AMBIUS IS PUSHING BIOPHILIC DESIGN TO NEW LEVELS IN THE WORKPLACE, P. 76
G R E E N B U I L D I N G & D E S I G N JA N UA R Y+F E B R UA R Y 2 019
INSIDE BYGDEBOX P. 48
How local, repurposed, and found materials bring architectsâ€™ dreams to life on a Norwegian island
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
In This Issue January+February 2018 Volume 10, Issue 54
Ask the Architect Behind the scenes in Boston with CBT Architects
Menil Drawing Institute
A new Houston exhibition combines natural light and glare control for the perfect new addition to a beloved museum.
Next Level Seating
Designs like these from Grand Rapids Chair Company transform restaurants.
Designing the Best Kidsâ€™ Furniture Kohburg is transforming early childhood classrooms with thoughtful design.
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Better with Biophilia
Designs from Ambius encourage happy, healthy workplaces.
Table of Contents
14 Modern Mailboxes
56 Why Choose Steel
88 Choosing a Hardwood for Your
Inside the anatomy of a well-built mailbox from Deus Modern
The experts at EcoSteel show how their steel building systems are a smart choice.
16 Bridges to Last a Lifetime
58 Culture Shift
E.T. Techtonics on how to build the perfect pedestrian bridges and more.
OHC looks at the best hardwoods for durability and design versatility.
The LADWP works to manage its resources in a way that’s better for the environment.
20 4 Things to Know Before
Installing Ceiling Fans How to design and engineer the perfect fan for every space
26 Raindrop Gutter Guard
A guide to high-performance, low maintenance, design-friendly gutters
30 6 Benefits of Revolving Doors
Save energy and enhance the building experience with dormakaba.
Features 82 Better Design Means Better Employees How your office furniture impacts workers’ well-being
84 Coca-Cola is Water Neutral
A closer look at how the iconic brand is navigating the world of sustainability
Plus 8 In Conversation 10 Editors’ Picks 11 Event Preview 12 Defined Design 94 Person of Interest 96 In the Lab
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Editor’s Note Chris Howe The January/February issue of gb&d is all about inspiring change. From taking a collaborative approach around healthy materials to getting real about climate change across industries, some of the brightest minds recently talked to us about how they’re raising the bar and asking their peers to do the same. Frances Yang, sustainable structures and materials specialist at Arup (pg. 93) knows the value of working across industries. In her column this issue, she shares her experience as part of working on AIA’s Prescription for Healthier Building Materials: A Design and Implementation Protocol. While the guide was produced primarily for design teams, Yang points to how some of the most critical concepts were reinforced by listening to people outside of design circles—from Facebook, Genentech, and the City and County of San Francisco to manufacturers like Armstrong Ceilings and Interface, as well as builders, nonprofits, government agencies, legal counselors, tool developers, and other healthy building consultants. “The saying ‘it takes a village’ applies to so many challenges we face in the green building industry,” Yang says. “Healthier materials are no different.” Researchers are also continually pushing for new and better materials. Hai Minh Duong at the National University of Singapore (pg. 96) has been working with a team to develop a process of manufacturing aerogels out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a form of polyester used to make most plastic bottles. The team is turning plastic bottle waste into an ultra-light material that could be used for a wide array of applications, including in pipeline insulation.
Healthy materials go beyond buildings, though. Companies big and small are also thinking about what goes into the things we drink, and how making some of our favorite beverages impacts our earth. Katie Wallace at New Belgium Brewing Company (pg. 8) says sustainability is a huge part of this B Corp brewery’s mission, as it works to reduce the water it uses as well as ensure its packaging and ingredients are as green as possible. Mega brand Coca-Cola (pg. 84) is also making strides in recent years when it comes to using less water. The company aimed to become water neutral by 2020, but reached that mark five years early. The year 2018 marks the third year Coke has balanced 100% of the water it uses. “We got smarter and trained partners to bring projects to us that would reinvest water,” Jon Radtke, the water sustainability program director at CocaCola North America told our writer, Kate Griffith. “Through experience, we learned what replenishes and what doesn’t.” Sincerely,
Chris Howe, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
ON THE COVER AMBIUS IS PUSHING BIOPHILIC DESIGN TO NEW LEVELS IN THE WORKPLACE, P. 76
G R E E N B U I L D I N G & D E S I G N JA N UA R Y+F E B R UA R Y 2 019
INSIDE BYGDEBOX P. 48
Bygdebox is just one example of how a team of architects, designers, and creatives are making good use of what they have on the island of Stokkøya in Norway. Photo by Ingrid Langklopp
How local, repurposed, and found materials bring architects’ dreams to life on a Norwegian island
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Publisher’s Note Laura Heidenreich
gb&d Green Building & Design gbdmagazine.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Christopher Howe ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
It’s all in the details. Those fine adjustments are what make a good product great. Just look at companies like Grand Rapids Chair Company (pg. 62). It’s not often you walk into a restaurant and think, “Look at those chairs!” But you’ll know a Grand Rapids Chair Company seat when you see one. The trendsetting furniture company designs innovative, durable, and aesthetically pleasing commercial furniture; they’ve outfitted everyone from Chipotle to Sweet Green. Closer to home, we were also struck this issue by the work of Deus Modern (pg. 14). These custom-made mailboxes are works of art, truly. Their designs come from architect David Grisham, so you know no detail will be overlooked. Rest assured you’ll make an impression with one of these beautiful mailboxes marking the entrance to your property. But what makes a good project great? It takes a special kind of company to lead, and companies like Ambius have done just that with their groundbreaking biophilic design (pg. 76). Ambius has been making beautiful
living walls and pushing the bounds of biophilia since it first became a term in architects’ consciousness. The company continues to push the envelope when it comes to designing for the workplace, transforming offices not just through clever and diverse arrangements of plants, but also looking at solutions like scenting. Ambius is currently in the midst of a massive research project we can’t wait to hear more about—studying the effects of biophilic design in real life in a large office building near London. It’s the first comprehensive study of its kind. “The results of this project will tell us a huge amount. And I’m confident they’ll be good results,” Ambius’ Head of Innovation Kenneth Freeman told our managing editor. While designs like these inspire us, some invigorate us while also making us feel safe. In this issue, we sat down with the team at BCA Architects (pg. 66) to talk about the balance between beautiful design that also boosts security, especially in academic architecture. BCA Architects offers the full package— proactive, smart design that’s on full display at places like Bayshore Elementary School in California. As we head into 2019, we look forward to seeing how companies like this and others in this issue continue to up the ante, bringing bigger and better products and projects to life this year.
Stephen Gossett ART DIRECTOR
Kristina Walton Zapata ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Briagenn Adams, Ciara Gomez, Christian Van Epps EDITORIAL INTERNS
Tess Fang, Jessica Smith GRAPHIC DESIGNER INTERN
Christine Birkner, Colleen DeHart, Kate Griffith, Zack Harold, Russ Klettke, Shay Maunz, Mikenna Pierotti, Margaret Poe, JoVona Taylor, Alicia Daniels Uhlig, Frances Yang EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Anthony Brower, Gensler; Jason F. McLennan, International Living Future Institute MAIL
Green Building & Design 1765 N. Elston Ave., Suite 202 Chicago, IL 60642 Printed in the USA. © 2019 by Green Advocacy Partners, LLC. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for product claims and representations. 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 at gbdmagazine.com/current-issue.
Laura Heidenreich, Associate Publisher
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.
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Portfolio Typology Trendsetters Features Approach Punch List
In Conversation Climate change matters if you like your beer. Just ask New Belgium’s Katie Wallace.
10 Editors’ Picks Curated by gb&d staff
Event Previews Don’t miss AHR or Design and Construction Week.
12 Defined Design The Menil Drawing Institute in Houston is itself a work of art.
14 Modern Mailboxes A closer look at the beauty of Deus Modern mailboxes
16 Sustainable Solutions Discover the latest innovations in pedestrian bridges, HVLS fans, shade fabrics, and more.
In Conversation Katie Wallace Sustainability is core to the mission at New Belgium Brewing Company, where a cold beer depends on good water and healthy soil.
By Laura Rote “I get it. When I’m opening a beer, I also don’t want to think about climate change,” says Katie Wallace, director of social and environmental responsibility at New Belgium Brewing Company. “Beer is a place where we relax and forget about the world’s problems.” But beer relies on a stable climate, as it’s more than 90% water, and it also depends on healthy soil to grow barley and hops. Fort Collins, Colorado–based New Belgium may make less than 0.5% of the beer sold in the U.S., but the 100% employee-owned brewery is making big moves in the area of sustainability. New Belgium—which also has a brewery in Asheville, North Carolina—aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. The B Corp (B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency) is currently diverting 99.9% of its waste from the landfill and is a Platinum-certified Zero Waste Business. In 2016, New Belgium found a way to compost organic material collected at its process water treatment plant, which resulted in a great reduction in their total waste to landfill. “We’re increasing operational efficiencies, we’re trying to push the needle in our supply chain, and we’re asking our elected officials to let the market react to the science,” Wallace says. The brewery knows good water makes good beer—and hoppy beers may require even more water. New Belgium’s water comes from the Cache la Poudre and Colorado rivers in Fort Collins and the countless streams that feed a 20,000-acre watershed in Asheville. As such, the brewery is committed to making sure those rivers and streams are protected. Currently, New Belgium’s water use ratio hovers around 4:1 (barrels of water per barrel of beer), but they’re striving for a 3.5:1 ratio as they emphasize production improvements and continue testing the reuse of treated process water for industrial applications in Fort Collins. “As we ramped up production at our new brewery in Asheville, we knew our water use ratio would struggle until we filled out our capacity. The ratio is already improving, and we have our eyes on the prize to achieve a 3.5:1 ratio by 2020.” We recently sat down with Wallace to find out why sustainability is such a core part of the mission at New Belgium, and just how they’re making these changes happen.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF NEW BELGIUM BREWING
Tell us about the sustainability team at New Belgium. We are a team of four, working full-time on social and environmental projects. Each of us is a generalist to a degree, and we also have our specialties like operational efficiency, supply chain activism, policy advocacy, philanthropy, and so on. But we like to say everyone at New Belgium works in sustainability. We have so many coworkers who bring our values to life in their daily work. We wouldn’t be successful without them. Our recruiting manager, Justin, is a driving force behind our diversity project. Kristin, our Beer Ranger (sales rep) in Arizona, started a reusable straw project for our daily quality checks at bars and restaurants. I didn’t even know we used straws for quality checks! Everyone sees a different angle of the business, and ultimately we want all of our coworkers integrating sustainability into their jobs. Our team dedicates a good amount of time to supporting, educating, and empowering champions across the company. But whether engagement is high or low, I’m still a strong advocate for a centralized sustainability team. It’s too easy to lose sight of this work as other business pressures heat up, even for those who have the best intentions. Having a team that understands the nuances of sustainability, that can work across all departments, and ensure we’re tending to these long-term, large-scale goals is essential.
But what does climate change really have to do with beer production? Every ingredient of beer has been impacted by weird weather patterns over the last few years. These aren’t new issues, but they are increasingly frequent and severe, and they’ll eventually impact price and availability on this trajectory. Beer is over 90% water, and droughts are becoming more frequent as the global temperatures rise. Some breweries in California were told to scale back production during severe droughts. The quality and quantity of barley crops suffer in droughts. And too much moisture is a problem as well. Unusually warm and wet harvest seasons have caused barley to sprout prematurely on the field, rendering it useless for malting. We’re working to reduce greenhouse gases because they’re a risk to our business. But of course we have a much broader look on climate change. We see the impacts it’s having on the food system, on coastal communities, on the marginalized and voiceless. As carbon polluters, we also have a responsibility to others to reduce our footprint. Our goal is carbon neutral by 2050. We’re increasing operational efficiencies, we’re trying to push the needle in our supply chain, and we’re asking our elected officials to let the market react to the science. What about other efforts there? How is New Belgium reducing its carbon footprint? We are certified as a Platinum level zero waste business by TRUE Zero Waste. That title always confuses me since we still send waste to the landfill. It is minimal, though—99.8% of our waste (by weight) is recycled, composted, or sold as a byproduct. Spent grain from the brewing process has nutritional value, so it’s sold to cattle farmers. We go through a lot of effort to separate our recyclables and find a good home for them. It’s worth the effort. Separating always increases value, and at the end of the day we make more money than we spend on waste management at New Belgium. It’s an excellent triple bottom line win. How do you source your materials? Packaging and ingredients are our number one climate impact. They account for 67% of our annual greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, as a small brewery, we can’t just walk into a supplier and tell them to change. And there aren’t many suppliers to choose from as it is, so options are limited. We still work with our vendors to improve their practices, and we evaluate them annually. But to really make a difference as a small company, we have to poke at these broader supply chain issues in a creative way. Take, for instance, glass bottles. The higher the recycled content of glass bottles, the lower the greenhouse gas emissions. Bottle bills (5 or 10-cent deposit) undoubtedly This conversation continues on p. 11
Editors’ Picks Curated by gb&d staff
PRODUCT SOLSOURCE A grill that requires no extra purchase after the first? Great! SolSource grills are entirely solar powered, so you won’t need gas or charcoal. That means easy maintenance, plus no harmful environmental impact from biomass. With unlimited solar energy, SolSource provides consumers with a long-term, sustainable way to cook. Two unique designs, SolSource Sport and SolSource Classic, help meet your needs as you prepare your food in a conscious and ethical manner. oneearthdesigns.com
PRODUCT GEOSHIP BIOCERAMIC DOME A material science and construction technology company is designing and producing bioceramic domes and geopolymer materials to create futurustic structures you can call home. The structures include electrochromic glass to control light and glare, an inside layer made from bioceramic hemp composite with high acoustic insulation, and have a high R-value with a tight envelope. Electrical and plumbing are already integrated, so you’re basically move-in ready. Take a virtal walkthrough of the dome home on the website. geoship.is
COMPANY TIMBERCHIC New England’s TimberChic has taken on a massive lake reclamation project—returning an undeveloped lake in Northern Maine to its natural ecosystem. The lake was used to transport wood to Maine’s lumber mills for many years, and a lot of wood fell to the bottom of the lake as a result. TimberChic is reclaiming that wood from the depths of the water to create beautiful planks that allow for very little waste and much more surface coverage than dimensional lumber, with the same look. They come prefinished and can be peel-and-stick applied. timberchic.com
PRODUCT CÔR 5C AND 7C THERMOSTATS The future is here with Cor 5C and 7C Thermostats. Both are compatible with Google Assistant, and with just the sound of your voice, these thermostats can adjust the temperature in your space and let you know of any necessary maintenance. In addition, an app lets you control your home preferences from wherever you may be. Through the mobile adjustment of home devices, people can save up to 20% in heating and cooling costs, not to mention the decrease in environmental cost. mycorhome.com
PRODUCT BLUEAIR CAR PURIFIER Car exhaust, road wear, and smoke—the new Blueair Car Purifier eliminates these harmful pollutants as well as PM2.5, pollen, and dust—all in less than six minutes. Attacking pollutants as small as 0.1 micron in size, the smallest toxins don’t stand a chance against this new air purifier. The Blueair car purifier filters out 99.97% of all air pollutants and encourages healthy air quality in a confined space, where the air is more than 100 times more polluted than outside. Blueair helps you breathe easy and get to where you’re going. blueair.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF GEOSHIP BIOCERAMIC DOME
These bioceramic domes are made in part from a hemp composite.
Event Preview Winter 2019 By Tess Fang
IN CONVERSATION with Katie Wallace Continued from p. 9
recycle the most glass. But they aren’t in every state, and there is a frustrating amount of opposition to them. We still support deposits, and we work through other channels to increase recycling. A few years ago, we cofounded the Glass Recycling Coalition to increase cullet (recycled glass) across the U.S. and eventually, hopefully in our own beer bottles. Glass is infinitely recyclable and bottles can contain over 95% recycled content. It’s a wonderful material for the circular economy, but it’s terribly underutilized. Recycled content averages around 33% in the U.S. We need to fix the collection system so recycling is more economically viable, and the Glass Recycling Coalition convenes the entire value chain to solve these issues together. That said, the most drastic greenhouse gas reduction will come from refillable bottles. The state of Oregon’s new refillable program is revolutionary. How can companies collaborate?
PHOTO: COURTESY OF AHR EXPO
AIR-CONDITIONING, HEATING, REFRIGERATING EXPOSITION (AHR EXPO) DETAILS The leading event for all things HVACR since When January 14-16, 2019 1930 is back this January. The world’s largest Where Atlanta, GA HVACR event invites industry professionals to come Web ahrexpo.com together and share their insight and ideas in their areas of expertise. From individual startups to small businesses and major companies, more than 2,100 exhibitors are expected at the AHR Expo this year. The event draws more than 50,000 attendees each year, and you’ll find substantial opportunities to gain knowledge and form business relationships with other industry professionals while you’re there.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION WEEK For the sixth annual Design and Construction DETAILS Week (DCW), expect the largest annual gathering in When February 19-21, 2019 the industry. With more than 85,000 industry profesWhere Las Vegas, NV sionals in one location, DCW offers the opportunity to Web designandconstruction expand knowledge and connections among the design week.com and construction industries. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show—created by DCW founding partners, the NAHB, and the National Kitchen and Bath Association—will also be featured at this year’s DCW. gb&d
Policy. Voluntary carbon reduction is great and we’ll still pursue it. But the science clearly shows that’s not enough. I’m convinced the only way to draw down greenhouse gases sufficiently is through policy. It’s been successful across the world, and the U.S. needs to step up to be the leader many Americans believe us to be. Business has the strongest voice with politicians, whether we like that or not. Our collective voice will change history, and this isn’t a time to be shy about politics. Many businesses are catching on to this, and I think it’s our best chance to make a difference. If you’re a business, join Businesses for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) for the best updates and join thousands of other businesses as a We Are Still In signatory. Who else is New Belgium working with? We work with dozens of organizations, and as a relatively small company, we’ve found the most success within broader coalitions. In the policy arena, we’ve been able to do great work with BICEP, elevating our influence in the policy world far beyond anything our size would suggest. We’re also on the Leaders Circle of We Are Still In and work with several other advocacy groups to lend the playful platform of beer to one of the most critical movements of our time. Local policy has been a fertile ground as well. The city of Fort Collins has been an excellent partner; we’ve worked with them to green our grid over the last few years through the Climate Action Committee. From 2016 to 2017, they reduced the emissions factor of our electricity by 21%. In October, the city adopted a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030, which will do far more to reduce our environmental imThis conversation continues on p. 13
Fritted glass is created by heating and compressing glass particles into a solid and porous material. Its structure allows designers to utilize natural lighting without solar heat gain. That means reducing the amount of energy used in lighting and cooling the building.
Defined Design Menil Drawing Institute
In the heart of The Menil Collection, a 30-acre art neighborhood in Houston, the Menil Drawing Institute looks simple from afar. The $40 million project opened to the public in November 2018 as a single-story, 30,000-square-foot building with an allwhite exterior and a broad, flat roof. The institute was designed to house the works of an often overlooked art form. It makes a statement by reminding patrons that drawing is not just the means to a great painting or sculpture, it’s a work of art on its own. The building, designed by LA-based architectural team Johnston Marklee, reflects the same sentiment. Though it seems simple, every decision in its design is distinguishing and strategic as it interacts seamlessly with the environment around it. Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment in the building’s design is the way the indoor and outdoor spaces commingle. The interior courtyards throughout take patrons from white office walls to evergreen forests in a matter of steps while conveniently placed skylights and glass walls flood the building with natural light. At the same time, angular ceilings and expansive canopies keep patrons comfortable and the light-sensitive artwork preserved. Eloquently, and with a lot of consideration, Johnston Marklee has found ways to manage and direct the tenacious Texas sun.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE MENIL COLLECTION
By Jessica Smith
Glare control is important to designers who want to integrate natural light while avoiding direct sunlight on surfaces. Whether done to keep guests comfortable or keep artwork preserved, the strategic placement of apertures and use of shading means not having to compromise on natural internal lighting.
IN CONVERSATION with Katie Wallace Continued from p. 11
Cloister is an interior courtyard commonly associated with religious buildings, as they are often found residing at the heart of large monasteries. By allowing contact with nature from the interior of a building, a cloister can provide natural lighting and ventilation while also being refreshing and aesthetically appealing to guests.
pact than anything we could have done alone on our own site. We’re also very excited about our philanthropic partnerships with GRID Alternatives and Back Country Hunters and Anglers (BHA). GRID works with state incentives and private donors to install solar in low-income communities that have terrible air quality as a result of fossil fuels. And they give community members job training and experience. BHA is doing inspiring work to mobilize hunters and anglers to protect public lands. After all, it’s hunting and fishing licenses that fund the maintenance of many public lands and enable the lands to stay public. BHA is building bridges with other outdoor sports, like those represented through the Conservation Alliance. We all share the same passion for protecting the land and together we can be a powerful force. We bring the beer and BHA brings the conversation. How do you choose who to work with?
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE MENIL COLLECTION
When it comes to hops, we have options; we often go with a vendor because they’re certified Salmon-Safe and improving on-farm sustainability. A brewery of our size, though, doesn’t have many options for barley and packaging vendors. We’re the fourth largest craft brewery, but we’re still less than 0.5% of beer sold in the U.S. We’re a small fish in a large pond with a very consolidated supply chain. Our best bet is to work with our existing suppliers to push progress from the inside. We evaluate the sustainability practices of our primary vendors that comprise 80% of our annual spends. Luckily they’re increasingly pushed by bigger customers and are seeing the business value of sustainability. We are seeing some progress, and as small as we are, I do think our efforts have contributed to this progress. We can do more with a broad coalition of brands. That’s why we cofounded the Glass Recycling Coalition to increase recycled content and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. I see the Brewers Association (BA) as the best vehicle to push sustainability in barley and hop farming. We have some progress to make there, and as co-chair of their sustainability committee, I’m hopeful the BA can grow this work. What does the future hold for the industry? Beer is facing challenges as the climate changes, but I have to believe we will prevail. Beer has been bringing people together for thousands of years, and as long as humans are on this Earth, surely beer will be here, too. When it’s consumed responsibly, it can be a really special part of our lives. We’re creative and innovative, arguably even more so over a couple of beers. gb&d
IN THE DETAILS
Deus Modern delivers high design. BY COLLEEN DEHART
When David Grisham started his own product design company he had one goal in mind—“to showcase how design can radically change an experience.”
Deus Modern started as a side project for Grisham, who was laid off as an architect during the 2009 recession. Grisham was unhappy with the quality and poor functionality of traditional mailbox design. “The things you use on a daily basis that are poorly designed detract from your joy instead of adding to it,” he says. “Why not appreciate those little moments that make up your day?” So he designed a better mailbox, listed it for sale, and what started out as a small, fun Etsy shop quickly grew into a full-fledged business.
The thing that houses your personal letters, important documents, birthday cards, and even bills should be an extension of your modern and thoughtfully designed home, Grisham says. “People want to stand out. Nothing says curb appeal like a well-designed mailbox. It’s the first thing you see,” he says. Deus Modern assembles all mailboxes in their Nashville workshop to ensure quality craftsmanship and innovation. They offer both quick ship and customizable design options, with a focus on functionality and durability. gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF DEUS MODERN
Deus Modern’s mailboxes can be customized to meet any need.
Customers can choose from a variety of architectural finishes. Numbers and addresses are laser cut into the stainless steel outer shell. Add LED lights if you want for added flair.
Components are made with stainless steel—not mild steel like many traditional mailboxes—to resist rust. They’re backed by an ironclad warranty.
Seamless Bottom No bolts or other hardware are present on the seamless bottom of the mailbox, so mail will never catch and tear.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF DEUS MODERN
Deus Modern mailboxes are designed to last decades, cutting down on environmental waste. No plastic is used, and all wood species naturally resist rot. “From my years as an architect, I learned the most sustainable practice is to be intentional about the experiences and products we design.”
Internal Flag Unlike mailboxes where the flag is screwed into the outside, the Deus Modern flag is integrated into the mailbox like a kitchen drawer. You can slide it out when it’s needed, then tuck it away when it’s not.
Magnet Clasp A Rare Earth magnet clasp on the mailbox door is strong and secure, ensuring the door stays closed. Say goodbye to rainsoaked mail.
UP FRONT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
Bridges to Last a Lifetime E.T. Techtonics is a leader in sustainable bridges to meet any need. By Kate Griffith
It’s likely, while wandering through one of your local state parks or a vast city green space, that you’ve passed through woodlands, above ravines, or over tumbling rivers with both ease and little thought for the structures that allow your aimless wandering. Paths meander smoothly onto bridges and boardwalks that allow you to traverse obstacles without feeling at all obstructed. Creative Pultrusions has designed and manufactured custom bridges and walkways such as these for a combined 30 years under the product line—and former manufacturing name—of E.T. Techtonics. The company’s fiberglass bicycle, equestrian, light vehicle, and pedestrian bridges offer environmentally sensitive and aesthetic solutions for demanding requirements in any environment. gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF E.T TECHTONICS
Founded in 1987, E.T. Techtonics sat at the forefront of design and construction for fiber-reinforced polymer bridge systems, partnering extensively with Creative Pultrusions for manufacturing needs. In 2016, Creative Pultrusions acquired the company and retained its name for its premier line of bridges and walking structures. Since the line’s founding, more than 1,000 E.T. Techtonics fiberglass pedestrian bridges and walkway systems have been installed throughout North America’s most popular recreation destinations. Material The bridge and walkways are constructed using fiberglass reinforced polymers. Resin and glass fiber reinforcements are combined through a heat-curing process
and pulled through a die. Shapes and forms depend on the needs of a project. The fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite offers a high tensile strength ranging between 30,000 psi and 100,000 psi, and yet it’s 80% lighter than steel, enabling easy installation in the most difficult of locations. FRP excels in harsh environments—water, saltwater, termiteand pest-prone—that can quickly degrade more traditional building materials.
E.T. Techtonics’ bridges have classic lines and blend in seamlessly with their natural surroundings.
Aesthetics Strength and durability are one thing, but a major selling point for fiberglass bridges is their ability to meld seamlessly with their environments. E.T. Techtonics bridges are known for clean, classic lines that meld easily with natural surroundings. “We can color our resin, giving us options like olive january–february 2019
UP FRONT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
WHY THIS MATTERS
greens and browns that match very well in the environments of a trail or a forest,” says Ted Harris, manager of the E.T. product line. His product lends itself easily to natural colors, but it can also provide a bit of flair if wanted to a local park or city installation with bright colors. Lightweight High strength fiberglass polymer is light enough to transport easily and quickly into difficult-to-reach locations. “The heaviest component of our bridges is approximately 90 pounds, making it easily carried by just one or two individuals,” says Dustin Troutman, director of marketing and product development for Creative Pultrusions. “No matter where the bridge is located, our engineering team can custom design the structure based on the client’s installation capabilities.”
His team has developed bridges for trails that require install teams to hike single file across rugged terrain and for remote locations requiring helicopter access. Install is as easy as delivery. “My first impression of these bridges was they’re light and they’re in pieces we can carry in by hand or with small equipment,” says Cam Lockwood, who has spent more than 40 years managing and installing trails for the nation’s public lands. Easy Setup E.T. Techtonics bridges are custom-designed and prefabricated before they’re shipped, making setup in difficult locations as easy as access to those locations. “The quality control is outstanding,” Lockwood says. Of all the 30-plus E.T. Techtonics bridges he has installed, only one bridge needed a replacement piece during install. “That gbdmagazine.com
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF E.T TECHTONICS
The development of fiberglass bridges speaks to a major turning point in national park and trail system development. In the earlier days of Cam Lockwood’s bridge building, he and his teams were hauling logs up trails to build access points. “That takes a huge amount of energy. As we got more stringent with engineering requirements, we had to have more verifiable pieces of timber or steel, which requires cranes,” he says. In places with trail systems that couldn’t accommodate the equipment to haul in building materials, Lockwood and his teams had to build access roads, significantly increasing the footprint of the trail system buildout and, in some ways, marring the reason many come to enjoy these trails: remote wilderness. “E.T. Techtonics bridges meet all of the strength requirements for pounds per square foot, but two of us can haul a bridge piece by piece,” Lockwood says.
was the only bridge we asked them not to preassemble,” he says. “If we had preassembly, it wouldn’t have been a problem.” Lockwood is currently building two of E.T. Techtonics bridges, a 35-footer and a 50-footer, as a private contractor on national forest land. “They’ve been innovative,” he says of E.T. Techtonics engineers. “We’ve come up with several different abutment designs that people just hadn’t thought about, and they were very helpful in doing the engineering design work.”
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF E.T TECHTONICS
Long Life Once installed, the bridges are there to stay. The resin, engineered just so, lasts decades where other building materials are hampered by chemical leaching and erosion. “It’s an ideal material,” Troutman says. “It will stand the test of time.” Lockwood installed his first fiberglass bridge in Tahoe National Forest in the 1980s, and since then he’s installed bridges across the U.S., from Alaska to Texas. “These bridges will be around longer than me. They’ve needed some cleaning and servicing, but none have deteriorated.” His oldest has been carrying trail-goers for nearly 40 years and counting. gb&d
E.T. Techtonics’ bridges are lightweight and easy to install, as they’re custom-designed and prefabricated before they’re shipped.
UP FRONT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
4 Things to Know Before Installing Ceiling Fans How to design and engineer the perfect fan for every space
By Russ Klettke Most people approach building design using ceiling fans and air conditioning with a “belt and suspenders” mindset, according to Christian Taber of Big Ass Fans. It’s not that air conditioning and ceiling fans don’t work together to achieve occupant comfort, but often full A/C systems are put in place and ceiling fans are added after the fact. Instead, to achieve the same ideal conditions in the space, you should incorporate ceiling fans during design, allowing for a reduced capacity A/C system to be put in place. It’s a concept that’s taking hold, suggests Taber, principal engineer of codes and standards for Big Ass Fans, thanks to research that informs ASHRAE standards and LEED rating systems. Part of the confusion stems from understanding what ceiling fans really do. What high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) ceiling fans accomplish is occupant comfort—not changing a room’s temperature. Big Ass Fans’ large, rotating blades—measuring as much as 24 feet (7.3 meters) in diameter, tip to tip— move air more efficiently to the occupant level where a cooling effect can be provided.
1. Ceiling fans are often misapplied. Many building managers install ceiling fans as an afterthought. Taber says this and other criteria people use frequently miss the mark. “Some select it for style and not performance,” he says. “Or they look at size and speed but forget to factor in the impact that floor level obstructions or mounting height have on fan performance.” The speed of airflow just above the floor, where people are, matters most. Other factors to consider are the ambient temperature and humidity in the room as well as the activity levels of the people in it (e.g., warehouse workers’ bodies generate more heat than people sitting at computers). Researchers at the Center for the Built Environment at UC California Berkeley developed an online calculator for predicted occupant thermal comfort ac-
Big Ass Fans’ applications can offer up to 10 degrees of cooling in the summer and cut energy costs up to 30% in the winter.
cording to ASHRAE Standard 55 criteria called the CBE Thermal Comfort Tool. The tool identifies condition ranges where comfort is achieved by adjusting for any of the following factors: air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air speed, humidity, occupant metabolic rate (or physical activities of occupants), and clothing of occupants. Critical to note: Every space is different, so experts should be consulted when designing a comfort system to ensure acceptable levels of occupant comfort are achieved.
2. ASHRAE and LEED A boost to rational ceiling fan placement is how occupant comfort levels—versus simple fan CFM output—are now recognized by ASHRAE and the USGBC’s LEED rating system. ASHRAE 216, which was drafted and published for public comment in 2018, looks at air velocity profiles, the movement (feet per minute) of air at the floor (occupant) level for use in thermal comfort calculations. The USGBC focuses on reducing energy consumption and encourages the use of renewable energy. “The standardized measurement of elevated air speed created by a ceiling fan is new for building engineers,” Taber says. “The creation of Standard 216 provides a lot of legitimacy to the research being done at Big Ass Fans because it provides a means of demonstrating comfort and energy conservation.”
3. Cut energy consumption in all climates. HVLS fans allow building thermostats to be set at higher temperatures in the summer and make it easier to maintain the desired temperature in the winter by forcing warm air down from the ceiling to occupants. Big Ass Fans, in certain applications, can offer up to 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) of cooling in the summer and cut energy costs up to 30% in the winter. In net-zero and other hyper-efficient buildings, wellgb&d
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BIG ASS FANS
designed fan systems might eliminate the need altogether for a compressurized (traditional) cooling system. One example is the La Escuelita Education Center in Oakland, California. In the area’s mild climate, the school relies on building mass, natural ventilation, night flush cooling, and HVLS fans from Big Ass Fans to achieve the net-zero goal; it’s just one example of how collaboration with the project team results in an efficient system. In a very different climate, Machetanz Elementary in Wasilla, Alaska has 12-foot-diameter fans to redistribute heat from ceiling to occupant. The fans outperformed expectations and help save the school district $200,000 annually.
4. HVLS fans are sleek and smart. It’s not just the large diameter Big Ass Fans that make a statement and provide the cooling effect needed to feel comfortable in commercial spaces. The smaller Haiku by Big Ass Fans uses SenseME technology to monitor room temperature and humidity, automatically responding to conditions that change during the day. Solar-generated heat pouring through windows can cause an increase in fan speed, while cooler air from an open window at night triggers a fan speed reduction. Haiku’s silent operation doesn’t disrupt the environment and add unwanted noise. The evenly distributed breeze keeps customers and patrons comfortable while the energy efficiency and design keeps money in owners’ pockets. Approximately every degree of occupant cooling saves 3 to 6% in energy costs, according to the Department of Energy. Of course, most people don’t think twice about any of this. But look up at the Big Ass Fan rotating overhead and you can’t deny—the sleek design keeping you comfortable makes a statement. This is a space where someone took the time to think through both science and style. gb&d january–february 2019
An Expert’s Guide to High-Performance Fabrics PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SHADE INDUSTRIES
Advanced Technical Textiles from GALE Pacific protect people and places from the elements.
By Margaret Poe
GALE Pacific continues to innovate with new shade fabrics, as the pioneer behind the world’s first shadecloth knitting technology.
You wouldn’t head to the beach without your hat and sunscreen. So it is too for architects and business owners, who are increasingly realizing that shade products are an essential consideration for outdoor areas. GALE Pacific has long understood the importance of sun protection. GALE Pacific pioneered the world’s first shadecloth knitting technology decades ago, which has been successfully used in temporary and permanent outdoor applications. The company began as a small Australian scarfknitting mill but today is the world leader in advanced polymer fabrics. It all started back in the 1970s, at the invention of shade fabrics, explains Andrew Nasarczyk, research and development manager for GALE Pacific. These heavy-duty fabrics were initially designed for agricultural and horticultural applications to protect crops from adverse weather conditions and optimizing growing conditions. The company knew there was more potential, he says, so “we took that principle and applied it to people.” What followed was the invention of higher UV block gb&d
shade fabrics, a high-performance solution that provides superior protection from UV rays while allowing cooling breezes to pass through. Unlike competitors who create shade products out of canvas, acrylic, and solid PVC sheet, GALE Pacific uses unique knitting techniques that allow air to circulate and make the fabric breathable. This prevents the shade structure from trapping heat inside. These fabrics are designed for shade sails and tension structures you can find in playgrounds, schools, and restaurants as well as protecting parking lots, offering privacy screens, and creating awnings. Today, GALE Pacific is the world leader in advanced knitting and coating technologies, and the company is always looking for opportunities to further develop and innovate its product portfolio. “We’re constantly striving to increase levels of UV stability and UV protection to ensure a longer-life product that provides better protection to people,” Nasarczyk says. Here are some of the top reasons that set GALE Pacific apart from the rest. january–february 2019
“We invented HDPE shade fabrics in the ’70s. We know our products outlast their warranties. We can back our products and continuously innovate moving forward,” says GALE Pacific’s Andrew Nasarczyk.
PHOTOS: CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: COURTESY OF MODERN SHADE, SHADE INDUSTRIES, GALE PACIFIC
You’ll find these durable fabrics on playgrounds, at restaurants, protecting parking lots, and more.
Built to Last For business owners like Patrick Howe, CEO of Wholesale Shade, a California-based designer and installer of custom shade sails, GALE Pacific’s reputation for high-quality work is essential. “People choose GALE Pacific because they have a proven track record,” Howe says. Back in 2008, when Howe founded his company, GALE Pacific was one of the only suppliers of high-performance shade fabrics. A number of competitors have since entered the space, he notes, but none has them beat in terms of durability and quality. “There’s no drama,” Howe adds—he simply gets products that outlast their warranties. Safe for People GALE Pacific is vertically integrated and thus controls the entire life cycle of its products. This gives the company complete control over each component, from the selection of raw materials to the manufacturing process, control of quality, customer service, and ongoing technical support. The company has demonstrated its commitment to responsibly manufactured products by obtaining a third-party certification known as the OEKO-TEX Standard 100, which restricts the presence of dangerous chemicals in the fabric manufacturing process. The company was the first to obtain this certification for shade cloth, proving its commitment to being a responsible manufacturer. In addition, all the shade products are 100% free of phthalates and lead, offering end users peace of mind. And GALE Pacific’s Commercial Knitted Fabrics such as Commercial 95® and Commercial Heavy are also certified by Greenguard’s children and school certification. This puts strict limits on volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, as well as formaldehyde
WH AT IS U V S TA BILIT Y?
This is an essential concept in shade control. According to Andrew Nasarczyk, research and development manager for GALE Pacific, it’s essentially a measure of how long a product will maintain its integrity before being damaged by the sun.
emissions. Additionally, while competitors may use surface dyes to color their textiles, GALE Pacific spins its yarns and knits its fabrics in-house, so it’s able to incorporate dyes into the extrusion process. Sustainably Made The company takes a multi-pronged commitment to sustainability, approaching its mission from all angles. In addition to the environmentally friendly manufacturing practices, GALE Pacific adheres to a cradle-to-cradle approach. “Our products are inherently designed to last for a long period of time, and once they do reach end of life, they can be recycled,” Nasarczyk says. The fabrics are recycled back into polyethylene pellets, which can then be used in myriad ways, from new shade fabrics to alternative applications. “Sustainability is a key value of our business, and we certainly want to be a market leader in this space,” he says. gb&d january–february 2019
UP FRONT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
BENEFITS OF RAINDROP GUTTER GUARD An expert guide to highperformance, low-maintenance, design-friendly gutters By Kate Griffith Steve Nitch started his roofing career in 1985 in the Midwest, where he learned the ins and outs of directing—and sometimes tricking—water to pour off roofs, into gutters, and away from the foundations of homes and businesses. It was a frustrating mission. Even with the number of gutters and gutter guard options available, none were quite up to the task of handling large amounts of water, staying clean, and generally doing what they’re supposed to do. Nitch decided to come up with his own solution. At a barbecue one day, he found himself playing horseshoes with a number of corporate R&D engineers. The group was fascinated with the gutter guard puzzle: Guards need to handle any amount of rainwater, keep debris out of the gutter, and withstand destructive weather, exterior degradation, and different climates. They must do all this while offering curb appeal, adapting to different gutters and roof styles, and remaining cost effective. The group jumped onboard to help. “I had some of the best minds working with me,” he says. “I believe we solved all the issues.”
PHOTO: COURTESY OF RAINDROP GUTTER GUARD
PHOTO: COURTESY OF FULHAM
A family-owned business developed a groundbreaking solution for your gutters.
UP FRONT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
Designed for Performance
Nitch’s Raindrop Gutter Guard system starts with a sloped grid made of damage-resilient polypropylene that breaks self-cohesion of water droplets, immediately forcing water into a gutter. Unlike metal mesh designs—which keep almost everything out of the gutter, including water—the aperture size of the polypropylene grid prevents large debris from clogging the gutter but allows smaller debris to sweep through. “In letting the smaller stuff through you can handle a ton of water,” says Ben Nitch, director of Raindrop’s marketing and sales and second generation of the familyowned business. “The granules will flush through the system, and the gutters will work as they’re supposed to.”
Withstands Extreme Temperatures
Raindrop polypropylene, with added UV stabilizers, is the same material automakers use for car bumpers. It’s made to be resilient. What’s more, the dark color of the product soaks in heat from the sun during the cold months, naturally melting snow and ice to keep water flowing into the gutters year-round. Heat cables can also be installed just under the guard for added winter water flow. The company’s most concentrated customer is around Wisconsin, where winter temperatures sit below freezing for months at a time. Summer can be just as extreme, with temperatures near a building roof rising 20 or 30 degrees higher than ground temperatures. “Vinyl products only last one or two years in these temperatures before they become brittle and fall apart,” Ben Nitch says. “Our product lifespan is expected for 23 years before you might see a breakdown.”
Like the automakers that noticed the benefits of polypropylene’s flexible properties for car bumpers, Steve Nitch notes that his guards can withstand a lot of damage, even from trees. Where other materials break, the polypropylene bends and bounces back. Raindrop also offers a 20-year warranty on its product that the company has only had to use a handful of times. The earliest installed Raindrop guards are about 18 years old, and the team is planning for a free take-back program to have the old products recycled as well as offering a new product discounted rate.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF RAINDROP GUTTER GUARD
Built to Endure Raindrop Gutter Guard products won’t clog and could last you 20 years or more.
Engineered for Easy Maintenance
Manufactured with Aesthetics in Mind
Clogging is an annual gutter guard problem Steve Nitch’s team engineered away. Where other products lay flat to handle water, Raindrop guards are designed to be installed at a pitch, as a continuation of the roof, to keep debris moving off the gutter. “We came up with a widemouth outlet that opens the downspout outlet and gets rid of snagging possibilities,” Ben Nitch says. The feature ensures all water flushes through, taking micro debris with it. Raindrop also offers a downspout clean-out system to assist homes with underground drain tiles or water harvesting systems. It’s all part of a system designed for easy, handsoff use that has roofers like Mike Gabrione and his Chicago-metro area company coming back each year. Gabrione first installed a Raindrop Gutter Guard half a decade ago, but since then he’s installed hundreds of systems for his clients. “There are so many different manufacturers coming out with this and that, but we love Steve’s product and the company does such a great job,” he says. “It’s a combination of a very good product that actually works and installs safely and securely, and knowing that if there is a problem Steve and the company will stand behind it.”
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF RAINDROP GUTTER GUARD
Featuring clean lines, a low profile, and a dark color, the Raindrop Gutter Guard blends naturally into most built environments. The guard is virtually invisible from the ground, appearing to be nothing more than a shadow line. “You look right past it,” Ben Nitch says. “We’ve had a lot of compliments about that, especially compared to solid gutter covers that are large and bulky.” The design installs easily into roof systems using asphalt singles, cedar shakes, metal, slate, and tiles. The Nitches manufacture their product to fit most gutter sizes, including 5- and 6-inch K style gutters, half rounds, large commercial gutters, trough-style gutters, wood, and more. Raindrop Gutter Guards have been installed on new builds and historic buildings alike, including the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse in Chicago, where the guard was used alongside copper gutters.
UP FRONT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
6 Benefits of Revolving Doors PHOTOS THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS: COURTESY OF DORMAKABA
Save energy and enhance the experience of entering and exiting a building. By Margaret Poe
Since the first door was installed in 1945, Crane has been the industry standard for revolving doors. More than 70 years later, you’d be hard-pressed to pass through a manual revolving door in New York or Chicago that wasn’t manufactured by Crane, now a brand owned by dormakaba. “We are the largest producer of manual revolving doors in the United States,” says Ron Wartman, plant manager for dormakaba’s Crane facility. Longevity gives the company an edge. “Being in business so long, we have become the go-to provider for architects and end users,” says Angus MacMillan, national sales manager for Crane. “They appreciate the quality of our doors and our ability to customize doors to meet each project requirement.” Consider the following benefits of revolving doors. january–february 2019
BY THE NUMBERS
8 Factor by which a revolving door allows for less air exchange than a standard swing door
Number of Crane doors dormakaba installed at One World Trade Center in New York
3,000 Number of people who can pass in and out of a revolving door each hour
1945 Year Crane began making revolving doors
1. Hand-crafted and Customizable dormakaba manufactures its doors at a factory in a Chicago suburb, where the metal is fabricated onsite. “I like to say we’re a custom metal shop that happens to specialize in revolving doors,” MacMillan says. In other words, it’s no cookie-cutter process. Each door is created according to a custom engineering plan. That level of detail means each door that leaves the plant is carefully crafted to meet the project’s specific requirements. While many revolving door manufacturers use aluminum extrusions and clad pre-finished material to the sub-frame, limiting their product offering to architects and end users, Crane offers a fully formed and welded product that is also hand-polished by experienced craftspeople. This type of construction allows Crane to fabricate the strongest revolving door possible—and one that conforms to specific project design and dimensional requirements.
2. Energy Conserving A revolving door is essentially a rotating vestibule that is always open for pedestrians and closed to the outside elements. Studies by MIT and ASHRAE demonstrate that a revolving door may be as much as eight times more energy-efficient than the best slide or swing door. “In terms of energy savings,
the difference is huge,” Wartman says. And dormakaba adds an extra layer of protection with its factory-made weather sweep, ensuring virtually no air escapes between the inside and outside environments. A quick look at the basics of the “stack effect” helps us understand the benefits of the right revolving door detail. Generally, we know air flows in and out of a building due to differences in humidity and air pressure. When it’s cold outside, heated air rises toward the top of the building, and if there are openings lower in the building, cold air rushes in to replace the heated air. Air drafts work against our best insulation methods and can waste significant amounts of energy expended by HVAC systems as they work harder to control temperature. In the U.S., buildings account for 41% of overall energy use, 73% of electricity use, and 38% of all CO2 emissions, according to the USGBC. Fortunately, something as simple as the right revolving door can impact a building’s energy use. Crane doors meet rigid standards set by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) for air infiltration (ASTM E283). In addition to monitoring air infiltration in a lab setting, Crane has also performed field air infiltration testing (ASTM E783) to provide an additional level of confidence to the architect and end user. The doors are also tested in an actual building, providing an additional level of confidence to customers. gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF DORMAKABA
3. Space-Saving According to Wartman, in a typical vestibule application, revolving doors require less square footage on the interior of a building than swing and sliding doors. That means a restaurant can put more tables in that space or a storefront can have additional displays—allowing businesses to be more profitable.
4. Ready for Winter Weather In addition to the air-blocking properties of its doors, dormakaba has more solutions to accommodate winter weather. The company offers a stainless steel floor grill that fits underneath the door to collect any snow and slush people may track in. This serves both aesthetic and safety purposes. The floor grills Crane manufactures also collect dust and debris when a pedestrian enters the building, which can be counted toward LEED credits.
Studies have demonstrated that a revolving door may be as much as eight times more energyefficient than the best slide or swing door.
“ W H AT A R C H I T E C T S AND BUILDING OWNERS LOOK FOR IS STRENGTH, D U R A B I L I T Y, APPE AR ANCE, AND F U N C T I O N A L I T Y. A N D W E H AV E C A P T U R E D ALL OF THOSE T H I N G S .” RON WARTMAN, PL ANT MANAGER, CRANE
5. Low Maintenance A Crane door lasts decades, provided owners follow basic maintenance routines. End users should replace the weather sweep—the rubber-and-felt piece that creates a seal between the door and the floor to prevent air from escaping—every 12 to 24 months, depending on usage. The company also sells rehab kits that make an older door like new again.
6. Durable PHOTO: COURTESY OF DORMAKABA
Crane doors are made of aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, and wood and last for decades. Crane builds the only fully formed and welded door on the market. The metals are welded together (instead of fastened by screws, as other manufacturers do. It’s not unusual for doors installed 50 years ago to be in operation, Wartman says. If an end user should need service, dormakaba offers the longest warranty period in the industry, MacMillan says.
GET THE LEAD OUT Everyone knows consuming lead is bad, but how bad is it?
By Zack Harold
Prior to the 1986 ban of lead in new home construction, more than 70% of U.S. cities used lead-based products in their water systems. Much of that infrastructure remains today and, as a result, a recent national survey of community water systems suggests the number of lead service lines in the country could range from 6 to 10 million and may provide water for as many as 96 million people. The issue of lead contamination—and the health problems it can cause—has come to national attention thanks to coverage of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. As local, state, and federal officials scramble for answers and solutions, the issue remains. This is where ENPRESS comes in. The company’s new PIONEER® filtration system removes both soluble and particulate lead from every drop of water that enters a house. We recently sat down with ENPRESS Vice President Michael P. Mormino to talk about this innovation that’s 100% U.S.-made.
The challenge with lead is, it bioaccumulates. It will accumulate in your body and it does not leave. It can adversely affect children more than adults because they’re growing, so their bodies are more susceptible. Lead can cause damage to kidneys, the nervous system, and the brain, affecting IQ, hearing loss, and may cause behavioral issues. The American Academy of Pediatrics states there are no effective medical treatments for lead poisoning and that prevention of exposure is needed. The only way to find lead poisoning is through a blood test.
How widespread is the issue of lead contamination? They were using lead pipes for conveying water until 1986, because it was less expensive and more durable than iron. Just think about the areas where most of us live. Those cities have been there for a long time. Nearly every major metropolitan area has recently identified some form of lead in community water supplies—Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, significant parts of the Northeast, Midwest, Texas, and Florida, and so on. Milwaukee recently
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ENPRESS
Your water is probably contaminated. ENPRESS’ PIONEER® can help.
said there’s a part of town where 75,000 homes are connected to lead laterals, and it’s estimated that the total price for changing the laterals would be up to $756 million and take decades to complete. And there’s still no guarantee this would alleviate the occurrence of lead in the service lines and in homes. The EPA’s latest survey estimated the entire sector needs $385 billion in water infrastructure improvements through 2030, and this estimate includes costs to only partially replace lead pipes.
What are municipal water systems doing to take care of this problem? It’s not where the water is produced, but rather how the water is traveling through miles of pipe. The challenge is, lead can enter drinking water when service lines that contain lead corrode. This most often happens as a result of a change in the chemistry of the water or a physical disturbance such as road construction or water main replacement. If the characteristics of the water change, consumers would not know. Meanwhile, consumers are still going to have lead pipes. I’m not saying don’t dig up the pipes. But it could take 50 years. We need something that can bridge that gap. Perhaps our technology can work side-by-side with the municipalities to do that.
What makes this system better than a pointof-use solution like pitcher or faucet filters? There was nothing until PIONEER® came along that could take care of all the water that enters the house. The combination of the filter system and the filter technology has truly made it the first of its kind. I have four children, and they are drinking the bathwater, the shower water, they’re brushing their teeth and drinking the water there, too. The dishwasher, the washing machine, the sink—the water’s always on. We want to filter all that water. Trust me, I have one of these.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ENPRESS
How does it remove both lead particles as well as lead that’s dissolved in water? Our system is designed to attract and ionically bond with the soluble lead. It involves electrostatic attraction—it works like a magnet. Lead has a plustwo charge and our filter has a minus-two charge. As it passes through the filter, the minus-two will grab the plus-two and it will bond to it. It’s not getting back out. We went through extensive third-party testing with IAPMO R&T to the NSF/ANSI 53 Standard for lead and cyst filtration. For lead particles, you must be able to filter down to 0.5 microns, which is really small. PIONEER® is certified for the treatment of 100,000 gallons of water, and for cysts like Giardia and Cryptosporidium, which can cause diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. PIONEER® also filters chlorine, chloramines, and improves the taste of the water.
Where is the system installed, and how difficult is installation? Think about where your water meter is. Usually this system would be installed after the water meter, in a home, business, restaurant, school, and so forth, so you’d be assured all the water is getting filtered. A local plumber could easily install this in less than half an hour.
ENPRESS’ new filtration system removes soluble and particulate lead from water.
How often do users need to replace filters? A PIONEER® filter is designed to last for about a year and filter 100,000 gallons of water. In my house, we use more than 100,000 gallons of water in a single year. But a family of two? It might last longer than a year. The system has a meter and it counts the gallons, so there is no guessing if the filter is working or how much life is left before it needs to be changed. There’s a green light that tells the homeowner everything’s good. When it turns yellow that means there’s 10% of life left in the filter. When the red light comes on, you’ve reached the available limit. gb&d
UP FRONT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Portfolio Typology Trendsetters Features Approach Punch List
38 Stantec Headquarters
The new Stantec building in Edmonton is now the tallest building in Western Canada.
40 121 Seaport
This new property’s curved design stands out among the Boston skyline.
WITH 14,000 EMPLOYEES WORKING IN 230 locations, the team at global design
What were your priorities in designing this space?
firm Stantec brought a wealth of expertise to the drawing table when they set out to create the company’s new head office. The office is in Stantec’s hometown: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. And the building is a grand gesture—a love letter to the city that fostered the company’s growth. At 69 stories, it’s the tallest building in Western Canada and sure to define Edmonton’s skyline for generations to come.
The space had to reflect who Stantec is as a company and accommodate employees from across the globe, while supporting our commitment to sustainability as a showpiece for our design services. Our headquarters needed to be flexible to accommodate various meetings and client events and encourage collaboration and creativity.
INTERVIEW BY SHAY MAUNZ
Stantec’s newest head office in Edmonton is the tallest building in Western Canada, at 69 stories.
How is sustainability incorporated? The tower’s holistic sustainable design is targeting LEED Gold Core and Shell certification (exterior).
PHOTO: COURTESY OF STANTEC
ASK THE ARCHITECT / STANTEC
The Stantec office is targeting LEED version 4 Silver Commercial Interiors certification (interior) as well as two-star Fitwel certification for health and wellness. Stantec Tower includes strategies for energy efficiency, a 35% reduction in water usage, recycled and local material selection, and significant consideration for indoor air quality with low emitting material selections. That will also support the health and well-being outcomes being pursued. What role does the building play in revitalizing Edmonton? Stantec is proud to play a large role in transforming Edmonton, revitalizing downtown. We have considered how we can support revitalization, including partnering with the city to create a downtown bike network for our more than 1,500 employees and others to get to work on two wheels. We are also committed to the health and well-being strategies applied to our own office. This project demonstrates our team’s passion for working hard to make a difference in the communities we serve and call home. What stands out to you most about this building’s design?
PHOTO: COURTESY OF STANTEC
Stantec Tower introduces a number of unique features for office space in Edmonton. A dedicated multi-faith prayer room is a comfortable and quiet space, shielded from public view and able to be reserved for private use by employees for activities such as meditation, prayer, and mental recharge. A dedicated lactation room can increase productivity and understanding that a breastfeeding-friendly workplace impacts an employed mother’s intention to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. Gender-neutral washrooms offer an inclusive workplace environment. An open community staircase encourages stair usage. And the floorplates are also modeled as open concept workspaces with minimal offices to encourage collaboration.
bustling ICE District. The journey was one of perseverance, passion, and resilience. Not only did we have to work hard to keep the project on track budget-wise, we faced a hard deadline of expiring leases in our old spaces. How does the building reflect the values and mission of Stantec? Stantec employees are extremely proud of our new headquarters, a project that positively reflects the talent, innovation, and creativity of our team members. The Stantec team was excited to demonstrate our creativity in our own space. Normally, we are working for clients, bringing their vision to life. We were able to bring hundreds of employees from across our company into this project. The team worked more than 145,500 hours on making our dream space into a reality. Stantec Tower is an exemplar of projects we proudly design and the talent we have in our company. The tower is eye-catching, sustainable, innovative, community-minded, and highly functional. It’s also a striking example of collaboration. gb&d
Stantec headquarters LOCATION
Edmonton, Alberta SIZE
1.3 million square feet STORIES
66 functional floors (69 stories tall) COMPLETION
Stantec GENERAL CONTRACTOR
What was the most challenging part of this project? In only four years, Stantec Tower matured from a mere concept—a dream—into a ground-breaking, sky-piercing building in the heart of Edmonton’s
ASK THE ARCHITECT / CBT ARCHITECTS
A LONG THE BOSTON SEAPORT SKY-
line, one building stands out among the uniform glass buildings. The elliptical shape of 121 Seaport is more than a creative choice— it’s a step toward prioritizing sustainability in design. From interior to exterior, designers of the 17-story urban office building kept environmental impact in mind throughout construction, resulting in LEED Platinum certification. David Nagahiro, principal architect at CBT Architects, says his team set out to create a structure that would not only be iconic, but elevate the standards for both design and sustainability within the neighborhood. We recently sat down with Nagahiro to find out more about the evolution of this project. INTERVIEW BY JESSICA SMITH
Tell us more about 121 Seaport. What was that project’s biggest challenge?
What was most surprising to you about this project? During construction in May 2016, the building crew discovered the hull of a shipwreck lodged
PHOTO: BRUCE MARTIN
The biggest challenge was the underground MBTA Silver Line tunnel that runs beneath one corner of the parcel and significantly limits development opportunities on one of the most prominent areas of the site. This challenge ultimately became one of the project’s greatest strengths in that it drove sustainable strategies early on and allowed us to achieve the same amount of square footage by shifting the massing, reorienting the tower, and resculpting its shape. The result was an elliptical building form that not only avoided the tunnel below-grade, but also created a highly efficient office plate with unparalleled views, reduced shadow on the public realm, and laid a foundation for significant sustainability strategies moving forward.
121 Seaport LOCATION
450,000 square feet COMPLETION
March 2018 COST
$281 million ARCHITECT
CBT Architects GENERAL CONTRACTOR
Skanska LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Copley Wolff Design Group
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SOLOMON MCCOWN & COMPANY
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS in the land that would become the building’s foundation. It had been preserved in the clay of what used to be the South Boston Commonwealth Flats and is thought to have been traveling from Maine when it arrived in Boston in the late 19th century. That discovery was definitely surprising and has remained one of the most interesting events I’ve witnessed on a construction site. In fact, upon 121’s completion, Skanska and Copley Wolff Design Group constructed Harbor Way, an interactive open-air museum that celebrates this piece of Boston’s history at the very site on which it was found. What are the benefits of the building’s elliptical design? The design offers many benefits aside from its impact on the skyline. The elliptical form actually reduces the amount of the building’s skin by 10% when compared to a traditional rectangular structure, and its alignment and orientation passively minimize solar heat gain on the exterior. This building orientation also aligns with the prevailing wind direction, and its aerodynamic design reduces lateral wind force, decreasing the amount of struc-
tural reinforcement needed for the building by 30% and lowering the overall construction costs of the project. Its shape also offers panoramic views of the Seaport, the Boston Harbor, and even the Financial District, bringing as much of Boston’s gorgeous cityscape into the tenants’ experience as possible. Its rounded structure allows natural light to penetrate deeper into the floorplate, an important employee wellness goal in today’s office market. The design provides aesthetic, financial, sustainability, and construction benefits, illustrating just how impactful an intentional building design strategy can be. What features helped 121 Seaport achieve LEED Platinum status? Aside from the building’s inherent sustainable aspects, 121 Seaport was constructed from 20% recycled materials to lessen its environmental impact from groundbreaking onwards. The building also utilizes a chilled beam mechanical system that circulates water instead of air to reduce energy consumption and lower costs. Further, 121 has a rainwater harvesting system that collects and re-
McNamara Salvia GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERS
Haley and Aldrich MEP ENGINEERS
Bala|TMP INTERIOR DESIGNER
A new office building in downtown Boston is LEED Platinum.
cycles rainwater from the roof to be used as graywater in the building’s restrooms, cutting water consumption throughout the building by 30%. At every level of design is an intentional aspect that is aimed at reducing impact and promoting a renewable future.
Up-down construction is a relatively new approach to high-rise urban construction that works to significantly condense a project’s construction schedule. With 121, the building timeline was reduced by approximately six months, which allowed for a speedier delivery than traditional urban office projects. The up-down method requires the installation of the foundation elements three floors below grade, followed by the installation of the ground-level slab. From here, the building’s superstructure is erected while the underground garage is simultaneously excavated out, a balancing act that brings the project to completion in a quicker timeframe than doing each of the construction phases separately. gb&d
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SOLOMON MCCOWN & COMPANY
How was the up-down construction approach utilized to save money and time during the overall construction?
PORTFOLIO UP FRONT GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Portfolio Typology Trendsetters Features Approach Punch List
44 Eco Overhaul
Hartford’s updated zoning code is allowing for more solar panels, wind turbines, and more.
46 Step by Step
An organization called Gyaw Gyaw is transforming life near a Thailand border.
48 Redefining Rural Life
A group of creatives on a Norwegian island is changing what it means to live in the countryside.
ECO OVERHAUL HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT IS CHANGING THE WAY IT THINKS ABOUT ZONING AND BUILDING.
Lynn Stoddard visits Hartford, Connecticut regularly for meetings related to her position as the director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University. Hartford has always been a charming city, with historic architecture and a bustling business district. But in the last two years, Stoddard began to notice a change. “There are bike-share bikes on the sidewalk. There are these great, new public spaces that have been beautified and improved,” she says. “Even on the surface you can see that the city has been making a real push to improve sustainability.” Peek under the surface, and there’s even more to see. In 2016, Hartford stakeholders—including nonprofit organizations, regional and state government agencies, and private businesses—convened to draft a Climate Action Plan for the city. The plan was formally adopted by the City Council in 2017. That same year, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin created an Office of Sustainability, using funding from external grants to implement the plan. HOW TO BUILD A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY
Much of this work has been guided by Sustainable CT, which was founded in 2016 to provide a road map to sustainability for Connecticut communities and is run out of Stoddard’s office at Eastern Connecticut State. Sustainable CT shares best
practices with communities working to develop sustainability plans, has a certification program for those that meet certain benchmarks, and routes grant funding into local projects. Hartford was granted certification by Sustainable CT in October 2018. “The local level is a great place to work on sustainability,” Stoddard says. “It’s not partisan. And in your home, in your community, that’s really where behavior is influenced. If a person sees solar panels on the roof of every school in town, mounted above many parking lots, and on the homes of several of their neighbors, that person is probably more likely to consider solar panels for themselves.” In 2016, Hartford’s zoning code underwent a major overhaul for the first time in 50 years. The new, forward-thinking zoning
code is an exceptionally impactful—if distinctly unsexy—move toward a more sustainable community. The code eliminated parking minimums in Hartford, meaning builders no longer have to provide parking as part of new construction. That allows for greater building density in the city and encourages walking, biking, and public transit use. The code also allows building-mounted solar panels and wind turbines just about everywhere, plus large-scale wind turbines along the highway corridor and solar-power canopies in many places. It requires electric vehicle charging stations in parking lots for more than 35 cars as part of an effort to establish a citywide infrastructure supporting electric vehicles. It requires most buildings to have bike parking. And it dictates a 25- to 50-foot buffer near waterways gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF SUISMAN URBAN DESIGN
BY SHAY MAUNZ
People in Hartford are increasingly getting around on foot or by bikeshare bike.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SUISMAN URBAN DESIGN
where development is prohibited. That’s just to name a few of the changes. The zoning code overhaul is being augmented by several green infrastructure projects around town. A $5 million grant from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is allowing the city to retrofit all of the city’s streetlights. Eventually all of the city’s streets and public spaces will be lit by LED lights. “We anticipate not just environmental benefits and cost savings but also brighter streets, which is a critical safety issue,” says Shubhada Kambli, sustainability coordinator for Hartford. The State Capitol is undergoing a retrofit that includes installing rain gardens and pavement that allows rainwater to flow into the ground, and installing a water cistern to collect rainwater for irrigation. The Horace Bushnell Promenade is a 30-foot wide public space that runs adjacent to the Bushnell park, effectively extending the park for a half-mile stretch. The promenade features planters that work as rain gardens, energy-efficient lighting, and new benches and bike racks. Overall, Kambli says Hartford’s Climate Action Plan approaches sustainability as a quality-of-life issue. “We want to see clean jobs, we want to see cleaner air, soil, and water for our residents,” Kambli says. “Our environmental work is not just for the sake of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It really is designed to create direct benefits for our residents.” gb&d gb&d
STEP BY STEP HOW SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE IS EDUCATING REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS ON THE BORDER BETWEEN THAILAND AND MYANMAR BY LAURA ROTE
Every project has its challenges. When it comes to building a sustainable village, there’s a lot to consider—and we’re not talking about racking up points for LEED or other certifications. For architect Line (pronounced LEE-nuh) Ramstad, building sustainably begins with considering—and respecting—the community you’re in. Ramstad is a Norwegian landscape architect who also has degrees in anthropology and geography. After five
years of working in a private Norwegian architecture firm, she set out to explore how architecture could be used for positive development and ended up on a temporary architectural project on the border of Thailand and Myanmar (formerly Burma). There she met local carpenters, and they founded the organization Gyaw Gyaw—meaning “step by step” in the local language, Karen. “Since 2009 we have been building social buildings for and together with the local migrant community,” Ramstad says. Schools, dormitories, and even a health clinic make up just some of the structures that have enriched a roughly 30-mile jungle area on the border as part of Gyaw Gyaw’s work. “With villagers we have completed more than 60 projects,” Ramstad says. About half are community projects like toilets, wells, fences, and water systems, while the rest are buildings. “Our main projects are all done with the future users involved, and they are adjusted to the landscape and local climate and with sustainability in a cultural, economic, and environmental matter as a base.” Part of that economical sustainability means building using people, not magbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: FRANC PALLARÈS LÓPEZ
Sustainable building methods and materials were emphasized across 60-plus Gyaw Gyaw projects. Read more at gyaw.org.
tion, the results are comfortable spaces, perfect for learning.” Bamboo is also used for windows and walls, letting air and light through. Ramstad says bamboo depends on the season and locale; in this region it can last two to six years, so they use it where it can easily be replaced. “We also aim to lift local traditions; braided patterns normally used for baskets have become popular as windows and braided mats have become walls.” OVERCOMING CHALLENGES
chines. This provides local jobs while ensuring future users can easily replace parts and maintain the building. Minimizing long-term costs of a building is vital to longterm success. As for cultural sustainability, Ramstad emphasizes that the mission of Gyaw Gyaw is in no way to change the way people live. Instead, projects are adapted to the people who live there.
PHOTOS: FRANC PALLARÈS LÓPEZ; JONATHAN GONZÁLEZ
SUSTAINABLE BUILDING METHODS
Gyaw Gyaw strives to use materials and solutions that won’t harm the environment, emphasizing local, renewable building materials to minimize transportation emissions as well as using as little concrete as possible. “Our building methods are locally adjusted to materials available, traditional techniques, climate, landscape, and use,” Ramstad says. “They are based on traditional living standards but designed for a more functional use, often leading to smaller buildings and less use of materials.” For construction in the rainy season, the team makes a freestanding roof on a timber construction and uses premade adobe bricks on a concrete slab underneath. “In gb&d
Ramstad says the biggest challenge has been to promote change in a traditional society where critical discussions often don’t happen in public. “The combination of ‘don’t lose face’ and a strong hierarchy with implied respect for people above you creates situations where positions are more important than actual results,” she says. “In one way this keeps the small and informal societies along the border together, but it’s a challenge for human rights and democracy. Unfortunately aid workers and volunteers have the habit of exploiting this to their own benefit, leaving myself and others with a challenge to prove ourselves different and earn the trust needed to be able to contribute to a long-term positive change from the inside.” Working together as equals is crucial, and local collaborations are necessary for these cases, we are using more timber than projects to succeed. Each project begins if we would have used adobe as a load-bear- with the request from the school or instiing element, but it allows us to work all tution itself, and Gyaw Gyaw follows up for through the year,” Ramstad says. “Concrete years to make sure the project runs well, is not in itself a sustainable malooking at everything from teachterial, but for foundation and P R O J E C T ers’ pay and curriculum to cooperslabs under adobe, concrete is ation between village and school so far our only option and is LOCATION and actual need. “Do they need a Myanmar/Thailand essential to avoid water and border new building, or do they want it? termites getting into the adobe If the last question is a want, we from the ground. It makes it SPONSORS do not start the project,” Ramstad HENT AS, Asplan possible to make adobe in this Viak AS, Rotary says. “This might seem harsh, but area and increases the lifespan Jessheim, Baias, to build a building just for the of the building. To improve its Agraff sake of it does not lead to a good environmental footprint, we are ARCHITECTS cooperation.” using sand and gravel from local Gyaw Gyaw Gyaw Gyaw has introduced new rivers and streams and bamboo techniques and alternative uses as reinforcements in the slabs.” of existing materials in small steps and in Introducing adobe as a building material cooperation with village representatives was one of the biggest steps, as the team and future users. The local connection and locally produced the sun-dried earthen teamwork ensures money and knowledge blocks. Compared to concrete, the most- go back into the community. “Look for used alternative to traditional timber and ways to combine modern and traditional bamboo construction, adobe is both cheap- building patterns but always understand er and more sustainable. “Thick adobe walls why people live like they do and consider also keep inside temperatures more stable the effect a change can have on people’s and, in combination with natural ventila- everyday life,” Ramstad says. gb&d january–february 2019
REDEFINING RURAL LIFE ON A SMALL NORWEGIAN ISLAND, FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND NEIGHBORS ARE BUILDING A COMMUNITY WORTH TREKKING TO. BY LAURA ROTE
after years of working all over the world. When he moved away as a young man, his life revolved more around art and punk music. But his heart was never far from Stokkøya and, eventually it seemed, he’d be able to combine his loves. He asked himself what he’d need to live and thrive on his home island. Was it as simple as a beach bar? Together with his wife, Torild, his wife’s sister (Ingrid), and Ingrid’s husband (a furniture-maker who also lives and works on the island), Svenning began to bring his dream for a creative rural community to life in the early 2000s. The group focused on nature, architecture, food, and experience. “We try our best to adjust our buildings to the nature, not the opposite. Less dynamite and more nature-adaptive architecture,” Svenning says. He says rural areas anywhere could benefit from the Stokkøya approach, with careful planning to increase the quality of life and attract smart, talented people.
Hadar’s Hus in Bygda 2.0 has received several architecture awards and was designed by Asante Arkitektur & Design, whose philosophy centers around sustainable architecture.
PHOTO: MARIUS RUA
Less than 400 residents live on the island of Stokkøya—and perhaps just as many sheep. To get there, you must take a 25-minute ferry from Trondheim, the third most populous city in Norway, then travel 90 minutes by car or bus. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll find ample room to kayak, lie on the beach, camp, or hike. While some would want to keep this oasis on the Norwegian Sea to themselves, people here are planning for the future—and inviting others to join them. “We want to have people living in the countryside. It’s important,” says Ingrid Langklopp, the business developer at Stokkøya Sjøsenter, the growing island resort that includes 30 cottages tucked into the seaside forest, a small hotel, restaurant, bar, art and music spaces, and more. “We have the resources,” she says. “You have to have great brains to take care of these resources. And we have to think about what will attract these great brains.” The resort began when Roar Svenning, who grew up on the island, returned home
RENDERINGS: PIR II ARCHITECTS; PHOTO: GERHARDSEN KARLSEN
Bygdekanten is designed by Pir II AS, the awardwinning, environmentally conscious architecture firm that also designed the resort’s Strandbaren restaurant, hotel, cottages, and Bygdebox, among other buildings.
Svenning says it’s not hard to imagine that a growing world population will need more food and a more sustainable food production process; the farm needs farmers. By 2050 the world’s population is expected to increase by 34%, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Nearly 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050. “Some qualified people need to stay in the countryside where food is produced,” he says. “The countryside will get its renaissance, but it’s better if it happens well planned than to wait until the shit hits the fan.” SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
First came the cottages, which started going up in 2002 in an effort to make money and further invest in development while attracting good visitors and neighbors. The 30th was complete in 2018. “Then, in 2005 we built the Beach Bar as a very important means for social life, a place to eat and drink, and a source for income and jobs,” Svenning says. gb&d
Today on the coast you’ll also find a multi-purpose building, Bygdebox, with a large conference room, coworking space, bakery, wood workshop, meeting rooms, and more. The area is now the centerpiece of Stokkøya Festival, a music and arts festival that launched in 2018 (pg. 50). It’s all part of the Bygda 2.0 development, which began in 2010.
Designed by Pir II Architects (an award-winning Trondheim firm known for environmental architecture), Bygdebox is one of many examples of how the Stokkøya team is building creatively. All projects in and around the resort implement reused materials as much as possible, Langklopp says. For Bygdebox, the large triangular building near the waterfront, crews used january–february 2019
Building a Green Music Festival
Building materials are repurposed in clever ways across Stokkøya, from the hotel (above) to the multi-purpose Bygdebox (left), designed by Pir II Architects.
leftover materials from other projects and a nearby ship graveyard. The multi-purpose area used green glass from a demolished government building, facade panels from an old local bank, and leftover doors and windows from other projects. Back at the Stokkøya hotel (less than a 10-minute walk from Bygda 2.0), repurposing was also key when it was built in 2008. “We used a lot of recycled materials to build furniture, and we brought in students to build furniture,” Langklopp says. “We used old sails to make curtains; we picked up things from the ship graveyard to put on the wall.” Langklopp says sustainable architecture was always part of the resort’s plan, emphasizing that buildings can work with, not against, nature. “We want to have great architecture but without spending lots of money,” she says. “To think and build like this can be a bit more time-consuming in the planning phase, but when doing it, we save the environment, we lower our investments, and it also gives our projects and buildings unique character.” BEING, AND BUILDING, GOOD NEIGHBORS
In early 2019, the first four of eight townhouses began being built on the waterfront. These are being developed in cooperation with local industry actors and the local
municipality, and they’ll be available for rent, permanent residence, and artists in residence. The houses are built according to Norwegian Husbanken (the state housing bank) standards, so they must meet passive house standards for favorable loan terms. Called Bygdekanten, meaning “on the edge of the village,” the new housing project aims to show off contemporary architecture in a powerful seaside setting for people who want to live in nature without sacrificing urban amenities like a nice cocktail or live music. The demand for these houses is clearly there. Three of the first four have already sold, and Langklopp receives emails every day from people all over the world who are interested in the next four in phase two. She says the buyers and renters are diverse, too, from a man in his 60s to a young, local couple. “That is what we aim for. It’s not for a homogenous group. It should be very diverse.” The evolution of the community over 10-plus years has been inspiring. When Svenning was a kid, twice as many people lived on the island, and he’s happy to see the population back on the incline. “Seeing good people moving out here is the most satisfying thing,” he says. “That property keeps a good price is also a good indicator that the area is healthy.” gb&d gbdmagazine.com
PHOTOS, CLOCKWISE: KEN ROBIN SIVERTSVIK; JAN M. LILLEBØ; KRISTIN SLOTTERØY; GERHARDSEN KARLSEN
On a Friday in July, volunteers scurry to and from the festival stage, campsites, cabins, and boat dock. They’re dressed in red caps in tribute to Jacques Cousteau, and their excitement is palpable. Roughly 1,500 people have come out to the island for Stokkøya Festival, a weekend of music and activities like kayaking, beach yoga, and sustainability workshops. Wenche Bendixvold-Ryjord has managed festivals before, but like all major events, she knew Stokkøya would come with its own set of challenges. “We were especially concerned about how the land, nature, and the environments would handle so many people gathering at a very fragile place,” she says. From the start, the staff set out to make a plastic-free festival—no Solo cups here. “We were pretty excited about running a sustainable festival, reducing single use plastic by 80% the first year.” The crew also led a composting project, showing festival-goers where their food scraps really went. Water filling stations were plentiful, significantly reducing water bottles. Food at the fest was hyperlocal, too. “The audience embraced the concept and almost made it into a sport cleaning up after themselves,” Bendixvold-Ryjord says, adding that the amount of non-recycled waste totaled less than 1 kilogram per attendee. She says it proves the festival lived by its motto to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and the audience did, too. “People are getting it, they are helping us, and as a result we leave smaller footprints.”
GREEN BUILDINGTYPOLOGY & DESIGN
Up Front Portfolio Typology Trendsetters Features Approach Punch List
52 Designing Kids’ Furniture
Kohburg is transforming early childhood classrooms with thoughtful design.
56 Why Choose Steel
The experts at EcoSteel show how their steel building systems are a smart choice.
58 Culture Shift
The LADWP works to manage its resources in a way that’s better for the environment.
60 Nova Polymers
The experts share their knowledge on how to meet ADA signage compliance codes.
62 Next Level Seating
Designs like these from Grand Rapids Chair Company transform restaurants.
january–february january –february 2019
DESIGNING THE BEST KIDS’ FURNITURE Kohburg is using European thought to transform early childhood classrooms. By Laura Rote
It’s not uncommon to walk into a preschool and be overwhelmed by color—giant blocks of primary blue, red,
or yellow, often accompanied by distracting shapes and patterns at every turn. While the status quo was certainly vibrant, the founder of Kohburg set out to transform classrooms with furniture centered around calm, natural, and healthy design. U s i n g r e a l wo o d a n d e l e ga n t design elements, Kohburg delivers environmentally friendly furniture options that aren’t distracting. “It allows the child to focus on just one thing,” says Isabel Orellana, general manager at Kohburg. “Something natural needed to be put in the classroom, something neutral.” She says Kohburg takes a cue from the Reggio Emilia approach to preschool and primary education, in which classrooms are student-centered and emphasize experiential learning while creating a calm environment. About 10 years ago, the Germany-based company brought its clean, clever design from the small town of Coburg in Bavaria to
the U.S. The city of Coburg itself is known for innovative, modern architecture and furniture design dating all the way back to the 1050s. MODERN MAKEOVER In 2016, Kohburg outfitted University of Southern California’s new children’s center—12 beautiful, clean classrooms with new shelves, tables, chairs, cubbies, and more. The company had first worked with the USC team in 2009, when the university had a much smaller center and just a couple of classrooms. USC loved the results but quickly outgrew the space and, several years ago, began remodeling a new building. “They were really excited about working with Kohburg again because we were local. We were able to go in there and do the layouts from the ground up,” Orellana says. The USC team keeps returning to Kohburg not just because they’re conveniently located, though. They keep going back to them because they love the design. “We have several centers, and we gbdmagazine.com
PHOTOS, THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS SPREAD: COURTESY OF KOHBURG
Kohburg came to the U.S. when the company’s owner saw that the States needed more choices in early classroom furniture.
use Kohburg shelves and furniture because we are very satisfied with the results,” says Zafira Firdosy, director at USC Children’s Center. “We continue to work with Kohburg because the service is good and the quality is excellent.” She says the finished product is always attractive, and teachers look forward to walking into a classroom full of nice, new furniture. Finished projects excite Orellana, too. “It’s so rewarding to see the students and teachers and owners of a center, when they see what their school looks like with new furniture.”
When they walk back in the classroom and see all the brandnew furniture— that to me is as exciting as it can get.”
PHOTO: COURTESY OF KOHBURG
IN DEMAND Kohburg’s most popular products are its tables, chairs, and literacy corner. The latter is also popular in small daycares or in the home. “People can put a little corner in their house,” Orellana says. “It’s a really cute area where a child can go pick up a book and sit on the floor or the couch.” Kohburg gets orders from all over the world but ships mainly across Europe and the U.S. For far-flung projects, the company can send a team to help projects come to life. Kohburg also racks up a number of
certifications that prove its commitment to sustainability. The company is Greenguard Gold certified, uses FSC-certified lumber, and is CARB (California Air Resources Board) certified to meet high standards that ensure reduced formaldehyde emissions. “That’s really important,” Orellana says, noting the products are safe both for children and the environment. “We’re excited that we are able to provide quality materials backed up by great licenses.” Kohburg uses Australian Pine Fiberboard (APF) material, man-made from 100% recyclable wood fibers that are often the byproduct of trim waste from plywood manufacturing processes. Orellana says it’s one of the greenest materials available in today’s market. Plus, all of Kohburg’s finishes are water-based, glues are organic, and any stainless steel used is 304 stainless steel—something mainly seen in the medical field. “Even with all of the qualifications we have, we still manage to keep our prices very affordable,” Orellana says. “You’re not only getting great furniture; you’re getting great quality backed up by all these reports.” gb&d
WHY CHOOSE S TEEL The experts at EcoSteel show how their steel building systems are a smart alternative to materials like wood. By Laura Rote
something extraordinary. The company’s modern, prefabricated steel building systems are not only designed with architects to look beautiful—they stand up to nearly any condition imaginable and save owners time, money, and energy. Working with EcoSteel starts early, as the team makes a 3D model of the entire building system and works with the building owner and architects to identify needs and challenges early on. Using superior BIM technology, EcoSteel designs to meet or exceed local building codes while resisting earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. They then produce a prefabricated kit of parts that quickly and efficiently assembles onsite. “EcoSteel has stood the test of time by supplying commercial steel products that
have been around for generations and are proven in every state in America,” says EcoSteel founder and CEO Joss Hudson. “We offer an alternative to traditional wood and work with architects, developers, contractors, real estate brokers, and property owners to create a value-driven approval to steel construction.” ENDLESS POSSIBILITY In both the commercial and residential sectors, people increasingly look to steel to make their design dreams come true, says Dave Scott, operations manager for EcoSteel. Architects may seek out EcoSteel because they want an exposed, industrialchic look for their clients, Scott says, or homeowners may look to the company for solutions that offer pristine views while maintaining an energy-efficient space. EcoSteel offers the design flexibility they
need—from cantilevers to large, clear spans for wide, open spaces that allow you to bring the outdoors in and preserve that connection to nature. “People don’t always understand what we can do with steel,” Scott says. From unique designs to varied finishes and colors, EcoSteel has made its mark on countless standout projects—elaborate homes, modern breweries, Class A office buildings, and more. WITHSTANDS NATURAL DISASTERS It’s no secret that steel lasts. But not only are EcoSteel’s systems durable; they resist mold, mites, and even fire while also standing up to severe storms. Developers often turn to EcoSteel as a way to be proactive, especially in California where, in 2017, the state’s wildfires destroyed 7,500 buildings. gbdmagazine.com
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ECOSTEEL
When clients turn to Californiabased EcoSteel, it’s because they want
ty and her husband chose to build along South Carolina’s coastal barrier island, they were adamant about steel, even when no local architects could do it. “We wanted steel—something that was environmentally green and had high recycled content and wind stability in hurricane weather,” Beatty says. “My husband found EcoSteel and had a conversation with Joss about what we wanted to build and they got right to it. Working with their design team and engineers, our dream quickly became a reality.” The result is a house with nearly 70% impact windows. It’s built on concrete pilings to keep it above water, while 12-foot ceilings and exposed steel beams support the wind beam glass loads without interruption. The 1,900-square-foot main house, 680-squarefoot guest house, and 900-square-foot shop were all built on eight-and-a-half acres of riverfront property. “Our main idea was to make sure what we created was something that made you feel like you were outside when you were inside,” Beatty says. The family of five moved in just days before Hurricane Florence hit. They chose to shelter in place, and their modern EcoSteel prefabricated home came through unscathed.
PHOTOS: TREVE JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Prefabricated steel buildings go up quicker than if you were to use traditional building materials, as they arrive pre-cut and preinsulated, eliminating the need for a host of traditional subcontractors and saving both time and money.
Commercial real estate developers and brothers Brian and Kevin Dueck know the need all too well. After their 20,000-squarefoot retail property in Santa Cruz was destroyed by fire, they turned to EcoSteel for a fire-resistant building that was building- and energy code-compliant and modern. EcoSteel’s prefab buildings saved them time and money when rebuilding, as they could be designed and assembled faster than traditional methods. Now the Duecks have a successful 10,300-square-foot steel property—complete with gastropub, salon, and gym—with twohour fire rated panels and roof. “EcoSteel gave us a sweetheart of a deal and helped us design a retail space with a modern and open look that is also fireproof,” Brian Dueck says. “It has been a huge hit and has brought a lot of economic vitality to the area.” In South Carolina, hurricanes are a real challenge for buildings. When Jenn Beat-
KEY SUSTAINABLE FEATURES EcoSteel systems are made with 76% recycled steel, and pre-engineered steel is made up of 85% recycled material. In general, sustainable materials like glass and steel offer a long life cycle while maintaining exceptional energy performance, reducing heating and cooling costs, and meeting building code requirements for zero net energy compliance. Steel also won’t rot, warp, or decompose like wood, so it’s not only durable—it’s low maintenance and environmentally friendly. Scott says many clients seek out EcoSteel for their energy-efficient insulated panels. Originally invented for the commercial refrigeration industry, they could withstand temperatures below 50 degrees. EcoSteel’s panels achieve the highest insulation values available, with no thermal gaps or bridging. Their buildings are solar-ready, too. “If you’re someone who’s looking to own your building for a long time, using our insulated panels is key because you’re going to cut down your operating costs extensively,” he says. As builders and suppliers must continue to find ways to keep up with new building codes and standards, EcoSteel building materials have what they need. “People are looking for an alternative to wood and other traditional building materials for a variety of reasons, and we can offer that with steel,” Hudson says. gb&d january–february 2019
A CULTU R E SH IF T The LADWP is adapting to better manage its water resources in light of climate change. By Mikenna Pierotti
California has always been at risk of climate extremes. In a single year the state could suffer both epic drought
HOW THEY DO IT LADWP is convinced the way forward lies within its own borders, cleaning up waters contaminated by years of industry, recycling and recharging groundwater, and changing its own culture. “Our
Nancy Sutley gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF LADWP
and torrential rains, scorching wildfires and shattering quakes. At its heart, the City of Angels, with 4 million people and growing, has taken up the challenge to plan for a sustainable water supply in a changing climate future. Throughout its 116-year history, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has continually developed the City of Los Angeles’ water supply, becoming a critical component of the city’s economic and population growth. “We are the largest municipal utility in the country. We were fundamental to the growth of LA from a sleepy little village to the second largest city in the country,” says Marty Adams, chief operating officer at LADWP. As climate change throws an even bigger wrench in an already challenging situation, this innovative public utility has learned to change with the times—and has become an inspiring example of how to manage a major city’s water.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF LADWP
tives like the Woodman Multi-Beneficial Stormwater Capture Project further fuel this effort, improving aesthetics, educating the public, and cleaning up dirty water that would otherwise end up in rivers.
generation is looking internally to make ourselves more self-reliant, less susceptible to climate variation, and more resilient in the face of earthquakes and other disasters,” Adams says. One of the city’s biggest water goals originated with Mayor Eric Garcetti—sourcing 50% of LA’s water locally by 2035. It’s a lofty bar for a city that’s been importing water from hundreds of miles away for generations. But when LA looks to evolve, it doesn’t do it by halves. The city’s crown jewel in this effort is set to be its massive groundwater remediation program, recovering local water such as the San Fernando Groundwater Basin, an aquifer and superfund site once polluted by war-time industries, into high-quality sources of drinking water. The city broke ground on the $92 million North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project in January 2018. It is expected to be completed by early 2020—one of four remediation projects to be constructed in the San Fernando Valley. Once clean, the basin could supply drinking water to more than 800,000 people. Capturing, cleaning, and recycling water—such as water reuse and stormwater runoff—that would otherwise be lost is another critical method. “We’re teaming up with the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation to take more recycled water and put that to use, ideally get it back into the environment by recharging our groundwater basins,” he says. Local, community-based stormwater capture initiagb&d
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is managing its resources in myriad ways, from conservation gardens to installing earthquake resistant ductile iron pipe.
BEING PROACTIVE Building in more resiliency will also be crucial to protect water supplies in a geologically active region. For that, Mayor Garcetti has another goal, building 14 miles of earthquake resilient pipe by 2020, and LADWP is on track to meet it. Once complete it will be the longest, large-diameter earthquake resistant pipeline project in the nation. Less glamorous but no less critical are methods like fixing up existing infrastructure and making sure water loss from breakage and aging pipes is at a minimum—and educating the public about water conservation. “Angelenos over a generation have done an amazing job of conserving water,” says Nancy Sutley, chief sustainability officer at LADWP. “We used basically around the same water in the 1970s as we do today, even though we’ve added more than a million people to our population.” And those numbers are dropping. “Our per person consumption in the mid-1970s was around 188 gallons per person per day. Our most recent numbers in a 12-month period are 112 gallons per person per day,” she says. Supplying rebates for replacing water-hungry grass lawns with California-friendly landscaping and for replacing old washing machines, going door to door giving away (and installing) efficient toilets and showerheads, it all adds up to a massive culture shift sparked by LADWP. And this utility isn’t afraid to walk the walk, turning their own headquarters into a LEED Gold Facility and installing massive demonstration gardens to inspire and educate residents and local landscapers. “A new generation in LA has grown up turning off the water while brushing their teeth, putting buckets in the shower while it runs, and watering their plants with recycled water. People really practice water conservation here,” she says. “It’s become a way of life.” gb&d january–february 2019
ASK THE EXPERTS
THE RIGHT SIGNS Nova Polymers designs for ADA compliance. BY COLLEEN DEHAR T
The experts at Nova Polymers say proper placement of signs is key. Too often projects incorporate signs in the wrong places.
ith fines upwards of $75,000 a violation, meeting signage compliance codes for the Americans with Disabilities Act is a big deal for any building owner. That is why Nova Polymers—the largest manufacturer and distributor of photopolymer sign products around the world— has made ADA education a priority. Nova Polymers meets with more than 100 architectural firms yearly, reaching more than 2,500 architectural employees. Every day Nova Polymers’ efforts support the disability community of 7.6 billion people as they navigate the built environment with sustainability, design, and functionality in mind. For tips on how to effectively meet signage codes without skimping on design, gb&d turned to Bob Greenberger, director of sales and education at Nova Polymers.
How important is ADA signage compliance?
“We can match any construction or design intent.”
In one word—extremely. If you put yourself in the shoes of a blind or visually impaired person and try to navigate the built environment without ADA compliant signs, there is a lot that can go wrong. It is just like a person in a wheelchair trying to go up the steps. It is a functional barrier if signs are not compliant. How is compliance changing? I believe, right now, priorities are bent toward helping those with disabilities more than ever. People are contacting the access board and consistently trying to help develop standards to further aid a person with disabilities. It could be about the height of the sign or the placement or the thickness—all of the aspects that would affect signage. What are some of the most common mistakes you see? There are so many. Weekly I am in airports, hotels, office buildings, and restaurants observing the signage. Some of the biggest mistakes I see include a lack of signage—all rooms are not being identified. Secondly, the signs are missing braille or have been vandalized in some way. People will be bored in high traffic areas and pick off the braille on the signs. Then, signs are often installed in the wrong place. They are too far away from the door to the room so you can’t identify the room, or they are not on the right side of the door where they are supposed to be, or the sign is actually on the door so the people trying to read it might get hit by a closed door or unable to find it if the door is open. Where does beautiful design fit in? Architects concentrate 99% of their efforts on creating this gorgeous building. Signage should complement and/or enhance their design. The frustrating thing for designers is that the effort and thought put into their building creation is cheapened with catalog signs, possibly changing the whole look. With Nova Polymers materials, we can match any construction or design intent. Why are security and vandalism important to consider? If the visually impaired can’t properly read the signage, then they can’t navigate the built environment on their own. Additionally, for a building owner, if the signs are being vandalized they are having to replace them on a regular basis. It can be costly to the owner. Nova Polymers material is the least susceptible to damage, as the braille is processed as an integral part of the sign. How does sustainability fit in? This is the most frequently asked question at my ADA presentations—what about sustainability? Our architects and designers are very mindful of LEED and making sure signage is environmentally friendly. Nova Polymers materials are recyclable and made to outlast the building’s design. We make sure we are minimizing our footprint and doing what we can to protect the environment. gb&d
PHOTOS, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: COURTESY OF DOGANER SIGNAGE SYSTEMS; INPRO CORPORATION; AGS
ASK THE EXPERTS
NEXT LEVEL SEATING Grand Rapids Chair Company provides restaurants with trendsetting design. BY MIKENNA PIEROT TI
Take a seat in nearly any chain restaurant today and you’ll probably notice something has shifted. From pleather and plastic to warm woods and clean metals, quick-service eating spaces have evolved, with Wi-Fi and comfortable lounge areas flexible enough to host a working lunch and intimate enough for a solo meal. Michigan-based Grand Rapids Chair Company has its finger on the pulse of this aesthetic with its collections of design-forward, durable, high-quality commercial furniture, outfitting everything from Chipotle to Sweetgreen. Launched over two decades ago in Grand Rapids, the company’s ethos “has always been about elevating brands and helping them create a one-of-a-kind experience within commercial spaces,” says Dean Jeffrey, director of marketing and new product development at Grand Rapids Chair Company. We asked Jeffrey to talk about how something as simple as a chair (and yes, they make much more than just chairs) can help transform both a space and an industry. gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF GRAND RAPIDS CHAIR COMPANY
How would you describe the changes in the quick-service food industry? The spaces we create for are traditionally in-and-out spaces—until recently. Millennials have really driven the aesthetic change. The new trends are to create places to relax in, meet in, and work in—all with a harmonious design. We’ve found that furniture should be more than just a layer of comfort; it should help to elevate the space and the brand. How do you marry great design with the practical needs of the commercial industry?
will be sitting there? What will they be doing? Then we tag our amazing network of designers, like Dowel Jones of Australia and Midwest-based designer Joey Ruiter and choose one who’s really pushing in the right direction. We then have two or three months of refining before it goes to our manufacturing team. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have over 100 amazing people in our factory. Some have been here 20 years. Others we’ve trained from the bottom up, working with local technical colleges. You focus on using high-quality, local, American-made materials. Why is that so important?
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GRAND RAPIDS CHAIR COMPANY
We create furniture with a modern aesthetic that still feels approachable. At the same time, functionality, durability, We’ve always been passionate and “cleanability” are crucial. about not only creating products That’s why our mixed materials in America to better the comcollections, often munities around incorporating us, but also using steel and wood, high-quality local have become materials. Being super popular. in the heart of Chairs like these Steel is easy to American furniture helped to transform work with. It can manufacturing in restaurants like Brome be molded into Grand Rapids, we Modern Eatery and any shape, but it have amazing local Hat Creek Burger can also survive vendors we can Company. intense usage— tap both for their stacking, movknowledge and ing, cleaning for materials. The with harsh chemicals. You can materials we choose are also a celebrate the rawness of it with point of pride, like our white oak, a low gloss, or you can put color which comes from sustainably on it. Wood gives you a chance harvested forests. to break up the industrial vibe. It softens the look and makes it How are you able to set those approachable with curves and standards and yet create textures. You have the ability to affordable collections that can paint or color it endlessly. You stand the test of time? can distress it, add cutouts, make it your own. We differentiate our We make our products affordable design through personalization, because we know how to make leaving plenty of room for both them quickly and efficiently. That designers and brands to put their keeps costs low and consistency own stamp on things—from color high. Our products also go to fabric to materials. through between nine and 15 tests to make sure they live up to How does a piece of your a standard that is unique in the furniture go from concept to industry. Our chairs really will last factory floor? for 10 years. At the same time, we are always asking ourselves, Most development projects in the next 10 to 15 years, how take 10 to 12 months from will the restaurant industry concept to shipment. We start continue to change? How will with the space we are originally people interact with these spaces intending the piece for. Who in the future? gb&d gb&d
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GREEN BUILDING TRENDSETTERS & DESIGN
Up Front Portfolio Typology Trendsetters Features Approach Punch List
66 Bulletproof Academic Architecture BCA Architects offers up beautiful, secure designs for schools.
70 7 Ways Fabric Architecture Can Transform Your Space Innovative fabrics from GuildWorks take structures to the next level.
74 Designing for People Bloomberg leads by example with incredible office design.
76 Better with Biophilia Designs from Ambius encourage happy, healthy workplaces.
82 Better Design Means Better Employees National Business Furniture knows how office seating affects workersâ€™ well-being.
84 Coca-Cola is Water Neutral How the classic brand is navigating the world of sustainability
BULLETPROOF ACADEMIC ARCHITECTURE PHOTO, PREVIOUS PAGE: CHIP ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY
Lessons learned along with advancements in technology have helped BCA Architects boost school security without compromising the academic aura. B Y J O V O N A TA Y L O R
WHETHER A CLASSROOM’S DOORS LOCK FROM
the inside or outside makes all the difference during an active threat. “The ‘Columbine lock’ is a common term that refers to locking mechanisms that allow you to lock them from inside [the classroom] without going outside into harm’s way. It was the leading technology up until recently,” says Brian Whitmore, chief executive officer and president of BCA Architects. The informal moniker references the tragic 1999 school shooting in Colorado, where classroom doors that could only be locked from the hallway put students and teachers in even more danger. With more than 90% of the California-based architecture firm’s projects in the education sector, BCA Architects is modernizing what security looks like for academic buildings. Whitmore says designing for schools is as much about protecting students and teachers as it is advancing the educational environment. “We treat designs for school security with somewhat of a crime scene investigation mindset,” he says. “There have been january–february 2019
Audra Pittman, superintendent of Bayshore Elementary School District in Daly City, California, knows the anxiety of running a school with retrofitted security elements. In 2014, after teaming up with BCA Architects and Landmark Construction, Pittman went out for the first bond to update the outdated campuses. At the time, the school district functioned as two schools separated by a hill and a 10-minute walk. One school taught kindergarten through fifth grade and the other sixth through eighth grades. Pittman notes buzzers at the entrance of both schools and a camera at one as the only security measures. The schools were decades-old brick buildings with no gyms, no parking lots, and play yards made of concrete. The bond passed with more than 80% approval rating and qualified for $6 million, which Pittman says wasn’t going to cover priority one upgrades in the master plan for both sites. That’s when BCA Architects suggested combining the schools into a single K-8 learning environment to cut costs. The firm supported Pittman through the entitlement process
PHOTOS: CHIP ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY
BCA Architects designed Bayshore Elementary School with curb appeal and top security features.
many lessons learned from other acts of violence on school sites in the past that have enabled us to design better and learn from those mistakes.”
PHOTO: CHIP ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY
with the City of Daly City, rezoning the middle school site to 71 single-family homes. This eliminated a risk for potential developers and led to a $24.5 million sale—the highest market value for the property. Bayshore Elementary School District was able to leverage the sale with the initial bond, and a second bond for $7 million that later passed, creating enough funding for the $30 million campus. The new TK-8 school was open by September 2017. Currently, 378 students are enrolled, with the introduction of half-day preschool adding 32 more young pupils, in the school with a capacity to hold 600 students. “It’s unheard of for a school district our size to build a facility like this,” says Pittman. “It’s unheard of to do a demolition and a build and have your doors open in 15 months.”
Bayshore Elementary School is now in its second year at the new school building. The building’s exterior includes waves in homage of its location near the San Francisco Bay. The building was constructed close to the street with a single point of entry in sight of the administration, eliminating the need for unwelcoming fencing—another security feature BCA Architects says also enhances curb
appeal. “We don’t want to create schools that look like correctional facilities,” Whitmore says, referencing a byproduct of aggressive security measures on school grounds. Other safety features of the school’s two-story building include ballistic glazing on the storefront glass system entrance, mechanically operated roller shades on all the windows, a voice-enhancing intercom system that amplifies alerts to all classrooms, and fob entry classroom doors. Pittman cites these safety measures as major improvements from the past school buildings, where classroom doors had to be locked manually from the hallway. Her secretary can simply get on a computer to lock all the doors now if needed. The thought of an active threat is always scary, but Pittman says Bayshore Elementary School is substantially better off today than it was less than two years ago. In the new building, she feels she and her students are safe. “We have children here that we are acting as parents of for the majority of their day,” she says. “We need to make sure they’re in a healthy environment where they feel safe, and they feel like they can thrive and feel connected, because you can’t focus on academics if you don’t have any of those elements.” gb&d
In working with a compact site at Bayshore Elementary School and combining two locations, BCA Architects knows something as simple as building near the perimeter can be a valuable security measure. “What’s nice is that the building is up close to the street, just like the neighboring homes,” says Brian Whitmore, chief executive officer and president of BCA Architects. “The presence, when you walk there, is of an engaging streetscape that’s not set back by fencing or landscape and that also provides a barrier to the playground areas.” With the facilities closer to the street, plus a single point of entry near the administration offices, guests can be vetted before they are allowed entry. Similar to Bayshore Elementary School, Whitmore says an ongoing school project on a larger site in Huntington Beach, California will include a separate administration building near the campus entrance with a single point of entry—signaling the emergence of a new trademark for future school planning. january–february 2019
Ways GuildWorks’ Fabric Architecture Can Transform Your Space BY COLLEEN DEHART Turns out, fabric is good for a lot more in architecture than tents and umbrellas. It can replace other building materials as a permanent solution in many applications. “It is often misunderstood that fabrics might be something that are easily blown away or damaged when really they can be a long-term solution,” says Mar Ricketts, CEO and senior design principal at fabric architecture company GuildWorks. GuildWorks has been producing, designing, and installing fabric structures for more than 20 years. During that time they have pushed the boundaries of what was once thought to be possible with tension fabric structures. “We are now building on a larger scale than ever before,” he says. The company has built inspiring structures for everyone from the likes of Oracle and Nike to hospitals and civic parks. The benefits of fabric run the gamut—exceeding sustainability standards, managing stormwater, reducing urban heat island effect, and offering quick install times, design flexibility, durability, and low maintenance. “It’s really a combination of beauty and form with minimal materials,” Ricketts says. The design flexibility of tension fabric structures allows for endless creative potential with few limitations. “It’s more than a structure. We are creating environments for people. We are creating a whole feel,” says Sebastian Collet, vice president and senior design principal. “It’s not just mere protection from elements but also a greater meaning behind what makes architecture special.” Flip the page to read about seven of the ways fabric can transform a space.
PHOTO, PREVIOUS PAGE: CHIP ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY
GuildWorks’ concepts use tension to span large spaces, creating outdoor ballrooms with layers of fabric—like low-level clouds that keep the public cool in summer. This installation has a free span of more than 500 feet by 350 feet.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF GUILDWORKS
Courtyard Covers/ Facades
2 Pavilions & Amphitheaters
OPEN-AIR STRUCTURES You’ll find many of GuildWorks’ permanent fabric structures in civic open-air spaces like parks and playgrounds. The structures add shade and weather protection without full coverage. “They are a great alternative to a gazebo, very lightweight, and add to the environment without adding mass. It’s a nice, beautiful, functional space,” Collet says.
As places of entertainment, pavilions and amphitheaters are a great space to incorporate FABRIC ARCHITECTURE. The design flexibility of fabric allows for strategic light reflection while providing a visually stimulating atmosphere. Less structural support is needed for the lightweight fabric than other materials, helping to keep the area open.
“It really has a beautiful presence for the audience,” Collet says.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF GUILDWORKS
COURTYARDS have been traditionally open to the elements. Using fabric to create spaces where people can easily get cover from sun, rain, and wind while still being in an outdoor environment allows for more use of outdoor space. “Outdoor living is becoming very important,” Ricketts says. “Creating protected areas in that outdoor space will allow it to become more inhabitable.”
Alternative to Glass
While technically not fabric, GuildWorks also uses a technology called ETFE, or ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, which is a translucent polymer sheeting. The lightweight sheets provide a less expensive alternative to glass walls or skylights. ETFE meets the same R-values as glass at 10 to 13% of the weight and spans further increasing open space by requiring less structural elements to hold it in place.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF GUILDWORKS
Using fabric architecture inside can add design value while softening an environment. It can be used to break up space while also dampening sound. The solar reflectiveness of fabric panels can also help to bounce light around a space, adding to the atmosphere. “There are lots of fun things that can happen with interior spaces and fabrics,” Ricketts says.
BUILDING ENCLOSURES Adding fabric to walkways between buildings
transforms spaces into beautiful works of art that double as meeting places or retail venues. The fabric provides protection from the elements, too, allowing for increased use of the space. “Maybe you find that rain is hurting business at a mall or other retail venue,” Ricketts says. “A fabric enclosure can protect the environment from rain or other weather while still making it feel like a natural outdoor space.”
More Unique Uses
Utilizing fabric for the roof of a parking structure, stadium, or transport hub can help to reduce the heat island effect of those structures while creating a beautiful urban centerpiece. “Fabric will keep it cool while adding artistic style. It makes it a more beautiful element instead of a concrete box,” Ricketts says. The tension fabric can also be positioned to direct stormwater runoff to a cistern or other vessel, where it can be stored and reused.
DESIGNING FOR PEOPLE Bloomberg leads by example with some of the most beautiful— and sustainable—offices in the world. BY LAURA ROTE
No more fighting for corner offices or window views. What was once a struggle under fluorescent lights in drab cubicles is now a collaborative environment with flexible, light-filled spaces. It’s no secret—at least not in the green building industry—that healthier buildings lead to happier employees. A recent USGBC survey (see pg. 81) found employees who work in LEED-certified green buildings are happier, healthier, and more productive than employees in non-LEED or conventional office buildings.
UMAN-CENTRIC DESIGN In Bloomberg buildings, office design is increasingly human-centric, from the moment an employee walks in the door. “Responsible design is the rule rather than an exception for us,” says Christiaan Hiemstra , Bloomberg’s global head of design. The company has long been a leader in sustainable design but also recently earned the moniker of “world’s most sustainable office space” for the new European headquarters in London (as per BREEAM standards). The 10-story facility earned a 98.5% BREEAM rating, the highest score for an office building to date.
Bloomberg takes a city-specific approach. Clockwise: London, Amsterdam, Bangkok, and Geneva.
For Bloomberg, responsible design includes everything from local input to material selection to how you move around in a building. A focal point of the London office is its continuous ramp, which flows throughout the building and encourages conversation while acting as a chimney, where natural air flows up to the building’s atrium and out onto the roof. Conversation starters like the ramp are nothing new for Bloomberg, though. The company’s building at 731 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan—which received the highest Fitwel rating—also encourages movement and conversation, but using stairs. Elevators don’t stop on every floor, and employees are encouraged to take the stairs unless unable to. “It’s a big part of that active design we’ve always done naturally,” says Michael Barry, head of sustainable business operations at Bloomberg. “We do that in all of our workspaces. We gbdmagazine.com
PHOTOS, CLOCKWISE: JAMES NEWTON; MACHTELD SCHOEP; WISON TUNGTHUNYA; NICHOLAS WORLEY
H E A LT H Y W O R P L A C E S
don’t want people to have to go on an elevator to go two or three floors. A, it’s healthier for them, and B, we want people to bump into each other and talk and have a spontaneous conversation that might lead to a new idea.” Where and how people work affects employees’ lives in a big way, Hiemstra says, and even things like where to find the coffee can impact an employee’s happiness and productivity. “From a corporate perspective, the people are the most important part of our business. And you’re designing their environment.” The experience of a building is crucial to its design, especially ensuring everyone has access to views and daylight. Bloomberg thinks about every element of experience, from security to waiting for an elevator to where doors are located. The design principles continue to evolve as Bloomberg considers how people work and collaborate, with a focus as well on comfortable lighting and acoustics. Now, every desk is height adjustable so employees have the option to stand, for instance. And collaborative spaces are plentiful, from meeting rooms without walls to pantry areas you can also get work done in. “We give them spaces that work for them,” Hiemstra says. When it comes to saving energy, Bloomberg uses daylight sensors and even plumbing features that detect when no one is in a room, so not only do the lights shut off, the master plumbing shuts off as well. This also helps prevent leaks and drips.
T’S ALL IN THE APPROACH Literally dozens of Bloomberg’s 176 offices are certified—more than 70% of their employees work in a LEED or BREEAM space. The leadership isn’t working just to amass accreditations, though. They’re thinking about how people are affected and letting that drive their design choices. “We spend a lot of time building the rules to which our architects design,” Hiemstra says, adding that they don’t define what materials an architect should use or how things should look, though. Instead, they enter partnerships that make sense. By now, anyone who works with Bloomberg understands the company’s ethos and is on board to meet their human-centric objective. “We think about everything—from the details of functionality to the aesthetics to the subconscious wellbeing aspect of the space and people who work there.” Considering most employees spend a third of their lives in the office, it’s no small commitment, Hiemstra says. Bloomberg starts local—hiring the people who know a place best, whether the building is in Prague or Hong Kong. “You’re gb&d
“NO OFFICE IS GOOD ENOUGH IN MY OPINION. EVERYTHING CAN ALWAYS BE IMPROVED.” gaining a massive amount of benefits from doing that,” Hiemstra says. He looks to Prague as a stellar example of local teams in action. “Everything about that design was done in the right way. Everything from the relationship with the local team who was absolutely incredible to the way we selected materials.” Furniture came from the Czech Republic and even the graphic design team was local. “We really learned about the history of the country,” Hiemstra says. “Just through designing graphics, we learned about what was important to people there.” Typically, Bloomberg briefs the local team about the company’s mission while the design team on the ground teaches Bloomberg about the local culture. “If you’re building an office in Prague, you’re not building a New York headquarters. You’re building a piece of local tradition.” Hiemstra says tailoring that design is vital. “The other way of doing it is basically having globally centric design solutions, which a lot of companies do, where they have materials that are pre-set because that’s the aesthetic that’s been selected on a global scale,” he says. “It’s just not the right thing to do. Understanding that you’re a guest and you are a visitor there is a crucial part. And understanding how you can attain the knowledge, the expertise, the intellect, and the knowledge of the local culture and location is very important.” Choosing the right building, that’s centrally located with access to transportation, is also key. Healthy design for Bloomberg in general includes a series of “musts,” things like LED lighting and pushing building owners to manage waste responsibly. Then there are the beautiful, sustainable features—even things like fish tanks or rounded, collaborative desks. Of course, the company also focuses on materials. “In addition to having a green workspace, we want to have a healthy workspace so we’re naturally using materials with low VOCs and really focusing on the material resource points,” Barry says. Bloomberg also continues to push the
industry with initiatives like separating liquids from waste and stacking cups. It’s as simple as pouring the liquid out before you throw your cup in the trash, and yet so many people don’t do it. “No office is good enough in my opinion. Everything can always be improved,” Hiemstra says.
OALS THAT INSPIRE “Our buildings and our offices have always been an important part of our culture,” Barry says. When sustainability officially started in Bloomberg in 2007, one of the first things the company looked at as a group was its emissions. “In our offices, energy is 55% of our annual emission. It’s the biggest part of our emissions, so we really focused in on what we could do in the built environment.” Bloomberg aims to have a 20% absolute reduction in emissions by 2020. A little more than a decade ago, Bloomberg looked to LEED—the first standard of its kind. Bloomberg did its first LEED project in 2008 in San Francisco. The Pier 3 building on the Embarcadero in an old warehouse is still one of Barry’s favorite projects. “We realized building with LEED isn’t that much more difficult than doing our regular fit-out. Also, it provides a lot of transparency as to all the contractors and the people involved in the project doing what you’ve asked them to do. And then at the end, because of the rigorous standard and having this documentation, you get validation that you’ve achieved what you set out to.” Collaboration is also key. Continuing to share knowledge and work with others for the greater good is core to Bloomberg’s mission. While Barry is part of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, Bloomberg itself is a major player in the New York City carbon challenge. “Companies pledge to reduce their New York City emissions by a certain percentage by a certain time. We have a 50% goal by 2023.” Bloomberg is also working toward 90% waste diversion overall by 2020. Barry says net zero should be the goal of offices in the future. “We’re a member of RE100, so we’ve pledged to get 100% of our energy from renewable sources by 2025, which is a great goal, but a lot of these are offsite wind farms. We’ve done a few onsite projects where we can, but ideally we’d figure out ways for offices to have a net zero impact; that’s really where things need to go. The built environment, especially in urban areas like New York City, is the majority of carbon emissions, and it’s important for new projects that come online to continue to push the bar.” gb&d january–february 2019
H E A LT H Y W O R P L A C E S
BETTER WITH BIOPHILIA Designs from Ambius encourage happy, healthy workplaces. BY LAURA ROTE
H E A LT H Y W O R P L A C E S
en years ago,
PHOTO, THIS SPREAD AND PREVIOUS: COURTESY OF ENVESTNET
when Kenneth Freeman started working with Ambius, the term “biophilic design” didn’t exist. Today biophilia is a thriving segment of design that continues to evolve, and its implementation far exceeds installing plants that please the eye (though it does that, too). The term “biophilia” was coined by American biologist Edward O. Wilson in his 1984 book Biophilia, which describes humans’ innate attraction to nature. But it wasn’t until much later that it caught on. Freeman, Ambius’ head of innovation, remembers first seeing the term more prominently in 2008. With his background as a biologist, he says thinking about how interior landscaping may affect people just as animals made perfect sense. He uses zoo animals as an example—they get stressed when removed from their natural environment. “We put people in offices for 8,000 hours a year,” he says. “You may as well be a lab rat.” Consider how we’ve seen a radical shift in our everyday environment in a relatively short amount of time—we now spend on average 90% of our time indoors. As a result, we’ve learned a few other new terms, like sick building syndrome (a condition affecting office workers that’s often marked by headaches and respiratory problems), and seen an increase in diabetes, heart disease, and depression, among other issues. While researchers have been talking about plants’ benefits and even their ability to reduce pollution for years, it wasn’t until recently that research showed how benefits go beyond the physical to psychological, as people appeared more relaxed around greenery. “We did other research, a lot of people did, that found whenever you put plants in buildings, well-being seemed to improve, but the improvements could not be adequately explained by the mere physical properties of the plant,” Freeman says. He says a plant’s metabolism is much slower indoors, so they can’t really do much to the indoor environment in terms of their biology, but what they seemed to do for the mind was great. “It seems as though they throw a switch in the brain: ‘I’m back in my normal environment, my wild environment.’ It induces this sense of well-being.”
custom interior landscaping solutions, living green walls, and even scenting solutions. “We started with one green wall in our Philadelphia office a few years ago and loved the addition to our environment so much that we now have five large walls—including one in our main lobby—and several smaller green walls,” says Alana Gavrilis, facilities manager for Envestnet. “They really liven up the space and add to the atmosphere for both our team and visitors to our office.” Ambius specifies, designs, builds, installs, and maintains each project it does. Ambius joined Baumann to help produce the designs and implement the installation for Envestnet, from reviewing drawings and ensuring they had the necessary plumbing and lighting design to working with the contractor throughout construction to make sure the green wall system functioned properly. No matter the project, Ambius works closely with the architect and owner to design systems that work despite any challenge you could dream of, even if that means a project needs a tank system behind the wall. Ambius doesn’t disappear after the install, though. “We maintain all these walls. We have a team that’s dedicated to that building. I think that’s part of why clients like With more than 50 years of experience, us,” Hills says. While many comAmbius’ experts work panies don’t have the capability to in 15 countries to provide the maintenance, Ambius improve spaces with guarantees it and can do so easily, ininterior landscaping, cluding on a national scale for comliving green walls, and panies with multiple locations. even scenting solutions. Ambius has completed three of To date, Ambius has four living wall projects for Envestinstalled more than net so far. The third project, com700 square feet of living walls for Envestnet. pleted in August, includes four green
Design in Action Ambius, the world’s largest interior landscaping organization, was one of the first companies to begin talking about how offices could look different (more plants) and be worth it (employee well-being). Not long ago, office design was dominated by sterile interiors and a commitment to minimalism. Many architects looked at the experts at Ambius like their suggestions were crazy at first. “Putting plants inside buildings not only attracts new customers; they also help employees with health, wellness, and a lot of other things, including attendance,” says Matt Hills, staff architect and an expert in green wall development at Ambius. “They’re happy in their work environment.” And green walls are in demand. Hills has seen living wall projects increase from 10 to 15 a year to more than 100 in the last eight years. Envestnet is a recent repeat client that’s worked with Ambius over the last few years. The architect Baumann Studios approached Ambius to collaborate on the Envestnet projects, as Ambius offers gb&d
Easy to Incorporate Freeman was recently struck by a conversation he had with a facilities manager who didn’t realize green walls in buildings were professionally designed and maintained. She assumed plants were brought in, installed, and that was it, thinking an office manager or someone internal had to be responsible for keeping the plants alive, for example. “I started talking about a professional services company doing it and that it might only cost as much as a premium cup of coffee from Starbucks each week,” Freeman says. “You wouldn’t trust the photocopier to be looked after by just anyone. You’d get a professional engineer. The same applies to indoor plants. They work best if maintained properly.” You can create a strong biophilic environment without having to do much to the fabric of a building, Freeman says. “We don’t have to rewire or replumb things or knock down walls. We just have to think differently about the way we design with the plants and the containers and the accessories.” And the whole service—from design and installation to maintenance—is relatively inexpensive.
7,000-square-foot office building on the BRE campus near London. The building is being refurbished based on biophilic design principles, and Ambius is working with BRE, Oliver Heath Design, and other partners to collect data on the design’s impact on the health, well-being, and productivity of office occupants. “They’re taking over refurbishing a floor in a 1980s concrete framed office, and we’re going to redesign that space along biophilic lines with different degrees of interventions,” Freeman says. Ambius and core partners will evaluate impacts on the office environment, including daylight, lighting, indoor air quality, and acoustic, thermal, and humidity comfort. Office occupants will wear technology that allows researchers to track key health metrics and gain insight into the impact of biophilic design. They will undergo confidential health evaluations and participate in a series of online surveys. The products used will also undergo laboratory evaluation to establish whether a health and well-being potential can be quantified at product level. Results are expected to be available in early 2020.
Groundbreaking Research While green walls certainly draw attention, their benefits far outweigh being beautiful, and researchers are currently in the midst of a comprehensive study to prove just that. Ambius is working with BRE, the world’s leading building science center, on a 30-month study that looks at biophilic design in a
Ambius also installed an 8-by-20-foot green wall and plants throughout the Segment San Francisco headquarters. It won a Gold International Plantscape Award from AmericanHort. Ambius is set to design their Vancouver and New York City spaces next.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ENVESTNET; SEGMENT IO
H E A LT H Y W O R P L A C E S
walls covering more than 500 square feet. The Ambius Philadelphia team provides the warranty and maintenance services for all the green walls at this property. Having that maintenance guarantee is crucial, especially as the first weeks after installation are used to monitor irrigation and make sure plants aren’t under- or over-watered. Service then tapers to biweekly, where an Ambius expert comes in to check the walls, make plant replacements if necessary, and dust the plants or pull dead leaves as needed. “We want to make sure the wall is looking its best at all times,” Hills says.
S U R V E Y S AY S
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ENVESTNET
A recent USGBC survey indicates a majority of office workers want to work for companies that are value-oriented, take stances on important issues like sustainability, and do their part to make a positive difference in the world. In fact, 84% of the more than 1,000 U.S. workers surveyed said they prefer to work for a company with a strong mission and positive values. When it comes to choosing a new job, findings show people’s decisions were influenced by whether or not the workplace was in a LEEDcertified building. More than 90% of respondents in LEED-certified green buildings say they are satisfied on the job and 79% say they would choose a job in a LEED-certified building over a non-LEED building. In addition, 85% of employees in LEEDcertified buildings also say their access to quality outdoor views and natural sunlight boosts their overall productivity and happiness, and 80% say the enhanced air quality improves their physical health and comfort.
“There are a range of organizations who are interested in working on this project with us,” Freeman says. “All with a different take on what biophilic design and well-being means. We’re all working together with BRE to actually create a genuinely biophilic space—and to properly manage it scientifically.” It’s this first comprehensive study of its kind, and Freeman looks forward to being able to publish independently validated and peer reviewed academic research to show the effects in a real workplace. “The results of this project will tell us a huge amount. And I’m confident they’ll be good results.”
Hills expects future workplaces to be increasingly green as more office workers tire of the old cubicle mindset. “Companies like Envestnet and Apple are stepping back and starting to do the research and really change the way their workplace looks,” he says. “Now you have office spaces
with no walls and open offices with lots of glass to the outside. Even just having a view of plants or a picture of plants motivates people. These companies are trying to find innovative ways to keep their employees around.” Freeman hopes people see the opportunity before them to do more, too, without getting caught up in things like uniformity and brand standards. He wants people to have fun with it. “One thing that really depresses me in office buildings is when you see the same plants—every other filing cabinet has the same trough of plants because they are supposed to look minimalist. That to me is not biophilic.” He suggests varying plants’ texture, color, and height in different arrangements and giving employees a choice. People like choices. “It’s not just about the stuff that goes into the building; it’s about making the people who work in the buildings as comfortable as possible,” he says. gb&d january–february 2019
WHY BETTER DESIGN MAKES A BETTER TEAM National Business Furniture’s new study and recent work reveal office furniture’s impact on workers’ well-being. B Y C H R I S T I N E B I R K N E R
Executives and employees alike can appreciate beautifully designed workspaces, but a recent study from National Business Furniture (NBF) shows just how valuable they can be. According to the study by Kelton Global on behalf of NBF, a whopping 92% of American workers say that when their physical workspace is not up to par, their mental well-being and productivity can suffer. Because office design affects stress levels and mood, more thoughtfully designed workspaces can mean happier, more productive employees. The shift in the nature of work is a major driver of this trend. Because working from home is on the rise and technology like laptops and smartphones allows for increased flexibility, the days where workers sit at their desk for eight hours a day are dwindling. “Employees have greater flexibility than ever before to work outside the office,” says Dean Stier, chief marketing officer at NBF. “It’s more of a centralized hub, where people can meet, share ideas, and check in on projects. We don’t see this trend slowing down, so spaces need to change along with this.”
lexibility is Key NBF’s study shows workspace preferences differ somewhat by generation. While nearly one in five working millennials attribute open floor plans to their happiness at work, they still desire some privacy in the workplace; 40% of millenni82
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF NBF
H E A LT H Y W O R P L A C E S
National Business Furniture transformed Sizmek with colorful, comfortable spaces.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF NBF
T h e I m pac t
als, compared to 30% of boomers, say having privacy screens or walls around their workspaces are essential. In general, flexibility is key, as 43% of NBF’s study respondents said not having a private space would affect their mental wellness, and 25% value flexible areas to work away from their usual workspaces. In many offices, static cubicles, offices, and corner offices are giving way to a variety of new creative spaces: meeting nooks, phone rooms for privacy, and conference rooms that allow for greater flexibility. When digital advertising company Sizmek outgrew its space, it turned to NBF, which it had worked with to redesign its offices in the past. They sought the furniture company to build out a new space from the ground up, making it a colorful, vibrant workplace in keeping with the company’s branding. The space is a blend of collaborative and private areas: open desks and breakout meeting areas as well as small conference rooms and phone booths to take personal calls. “NBF is great about matching our furniture requirements with a cool, fun look and feel,” says Tim Quillin, associate vice president of real estate and facilities at Sizmek. “The result is high-quality, stylish pieces that are still cost-effective, which is a win for us. There’s plenty of breakout and private space for our teams and a variety of furniture. People were ecstatic when they first saw it. It really helps with employee retention.”
A recent study by Kelton Global on behalf of NBF pinpointed four primary factors that can derail workplace satisfaction.
cluttered wor k ar ea
o u t dat e d t e c h n o lo gy
po o r w o r ks pac e ergonomics
l ac k o f p r i vacy a n d flexibility
r e at i n g Environm e n t s “Sizmek is excited and
enthusiastic about their space,” says Rusty Jenkins, NBF’s regional sales manager. “It energizes the employees and makes them want to go to work. We’re not just selling furniture—we’re creating environments and creating furniture that works for customers based on their needs.” Companies can accomplish a lot by making small changes to their workspaces, like updating their breakroom or redesigning a conference room, according to Stier. “When it comes to employee retention and recruitment, a lot of attention has been given to things like adding ping-pong tables and creating Silicon Valley-type environments, but that’s really not what’s driving great office spaces,” he says. “It’s about making people comfortable, with different spaces for different needs—having open space but being careful not to ostracize your introverts. Acknowledging that the nature of work is changing and doing small things to your office can make a really big difference.” “The walls of the cubicle are coming down, and people are using their spaces for different purposes,” Jenkins says. “Having a cool, fun work environment shows employees you care and affects their morale and productivity.” gb&d january–february 2019
Choose a Hardwood for Your Outdoor Space LUMBER EXPERTS OHC COMPARE THE BEST HARDWOODS FOR DURABILITY AND DESIGN VERSATILITY. By Colleen DeHart
n a world where many are seeking woodlike products for fear the real thing requires too much work, imported hardwoods are a game-changer. Requiring little or no maintenance with excellent durability, imported hardwoods can be used to transform any outdoor space into a relaxing, natural retreat. Overseas Hardwoods Company (OHC) has been importing hardwoods from around the world for more than 50 years. The family-owned company is dedicated to knowing exactly where its products are sourced from and how they are harvested. OHC integrates itself in the communities and mills where they import their products—learning the language, culture, and forests inside and out. “It is important that we know exactly what we are buying,” says Ben Roberts, marketing director. “Having people on the ground visiting these plants and knowing exactly how they are getting managed and making sure the trees are harvested responsibly is extremely important to us." But their work does not stop there. Once received, OHC sands both sides of every board to remove strap marks and residue. The boards are hand-sorted for grain uniformity, ensuring customers get the look they want. All four species of outdoor living hardwoods come from Brazil. Shipped as decking, the boards can also be milled into hundreds of interior or exterior profiles for accent walls, siding, or soffits. Each species of hardwood offers something different depending on design, budget, and climate. OHC experts can help recommend the right decking to create a stunning, unique outdoor space that will add value to property. “We can create anything your heart desires. We understand how the hardwoods will perform. We know how to maintain the look you want while keeping integrity,” Roberts says.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF OHC
IPE Ipe is the most dense species on the market and the most popular of all hardwoods. “The density is so high it almost functions like a piece of steel. It’s so dense it will actually sink when placed in water,” Roberts says. The integrity of ipe holds up over time. It’s ideal for commercial projects, from roller coasters to the Houston Zoo and the Coney Island boardwalk.
BIG BENEFITS: Ipe is very durable, with a life of 25-plus years. It’s also popular for rooftop decks because of its high fire resistance. KEEP IN MIND: Depending on sun exposure, ipe will turn gray over time if not properly oiled to maintain its rich brown look. But unlike cedar and pine, UV rays only penetrate the surface. The gray color can be reversed with light surface sanding, power washing, and refinishing with a UV inhibiting oil.
The backyard deck received a major overhaul with the construction of a giant Cumaru hardwood deck at this Georgia home.
This species of hardwood has a golden brown color similar to beige. It’s often chosen for projects where the designer wants the look of cedar but cleaner. As with all hardwoods, garapa has no large knots. “It’s great for modern applications,” Roberts says. “It complements clean lines with a lighter color.” Even if left to gray, garapa continues to maintain an even color. Less expensive than ipe, garapa has the lowest density of all decking hardwoods and is considered moderately durable with a life of 10 to 15 years—five times stronger than cedar. The lightest of all the hardwoods, it’s commonly used in traditional-style homes and multifamily complexes where designers are trying to achieve a more natural look. Garapa decking is also kiln-dried to increase stability.
Less popular than ipe with a similar look, cumaru is less expensive and often used to value-engineer a project. It has slight differences in color compared to ipe—having more purplish hues compared to ipe’s brown. It typically grays darker than ipe. Cumaru has been used on municipal buildings, restrooms, and as decking on buildings near beaches. “Even when getting pounded by a harsh shore line, salt water, sand, it performs very well,” Roberts says. It is kiln-dried for stability and slightly less dense than ipe but still very durable with a life of 25-plus years.
BIG BENEFITS: Cumaru is the least expensive of these hardwoods and stands up to tough weather.
KEEP IN MIND: It’s slightly less BIG BENEFITS: Affordable and five times stronger than cedar.
dense than ipe.
Exactly how it sounds, when oiled, tigerwood takes on a reddish hue with darker stripes—mimicking the look of a tiger’s fur. Although significantly less dense than ipe, tigerwood is still considered very durable with a life of 25-plus years. OHC’s tigerwood decking is kilndried to remove moisture content, making it more stable. Because of its unique look, tigerwood is commonly used as an accent on modern homes. “It looks beautiful next to the clean modern lines of a concrete home,” Roberts says. “It is very striking.” Tigerwood needs to be regularly oiled and maintained in order to keep its look. If not, like all hardwoods, it will turn gray.
BIG BENEFITS: High durability, with a life of 25-plus years. KEEP IN MIND: Regularly oil Tigerwood to maintain its look.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF OHC
KEEP IN MIND: Garapa is considered moderately durable, with a life of 10 to 15 years.
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Portfolio Typology Trendsetters Features Approach Punch List
92 Changing the World
WSLA alumnus Alicia Daniels Uhlig on communities inspiring change
93 All Hands on Deck
Arup’s sustainable structures and materials specialist explores how we can work together for positive change.
94 Person of Interest
Wärtsilä is spearheading an initiative to transform the marine industry.
96 A New Super Material
Researchers at the National University of Singapore are developing a material that could impact pipeline insulation and more.
PUNCH LIST WSLA INSIGHTS
Changing the World The importance of communities at the forefront of unprecedented action
Alicia Daniels Uhlig Living Community Challenge + Policy Director, International Living Future Institute
Now more than ever, the built environment community has a renewed sense of urgency to affect change and reconcile our relationship with nature. Last month, the international body for the assessment of climate change issued a clear call to action: “Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics, but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III. Though much of today’s green building and design action is motivated by the climate crisis, communities recognize that a holistic approach is necessary and at the epicenter of the call to action. The serious problems of climate change, ecological system health, biodiversity loss, accumulated toxins in the environment, food, air, and
water, as well as social inequities and depletion of cultural heritage demand bold action. As director of the Living Community Challenge, at the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), I firmly believe we can harness the strength of our communities and take unprecedented action. But first, let me ask, what do a city and a forest have in common? At first, it may not look like much, considering the abundance of single purpose infrastructure in the status quo asphalt arteries, which are inhospitable to any form of mobility except the single occupant vehicle. However, in a regenerative and resilient future of Living Communities, a city will function as elegantly and efficiently as a forested ecosystem: a community informed by its bioregion’s characteristics, that generates all of its own energy with renewable resources, captures and treats all of its water, engages diversity as a strength, and operates efficiently and for maximum beauty. In order to adapt to our rapidly changing climate, I am emboldened to see this elegance and efficiency grow from the communities of inspired individuals who stand at the forefront of increasing resilience and sustainability. It may be within the rural communities who look toward the Living Community Challenge for economic development; the college campus leaders who seek this work because it makes demonstrable progress toward their equity goals; or the city officials transforming parking lots, transportation hubs, and brownfields—perhaps the last piece of developable land in the city.
“ILFI believes community courage is contagious.” This program—and the other inspired programs like 100 Resilient Cities and Second Nature—catalyze community groups, campuses, and landowners around a common vision that provides a beacon of hope to stimulate momentum and partnerships in creating a truly sustainable community design. The future of our built environment, and especially our communities, must not only respond and adapt to extreme alterations from climate change (sea level rise, drought, increased heat, and rain events), but also become the just, equitable, and regenerative places where we—and all life—thrives. ILFI believes community courage is contagious—that the possibility of changing the world relies on the transmission and proliferation of courageous action. Two-and-a half years ago I was a practicing architect, a principal, and director of sustainability at a Seattle design firm. I left traditional practice and joined this nonprofit in order to influence more change at a faster rate of pace. I urge us all to recognize
the increased urgency and concentrate our efforts to work holistically, at all scales, as elegantly and as resilient as a forested ecosystem. gb&d Alicia Daniels Uhlig (NCARB, LEED Fellow, LFA) directs the Living Community Challenge + Policy for the International Living Future Institute. She is a 2018 winner of the Women in Sustainability Leadership Award (WSLA).
All Hands on Deck Cross-sector listening is the only way healthier materials will move forward.
Frances Yang Sustainable structures and materials specialist, Arup
The saying “it takes a village” applies to so many challenges we face in the green building industry. Healthier materials are no different. This message rang especially true while Arup was producing Prescription for Healthier Building Materials: A Design and Implementation Protocol, recently published by the AIA. While the guide is produced primarily for design teams, some of the most critical concepts were reinforced when listening to people outside of design circles. In particular, the Building Health Initiative (BHI) of USGBC Northern California, a cosponsor of the guide, provided a unique cross-sector pool of perspectives. The BHI group consisted of owners like Adobe, Facebook, Genentech, Google, Kaiser Permanente, Salesforce, and the City and County of San Francisco— all entrenched in healthy materials but often taking different approaches. It also included manufacturers like Armstrong Ceilings, Central gb&d
Concrete, Interface, Shaw Floors, and View, who have spent countless hours working on the materials transparency and research requests from designers and owners. Additionally, builders, nonprofits, government agencies, legal counselors, tool developers, and other healthy building consultants brought their perspectives. Designers included architecture and interior design powerhouses like Perkins+Will, HOK, and HDR, who have been leaders in the practice of healthier materials. Below is some of what we heard. THE MESSAGE FROM OWNERS
The leading owners need more owners to join them. They need project teams to ask for and prefer better products. More specifically, more of us need to ask for products that have disclosed what’s inside (transparency documents) or, better yet, that have reduced hazardous chemical content compared to the norm. Although each had seen successes in leveraging their own purchasing power, the BHI owners felt that to make better products available and affordable, their ask must be further amplified by a much larger collective of purchasers. Thus, it seemed education needed to start with convincing others of the importance of material health. We spend 90% of our time in buildings, yet substances deemed or suspected to be hazardous are ubiquitous throughout building products. Unfortunately, history has shown government regulations alone can’t protect us. Many owners expressed the need
for their internal teams and consultants to have basic steps and resources for implementation. This gave way to the fundamental framework for constructing a Healthier Materials Plan and a descriptive catalog of tools and programs available to help carry it out. THE MESSAGE FROM MANUFACTURERS
Manufacturers said we need to harmonize our ask. Manufacturers are often asked for all 31 flavors of product certifications and transparency. Understanding the differences among certifications is essential to honing in on those relevant to a project’s objectives and reducing the variety of documents that project teams ask for. But to get to this, project teams first need to be provided with a basic understanding of the array of product programs and rating systems options. The need for design teams to hold their spec was another clear message. Producing transparency documents and investing in reformulations require significant time and resources. Manufacturers will struggle to see value and continue to participate if there is no reward for this effort. THE MESSAGE FROM DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION TEAMS
We heard from design and construction teams that owner commitment from the start is the key to holding the spec. Ways to track products through construction are also needed, so when substitutions come in, the design team has something to point to and say, “No, we want that product because we all agreed to these project outcomes.” This worked well on the San Fran-
cisco International Airport Terminal 1 project. With HKS and Woods Bagot, we kept a list of which products we were depending on to secure an ambitious number of LEED points from the Low-Emitting Materials and Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits and checked against this list throughout contractor submittal reviews. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
One key message was expressed time and again. To see real change in the industry, we have to get others onboard. Not long ago, green building itself was a niche practice. Once more tools and guidance were accessible to average architects and engineers, considerations like energy efficiency and water conservation became the norm and are now part of national green building codes. Through listening to many perspectives, it became clear: We will make progress only if we work to meet the needs of the whole village. These messages formed the backbone of the guidance we produced in the AIA healthier materials protocol. We hope the Prescription for Healthier Building Materials provides all sectors with a useful place to start. gb&d Frances Yang leads the sustainable materials practice in the Americas region for Arup, a global design and engineering firm. Yang has more than 12 years of experience in green building design, engineering, and sustainable materials strategies across global projects. She is coauthor of Prescription for Healthier Building Materials: A Design and Implementation Protocol.
Person of Interest Andrew Calzetti
Helsinki-based marine and energy technology group Wärtsilä is calling for rapid changes in their industry. Interview by Jessica Smith Wärtsilä’s global initiative, announced in September 2018 as “An Oceanic Awakening,” is designed to jump-start a more sustainable future in the marine shipping industry. Andrew Calzetti, marketing director of Wärtsilä’s marine division, calls this initiative a wakeup call. When he first transitioned into the marine industry, he says he realized it was slow in adopt-
january–february january –february 2019
ing technology. “I needed to do something to reenergize what felt a bit like apathy internally and in the industry,” he says. “This was the birth of trying to create excitement for a smart marine vision both internally and externally.” Calzetti is greatly inspired by Richard Branson’s quote: “The ocean is so important to me, to all of us—and I will keep telling anyone that will listen (and those that won’t) that we need to protect it.” Those words encouraged him when he began working on the project that grew out of what Wärtsilä considers to be its mission—to enable sustainable societies with smart technology. At the time, Calzetti questioned what was actually being done in the industry to facilitate this goal. He compares the marine industry to the automotive industry, which has made significant developments in efficiency that address environmental issues in the last few decades. “We have this technology, why aren’t we doing something about it?” he says. “One in three vessels have Wärtsilä’s technology onboard. We are a significant, major player in the industry. Why would we just sit idle?” Calzetti recently shared some of his insight on this movement and the future of our oceans. What is “An Oceanic Awakening” and SEA20? An Oceanic Awakening is a wake-up call. It’s about being bold enough to admit change needs to come and show how collaboration on a broader scale can make a real difference. It’s about generating public awareness and speaking out, not just reaching out to our ecosystem, but to the general public. SEA20 is a platform for dialogue and a bold global initiative to connect 20 of the most ecologically ambitious cities by 2020 in a forum that will drive real societal change. We set out this goal and enabled this platform, which we know at some point will take on a life of its own and be run independently by the cities themselves, to make a real difference, and help cities
rethink their roles in marine and energy ecosystems. The SEA20 is run by the Nordic West Office. What is the goal of this initiative, and how far along are you? The goal is to radically transform the marine and energy industry into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound, and digitally connected ecosystem. We are already in active dialogue with cities like Helsinki, Hamburg, Rotterdam, and across the globe from Washington to Singapore. We have a list of at least 30 cities that we are considering at present. I think we are well on our way to achieving our vision of having 20 by 2020. Have you pushback?
The challenge we’re facing is the same question we were asked in the very beginning when we first launched this, which is why Wärtsilä? This is why we don’t approach the cities themselves; we approach the media, port authorities who are interested, and organizations to open the doors and generate a way for us to speak to the cities. Whenever an invitation has been sent to cities the response has been very positive. We haven’t had any negative responses so far. Why hasn’t this dialogue already happened? I’m not sure. I’d like to know why. I’m not a politician, so I won’t say it’s politics that prevented it from happening, but I know that process is a barrier. I feel that dialogue between individual parties is the challenge we must overcome and probably an inhibitor to generating tangible results. Especially when you consider that the marine industry is extremely complex, with many stakeholders, involving so many countries. If you think about it, 90% of global trade is transported by sea. The ecosystem is huge, and I don’t think all of the players have committed to change. I think the gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: TOMMY TENZO
Why is it important to start making changes now?
focus has been based on this industry, but our ecoprofitable growth and not system as well. Politicians, necessarily sustainable companies, classification The SEA20 initiative growth. The profitable societies, customers, partaims to connect cities to transform the marine and part of it has also been ners in marine, energy energy industry. looked at short-term rathproviders, everybody must er than long-term. play their part, and most What we’re trying to importantly, us as conachieve is awareness, insumers. We must be convolvement, cooperation, and dialogue scious of what we’re buying and how on a broader scale to create a brighter, we’re buying it and, if necessary, we safer, and more sustainable future for should be prepared to spend more to alour industry and everyone involved. low those that are actually sustainable This dialogue will be beneficial for brands out there, that are socially reeveryone, not just us, for our environ- sponsible, to survive. I think buying on ment, our cities, and our oceans. Leg- price has contributed to the situation islation can also help. There must be we’re in now. We’re trying to generate participation, involvement, and com- awareness that this kind of consumermitment from everyone. Not just in ism can’t go on. gb&d
On a personal level, I think we’ve waited too long. Why wait? Society is calling for it. The environment is telling us things are not right and we have the technology and power to change it. I’m frustrated that there is reluctance to adopt and embrace technology and the solutions that are available to us whether they’re Wärtsilä’s or not. It’s not about coming up with the solutions ourselves because we don’t have all the answers, but the industry itself does. The automotive industry has a lot of the technology we can embrace and adopt and, in fact, we have been doing that. Interesting comparison, automotive introduced traffic-based navigation in 2006 and 12 years later we are trying to get it adopted in the marine industry; we call it Advanced Intelligent Routing. Automated parking systems were introduced in 2003 in cars; we’re currently doing our second set of autodocking tests. We can talk about hybrids as well, which have been around even longer—in 1997 hybrid technology was introduced in automotive, we introduced the technology in maritime in 2011. So the technology is there, but the adoption of the technology has been slow, and this entire campaign, this global initiative, is to reveal exactly that. We might not have all the solutions in Wärtsilä, but there are others in our industry that can provide the missing parts, and it is about time we accelerated change, reversed the trend, to deliver a future our world deserves— one we can all be proud of. gb&d january–february 2019
PUNCH LIST IN THE LAB
A New Super Material Researchers at the National University of Singapore developed a way to turn plastic bottle waste into an ultra-light material with diverse applications. By Jessica Smith
Hai Minh Duong, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Engineering, and his team have developed a process of manufacturing aerogels out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET)â€”a form of polyester used to make most plastic bottles and containers.
IN THE LAB PUNCH LIST
HAI MINH DUONG National University of Singapore
â Commonly referred to as a “super-material,” aerogels are the lightest solid material known. Their strong and porous structure makes them useful for a wide range of tasks, including as excellent insulators. They are used for everything from cleaning up oil spills to keeping lunches cold.
What is polyethylene terephthalate (PET)?
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a form of polyester used to make most plastic bottles and containers.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL UNIVERSTY OF SINGAPORE
How does the PET aerogel that has been developed by you and your team differ from the aerogels that are currently on the market?
They are ready to be scaled up for mass production. Production of the PET aerogels uses much less or even no toxic solvent and consumes less time and energy. The production rate is 18 times faster than previous methods, and the manufacturing cost of PET aerogel is also much lower than the current aerogel method. Can you walk us through some of the practical uses for PET aerogels?
They can be used for personal care products, oil spill cleaning, toxic solvent absorption, medical devices, heat resistant and thermal insulation garments, heat and sound insulation in gb&d
“Once people see that raw materials like plastic waste can be turned into high-value materials, they will keep and recycle them.” Duong and his team developed a process of manufacturing aerogels out of PET—a form of polyester used to make most plastic containers. Duong says the process is faster and more cost effective while also utilizing environmental waste without toxic solvents. Unlike traditional silica aerogels, the PET aerogel can be recycled to make again without contributing chemicals or waste to the environment.
buildings, and to filter dust particles or CO2 gases in toxic gas masks. That’s just some of their current uses—they have potential for a lot more. The heat insulation property of the PET aerogels can be applied to various consumer products like cooler bags to keep food items fresh. I also foresee tremendous potential for other high value applications, like pipeline insulation and transportation of liquefied natural gas, which needs to be stored at a low temperature. The PET aerogels can also be used as a lightweight lining for firefighter coats and carbon dioxide absorption masks that could be used during fire rescue operations and fire escape. The masks can also be used in countries where air pollution and carbon emissions are of great concern. What impact could this aerogel project and your continued research have on the future of the building industry?
Two-thirds of energy consumption in buildings is used for space conditioning and human comfort. To reduce energy use and harmful carbon emissions, the development of highly effective insulation materials that are stable under many different climate conditions to improve the energy efficiency of a building is highly demanded. The ability to decrease building energy demand overall by using highly effective aerogel based insulation materials made from environmental waste is essential. The water repellent property of the aerogels allows them to be adaptable to both dry and rainy weather, and their structure remains stable for more than six months. Being extremely strong, they can also increase building strength. These aerogels are also lightweight and slim, resulting in thinner walls, thus increasing building space. How do you see this research continuing to develop? What’s next?
Currently, the PET aerogels are ready for several engineering applications like oil spill cleaning or heat and sound insulation. However, further research is required to optimize the fabrication conditions of PET aerogels and to attain middle scale production. gb&d january–february 2019
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PEOPLE & COMPANIES
G Greenberger, Bob, 60 Grisham, David, 14
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