LEED Platinum, 83 Legacy Building, 26 Living Future unConference, 21 M MacArthur Fellow, 13 Maneri-Agraz, 63 Maneri, John, 63 Marth, Julie, 47 Marvin Hall, 85 McLennan, Jason F., 21 Meezan, Erin, 55 Mycoform, 96 N National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions, 71 National Oilwell Varco, 63 National Toxics Campaign, 17 Neukirchner, Corrie, 16 Nicholson, Anna, 54 Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton, 33 Nothum, Mike, 43 O OhmConnect, 98 Oughterson, George, 65 P Paris Public Hospital Association, 103 Pillai, Dana, 30 Porter, Robert E., 41 PowerParasols, 41 Practice Greenhealth, 13 Preston, Jennifer, 90 Pumphrey, Brett, 92 R REHAU North America, 16 REHAU, 16 Ritchie, Kirsten, 53 Rockhill, Dan, 85 S Sanders, Matt, 26 Schneider Electric, 65 SHoP Architects, 100 Sierra Club, 56 Smartflower POP, 48 Smartflower, 48 SnapPower Guidelight, 14 Strategic Solar Energy, 41 Studio 804, 85

Sturgeon, Amanda, 21 Sustainable Materials with Both Eyes Open, 14 Swatek, Alexander, 50 Synapse Energy Economics, 20 T Terreform ONE, 96 The Bauhaus, 79 The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, 14 The Labor Network for Sustainability, 20 The Physics Factory’s Physics Bus, 14 Thibaudeau, Patrick, 33 Tongue, Curtis, 98 Tucson/Lazydays KOA, 41 U UL Environment, 54 United States Green Building Council, 45, 55 University of Coimbra, 18 University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design, and Planning, 85 Utech, Jon, 47 V Vermont Natural Coatings, 83 Voices for a Sustainable Future, 20 W Walter, Randall, 81 WELL Building Standard, 30 Well Living Lab, 30 Wheaton, James, 65 Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards, 21 World Green Building Council, 55 World Health Organization, 103 X Xcel Energy, 93


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