G R E E N B U I L D I N G & D E S I G N N OV E M B E R+ D E C E M B E R 2 014
The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sustainability Hillary Clinton tops our list of leaders shaping the way we make, think, and build Guest Editor Liz Davey Tulane University’s sustainability director reflects on Katrina’s lasting impact
ANDROPOGON ASSOCIATES BOULEVARD BREWING COBURN PARTNERS ESKEW+DUMEZ+RIPPLE HARGREAVES ASSOCIATES HASTINGS ARCHITECTURE ICESTONE MARVEL ARCHITECTS MICHAEL VAN VALKENBURGH MITHUN’s Brightwater Treatment Plant reinvents the way we treat water, p.76 SIERRA NEVADA BREWING THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS WENK ASSOCIATES
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GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
In This Issue gb&d
November+December 2014 Volume 5, Issue 30
PHOTO: MIKE SINCLAIR
Tapping Into Sustainability Four breweries turn to green design and operations to conserve their most precious resource: water
The Most Powerful Women in Green Hillary Clinton and nine more executives, thought leaders, and policy makers who are pushing the industry and society forward
A wastewater treatment plant and education center in Washington exposes the skeletons in our water closet
Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and other designers and citizens are helping their cities realize the vast ecological and economic potential of their urban waterways
Andropogon Associatesâ€™ Emily McCoy shares key findings from her year monitoring a landscape and living infrastructure project in Philadelphia
The Meaning of Brightwater
Return to the River
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Table of Contents gb&d November+December 2014 Volume 5, Issue 30
14 Guest Editor Liz Davey talks women in
44 BNY Mellon’s true ROI
16 Editor’s Picks Eco-tourism in the Big Easy 18 Report A WorldGBC paper makes
a case for healthy building
20 In Profile Meet Texas’s most down-to
Earth landscape architect
Green initiatives bring $48 million in savings
45 Ingersoll Rand’s eco-revolution
Today’s trends prompt new commitments
48 Walkability drives design
Trading the automobile for pedestrians in Canada
22 Defined Design A LEED Platinum water
49 Conservation at the waterpark New technologies result in
focused nature center
52 Breathing easier Robert Tomczak completes
60 Specht Home Adam Cohen uses windows
a nontoxic residence
54 UIC leverages energy savings The Chicago school opts
for a ‘cost-neutral’ upgrade
56 Greening the ‘Golden Arches’ Two McDonald’s stores use
LEED to educate customers
63 Ambassador Street Denver’s new 14th Street is
filled with green details
66 Strack & Van Til Cedar Lake Smart building meets the
57 Treading lightly A low-impact facility for
70 Oregon Convention Center How the Portland facility
30% less water wasted
a LEED Gold showcase
74 Moorings Park at Grey Oaks A retirement community
in Florida is water-smart
PHOTO: BRUCE FORSTER (OREGON CONVENTION CENTER)
reached LEED Platinum
72 GMP Energy Innovation Center The Vermont utility builds
by Klearwall to save energy
102 Go with the Flow A water-friendly master
128 From the Ground Up For FedEx Ground, a LEED
148 The Office Park Defunct parkland becomes
plan for a Nashville school
a LEED Platinum office
105 By the Numbers MBCx spells savings for a
130 Storm Proof How Sandy changed the
151 Cracking China Parker White puts green to
Chico State student center
course of NYC’s Pierhouse
106 Stealing the Show ESPN’s Digital Center 2
134 Urban Core Values Erkiletian builds on its
sets a new standard
116 Constructive Feedback Collaboration is key for
Fox Head’s headquarters
136 M-22 House Michael Fitzhugh channels
all of the Earth’s elements
122 Show, Don’t Tell Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón
138 Terminal 2.0 Inside San Diego’s LEED
adapts a historic school
Platinum airport terminal
126 The Barney Building RMTA takes a Kansas City
144 Cooler Retail Crate and Barrel turns to
office building off the grid
lighting to reduce cooling
152 IceStone’s Unlikely Comeback The über-green countertop
maker is back on top
156 Industry Accelerator Measuring Build Smart
NY’s long-term impact
159 Money Talks The ripple effect of
160 Regime Change Greenwood Energy has
“I think there is a resource in the construction end that has not been tapped into until now, and I would really like to see that expand.” 116
work in new markets
an alternative to coal
164 Person of Interest
Mayer Dahan on working for the social good
166 In Progress
Building Maggie Daley Park’s massive green roof
170 Hot Topic
How to reduce the risks posed by wildland fires
Vital technologies and other new products
173 Discussion Board
What message should we send to young women?
174 Material World
The benefits of Phifer’s SheerWeave 4000 series
176 On the Spot
Liz Davey takes our questionnaire
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
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GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Editor’s Note Working with Water
COVER: BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER / OTTO (COURTESY OF MITHUN); THIS PAGE: SAMANTHA SIMMONS
In our conversation, guest editor Liz Davey, director of sustainability at Tulane University (p. 14), recalls returning to her house after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans: “It was so hard to figure out what to do with a partially flooded house. What could you save? What did you have to take out?” This is a powerful moment. In the aftermath of one of the greatest natural disasters this country has faced, for those who returned to their homes, there was no script. No answers. The city faced the same question, the confusion writ large. What can we save? The rebuilding of New Orleans will take center stage as Greenbuild descends on the city October 22–24. Shortly after, 2015 will mark the ten-year anniversary of Katrina. Special events and anniversaries tend to bring with them international attention, and those who visit the city or read about it from afar will find a new New Orleans, a city still in recovery but also full of its pre-hurricane vibrancy coupled with something more recently added to the mix: a commitment to sustainability. Visitors will find solar panels mounted on rooftops and bike lanes painted on streets, as well as urban farms, riverfront parks, a slew of new libraries, and plans to turn several of the city’s canals into hard-working greenways that manage stormwater in clever, economical ways. In fact, there is so much going on in New Orleans that we published a book called New Orleans: Structure, Community, City (read about that little project on p. 92). In this issue, we have the story of Eskew+Dumez+Ripple’s plan to bring people back to the Mississippi (p. 86). Some 2,600 miles from New Orleans, designers are tackling a slightly different water issue. The Brightwater Treatment Plant (p. 76) outside Seattle is one of the most sophisticated sewage-treatment plants ever created—it not only treats wastewater to Class A standards (suitable for irrigation and other uses), but offers nature walks, salmon habitat, public art, and an education center that has become a popular venue for weddings. “Yes, brides in white arrive gb&d
by limo while millions of gallons of sewage per day flow by them via an underground tunnel 18 feet in diameter,” Russ Klettke writes. Brightwater refuses to bow to our cultural tendency to pretend that waste— whether deposited into a trashcan or a toilet—simply disappears and instead shines a light on the skeletons in our water closet. Designing for water—too much or too little—cannot be accomplished without rigorous examination of accepted best practices, which is why Andropogon Associates has undertaken a five-year-long monitoring project with the University of Pennsylvania to find out whether or not the living infrastructure installed at Penn’s Shoemaker Green is performing as intended. Landscape architect Emily McCoy shares the team’s first year of findings (p. 98). Finally, I’m thrilled to announce our inaugural Women in Sustainability Leadership Award (p. 34). Leading the pack is none other than Hillary Clinton, who has pointed out that “corporations with women in leadership positions are actually more focused on sustainability.” Clinton and our other nine honorees— as well as so many other women—are literally shaping the world in which we live. In celebrating these leaders, we aim to inspire young women to follow in their footsteps—and to prop the door open. With hope,
Timothy A. Schuler, Managing Editor email@example.com
ON THE COVER Mithun’s Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center brings sustainable architecture, conceptual art, and educational programming to a wastewater treatment plant near Seattle, engaging the public on issues of water, waste, and wildlife in a highly accessible and beautiful way.
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Index People & Companies
A B C
Abita Brewing Company, 27 ADCI, 49 AECOM, 138 Air Pohoda, 172 Alibasic, Haris, 89 Alker, John, 18 Allegion, 172 Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón, 122 Álvarez-Díaz, Ricardo, 122 Ameresco, 54 American Hydrotech, 166 Andropogon Associates, 100 ANEW, 120 Arnold, Ryan, 28 Beavers, Robyn, 40 Berry, Arthur III, 49 Bertman, Arielle, 38 Bio-Microbics, 172 Blossman, David, 29 BNY Mellon, 44 Bolton, Bob, 138 Borrego Solar Systems, 140 Boulevard Brewing Company, 27 Breckenridge Brewery, 27 Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant, 76 Brinkert, Steve, 74 Brown and Caldwell, 81 Calabrese, Joseph, 108 California State University–Chico, 105 Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, 49 Carey, Jason, 89 CH2M Hill, 81 Cistulli, John, 108 City of Chicago, 168 City of Grand Rapids, 89 City of Philadelphia, 100 Clinton, Hillary, 35 Coburn Partners, 27 Coca-Cola, 39 Cohen, Adam, 60 Columbia University, 156 Connor Sports, 16 Costello, Steve, 72 Cowan, Stan, 20 Crate and Barrel, 145 Cruickshank, Scott, 70 Cuomo, Andrew, 156 D Dalton-Noblitt, April, 172 Dahan, Mayer, 164 Dahan Properties, 164 Davey, Liz, 15 Debelius, Hannah, 16 DeLong, Eric, 89 Denton, Bill, 134 Design Workshop, 29 Dow Chemical Company, 174 Downtown Development Authority, 89 Dream Builders, 164 E Eichhorn, Chris, 166
El Dorado Inc., 28 Ellis, Ken, 49 Emanuel, Rahm, 166 EnerNOC, 105 Enlighted, Inc., 151 Erkiletian, 134 Erkiletian, Myron P., 134 Erkiletian, Stefanie, 134 Ernst & Young, 40 Eskew, Allen, 95 Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, 94 ESPN, 108 Evans, Bill, 63 Evans, Jim, 62 Ex-Cell Kaiser, 16 F FedEx Ground, 128 First Affirmative Financial Network, 159 Fitzhugh, Michael, 137 Flatiron Construction Corp., 138 Fox Head, 116 Freiheit & Ho Architects, 129 G Garippo, Anthony, 145 Gensler, 44 Gering, John, 108 Google, 38 Grand Rapids White Water, 88 Green Mountain Power, 72 Greenwood Energy, 160 Grossman, Brian, 28 Gutter, Rachel, 35 H Hanadel, Keith, 112 Hargreaves Associates, 82, 94 Hargreaves, George, 94 Harte, Brendan, 61 Hastings Architecture Associates, 102 Hastings, William, 102 Heartwell, George, 89 Heider, Beth, 37 Helland, Pete, 49 H.F. Lenz, 44 Hi-Tech Building Systems, 52 HLW International, 108 HNTB, 138 Horton, Daniele, 39 Howard Building Corporation, 116 I IceStone, 152 Ingersoll Rand, 45 International Leak Detection, 166 International Living Future Institute, 38 IRONSMITH, 63 IslandWood, 84 J Jacobson, Daryl, 172 JLL, 18, 151 John, Leisha, 40 JRL Design Studio, 74 JUCCCE, 151 K Kass, Lloyd, 156 King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 78 Klearwall Industries, 60
L M N O P R S
Klein-Banai, Cynthia, 54 Krall, James, 74 Lagunitas Brewing Company, 29 LaMagna, Dal, 152 Lavender, Dan, 74 Lend Lease, 18 Liu, Peggy, 151 Loria, Dennis, 160 Majestic Estate Developers, 52 Marvel Architects, 131 Marvel, Jonathan, 131 McCoy, Emily, 99 McDonald’s, 56 McGunnigle, Paul, 116 Melander, Paul, 128 Menomonee Valley Partners, 91 MESA, 20 MGM Resorts International, 37 Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, 166 Mithun, 78 Mohawk Group, 36 Montgomery Bell Academy, 102 Moorings Park at Grey Oaks, 74 Mount Saint Vincent University, 48 Muller, Chris, 88 Munster Joinery, 61 Naperville Park District, 22 National Fire Protection Association, 170 Natural Resources Defense Council, 29 New Belgium Brewing, 29 New York Power Authority, 156 Nini, Emilio, 145 Northrop Grumman, 57 NRG Energy, 40 Nunn, Neil, 105 Oregon Convention Center, 70 Ortega, Cindy, 37 Parks & People Foundation, 148 PCL Constructors, 138 Perez, Bea, 39 Phifer Incorporated, 174 PMF Investments, 129 Popiwny, Michael, 79 Prime Five Homes, 164 Richards, Chip, 88 Richards, Ric, 56 Ritchie, John, 66 RiverRestoration, 89 Rivera, Amanda, 94 RMTA, 126 Rockwell, John L., 56 Rossbach, Tom, 142 Routman, Rochelle, 36 Rowland, Erin, 70 Rubba, Dennis, 63 Ryan, Bill, 49 Sajo, 145 San Diego International Airport, 138 Schaefer, Bill, 166 Schechtman, Drew, 44
Schueth, Steve, 159 Schulz, Suzanne, 89 Shelton, Josh, 30 Shutes, Eric, 22 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., 27 Skanska, 18, 37 Southwest Properties, 48 Spatz, Jim, 48 Steinberg, Michele, 170 Stone, Kenric, 57 Strack & Van Til, 66 Strickland, Bill, 174 Structures Design-Build, 60 studioINSITE, 63 Sturgeon, Amanda, 38 STV, 149 SunCap Property Group, 129 T Taggart, Steve, 54 Tallarico, Susan, 78 Tew, Scott, 45 The Austin Company, 57 Tomczak, Robert, 52 Trillo, Bill, 57 Tulane City Center, 16 Tulane University, 15, 95 Turner Construction Company, 138 U Uchtman, Matt, 70 UL Environment, 46 Ungureanu, Cristina, 94 University of Illinois–Chicago, 54 University of Pennsylvania, 100 Urban Ecology, 91 USGBC-LA, 116 V Verdani Partners, 39 Vevier, Jenn, 29 Vidaris, 44 Villalón, Cristina, 122 W Waterpark Ventures Management Services, 49 Weber, Peter, 27 Weeks, Erica, 103 Wenk Associates, 90 Wenk, Bill, 90 Western Waterproofing Company, 168 White, Parker, 151 Whitney, Scott, 160 Wilkinson, Clive, 116 World Green Building Council, 18 Z Ziger, Steve, 148 Ziger/Snead Architects, 148 Zingg, Paul J., 105
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
14 Guest Editor
Tulane University’s Liz Davey on rebuilding NOLA
16 Editor’s Picks
Eco-tourism in the Big Easy, plus several practical products
A WorldGBC paper makes the case for healthy building
20 In Profile
From Dallas to Dubai, Stan Cowan works to tell the land’s story
22 Defined Design
A LEED Platinum nature center in Illinois teaches visitors about rivers
Guest Editor Liz Davey
Liz Davey has been training up the next generation of environmental advocates since 1999. That’s the year she moved from East Lansing, Michigan, to Tulane University in New Orleans to become the institution’s first-ever director of sustainability (it was known as environmental coordinator at the time). Since then, Davey has impacted hundreds of students directly through various on- and off-campus initiatives and hundreds of thousands of New Orleanians indirectly through her advocacy around issues of transportation, greener building, and environmental justice. (Davey was instrumental in starting New Orleans’ local bicycle advocacy group.) Davey is not just a strong leader with a gift for campus sustainability, but someone whose experience of climate change is uniquely and tragically real. Davey was living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, and she returned just weeks after the storm, intent on rebuilding her home and redoubling her sustainability efforts at Tulane and throughout the city. As we thought about a guest editor for this issue—which would receive an early release for the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in New Orleans and focus on designing for water, as well as carry a feature on our Top 10 Women in Sustainability Leadership—Davey became the obvious choice. She and I spoke on the phone on August 27th, nine years nearly to the day after Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. We talked about Davey’s experience with LEED, why sustainability appeals to women, and (unofficial) presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. —Timothy Schuler, Managing Editor
Liz Davey introduces our Top 10 Women in Sustainability, asks those women what advice they have for young people for our Discussion Board, and curates a ‘Big Easy’ edition of our Editor’s Picks.
PHOTO: CALEB FOX
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT 1. On women in leadership, p. 34 2. Davey on the spot, p. 176 3. What to see in NOLA, p. 16 4. Advice for young women, p. 173
IN CONVERSATION with Liz Davey
PART 1 A HAUNTED HOUSE gb&d: You became Tulane’s dedicated director of the office of sustainability back in 1999. That’s relatively early for a position like this, given that only within the past few years have most large organizations added dedicated sustainability positions. How has the job changed over the years? Liz Davey: I’ve moved more and more into operations, into the design and construction process. When I started, I worked a lot on student programs and extracurricular sustainability programs. But as we’ve taken up the commitment to LEED, and as we’ve really worked to take our recycling program to the next level, those pieces take up more of my time. My position started within an academic research center, which was basically because they had a sense of what it was—because I spent many, many years just explaining what my job was. But in recent years, we needed to find a more permanent home for it within the university, and when we looked at peer institutions, I was surprised that the sustainability office was, for the most part, on the facilities side of the university, rather than the academic side. These programs began, at Tulane and at other universities, as class projects: How does the university impact the environment? How do we measure that, and what can we do to change it? But as they’ve been taken up, I think they have moved away from the academic side. gb&d: Do the two talk to each other? I can see from the university’s standpoint why it makes sense to roll it into facilities, but I imagine that the environmental studies [programs] can continue to push the field forward. What does the interaction between the two look like? Davey: It varies every year. It varies with the faculty and with the courses being taught. We have a very strong service-learning program at Tulane. Tulane is the only major The conversation continues on p. 18
Editor’s Picks Big Easy Edition Text by Guest Editor Liz Davey
PLACE BAYOU BIENVENUE WETLAND PLATFORM
PRODUCT CONNOR SPORTS FLOORING
PRODUCT KALEIDOSCOPE RECYCLING BINS
PLACE GROW DAT YOUTH FARM
PERSON HANNAH DEBELIUS
RESOURCE CLIMATE ONE PODCAST
A collaboration between Lower Ninth Ward residents and architects from the University of Colorado, this platform is built up and over a high levee wall. It restores the neighborhood’s access to the Bayou Bienvenue wetlands and provides a place within New Orleans to see and understand coastal wetland loss.
A number of Tulane’s LEED projects have achieved the Certified Wood credit using Forest Stewardship Council-certified, sustainably harvested wood for more than half of the project’s new wood. In our new Hertz Center basketball and volleyball practice facility, the court floors from Connor Sports Flooring are made from FSC-certified maple.
You should always select your trash and recycling containers together and place them in pairs or stations. People love the message sent by pairing the halfround Kaleidoscope trash container with the larger square recycling one. You can select the color, label, lid, and size appropriate for your program and assemble them together into an attractive recycling station.
In New Orleans City Park, a structure made from stacked green shipping containers rises up among the cypress trees. The Grow Dat Youth Farm is a youth job-training program, outdoor classroom, and active farm. The master plan and design were done by Tulane City Center, the community outreach arm of Tulane’s School of Architecture.
Hannah is the USGBC’s point person to the 100-plus “USGBC Students” groups at colleges and universities across the country. These student organizations work on campus-greening projects, volunteer at schools on the Green Apple Day of Service, and study together in fun ways to take the Green Associate exam.
Climate One is an ongoing lecture series at the Commonwealth Club of California. Listening to their recent events is a relatively easy way to keep up with big thinkers, current issues, and emerging ideas in climate change, energy, and the environment.
PHOTOS: CALEB FOX (BAYOU BIENVENUE, GROW DAT); WILL CROCKER (HERTZ CENTER); TK
Clockwise from top left
IN CONVERSATION with Liz Davey Continued from p. 15
research university that has a public service requirement. It was put in place after Katrina, and it’s a two-tier requirement. It’s not just one course—it’s one during your freshman and sophomore years, and then it’s a public service experience of your choosing, your design, during your junior and senior year. A lot of times my interaction with the academic side will be through the public service programs. gb&d: Do any projects stick out to you? Davey: Lots of them. I hate to name them because I don’t want it to seem like I’m taking credit for them, but we just had a fantastic program complete its first year. It’s called Trash to Treasure, and basically, the students collected donated items from the dorms as students moved out, stored them over the summer, and sold them back to other students during the move in. It saved parents an extra trip to the store, it reduced the waste of all that packaging, and it set such a great example of student initiative. Like I said, that was all student driven.
“I had actually come down to research an environmental justice case—that was how I first connected with people at Tulane.” gb&d: People come to positions like yours from various background—some have MBAs, some have masters degrees in architecture. What’s your background? Davey: I came out of a very good undergraduate environmental studies program, and then I went to graduate school and got a PhD in English. So my path is an unusual one, but probably typical of some of the people who worked at the front end of university sustainability. Then I was an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University. A librarian there started convening a group to work on greening the campus. I worked with that committee, and we launched Michigan State’s university sustainability initiative. gb&d: Before you came to Tulane, did you have connections to New Orleans? Davey: My sister and brother-in-law had lived down here. I had actually come down The conversation continues on p. 20
Report Healthier ROI
A new WorldGBC report makes a financial case for building health and wellness into our environments
be read by designers, engineers, and architects, but it’s not highly technical, so the intended audience is building owners, occupiers, and their advisors,” Alker says. “We hope they will use it in their discussions with clients, colleagues, and customers.” The report begins by analyzing the reQuantifying the human benefits of green building has long been considered lationship between office buildings and necessary to showing its return on invest- occupant health. It also assesses the exment, but in the past, such an achieve- tent to which strategies for maximizing ment was out of reach. Now, thanks the well-being and productivity of occuto a new report from the World Green pants are complementary to strategies Building Council (WorldGBC) entitled for reducing resource use. “The intention “Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in is to increase understanding in the real Office Buildings: Measuring Impact and estate sector of both the relationship beSharing Best Practice,” it’s very reachable. tween building and user and the financial “In the past, people haven’t linked impact of that relationship,” Alker says. everyday financial metrics—such as abThe second part of the report provides sence rates, retention rates, and medical strategies for measuring occupant health costs—to the office place in which they’re and translating outcomes into financial based,” says John Alker, director of policy metrics. “Essentially, we provide readers and communications for the U.K. Green with a high-level framework for making Building Council, which led the project. the business case for healthy building to “Now they can and will channel that in- their own organizations,” Alker says. formation into design, financing, and With major partners on the report’s steering and technical committees, its leasing decisions.” The report stemmed from a 2013 findings and recommendations could WorldGBC publication entitled “The be world-changing. At a minimum, the Business Case for Green Buildings,” one WorldGBC hopes the report will ultimatechapter of which highlighted some of ly lead to better data to inform real estate the research demonstrating that green investment and design decisions, which buildings could enhance the health, can have huge impacts on costs. well-being, and productivity of Staff costs, including salaits occupants. The chapter was ries and benefits, typically acTAKEAWAYS so popular, Alker says, that the count for roughly 90 percent It’s possible WorldGBC wanted to expand of business operating costs, to measure the the report notes, so even a on it. “We couldn’t solve all of health, well-being modest improvement in emthe challenges laid out in the and productivity 2013 report, but we wanted to ployee health or productivity of building occuprovide a framework for doing can bring a huge financial repants. This information so,” says Alker of the 2014 return for employers. “It’s many can be translated port, which was sponsored by times larger than any other into financial financial savings associated Lend Lease, JLL, and Skanska metrics. with an efficiently designed and compiled with the help of These financial 50 experts from the building and operated building, and far metrics can be industry and academia in 20 higher even than rent,” Alker used to show that different countries. says. The report, released in green building September 2014, is available The report is aimed at a provides a return at worldgbc.org. gb&d —Julie mainstream real estate auon investment. dience. “We imagine it will Schaeffer gbdmagazine.com
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IN CONVERSATION with Liz Davey Continued from p. 18
to research an environmental justice case— that was how I first connected with people at Tulane. When they advertised the job the next year, I applied.
In Profile Stan Cowan
gb&d: What was the case? Davey: It’s known as the Shintech Case. There was a vinyl plant proposed for the industrial corridor north of New Orleans, and it became a test case for whether civil rights laws should be used in the determination of the permitting of a facility. gb&d: What was the outcome? Davey: The company withdrew their application for a permit. It was never actually decided. gb&d: Do you remember your first memory of nature, when you experienced it as a living, breathing thing? Davey: I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, which is a place that has parks throughout the city and where a lot of space is dedicated to ecological restoration. My most significant early memories are of going to a place we called “the haunted house,” which was an old, abandoned, Victorian-era farm that my dad’s boss used as a hunting and fishing camp in the Sand County area—you know, where Aldo Leopold had his shack—and they would just dump us out in the woods to run around while they fished.
PART 2 WOMEN WANTED
The landscape architect draws on his upbringing on the prairies of Texas to create environmentally rooted communities By Joann Plockova On the Great Plains of the Texas panhandle, Stan Cowan grew up on a vast ranch built by his great-grandfather and generations thereafter outside the sparsely populated town of Miami (pronounced my-AM-uh) in Roberts County, a community that he says his family members helped shape. Today, Cowan is the managing principal of Dallas-based landscape architecture firm MESA. Cowan’s two grandfathers were particularly influential. They understood the effects of soil conservation and prairie range management while tak-
gb&d: I want to talk about leadership. You introduce our Top 10 Women in Sustainability Leadership (p. 34). Do you think sustainability, as a field, offers women new opportunities? Davey: Yes. For one thing, sustainability is opening up as a field. We have more women graduating with degrees in environmental studies and environmental science, so as a new field, it offers opportunities that just weren’t there before that women are ready for. And then the combination of a technical background but a lot of outreach and communication—which is typically part of a sustainability position—is really appealing to women. Those kinds of careers have often been a choice: to either pursue a science field or a communications field. gb&d: What do you think can inspire young The conversation continues on p. 23
ing advantage of the advancements of modern agriculture. “They were very aware of the land and how to support it,” Cowan says. “It was these kinds of ideas that gave me an understanding of the impact on the environment from a young age.” This upbringing laid a foundation that has shaped Cowan’s approach to land stewardship, and as a result, he actively seeks to understand the heritage of a place and any sustainable opportunities early in the planning and design process. This approach, integrated into every aspect of MESA’s projects—whether large or small, public or private—has allowed Cowan to respond to urban and suburban developments that tend to swallow an area’s natural landscape and erase its ecological features. Since joining MESA as an intern after graduating from Kansas State University in the late 1980s, Cowan has increasingly devoted himself to largescale master-planned communities such as Canyon Falls, a 1,200-acre master-planned community in North Texas that is currently in development. Cowan attempted to tell the story of the land by incorporating naturally occurring materials and features. Combining nature, culture, and design is a thread that weaves throughout MESA’s portfolio of projects. From master-planned communities to small-scale residential sites such as the Turtle Creek Pump House, MESA delivers a sense of place that is tied to the area’s culture. The Pump House project, which transformed
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a pump station in Dallas into an art gallery and studio flat, preserves and recycles an entire site rather than just site materials. In a city where new is typically seen as better, the Pump House is a reminder that the bones of history can provide form for repurposing new spaces. Cowan is passionate about finding innovative ways to educate clients and those who visit the park environments MESA creates. For Arbor Hills and the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, the team examined wildlife habitats and the existing flora, then created interpretive trails and experiential zones that encourage appreciation of plants and wildlife in their natural settings. Along with managing stormwater and establishing wildlife corridors, MESA also explores responsible maintenance practices and works to change “the mindsets of public and private clients—how not to maintain and mow everything,” says Cowan, who also encourages prairie-enhancing controlled burns and the removal of invasive vegetation. Part of MESA’s success has been Cowan’s commitment to maintaining a diversity of market sectors and clients, which helps prepare the firm for potential dips in economy. This has included international offices, with former MESA locations in Madrid, followed by Dubai and Abu Dhabi. “We learned a lot from our expegb&d
ABOVEOnce a water pump station, the Turtle Creek Pump House in Dallas today is an art gallery and studio flat with native landscaping and several water features.
riences in the Middle East,” Cowan says, “We implemented our sustainable approach from the US into our international projects and brought back new strategies for water conservation and knowledge of adaptive species.” MESA is currently expanding the use of environmentally sound land management to other market segments such as healthcare and senior-living centers. The T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center, for instance, is the first of its kind in the United States. MESA is using existing landforms to create a lakefront hillside garden terrace with courtyards to accommodate for private, semi-private, and public areas, which offer a variety of opportunities for patients, family members, and staff to find respite. Cowan believes in maintaining an intellectual curiosity around his and the firm’s design work. “We continually ask ourselves, ‘Are we giving the greatest value to the client and community?’” he says. By “value,” he not only means an economic one, but also a legacy for future generations that will keep them connected to the land, just like Cowan’s own family. gb&d
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UP FRONT THE WATER ISSUE
Defined Design Knoch Knolls Nature Center
In Naperville, Illinois, education and recreation converge on the same location where the East and West branches of the DuPage River meet: Knoch Knolls Park. A new, $6 million nature center celebrating water has been in the works for several years, and this fall, the Naperville Park District proudly opened the elaborate, interpretive building to residents and visitors. With the support of several grants totaling approximately $750,000 and the park district’s capital funds, the district constructed the 4,900-square-foot building, designed by Wight & Company, and permeable parking lot with the goal of educating the public about natural water systems. Park district director of planning Eric Shutes helps us boil the building down to three words that define its LEED Platinum design. gb&d —Maureen Wilkey
Tributaryˈtri-byə-ˌter-ē (noun) A stream that flows to a larger stream or other body of water, or a person or nation that pays tribute in acknowledgment of subjugation. The building pays tribute to the two branches of the DuPage River that come together on its grounds. Visitors can view river wildlife in its river aquarium, rainwater in the building’s cistern that will keep its plantings alive, and the river bottom through a floor patterned off natural stones and fossils. Elucidative i-ˈlü-sə-ˌdā-tiv (adj) To make lucid or clear; throw light upon; explain. The building helps explain the workings and wildlife of the river while helping clean up the waste caused by its own construction. As the Naperville Park District’s first staffed nature center, the building educates visitors through interpretive signs inside and throughout the park. Viable ˈvī-ə-bəl (adj) Capable of living. The building includes a partial green roof and a living wall that uses plants to filter air coming into the building. It’s slated for LEED Platinum certification and generates its own energy from the photovoltaic array on its roof.
BELOWFollowing completion of its new nature center building, the Naperville Park District will continue its sustainable initiatives at Knoch Knolls Park, including natural area management through controlled burns and goat grazing to clear non-native plants.
IN CONVERSATION with Liz Davey Continued from p. 20
women to go into some of the fields that continue to be dominated by men? Davey: We need to help college students, and probably even high school students, see the kinds of opportunities that are emerging in sustainability fields so that they can see the end point of pursuing some of the more technical degrees. gb&d: Is there a specific call to action for men currently in leadership? Davey: Think about the pipeline: How can I help put a piece in place that will help a more diverse group of young people find their way into this position?
“It’s just so crazy that we have not had a woman president. It’s time that presidential candidates draw from our full population.” gb&d: Social issues like gender inequality, class inequality, immigration policy—are these things tied in with sustainability and urban planning? How do you see those things connecting? Davey: So much of the work has come out of a more traditionally environmental background that we haven’t engaged the partners that we need to in order to realize that larger vision of a sustainable society. At Tulane, we have this very large commitment to public service, but we don’t typically talk about that as a sustainability program. We’re using a different kind of language. But we should see that larger work in the community as part of our work in sustainability as much as having a decent recycling program and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF WEATHER SHIELD
gb&d: Everyone is waiting on the formal announcement, but obviously Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2016 (p. 34). If she is elected, what sort of message do you think that will that send to the country? Davey: It would be about time. It’s just so crazy that we have not had a woman president. It’s time that presidential candidates draw from our full population. The conversation continues on p. 167
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
28 Tapping Into Sustainability
Four brewery projects raise the bar for sustainable beer making
29 Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City,
30 Abita Brewing, New Orleans,
31 Breckenridge Brewery, Littleton,
32 Sierra Nevada Brewing, Mills
River, North Carolina
T H E WAT E R I S S U E T Y P O LO G Y: B R E W E R Y
Tapping Into Sustainability Four brewery projects raise the bar for sustainable beer making by emma janzen
PHOTOS: MIKE SINCLAIR
ake a moment to picture the epitome of sustainable building design. Now, imagine what it looks like where your favorite beer is made. Chances are, the two images look vastly different. For decades, the typical American brewery has hardly embodied the best examples of green building practices—in fact, most breweries represent the opposite: largely industrial, energy-guzzling facilities that use outrageous amounts of water, gas, and other natural resources just to produce a single batch of a kölsch or a saison. But thanks to the growing national interest in sustainability, many brewers are looking to smart design and more efficient operations to improve their triple bottom line. Companies like Abita Brewing Company and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. are managing water resources and investing in renewable energy while Boulevard Brewing Company has unveiled a new expansion that brings a rare natural resource to the brewery floor: sunlight. It’s a brave new world for brewery design, and the future of beer is looking brighter with every pint. (And that’s not just the beer talking.)
OPPOSITEAt Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, efficient water recovery practices have meant a 30% reduction in water use over the past four years.
BELOWBoulevard’s expansion is architecturally unique in its use of glass, which brings in sunlight, reducing the need for artificial lighting.
Brewers sometimes joke that if you’ve seen one brewery, you’ve seen them all. Regardless of size, location, and whether the operations are set up in an old industrial warehouse, reclaimed building, or structure that is built from the ground up, the schema typically looks the same: the building parameters are tall and wide with sprawling open floor plans and easy access to loading docks. Inside, a labyrinth of shiny tanks, hoses, and pipes winds and weaves throughout the space, bubbling, buzzing, and whirring as hops and malts are transformed into liquid gold. When it comes to the design of these spaces, at least in initial phases, function nearly always trumps form. Peter Weber, design principal and senior architect at Coburn Partners, has worked on a number of brewery design projects, including the new Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton, Colorado. He says initial design decisions must be driven by the organizational demands of the equipment because at the end of the day, efficiencies in the brewing process equal cost savings. “One of the things that is unique to breweries is that the equipment has a massive impact on the design project. In many ways, you have to design the building around the equipment,” Weber says, “so you want to shorten pipe lengths when possible. You need wide, open floor plans for things like packaging lines and tall spaces for coolers, dry storage, and fermentation tanks.”
CASE STUDY BOULEVARD EXPANSION Why It’s Notable Natural light is used to illuminate brewing areas during daylight hours—a rare occurrence in most breweries. When electricity is needed, energy-efficient light bulbs are on motion detectors, while others have settings to change intensity based on brewing needs. Sun shading is provided via perforated, corrugated-aluminum panels to minimize solar heat gain. Design Elements The overall brewing facility is “an eclectic mix of historic buildings, recently designed additions, and industrial structures,” says El Dorado Inc. principal Josh Shelton. The addition, a tall glass enclosure, represents a striking modern contrast to the older brick-clad buildings, representing, in Shelton’s words, “a collision of light, industry, urban grit, and fresh new ideas and entrepreneurship.” Water Practices Throughout the past four years, the brewery has reduced water consumption by 30 percent while increasing production by the same amount, using recovery and reuse systems throughout the facility. The brewery also treats water only to the degree that is necessary, saving water associated with the treatment process.
Kansas City, MO PROJECT TYPE
Brewery expansion SIZE
2,000 ft2 CAPACITY
200,000 barrels COMPLETION
El Dorado Inc. GENERAL CONTRACTOR
El Dorado Inc.
PKMR Engineering STRUCTURAL AND CIVIL ENGINEER
Derek Porter Studio
“The refrigeration and heating needs just to brew and ferment the beer far outstrip anything the building does. The building becomes almost negligible.” Peter Weber, Coburn Partners
That’s not to say aesthetics never come into play. For many new large-scale construction projects, such as Breckenridge’s and Sierra Nevada’s, the outward façade of the structure plays an important role, too, as companies aim to take advantage of the growing tourism industry. Instead of simply moving in to an industrial park or warehouse, elaborate new facilities are built from the ground up, with blueprints broadened to include taprooms, restaurants, expansive gift shops, and visitor’s centers. In many cases, designers look to regional aesthetics to create unique environments that will be attractive to visitors and reinforce the story of a particular brand. “There’s 3,000-plus breweries out there, and everyone wants
to go somewhere local,” says Brian Grossman, co-manager of Sierra Nevada’s new brewery in Mills River, North Carolina. “If you have something that is architecturally way out of place, it’s not going to excite a lot of people.” Both Grossman and Weber wanted their respective projects to visually resonate with the surrounding culture and landscape. At Breckenridge’s new location, Weber and his team implemented a campus of large, barn-like structures, creating a rustic farmhouse look that speaks to the history of the Front Range in Colorado. At Sierra Nevada, the new facility is made primarily out of brick, a decision influenced by historic masonry that proliferates throughout the East Coast.
CASE STUDY ABITA EXPANSION Why It’s Notable Abita changed its on-site wastewater treatment center from an aerobic to an anaerobic system, which uses less energy and also captures methane from the process that runs the boiler. The newly generated natural gas offsets 20 percent of the brewery’s needs. Design Elements With an original industrial structure of mostly metal buildings, the expansion includes a visitor’s center that mirrors French Quarter architecture with iron balconies and a water fountain while the new two-story brewhouse takes inspiration from New Orleans’ industrial warehouse district. Water Practices Water-saving strategies are implemented during every part of the pre-fermentation process, with water recovered from certain tanks and reused in others, depending on which processes are occurring. The brewery also uses recovered water for all cleaning needs, including keg washing, floor washing, and tank cleaning.
New Orleans, LA PROJECT TYPE
Brewery expansion SIZE
19,500 ft2 CAPACITY
900,000 barrels COMPLETION
“It was important for us to reflect our location, to design a building that fit into the lush western North Carolina landscape,” says Ryan Arnold, Sierra Nevada’s communications manager. “Myriad details pay homage to the rich brewing history that preceded us, namely through material choices, including salvaged wood, copper, and brick.” This theme is not limited to new construction. The design teams behind work done at Abita and Boulevard left the original facilities intact but took visual liberties with new expansions and additions. For Boulevard in Kansas City, El Dorado Inc. added an glassclad, aviary-like structure to the existing brick warehouse to represent the intersections
PHOTO: CALEB FOX (BOTTLES)
THIS PAGEIn addition to energy- and water-capture systems and rooftop solar panels (top right), Abita reduces waste by using 50 percent less cardboard in its six-pack cases than a typical design.
of modern growth and historic industry. At Abita in New Orleans, metal buildings, silos, and stainless steel tanks jut out from the original operations side of the property, whereas the exterior of the new visitor’s center mirrors classic French Quarter architecture, complete with wrought-iron balconies, a central courtyard, and a water fountain. “We’re ingrained in the culture of Louisiana and New Orleans,” Abita president David Blossman says. “We are proud to show who we are, and we want people to come in and not see a generic front. We want people to see Louisiana.”
Intelligent brewery design must bleed into the operational side of things, too. Beer is composed of about 95 percent water, making clean and abundant natural resources essential to producing a quality product. As a result, many brewers are paying closer attention to the ways in which they source and use water to ensure a sustainable future. Specifically, brewers are increasingly vocal advocates for preserving clean water resources to ensure abundant supply for the future. Many have taken the issue to bat publicly through the Brewers for Clean Water campaign, an initiative put into place by the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2013, that encourages businesses to do their part to ensure streams, lakes, and other water resources remain viable for the foreseeable future. Upwards of 50 breweries across the country participate, including Sierra
“We call it ‘green’ now, but we like being efficient. We’re blessed with such great resources and we recognize that and want to preserve them.” David Blossman, Abita Brewing gb&d
Nevada, Lagunitas Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewing. “It’s critical to protect tributary streams and nearby waters,” says Jenn Vevier, directory of strategy and sustainability at New Belgium. “The science shows, without doubt, that they are linked to downstream water quality. Not polluting those resources is not just being a good neighbor—it makes good business sense.” Safeguarding natural resources not only ensures a rich stock for the future, but low-quality water negatively affects the flavor of a final brew; with hops, malts, and yeast as beer’s only other ingredients, it’s impossible to make delicious beer without good, clean water. In order to keep the nearby water channels wealthy and pure, Sierra Nevada went so far as to design and engineer a man-made streambed. Due to unexpected levels of rainfall that on-site collection systems didn’t have the capacity to store, the brewery teamed up with landscape architects at Design Workshop to create a creek that would capture excess runoff and prevent pollution of the nearby Mills River. “It was important for us to slow the flow of what is entering the river, prevent erosion, and keep sediment on the surfaces. So, the creek is designed to keep that water on-site, let the sediment settle out of it, and then slow it as it goes into the river,” Chastain says. “I don’t think any other brewery has ever had to do anything like this before.” Sierra Nevada also boasts an on-site wastewater treatment facility—a design feature sometimes seen at larger craft breweries that pre-treats used water before sending it back into city systems. According to the Brewers Association, most breweries discharge a whopping 70 percent of their incoming water as “effluent,” or wastewater. Most of what is left over from the brewing process consists of sugar, yeast, and other organic proteins—things that are not as harmful as chemical toxins, but when left untreated can negatively impact natural ecosystems over time. Pre-treating water (adjusting the PH and removing solids) before it enters
Breckenridge’s new brewery uses an innovative heat-capture system.
CASE STUDY BRECKENRIDGE BREWERY Why It’s Notable An energy-recovery system was developed to capture and reuse heat during pre-fermentation processes when cycles of heating and cooling liquids demand the most attention. Storage tanks also keep hot water on-site to help with reheating tanks, preventing excessive use of natural gas needed for the same steps. Design Elements Taking inspiration from regional cues and the history of the Front Range in Colorado, Coburn Partners designed the brewery to look like a rural farmhouse and outbuildings with multiple rustic, barn-like structures arranged on the 12-acre site. Water Practices The plumbing and draining systems are separated in the facility, and water is pre-treated on-site to remove harmful elements. Plans for treated water to be used for irrigating the adjacent hops fields are in the works.
Littleton, CO PROJECT TYPE
New brewery SIZE
76,000 ft2 CAPACITY
300,000 barrels COMPLETION
2014 (expected) ARCHITECT
Coburn Partners GENERAL CONTRACTOR
Designs by Sundown
the system helps prevent longterm costs and repercussions. Beyond maintaining the integrity of natural water resources, brewers are looking to reduce consumption levels and reuse water during the beer-making process, too. The average brewing cycle demands anywhere from eight or more gallons of water to produce a single gallon of beer. When you consider that craft breweries are allowed to produce up to six million barrels—or 186 million gallons—of beer per year, it’s no surprise that many aim to reduce this ratio with savvy design solutions. Sierra Nevada’s North Carolina location captures rainwater to prevent drawing unnecessarily from local resources. Several 5,000-gallon tanks collect the rain that pours off of the brewrey’s rooftop, and an underground, 500,000-gallon tank acts as storage for runoff from paved surfaces. Collected water is used for both irrigation and plumbing systems on-site. Others look to recycle water from the various steps that take place during brewing. Most facilities, such as Abita or Breckenridge’s new Littleton location, will take recovered water from the pre-fermentation process that would normally go down the drain and reuse it to clean tanks, kegs, and floors. Breckenridge will also follow in Sierra Nevada’s footsteps; it plans to november–december 2014
“Why would you not do something that’s better for the environment if you’ve got the opportunity? Maybe some of those things will help our bottom line, maybe some don’t, but it’s the right thing to do.” Brian Grossman, Sierra Nevada
use recycled water to irrigate its on-site hop field. These kinds of measures both help breweries cut down on their need for additional resources and reduce bottom line costs in the long run.
As far as business operations go, brewers won’t hesitate to admit that facilities are major energy hogs. Whereas most energy and heat issues in buildings can be improved by making alterations to the structure, when it comes to breweries, the energy load land squarely on the shoulders of the equipment. “One general observation that surprised us when we first started working on breweries is that the amount of energy used is grossly dominated by the brewing process,” Weber says. “The refrigeration and heating needs just to brew and ferment
Sierra Nevada’s new North Carolina operation harvests rainwater and generates clean solar power.
the beer far outstrip anything the building does. The building becomes almost negligible in terms of its energy use because the equipment loads are so huge.” Weber says the best thing any designer can do to combat this is to find better ways of using equipment efficiently. At Breckenridge, a heat-recovery vapor condenser captures steam heat that escapes during certain boiling processes and condenses it back into hot water that can be used to heat the next batch. The brewery installed storage tanks to house hot water onsite, so that subsequent batches won’t require the energy needed to bring the water to a boil. Abita also uses an energy-recovery program and employs a Krones EquiTherm system that generates an additional 25-percent savings of total energy. Abita also uses solar power to
CASE STUDY SIERRA NEVADA BREWERY Why It’s Notable On-site energy generation is merely one aspect of what makes Sierra Nevada unique when it comes to sustainability strategies, but for its new Mills River location, an extensive 550kW solar array covers the roof and another system in the parking lot generates an additional 50kW. Design Elements Referencing the lush western North Carolina landscape, Sierra Nevada looked to incorporate details that would pay homage to the location and the rich brewing history in the area, using materials like salvaged wood, copper, and brick. Water Practices Due to abundant rainfall in North Carolina, Sierra Nevada worked with a design team to engineer a stormwater-management system that prevents runoff from affecting the quality of the nearby river. Landscape architects at Design Workshop created a manmade creek that captures excess water and prevents erosion and sediment flow. Rainwater-collection tanks also capture water from both paved surfaces and the rooftops for use in irrigation and plumbing systems.
Mills River, NC PROJECT T YPE
New construction SIZE 230,000 ft2 CAPACITY
350,000 barrels (current) 750,000 (future) COMPLETION
LEED Silver (expected) ARCHITECT Russell Gallaway Associates LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
generate on-site energy, with an 85-kilowatt system that it hopes to double in the future. At its California location, Sierra Nevada reaps the green benefits of extensive solar and hydrogen fuel cell systems as well as two 200-kilowatt Capstone microturbines that run on the methane recovered from the on-site wastewater treatment plant in Mills River. The solar arrays in California produce roughly 80 percent of Sierra Nevada’s electrical needs; in North Carolina, solar panels on the brewery roof and covering parking lots create 600 kilowatts of clean energy. Boulevard’s Cellar 1 expansion in Kansas City is an architecturally unique brewery project that is also notable in its approach to energy savings. The new strikingly modern glass enclosure juts out above a sea of surrounding industrial warehouses, acting in stark contrast to the existing brick facility while also providing ample light for the brewing operations below it during the day. Through the design, the architects harnessed the power of natural light to reduce the need for around-the-clock electricity, supplemented inside with high-efficiency T5 fluorescent light bulbs used on motion detectors and varying fixture settings that change light volume and intensity based on what activity is occurring. “There was tremendous effort to balance the maximum gain of natural light and minimize the gain of solar heat,” says Josh Shelton, principal at El Dorado. To ensure the abundance of light would not negatively affect the heating systems within the building, a granular, urban-looking shield of corrugated, perforated aluminum protects the glass from sun when appropriate on several sides of the building. “The perforated panels become more dense and opaque in relation to southeast- and southwest-facing elevations, and the panels shift to a more open perforation pattern as the structure faces northwest,” he says. Other heat-reducing devices are employed at Boulevard, too; walls are heavily insulated with blown-in foam, low E-insulated glazing coats the volume, and gbdmagazine.com
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the roof is covered in a reflective TPO to dissuade light absorption, creating a complete energy-savings package. At night, the aviary-like cube glows with soft, welcoming light when viewed from the gritty streets below.
For so many breweries, sustainable design is helping their businesses go above and beyond to meet the triple bottom line—an important goal, considering how seriously brewing operations can impact the environment. Some, like the president of Abita, say the impetus is not merely trendy—it’s just good business practice. “We call it ‘green’ now, but we like being efficient and not wasting things,” Blossman says. “We’re blessed with such great resources, and we recognize that and want to preserve them. It’s important for us to give back.” Others, like Sierra Nevada, seek LEED certification as proof of their efforts, even if that’s not necessarily the driving impetus for them. Grossman says he and his family are outdoor gb&d
ABOVEMany breweries use smart systems such as energyrecovery units and methanepowered microturbines to reduce costs and waste.
people, and knowing his business practices are respecting the surrounding natural resources is important to him personally. “Our ethos, our belief, is: why would you not do something that’s better for the environment if you’ve got the opportunity?” Grossman says. “Maybe some of those things will help our bottom line, maybe some don’t, but it’s the right thing to do. It’s definitely a combination of both.” When smart thinking, quality design, and brewers come together, it’s a win-win for both the environment and everyone involved. It’s also great for the beer-drinking community. Knowing these companies are creating infrastructures that will ensure sustainable beer operations for the future without harming the environment means you can take extra pride in sipping that pint of your favorite brew. gb&d
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GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
34 The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sustainability
Meet the chief sustainability officers, executive directors, and policy makers who are pushing the industry forward
34 Hillary Clinton, Former
US Secretary of State and First Lady
36 Rochelle Routman, Mohawk Group 37 Beth Heider, Skanska 37 Cindy Ortega, MGM Resorts 38 Amanda Sturgeon, International
Living Future Institute
38 Arielle Bertman, Google 39 Bea Perez, Coca-Cola 39 Daniele Horton, Verdani Partners 40 Robyn Beavers, NRG Energy 40 Leisha John, Ernst & Young
PHOTO: RAMIN TALAIE / GETTY IMAGES
Hillary Clinton USGBC’s Rachel Gutter on the Former Secretary of State and First Lady
The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sustainability The challenge of sustainability has opened new opportunities in fields long filled by men. Some jobs are completely new; others require new approaches to old tasks. The recipients of the inaugural Women in Sustainability Leadership Award, presented by this magazine, illustrate the importance of diversity in the sustainability field, and should inspire us to infuse more positions with sustainability-related responsibilities. Revitalized by new goals, these jobs would appeal to millennials and transform workplace cultures that have been resistant to both women and people of color. After all, working toward sustainability across an organization and diversifying its workforce should go hand in hand. Introduction by Guest Editor Liz Davey Director of Sustainability, Tulane University
Hillary Clinton recently told me that she is a fan of my work at the Center for Green Schools. It was just before we got our picture taken together, so in the photo I’m grinning from ear to ear. Seriously? Did Hillary Clinton just say she’s a fan of my work? Because Hillary, I’m a fan of your work. In particular, I am a fan of the trail that you have blazed for women of my generation to lead the effort to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. Hillary Clinton is behind much of the incredible progress that healthcare, energy policy, and international trade have experienced throughout the past two decades, and that barely begins to scratch the surface. It’s impossible to sum up her career, though her Twitter offers a concise, and admittedly playful, summary: “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…” In all that she does, Hillary Clinton embodies sustainability with a capital ‘S.’ She has made a concerted, nonpartisan effort to not only sustain, but to nourish and embolden society, our planet, and the global economy. When it comes to environmental policy, Hillary’s record is mixed, but her longstanding commitment to cultivating young leaders, particularly female ones, and equipping them with the skills they need today to tackle the challenges of tomorrow speaks to the heart of our movement. She’s taken a strong stance on the role of women in sustainability, proudly lending a voice to the World Bank’s finding that women are essential to sustainable development. She urges us to “knock the barriers down to women’s full participation on boards of companies that make decisions about sustainability,” citing evidence that “corporations november–december 2014
“[Evidence shows that] corporations with women in leadership positions are actually more focused on sustainability. It would be good for business and for results if those doors were opened.” Hillary Clinton
with women in leadership positions … are actually more focused on sustainability. It would be good for business and good for results if those doors were opened.” She certainly has led the way. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton championed women’s rights at home and abroad, famously stating at the Rio+20 meeting in 2012 that sustainability starts at home when women are “empowered to make decisions about whether and when to have children.” Her advocacy does not stop there. As First Lady, Hillary recognized the strategic importance of public early childhood education across the country. She tirelessly advocated for the expansion of Head Start to include early childhood education and for widespread implementation of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, reinvigorating the role of a First Lady with a portfolio of projects and initiatives. Today, Hillary continues these efforts through Too Small to Fail—which advocates alongside prominent curriculum thought leaders on behalf of students and educators—and the
Clinton Foundation. One initiative, “No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project and Women and Girls,” promises to lift women—and, in particular, young girls—out of poverty to foster a truly equal 21st century. And the Clinton Global Initiative continues to galvanize students’ interest in advocacy and volunteerism around the world. Clinton also was responsible for launching the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, marrying technology, private investment, and good governance to stabilize a rapidly changing energy sector and increase America’s independence from foreign energy, while simultaneously capitalizing on the tremendous resources of the US Agency for International Development to support sustainable development around the world. It’s the passion for across-the-aisle progress and pragmatic, collaborative solutions that make Hillary such a worthy icon for women in sustainability. When it comes to greening built environments, she has no reservations. She calls LEED “a simple, powerful idea” and notes that USGBC’s popular green building rating system “was an idea that was so profoundly true that I and others, when we first heard about it, just kind of looked up and said, ‘Well of course, that is exactly what we need to be doing.’” We need powerful leaders—female leaders—to prove that there is common ground on which to find solutions that fit for all of us. Hillary is doing just that, reviving the spirit of the triple bottom line, demonstrating that great things can happen when we shoot for the intersection of people, planet, and prosperity. Last year, at Greenbuild in Philadelphia, she issued a call to action. She said, “We not only can do better—we must do better. We have to get back to working in ways that bring us together, not drive us apart… it is time for us to start doing not only the right things, but the smart things. And at the top of any agenda about America’s future, sustainability has to be viewed as one of the key goals for building back stronger here at home.” Let’s take her up on that. gb&d Rachel Gutter is the director of the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools in Washington, DC. She is widely regarded as one of the nation’s foremost experts on the topic of green schools.
Rochelle Routman Director of Sustainability, Mohawk Group
We made an amazing discovery in 2013. While most companies are trying to optimize their product, which is a buzzword for subbing less toxic ingredients, we realized we had actually accomplished this on our own and were way ahead of the game. Now, we’re getting hundreds of our products declared through the International Living Future Institute and are sharing all ingredients with anyone who wants to know. The biggest thing I’m learning? Customers change. Ten years ago, they might not have cared so much about what goes into a product, but now they do. They’re familiar with nutrition labels and are thinking about what they bring into their homes.
“Customers change. Ten years ago, they might not have cared so much about what goes into a product, but now they do.” Rochelle Routman, Mohawk Group
We’re at an important crossroads as a community. My background as a geologist has taught me that the Earth is our life-support system, and we rely on it for everything we need for survival. The same elements that are in our body are in the Earth, but we’ve caused abrupt changes in the balance of things. When my mother went to first grade, she had never heard English before. She ended up being the valedictorian of her high school. Whenever I asked my mother for help with my homework, she would say, “Figure it out on your own.” I learned to appreciate that. It taught me to be self-reliant and confident in my abilities to decipher complicated problems and look for solutions when others may have just given up. Some of us don’t yet understand the importance of involving more diverse voices. That’s a missed opportunity. Collaboration is more important than ever before. Internally, I’m leading a cross-functional team that is made up of employees from all over the company. We call it our Sustainability Council. We’re involved in delivering the message of the Living Building Challenge across the country through special events we host. We’re also looking at building a manufacturer’s coalition around sustainability in the coming years. I keep reading that we don’t have enough young people interested in science, and that’s a shame. It’s so vital. For new people coming up, I tell them it’s really helpful to have a technical foundation like science or engineering before they move into a communications or policy function because it helps to have that fundamental understanding of natural systems and how the Earth works. As told to Zach Baliva
I came to sustainability through this lens of the business opportunity of green buildings. It was through this perspective of asking how we could serve both society and the environment in a socially and economically responsible way. The next generation of sustainability leaders has grown up as sustainability natives. A lot of my generation was looking to realize our ambitions in the business world. Sustainability wasn’t a big part of the lexicon until [Vice President Al] Gore came out with An Inconvenient Truth and sort of whacked society upside the head.
Beth Heider Chief Sustainability Officer, Skanska
I was brought up by a mother who was an Earth Science teacher. She was the sponsor for the first Earth Day at her school in Cincinnati, Ohio. I grew up with it; I couldn’t avoid it. So it’s part of my worldview that we need to live in a way that is respectful of the environment.
Cindy Ortega Chief Sustainability Officer, MGM Resorts International
As chief sustainability officer and senior vice president of the corporate sustainability division of MGM Resorts International, Cindy Ortega takes a whole-systems approach to sustainability. Her varied background—something she says is a commonality among the men
The new generation of millenials has had more education. They’re more connected, and I think that will be transformative in a huge number of ways. Leadership is critical. The new version of LEED encourages the disclosure of unhealthy chemicals in building materials. In retaliation, the American Chemical Council joined forces with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to lobby for a rider to a very popular energy bill that would preclude the use of LEED on any federal project. Mike McNally, our CEO, said, “We
and women leading sustainability divisions of large companies in corporate America—“is a very good platform for a sustainability professional to work from,” she says. Ortega has built a career with MGM, the Las Vegas-headquartered hospitality and entertainment giant, that spans more than two decades. She began in finance, moved to IT, and then into a senior finance position as a hotel controller for the 3,000-room Mirage Hotel and Casino. It was during that time that she began specializing in energy, learning everything from how electrical systems work to the nuances of energy and natural gas price structures. In 2000, she was named CFO of eight of MGM’s subsidiaries. Leading MGM’s sustainability division since 2006, Ortega’s
“I have a small garden where I start things from seed. Having that affinity for nature is part of the heartbeat that guides the decisions that I make.” Beth Heider, Skanska
will not be on the wrong side of history.” He withdrew Skanska from the Chamber in a very public way. We need leadership like that. It required tremendous personal courage and corporate bravery to take a principled stand for healthier buildings, and Mike’s leadership made a difference: the USGBC just announced an initiative to work together with the ACC. I have both a national and global role. I’m involved in setting the policy and creating the framework for Skanska’s sustainability initiatives in the US. I do a lot of public speaking, exploring ideas, and doing research that will help advance the industry. I have a small garden where I start things from seed. If you pay attention to seeds and don’t spray pesticides in your garden, you attract all kinds of butterflies and bees. You create an environment for them, and then they pollinate your flowers, and you get this incredible Garden of Eden. Having that affinity for nature is part of the heartbeat that guides the decisions that I make. As told to Evan Cline
current initiatives—which she says consist of dual priorities in two completely different areas of the organization, and which require the use of both sides of her brain— include a massive lighting retrofit that will see the replacement of more than one million light bulbs across MGM’s 17 resorts, reducing total energy use by at least ten percent. On the other side of the spectrum, MY Green Advantage, an employee engagement program deployed to MGM’s 62,000 employees in 2013, uses a social platform through which employees earn points for incorporating green practices—like reducing water use— into their daily lives. Pursuing sustainability while providing exceptional service is a delicate balance. This is the “continual challenge in hospitality,”
Ortega says, but she has succeeded largely by being clear about the company’s real environmental impacts and having an eye for the behind-the-scenes potential. “We’ve avoided the low-hanging-fruit kinds of programs that are targeted at what the guest sees,” she says. During her tenure thus far, Ortega says she feels most proud of game-changing projects such as CityCenter, an 18 million-squarefoot mixed-use complex on the Las Vegas Strip that is the now largest LEED Gold-certified new construction project in the world. She gives due credit to her team: “I command the ship,” she says, “but the real creativity, the real expertise, knowledge, and drive comes from the people working on my team.” By Joann Plockova
schedule and within design-build contracts. We’ve seen people do remarkable things to create living buildings. I think the nonprofit sector has the ability to make more change than the public or private sectors, at least currently. We have the ability to stop, take the focused time to look at barriers, and then unravel them a little bit. You don’t have that time in the middle of a contract designing a building.
It was really on that journey—being outside every day amongst different cultures, in amazing places from an ecological standpoint—that I grew my passion for sustainability.
Amanda Sturgeon Executive Director, International Living Future Institute
I learned the power of observing nature and loving the mystery of it from my grandpa. I spent a lot of time gardening with him, just spending hours in his greenhouse. I left England fairly young and spent about two years traveling before I went to college in Australia.
The Sydney Opera House has always stopped me in my tracks. That building is really an exploration of who we are as people in this world. I was very influenced by Australian vernacular architecture and entered architecture school intentionally looking for ways to reawaken this deep relationship between people and nature. The biggest misconception about the Living Building Challenge? People think it’s impossible. They say the standard’s too high. But we’ve seen people do it on a standard budget and on a fast-tracked
stage, higher-risk investments with the potential for higher returns.
Arielle Bertman Principal, Energy and Sustainability, Google
I work to create clean, sustainable investments and businesses that enable lower costs and make renewable energy more accessible. These businesses and investments are resilient, commercially attractive, and have impact. Google defines “impact” over the long term, which enables us to consider earlier
I’m someone who likes to lead from a place of expertise and ethics, not just bravado and hot air. As I’ve come to have more expertise in this field and realized that I have something to share with others, I’ve really developed a passion for leadership.
Three things have helped me to find my way in this field. A strong analytical and engineering background gave me confidence to delve into the technical details; supportive and brilliant colleagues have challenged me and helped me grow as I learned the renewable energy industry; and I’m passionate about learning, which is important, since this is a fast-changing and always evolving field. I completed my first Ironman triathlon last year. A love of challenges is also one of the many reasons I chose to study engineering. While we’re getting better, unfortunately, it is still a male-dominated field.
“I’m someone who likes to lead from a place of expertise and ethics, not just bravado and hot air. As I’ve come to have more expertise, I’ve really developed a passion for leadership.” Amanda Sturgeon, International Living Future Institute
I delegate a lot to my team. With adding the Living Community and Living Product Challenge programs, we’re looking at the remaking of everything—products, buildings, communities, cities. The staff is poised really well to take the Living Building Challenge to the next place and address that scaling elegantly. I believe in living a sustainable life that balances family and my passion for my work. We need to shape the world with a vision for what we want it to be and make it happen. If you do that, you can grow in your career and your home life, in parallel. As told to Lindsey Howald Patton
When I think about my colleagues, we complement each other because of the varied perspectives and approaches that we bring to the team—not because of our genders. That being said, I have always thrived on defying stereotypes and see challenge and competition as a motivator.
involved in a tough negotiation with a notorious counterparty on a technical risk issue. Because I had read all the engineering reports and was familiar with the technical aspects of the project, I could navigate the tricky situation, and we moved forward with the respect of the male-dominated group.
I may never be the person designing the next clean energy breakthrough, but I am confident engaging at a technical level and asking important questions. This has opened doors and helped me build trust and respect, both internally and externally.
This helped me realize two things: Negotiations are a favorite part of the deal process, but some people lack the information to make the best decision, so knowing your projects—especially the technical, financial, or legal details—and sharing information with confidence is invaluable. This is a simple, but underappreciated element.
I tell people to never underestimate your knowledge and preparation for a situation. I was once
As told to Russ Klettke
FOOD & BEVER AGE
Bea Perez Chief Sustainability Officer, Coca-Cola
Bea Perez leads a group more populous than the city of Seattle. As Coca-Cola’s chief sustainability officer (the company’s first) she oversees more than 700,000 people—because every employee at Coca-Cola participates in sustainability efforts. Under her leadership, the company has set a number of objectives to be reached by 2020, including improving water efficiency by 25 percent, replenishing 100 percent of the water the company uses, recovering 75 percent of bottles and cans in developed markets, and supporting small and sustainable farms. Although serving as a chief sustainability officer is new for Perez, who was named to the position in 2011, service itself is not. She is a leader in several community service organizations, including the Grammy Foundation and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She sits on the Board of Trustees for Save the Children Fund, which promotes children’s rights and relief in developing countries. Her work in both the private and public sector allows her to tackle varying objectives
close to her heart. “My biggest challenge,” she says of her appointment at Coca-Cola, “is having to pick and choose where to focus our initiatives. There are so many problems to be solved in this world.” Perez’s background is in marketing, so she understands that Coca-Cola has to function first as a business to have room to tackle sustainability issues. Before she stepped into her current role, she was chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola North America. She joined the company in 1996 after transitioning from an advertising agency, where she handled Coca-Cola initiatives. That business-oriented background has helped her outline realistic and worthwhile goals, and the company is transparent in reporting its progress in meeting those initiatives. Coca-Cola’s annual sustainability report outlines its objectives and how much closer it has come to meeting them within the previous year. What Perez keeps in mind as a leader, and what she tries to impart to all 700,000 people she oversees, is that sustainability can’t be an afterthought. It has to be part of the planning and development phase of every project, and it has to be an integral part of operations. “You also have to know what you stand for,” she says. “And if you’re missing opportunities on the ground to make an impact, you have to listen to your local people.” By Mary Kenney
“Most companies make a balance between work and family very challenging. At Verdani Partners, it’s not about when or where you get the work done, it’s about performance and results.” Daniele Horton, Verdani Partners
MORE INCREDIBLE WOMEN IN GREEN LEADERSHIP Learn about more amazing women changing the world at gbdmagazine.com or by downloading our iPad edition from the App Store. From architect Maya Lin to Steelcase’s Angela Nahikian, we’ve got the scoop on more of the most innovative women in sustainability leadership today—women who are shaping our planet through environmental education, policy, technology, and elsewhere.
RE AL ESTATE
Daniele Horton Founder and Principal, Verdani Partners
My love for buildings, nature, and environmental issues took root in early childhood in Brazil and was deepened in graduate school when I studied sustainable development at Harvard University. It was at Harvard that I learned about global issues and felt I needed to do something. I led sustainability programs for a large office REIT for almost a decade. But I wanted to do more without the constraints of a business that wasn’t my own. So I followed my passion and founded my own firm. Most companies make a balance between work and family very challenging. When I had kids, I had to move closer to family and was afraid I’d lose my job because the company was not very open to telecommuting. At Verdani Partners, it’s not about when or where you get the work done. It’s about performance and results. A big part of our success at Thomas Properties Groups [GRESB’s highest environmental performer in the Americas in the office category three years in a row] was developing a game plan. Initially, every property was doing something different. We visited the properties and came up with a centralized and robust sustainability program that was implemented portfolio-wide. This included an internal sustainability resource site, collaboration tools, sustainability policies, and a calendar of events. Sustainability doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s important to focus on ongoing improvement programs. As told to Julie Schaeffer
Leisha John Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability, Ernst & Young
gb&d: You’ve held many positions over your 30 years at EY. What experiences have most informed your values and leadership style?
Robyn Beavers Senior Vice President of Innovation, NRG Energy
I didn’t have career ambitions in energy at an early age. But I was raised in a family that valued working hard and respecting people. I learned it was a scary world out there but that it was possible to make good things happen—and that things are constantly changing, that there’s a lot of newness and unexpected events that make it hard to predict what will come next. I really liked math and science as a kid, but I wasn’t “gifted.” What I liked about both subjects was that you could use them to solve problems, which I thought was really cool. But in business—unlike with math and science—there are some gray areas: economics, irrational psychology, politics. The thing that makes me hopeful about energy and the climate is that I’m inspired by nature, how it’s resilient and receptive to change. Industry similarly responds to shifts and changes.
I don’t think the challenge is as daunting as we sometimes make it out to be. The tools are there. We are overhauling infrastructure. Solar panels are becoming cost-effective. State governments are allowing new policies, such as distributed power, and encouraging clean generation. It’s not about inventing some crazy, new thing. We just have to focus on scalability. There’s a lot of opportunity to do great things. For example, there are a lot of inefficient building systems. Our job now is to optimize for efficiency. We need elegant buildings and infrastructure. In everything I do, I push the built environment toward better design. I have experience across solar, wind, the US Department of Energy, and even consumer tech. Career choices are about learning and producing and finding solutions to the really hard problems. The older I get, the less it’s about gender. Relative to men and women in energy, I have always felt different from everyone I’ve worked with. Getting people to gel is the goal. But women should be an important part of sustainability. We are 50 percent of the population. We have a knack for absorbing a lot and for multitasking. As told to Russ Klettke
gb&d: Engagement can be a challenge at any organization. What have you seen work well? John: We try to make real operational changes that make a difference. In the US, for example, we have 80 offices, and we’ve moved to an operational standard called Print Plus. This requires our people swipe a badge before they print, and it’s had a significant impact on reducing the amount of paper we use. gb&d: What takes most of your time? John: These days, I spend a good portion on reporting. We measure our annual carbon footprint, and are greening our operations. It’s becoming more and more important to be transparent. Last year, I worked to harmonize EY’s sustainability reporting around the globe to make it more consistent. gb&d: What can the industry do better? John: We all need to raise our game around reporting and focus on getting deeper instead of just reporting on the information that is most readily accessible. gb&d: What major trends are you seeing? John: I’ve noticed a push from millennials, from the young people that come and work at EY. They want us involved in these green efforts. It’s coming from clients and from employees. Also, it’s not just large and leading companies anymore—it’s small and medium-sized organizations as well. Interview by Zach Baliva
PHOTO: SAMANTHA SIMMONS (BEAVERS)
“I really liked math and science as a kid, but I wasn’t ‘gifted.’ What I liked about both subjects was that you could use them to solve problems, which I thought was really cool.” Robyn Beavers, NRG Energy
Leisha John: I’ve learned how important it is to be flexible. I’ve worked in so many parts of the organization that I know our culture well, and I know what skills are necessary to lead. We’re big, but we’re grounded in our values. We have a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and everyone’s opinion matters. I have an EcoCare network of 800 volunteers in the United States, and I have my green champions in various departments. They help me get my initiatives done.
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GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
44 BNY Mellon finds a true ROI
Sustainability initiatives save the investment giant $48 million
45 Ingersoll Rand’s eco-revolution
The ‘megatrend’ of green prompts a big response from the manufacturer
48 Walkability drives design
A community in Nova Scotia trades the automobile for pedestrians
49 Conservation at the waterpark
State-of-the-art filtration system results in 30% reduction in water use
52 Helping you breathe easier
Homebuilder Robert Tomczak unveils a completely nontoxic residence
54 UIC leverages energy savings
University of Illinois’s Chicago campus performs ‘cost-neutral’ upgrade
56 Greening the ‘Golden Arches’
One McDonald’s franchisee uses LEED to educate customers and suppliers
57 Smart design treads lightly
The Austin Company reinforces Northrop Grumman’s green goals
BNY Mellon finds a true return on investment The investment giant saves $48 million by prioritizing sustainability A ‘full lifecycle approach’ is aided by key partners and consultants Four years ago, global investment giant BNY Mellon obtained LEED-EB Gold certification for 525 William Penn Place in Pittsburgh. Today, the building remains among the largest in the city with that distinction, and BNY Mellon has grown its portfolio of efficient buildings, saving the company $48 million in the process.
“We want to be good environmental stewards, but there’s also a financial incentive,” says Drew Schechtman, BNY Mellon’s energy and sustainability manager. BNY Mellon’s sustainability efforts were formalized in 2008 after the Bank of New York merged with Mellon Financial
Corporation to form BNY Mellon and the board established a corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee, which set sustainability-related goals. One of those goals was to target key facilities for efficiency improvements and inclusion in programs such as Energy Star and LEED. Today, the firm takes a “full lifecycle approach” to real estate, looking at design and construction, operations and maintenance, and leasing from both a sustainability and operational efficiency approach. It can be a challenge, Schechtman says, especially in buildings such as 525 William Penn Place, which also has other tenants. “Getting a whole building certified requires us to educate and engage others so they know what they can do to help us,” he says. Because BNY Mellon has a small sustainability team, partners that know the company’s goals and expectations are essential. To that end, sustainability consultants such as H.F. Lenz, Gensler, and Vidaris have been invaluable, Schechtman says. “They’re on the cutting edge of technology, and bringing new ideas to gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: HENRYK SADURA / SHUTTERSTOCK
Pittsburgh’s LEED Gold 525 William Penn Place uses lighting controls and variable frequency drives to reduce energy use.
“As a financial firm, we have to consider that our investors and shareholders will be looking for certain things in terms of sustainability and be open about the risks and opportunities throughout the company.” Drew Schechtman, BNY Mellon
us is a key part of what they do,” he says. “They’re also on the job, overseeing our efforts when we can’t be.” The results have been impressive, both at 525 William Penn Place and beyond. The Pittsburgh building, for its part, decreased energy consumption by 12 percent through the use of lighting-control systems and variable frequency drives that adjust the power supplied to motors based on demand. Other buildings have achieved similar accomplishments; five are LEED-EB certified, and 23 are certified under LEED’s rating for interiors. It is important, Schechtman says, for companies to be transparent in their efforts. “As a financial firm, we have to consider that our investors and shareholders will be looking for certain things in terms of sustainability and be open about the risks and opportunities throughout the company,” he says. BNY Mellon participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which scores major corporations for greenhouse gas emissions and related disclosure, and scored an A for performance and a 100 for disclosure in 2013. gb&d —Julie Schaeffer gb&d
Ingersoll Rand plans for the green revolution The global manufacturer responds to one of the first ‘megatrends’ since the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution gave the world railroads, steam power, steel, mechanization, and mass production. It also helped create industrial manufacturer Ingersoll Rand, which was founded in 1871 as Ingersoll Rock Drill Co. In the 143 years since, the fruits of the Industrial Age have fueled consistent and continuous growth at Ingersoll Rand, which manufactures HVAC systems, compressed-air solutions, and refrigeration equipment
through numerous brands, including American Standard, Thermo King, and Trane. Because it was born during the last great revolution, Ingersoll Rand paid close attention when trendspotters began forecasting the next one: sustainability. In order to remain relevant, the company’s leadership realized that it had to not only get ahead of the change but also help drive it. As a result, it subsequently commenced its own revolution, establishing an internal body—known as the Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES)—to help both the company and its customers embrace sustainable business practices. “The Harvard Business Review in 2010 published an article in which it called sustainability the next ‘megatrend,’” recalls CEES executive director Scott Tew. “Megatrends only come around once every few generations, and they have the capacity to fundamentally change how we live. One of the last big megatrends was the Industrial Revolution, and Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand created an in-house sustainability center to train staff on new competencies.
“We have a question in front of us: Are we willing to give something up, or can we find new ways to enjoy the quality of life we all like to enjoy?” Scott Tew, Ingersoll Rand
Employee-led teams executing green initiatives at Ingersoll Rand facilities worldwide
36 was at the very center of it. If the next one is sustainability, we asked ourselves, ‘What can we do to make ourselves more sustainable?’” CEES consists of a six-person staff and an 11-person advisory council, members of which lead internal conversations about sustainability leadership, infrastructure development, energy policy, and technology. Although it’s less than five years old, the group already has made a significant impact on the business by helping it integrate sustainable thinking into almost everything it does. In particular, its priorities are divided into three broad focus areas: behavior modeling, products, and storytelling. Tew refers to behavior modeling as “walking the talk.” Activities encompass everything from how the company trains its employees to how much energy and water it uses in its manufacturing process. Ingersoll Rand also is actively greening its portfolio of products, according
Percent reduction in normalized greenhousegas emissions and energy consumption over past five years
to Tew, who says the company is focused on developing products that continue to meet customers’ needs, but with less energy and a reduced environmental footprint. And then, Percent of getting the word out about its suscompany sites that tainability journey is paramount. have recycling Tew says thought leadership is a programs in place for designated major priority for Ingersoll Rand, waste streams which wants to leverage its brand to establish benchmarks that help other companies successfully integrate sustainability. One of CEES’s most significant Percent reduction achievements to date is Ingersoll in normalized Rand’s Design for Sustainability water consumption training, which is a certificate within the past program for the company’s prodthree years uct-development teams created in partnership with UL Environment. “We realized it wasn’t going to be enough just to rally our people internally around the concept of sustainability. To meet our goals, we also had to train them in some new competencies,” Tew says. “So, we Urban Eden was 2013’s Solar
Decathlon entry from UNC– Charlotte. Ingersoll Rand was a major project sponsor.
developed a one-of-a-kind training program for our design engineers, procurement professionals, and product managers.” The program, which is Ingersoll Rand’s exclusively for one year, teaches participants how to integrate sustainability into every aspect of product development, from initial conception through final execution. The result, if its successful, will be future products that benefit both users and the environment. “We’re questioning things we’ve never questioned before,” says Tew, who notes that manufacturing processes and material selection are top-of-mind. “For instance, all of our future products now go through a lifecycle assessment. We’re starting to think more and more about what happens at the end of life. How do you make a product that’s more serviceable throughout its life? How do you design in a way that allows you to take part of the product back and reuse it? What will happen to the parts you can’t take back?” Although sustainability is in many ways still in its infancy at the company, Ingersoll Rand is confident that its efforts will put it at the center of the impending revolution. “As cities get bigger and the need for ever-scarce resources increases, we have a question in front of us,” Tew says. “Are we willing to give something up, or can we find new ways to enjoy the quality of life we all like to enjoy? I like to think Ingersoll Rand has a partial answer: solutions that allow us to use fewer resources and still have a high quality of life.” gb&d —Matt Alderton
OVER 65 YEARS OF ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE
H.F. Lenz Company works with BNY Mellon and Drew Schechtman to achieve their environmental sustainability goals through the engineering design of their facilities.
When we started our first project with Mellon in 1967, we couldn’t have known that we’d be entering into a long-term partnership that has lasted over four decades. H.F. Lenz Company has completed over 150 projects since 2007 for The Bank of New York Mellon, including 5 ENERGY STAR® certified buildings and over 1.2 million sq.ft. of sustainable projects: JOHNSTOWN, PA
3 LEED® Certified 3 LEED® Silver 4 LEED® Gold 1 LEED® Platinum
Walkability drives design A 65-acre community in Nova Scotia eschews auto-centric planning in favor of pedestrians Southwest Properties has a unique opportunity: to create an entire neighborhood from scratch on a 65-acre, undeveloped parcel within a densely populated urban area. The site, located about a half mile from the peninsula that encompasses the oldest part of Halifax, Nova Scotia, had been owned by the Sisters of Charity religious order since 1872. The land is mostly open space with stands of mature trees along the perimeter. It is the rarest of beasts: a large, greenfield property close to an urban core. The design for the Motherhouse project, as it is known, emphasizes respect for the natural landscape. Many mature trees will be preserved. Attributes of new urbanism—such as walkability, mixed-use
structures, parks, and connection to mass transit—inspire the layout. Halifax-based Southwest, a developer and apartment management company, intends to apply for LEED-ND certification for the entire development. The mixed-use towers, townhouses, and single-family homes within the Motherhouse boundaries also will be constructed with an eye toward LEED certification. When fully built out, the project is expected to house between 4,000 and 5,000 residents. The vision for this 65-acre development near Halifax, Nova Scotia, includes narrower streets flanked by bike lanes, smart stormwater management, and possibly a cogeneration facility for efficient heating, cooling, and power production.
The new urbanist design concept fosters sustainability by reducing the need for car travel. The development’s core will be a densely packed retail “town center” anchored by mixed-use towers, not typical suburban strip malls. “We can significantly mitigate traffic by making it a self-sustaining place,” says Jim Spatz, Southwest’s chairman and CEO. Necessities and amenities such as medical services, grocery stores, cafés, restaurants, and various consumer services will be located no more than a seven-minute walk from any address in the development. The tree-preservation effort began with a tree inventory of the entire site. “This led us to shift parts of our street plan so that we could save more trees,” Spatz says. Streets will be narrower than normal for new development, and most parking will be either below-grade or off-street, in order to foster a more pedestrian-friendly environment. Streets will be bordered by bike paths and sidewalks. Public parks are interspersed throughout the design, one located around an existing pond and another formed around a man-made water-retention basin. The goal of the landscape features is to retain as much rainfall runoff on-site as possible. Significantly, the development may include a central plant featuring a cogeneration or tri-generation heating, cooling, and power system. Southwest is discussing joint development of such a system with neighboring Mount Saint Vincent University. Although the Motherhouse project is notable for its scope and sustainable elements, the design is in step with Southwest’s core philosophy. “We have always invested in lifecycle values in our properties,” Spatz says. In recent times, the public’s environmental awareness has increased, and Southwest has responded with more energy-efficient projects. “There’s a large appetite to live sustainably,” Spatz says. “Sustainability sells.” gb&d —Peter Fabris gbdmagazine.com
PROJECT LOCATION Tannersville, PA Program R esort hotel and indoor waterpark Size580,000 ft2 Completion 2015 (expected) Certification Not applicable
Conservation at the waterpark Passive design brings benefits to the largest indoor waterpark in the northeastern US State-of-the-art filtration system results in 30% reduction in water use Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, set to open in the spring of 2015 as the largest indoor waterpark in the northeastern United States, is currently under construction in the Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania. In addition to rides with unprecedented designs, including North America’s longest uphill “watercoaster” and a ride called the Venus SlydeTrap, a thoughtful resource-conserving design underlies its theme of four-season family fun. “The owners expressed a very strong desire to invest in green features at the outset,” says Bill Ryan of ADCI (Architectural Design Consultants Inc.), lead architect on the 453-room expansion of the Camelback Mountain’s historic ski resort, which will include the 125,000-square-foot waterpark. Waterparks are not typically known for water conservation, but based on a directive from Camelback’s owners Arthur Berry III and Ken Ellis and their partners at Waterpark Ventures Management Services—the resort’s operator and a major equity investor in the project—the designers went to work looking at all options to reduce water use and create a healthy indoor environment to match the pristine surroundings. “Whenever we have an option to select a green feature we try to capitalize on it,” says Pete Helland of Waterpark Ventures Management Services. After examining possibilities for greywater recycling and rainwater catchment,
OWNERS Camelback Resort, Waterpark Ventures Management Services ArchitectADCI Civil EngineerRKR Hess and Associates General Contractor Horizon Design Build Manage Landscape Design Aquatic Development Group
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In winter, the passive solar effect will be aided by the thermal absorption of Aquatopia’s seven pools. In summer, giant fans create an evaporative cooling effect.
EXPERIENCED, PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING Campbell Comeau Engineering is a well-recognized provider of structural engineering and civil engineering consulting services in Atlantic Canada.
Congratulations to Southwest Properties on their recognition in Green Building & Design. CAMPBELL COMEAU ENGINEERING LIMITED 2719 Gladstone Street, Suite 110 Halifax, NS B3K 4W6 902-429-5454 • www.campbellcomeau.ns.ca
Aquatopia in Pennsylvania will be the largest indoor waterpark in the northeastern US. The floor plan shows the variety of amenities at the park, which will use a high-tech filtration system to save water.
the team determined that investing in a high water-reuse filtration system yielded the best cost-benefit ratio, resulting in a 30-percent reduction in use over a baseline filtration system. Most indoor waterparks are housed in warehouse-like structures with little natural light and massive heating and cooling costs. Aquatopia, however, is getting a transparent Texlon roofing system on its southern half, allowing for year-round sunbathing and stargazing, as
well as plenty of natural light for the lush plantscape that will be installed. “It can be five degrees outside in January, but when you walk in, it’s going to feel very tropical, which makes all the difference in establishing the atmosphere for our guests,” Helland says. The passive solar effect will be aided by the thermal absorption of Aquatopia’s seven pools in winter, and in summer, giant fans will create an evaporative cooling effect to keep the space from overheating.
“We’re not using any air-conditioning,” Ryan says, “just moving the air.” The hotel room thermostats also use simple technology to ensure energy efficiency. Guests insert their key cards to raise and lower their rooms’ temperatures as they please, but when they leave and take the key card with them, the thermostat automatically drops to 60 degrees, ensuring that heat isn’t wasted when the room is empty. gb&d —Brian Barth
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“[Some] call their products ‘formaldehyde free’ [when] there is still phenol formaldehyde present. They’re both bullets, so it’s just a matter of being shot with a .22 or a .45.” Robert Tomczak, Hi-Tech Building Systems
Bedrooms in the Healthy Dream Home
Square feet of the ranch-style house
A home that helps you breathe easy Homebuilder Robert Tomczak unveils a completely nontoxic residence With more than four decades of experience in the construction industry, Robert Tomczak knows just about everything there is to know about building homes. His company, Hi-Tech Building Systems, is a leading supplier of high-performance building solutions, including being an authorized distributor of ThermaSteel, a structural, steel-insulated panel made of 100-percent recycled galvanized steel and expanded polystyrene. That product is one Tomczak plans to use in his new business endeavor: Majestic Estate Developers, the development company behind the Healthy Dream Home, a wellness-focused residence in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. The home is designed to be unlike any other in the area. Tomczak’s idea of the perfect home emphasizes breathing easily, without toxins, which is why no materials containing formaldehyde will be used in the inner envelope. The materials used for the house were chosen with the express purpose of eliminating the presence of VOCs and mold, among other dangerous toxins. “Green doesn’t always mean healthy,” says Tomczak, who is
based in Illinois. “You might have energy-efficient appliances, or maybe you’re using recycled materials, but that does nothing for the quality of air. The industry wants you to believe that getting rid of urea formaldehyde is sufficient, and they call their products ‘formaldehyde-free.’ In reality, there is still phenol formaldehyde present. They’re both bullets, so it’s just a matter of being shot with a .22 or a .45.” Formaldehyde has been called one of the most common toxic substances routinely detected in indoor air, and as of 2011, the substance was listed as a “probable human carcinogen” (cancer-causing agent) by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Healthy Dream Home is a very personal project. Several years
Percent reduction in energy use with ThermaSteel SSIPs
Percent of heat reflected by metal standing-seam roof
Percent of materials containing any type of formaldehyde
ago, a good friend of Tomczak’s was diagnosed with a serious respiratory illness that was traced back to VOCs and formaldehyde that were present in his home. Tomczak also has noticed an uptick in cases of asthma. “When I was a kid, I didn’t know anyone with asthma,” he says. “My child knew a few. Now, my grandchild’s entire basketball team has asthma. Indoor air quality is often overlooked but is so crucial to health.” The longtime developer is invested in the wellbeing of the environment, too. The use of ThermaSteel paneling will reduce the home’s energy requirement by up to 75 percent. Utilizing far-infrared radiant heat throughout the house, including in the basement and garage, will slash the energy bill by another 35 percent while not distributing allergens. gb&d —Tina Vasquez
The Healthy Dream Home in Twin Lakes, WI, features an interior built with no-VOC and formaldehyde-free materials.
Crestwood "does green" like no other -- from box construction to finishes to materials management. A collection of color and wood combinations, as well as assorted door styles and cabinet offerings, facilitates a nearly endless choice of traditional and contemporary designs. Customizing each set of cabinets in an individual style is easy with Crestwood’s infinite choice of accessories, modifications, colors, stains and glazes.
WARM WAVES Warm Waves is the newest in Healthy, Efficient Heating Technology and is certified to UL 1683. A revolutionary in-floor electric heating technology that uses far infrared waves to heat objects rather than the air within a room, Warm Waves is safe, consistent heat that is superior to alternative systems in terms of efficiency, health and ease of installation. Warm Waves is extremely durable and can be installed under any type of flooring as well as directly in concrete.
Hi-Tech Panels by ThermaSteel utilize the power of composite technology consisting of opposing double steel framing members that are bonded with rigid, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) to form a composite building component that provides structural framing, insulation, sheathing, and a vapor barrier in one, fast, high-tech step. A ThermaSteel envelope means 40-50% savings in energy usage.
Your Source for High Performance Building Solutions Hi-Tech Building Systems • P.O. Box 787 • Wauconda, IL 60084 • 866-241-4390 • www.hi-techbuilding.com
Ameresco helps UIC leverage energy savings University of Illinois’s Chicago campus signs on to ‘cost-neutral’ upgrade of laboratory buildings $63.6 million energy savings performance contract brings immediate savings and supports action plan Energy auditing and efficiency retrofits have become big business in recent years. As energy prices continue to rise, the cost-benefit analysis of renovating older facilities with new, energy-efficient components—by tightening up a building envelope, swapping out old HVAC equipment, or switching to LED lighting, for example—is looking better and better to the accounting departments of large institutions, many of which face seven-figure annual electric bills. Ameresco, a global energy-efficiency and green-design company based in Massachusetts, has become a leader in the field. Big players like the US Department of Energy and the Army National Guard have contracted with the company in recent years for assistance in lowering their carbon footprints. Last October, the University of Illinois–Chicago (UIC) signed on for a $63.6 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC), through which they will take on energy-savings projects that pay for themselves. The chosen target was UIC’s science and engineering labs, the type of high-performance buildings where reducing energy demand is notoriously difficult. “We started looking at this years ago as a way to fund energy-efficiency initia-
tives,” says Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability at UIC. “We had a preliminary audit with three firms, which helped us determine who should be at the table. We wanted to see how we could integrate these ideas with research and teaching.” “We looked at retrofitting some of the existing equipment, but it was mostly from the 1960s, so it made more sense at the end of the day to replace it,” says Steve Taggart, Ameresco’s Chicago-based regional director, who is overseeing the UIC project. “We’re replacing almost 400 fume hoods and upgrading the plumbing, lighting, and air handlers.” One of the larger buildings will receive a chilledbeam passive cooling system, a type of water-cooled heat exchanger that is easily integrated in the suspended ceiling structures typical of older buildings. Together with other mechanical system upgrades, it should reduce building energy demand by 50 percent compared to the outdated air handlers currently in operation. Taggart says he is one of only a few at Ameresco who are not engineers. With a background in business management, he is more attuned to the way an energy budget translates to a building’s operating budget. “Over a 20-year period, the retrofit
will fund itself,” he says. The company bills their approach as “cost neutral,” a philosophy that greases the wheels of third-party financing, Taggart says. After the project concludes next fall, UIC expects to reap $1.8 million per year in energy savings. “We expect the project to yield immediate cost savings for UIC, but more importantly, it supports UIC’s Climate Action Plan and will help meet our goal to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050,” says Klein-Banai, who holds a doctorate in public health and is also active in research on strategies to measure greenhouse gas emissions. As big energy consumers latch on to the idea of efficiency retrofitting, performance tracking has become a necessary part of the package. Project managers need to ensure that their goals are actually being met, and they need a way to communicate the process to end users. By the time the project is completed, UIC’s utilities department will have a real-time energy dashboard online that displays consumption by each of the major energy-consuming buildings on campus. “We’re trying to integrate the dashboard in existing monitors in each building,” Klein-Banai says. “The goal is to make the data available—and, hopefully, interesting—to the layperson.” gb&d —Brian Barth UIC laboratory building
Ameresco is honored to be partnering with the UIC on an ESPC project. This project will improve facilities, deliver energy savings, and reduce the University’s carbon footprint.
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Call Your Representative Today. 1.866.263.7372 l www.ameresco.com © 2014 Ameresco, Inc. Ameresco and the Ameresco logo, the orb symbol and the tagline “Green. Clean. Sustainable.” are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. All rights reserv r ed.
Your Turn-Key Solar Solutions Provider Day & Night Solar is your go-to resource for meeting all of your solar needs by providing solutions on any size project from residential to industrial and from start to finish. This includes securing and completing all grant paperwork, obtaining any needed financing and overseeing the Your Trusted Sustainability Partner. project from engineering, to installation, to completion. ® Ameresco organizations complex energy management The Sun helps Commander is meet a solar PV mobile unit with on-grid/ challenges with an integrated approach to energy efficiency, off-grid capabilities. renewable energy, and sustainability.
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OPTION 2 november–december 2014
Pounds of food waste composted each month at Richards’ two McDonald’s
LEDs installed at various McDonald’s restaurants, saving 60 million kWh each year
Greening the ‘Golden Arches’ Two North Carolina McDonald’s restaurants compost a combined ton of food waste Owner Ric Richards uses locations to educate customers and suppliers If, as anticipated, a McDonald’s restaurant in Cary, North Carolina, achieves LEED Gold certification, it will be the fifth McDonald’s to do so in the United States. Five additional American restaurants under
the “Golden Arches” await certification while several more have been certified in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Brazil. This will be the second LEED restaurant in Cary for owner and operator Ric Richards, a McDonald’s franchisee since 1988 with a total of 11 restaurants under his wings. This particular store, completed in 2013, already pulls about 37 kilowatts from a solar canopy that covers the parking lot, has water-efficient restroom and kitchen fixtures, composts consumer and kitchen waste, and recycles cardboard and cooking oil. Richards says he chose to seek LEED certification for several reasons. “We do business in an educated, diverse market,” he says, explaining that university science camps and area elementary schools have toured the facilities many times. Another reason is education of the supply chain. With Rich-
This McDonald’s has a 37kW solar array, low-flow fixtures, and programs for recycling cooking oil and composting food waste.
“The second LEED restaurant was less costly to build in part because subcontractors had a better understanding of the LEED program.” Ric Richards, McDonald’s Franchisee 56
Percent reduction targeted for water and energy in all McDonald’s stores by 2020
ards’ first LEED restaurant in 2009, weekly meetings with contractors and subcontractors covered the prescribed environmental renovation methods (both structures were rebuilds of existing restaurants). “LEED-qualifying demolition was new for them,” he says. “But they were completely engaged in it. The second LEED restaurant was less costly to build in part because subcontractors had a better understanding of the LEED program.” Richards was influenced by an earlier LEED McDonald’s in Savannah, Georgia. Now, he says, interest among other operators is building. Rebuilding restaurants can cost between $1.2 and $2 million, with LEED-certified restaurants costing about five percent more than a traditional build. From the corporate office in Oak Brook, Illinois, LEED-accredited inhouse architect John L. Rockwell explains that operators’ decisions to pursue LEED certification is entirely theirs, though the company does support it. “McDonald’s has a huge legacy of efficiency in everything we do, especially in lighting and new equipment,” Rockwell says. “We hope to push LEED along to other operators.” Indeed, McDonald’s is one of many multi-unit companies that is participating in the LEED Volume program, which is a streamlined means to achieve the green standard across many, similarly designed buildings. Rockwell says McDonald’s is endeavoring to get 25 restaurants certified by the end of 2015. Combined with the fact that the company’s vendor network is so large, this push may significantly drive green products and practices for other worldwide companies. gb&d —Russ Klettke gbdmagazine.com
This aerospace manufacturing facility features water-chilled air-conditioning and extra intakes for higher indoor air quality.
Smart design treads lightly Northrop Grumman’s aerospace manufacturing facility is its greenest to date The Austin Company helps preserve natural wetlands and installs innovative solar film Five years ago, defense contractor Northrop Grumman set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent over five years. In 2012, two years ahead of schedule, it exceeded that goal. Today, the company continues its commitment to sustainable development with the LEED-certified St. Augustine Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence, a manufacturing facility for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The Florida facility, currently under construction by California-based The Austin Company, sprawls more than 368,000 square feet, and the site also hosts a taxiway for newly constructed aircraft. Both the size and function of the facility posed unique challenges to obtaining LEED certification. “LEED New Construction has a tendency to be based on smaller office buildings, which have narrow, rectangular building footprints,” says Kenric Stone, vice president at The Austin Company. “Manufacturing buildings are generally large cubes with open manufacturing floors and exposed structural steel. This type of building doesn’t fit the typical LEED office building footprint.” gb&d
DETAILS LOCATION St. Augustine, FL Size 3 68,575 ft2 Completion 2015 CertificationLEED Silver ClientNorthrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Architect / General Contractor The Austin Company
Nevertheless, innovative solutions abound at the St. Augustine Center of Excellence. A high standard of air quality is maintained, despite the presence of indoor welding and construction. Extra intakes filter the air faster and more often, removing harmful particles and gases. Florida’s infamous humidity is kept in check by a chilled-water air-conditioning system, and solar power is generated via a film applied directly onto the insulated metal-panel roof. Lowflow shower stalls are available for employees who bike to work, while electric vehicle-charging stations are accessible to those who drive. The site also incorporates elements of Florida’s natural environment. When the original blueprints called for part of the structure and taxiway to encroach on existing wetlands, Northrop Grumman challenged the St. Augustine design team to generate an alternative solution. They did, and the preserved wetlands and trees are now affectionately referred to as “the jungle.” Besides adding natural beauty, the wetlands also function as part of the site’s drainage system. Combined with a newly constructed retention pond,
“Manufacturing buildings are generally large cubes with open floors. This type of building doesn’t fit the typical LEED office building footprint.” Kenric Stone, The Austin Company
these ecological systems provide irrigation to the building’s native landscaping. Northrop Grumman has projects underway at four other Centers of Excellence, including an engineering center in Melbourne, FL, which will support St. Augustine. “We’re looking to enforce the company’s commitment to protect and safeguard the environment and our natural resources,” says Bill Trillo, Northrop Grumman’s director of facilities. “What we’re doing today—these will be structures that will last 40 to 50 years, and we want them to do so in the most environmentally friendly and efficient manner.” gb&d —Evan Cline november–december 2014
We design and build the future, sustainably. APPROACH
Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Aircraft Production Facility LEED Silver Certification Goal 5,200 tons of Recycled Structural Steel Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) Preserved Site Wetlands Captured Rainwater for Landscaping
Incorporating sustainable design into every project. 58
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
60 Specht Home
Klearwall helps Adam Cohen reach Passive House’s stringent standard
63 Ambassador Street
Denver’s revamped 14th Street supports users and the environment
66 Strack & Van Til Cedar Lake
Building performance meets the shopper experience in Indiana
70 Oregon Convention Center
Sustainable operations earns the Portland facility LEED-EB Platinum
72 Green Mountain Power Energy Innovation Center
The Vermont utility unveils a LEED Gold showcase for renewable energy
74 Moorings Park at Grey Oaks
A Florida retirement community invests in water-smart design
Specht Home High-performance windows by Klearwall help Adam Cohenâ€™s Virginia residence reach Passive House standards By Mary Kenney
When walking through the Specht Home in Thaxton, Virginia, one of the first things one notices is its airy feel. The bright colors on the walls and ample lighting from the windows and glass doors fill the house with an openness that seems to defy the tight seals that make it Passive House certified.
The Specht Home won the Greenbuilder 2013 Home of the Year award and yet was constructed for just $150 per square foot by Adam Cohen at Roanoke-based Structures Design-Build, proving that Passive House is not out of reach for American homeowners. In fact, Cohen had to convince Jason and Stephanie Specht that
THIS SPREADThis award-winning Passive House in Thaxton, VA, uses just a third of the energy of a comparable residence. Klearwall windows were used in the home due to their superior energy efficiency.
DETAILS LOCATION Thaxton, VA ProgramSingle-family residence Size 1,808 ft2 Owners J ason and Stephanie Specht Architect/Builder Structures Design-Build (Adam Cohen) Completion2013 CertificationPassive House Awards Greenbuilder 2013 Home of the Year
the cost to build to Passive House standards would not be prohibitive. A major reason it can be expensive to build Passive House-certified buildings is that many materials have to be shipped from Europe, where the standard matured and so is better understood. Klearwall Industries, which supplies windows and doors from Irish company Munster Joinery, came to the United States to change that. “The idea behind Klearwall was to supply the US market with the most energy-efficient products possible,”
DIALOGUE ADAM COHEN As the founder of Structures Design-Build and Passiv Science, an award-winning leader in low-energy design-build solutions, Cohen has reviewed more than 40 US Department of Energy grants in thermal envelope design and was recently tapped to perform a Passive House analysis of the Bullitt Center in Seattle. He is currently working on several housing and commercial buildings, including the nation’s first Passive House-certified animal clinic. Cohen looks back at why he became interested in low-energy building and what sets his projects apart.
Why did you become interested in the Passive House building standard? When my son was 12 years old, we were sitting at the dinner table, and he told me that at school they’d been learning about carbon footprint, global warming, and climate change. He said, ‘Dad, how long have people known about this?’ I said that in the 1960s and ’70s, we weren’t talking about climate change, but we were talking about our impact on the environment and ecology. And he looked at me and said, ‘Forty years, and nobody’s done anything?’ I came out of college knowing I wanted to build cost-effective, low-energy buildings. Like many people, I couldn’t make a living at it. Nobody was interested in what I was selling. I ended up selling out, honestly, and went to a company where I built whatever somebody would pay me to build. I feel I made some mistakes, and when my son asked me innocently about it, I had to face that.
says Klearwall CEO Brendan Harte. “The best place to do that was through Munster Joinery.” Munster’s PassiV window range won the 2013 Green Product Award from the Green Awards, which recognizes sustainable products and practices among Irish companies, organizations, and individuals. Munster offers five lines of Passive House-certified windows, all of which have been brought to the US market by Klearwall, including two tilt-and-turn and three casement models. Each comes in a
I searched around to see what I could do, and I discovered Passive House. I had done some super-insulation in the 1980s, and I wasn’t happy with the results, but when I saw Passive House, I thought, Wow, they’ve figured it out. How does your work stand out in the market? What I do is really not that different than how we’ve built before, in terms of end product. The difference is how I do it. My passion is commercial buildings. Most North American Passive House folks have focused on residential building, and residential is the hardest thing you can do. As buildings get larger, they should get simpler and cheaper. One of the things that’s really frustrating for me is that I’ve got a very simple set of ways to make Passive House work. We can deliver nearly any project affordably, but most people don’t know that this is even an option. Getting the word out is the hardest part.
What are some of your most notable Passive House projects? My best Passive [House] project to date is the dental clinic [in Roanoke]. We do prototypes for buildings with very high process loads because you can’t get the energy low enough on something with a laboratory, or a grocery store, for Passive House. So you do a best-case scenario using a prototype, and we did a dental clinic as a prototype. One of the specialties of my firm is dental clinics. We’ve done 10 in the last 12 years, every one at $150 to $200 per square foot. The Passive House clinic was $155 per square foot—the low end of market rate— with 68 percent in energy savings. When we finished the first year of monitoring, we asked the dentists if it made them happy to save $700 per month on energy bills. They said, ‘Yes, but what makes us really happy is that it doesn’t smell like a dental clinic.’ I was particularly happy with that, too.
INNER WORKINGS Specht Home
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to spot an imitation But when it comes to choosing certified passive house windows and doors it’s simple. Klearwall are the USA’s leading supplier. Certification means our products have been approved by the Passive House Institute in Germany, where the standard was founded. Klearwall windows meet R-values as high as 9.8 hr.ft².˚F/BTU and are built in a plant powered entirely by renewable energy. Call or visit us online today.
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Annual energy use in kWh for the Specht Home
19,200 Annual energy use in kWh of a comparable, conventionally built home
Total energy costs in dollars per month
ABOVEDespite being fitted with high-performance and sustainably made windows imported from Ireland, Cohen’s Passive House-certified Specht Home was completed for just $150 per square foot.
variety of colors and is constructed with thermal performance in mind. Whereas most Passive House materials that are shipped from overseas can take months to arrive—dramatically slowing production schedules—Klearwall’s shipping time is comparable to US-based suppliers: about six to eight weeks. And the company offers on-site assistance and installation. “There are a couple of other suppliers of European windows in the US, but people find that they get very little support from the companies,” Harte says. “And many things are in metric rather than imperial. We convert for our customers and offer them the assistance to understand what our doors and windows can do.” Klearwall’s commitment to sustainable products and practices goes beyond its doors and windows. “You should practice what you preach,” Harte says, and the idea that a company selling a green product should practice green operations has been part of Klearwall’s identity since its inception. At Munster, renewable resources are used in the manufacturing facility. Two wind turbines supply 30 percent of Munster’s total energy requirements, and 77 percent of the electricity generated is used on-site. The importance of sustainable operations, commitment to customer ease and satisfaction, and an extensive line of products all set Klearwall apart. But the company’s aptitude for helping builders stay within their budget, keeping Passive House a viable option, might be its most defining trait. “We have many options,” says Jim Evans, director of administration and logistics at Klearwall, “but we’re not looking to upcharge. We just want to offer quality windows, with many choices, at fair prices.” gb&d gbdmagazine.com
A WARM WELCOME “We wanted to make everyone feel
Subtle landscape detailing along Denver’s revamped 14th Street corridor supports users and the environment
Every great city has its iconic urban places that capture the city’s identity: Times Square in New York, the Champs d’Elysees in Paris, the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. With the redevelopment of a 12-block section of 14th Street in Denver—now dubbed “Ambassador Street”—the Mile High City is rolling out a red carpet of its own, though, in this case, it’s green. With custom-manufactured landscape products that effectively widen the walkable area of the streetscape, studioINSITE’s design is helping reshape the city’s identity. Dennis Rubba takes us inside Denver’s newest and perhaps most subtle attraction and shows us the smart systems that make it work. —Brian Barth
PROJECT LOCATION Denver Program Downtown corridor redevelopment, including new street furnishings and wayfinding devices Size 12 city blocks Completion 2011 Certification Greenroads Bronze Awards D owntown Denver Partnership’s 2010 Presidents’ Award; 2012 Large Community Project of the Year, American Public Works Association Colorado chapter; 2012 Women’s Transportation Seminar Colorado Big Project of the Year Award
TEAM Landscape Architect studioINSITE Engineering and Project Management Parsons Brinckerhoff Paver Grates IRONSMITH
special, like an actor or a celebrity when they come down the street,” Rubba says. But the new 14th Street, which has been certified Bronze by Greenroads, a LEED-like rating system for transportation corridors, is also an ambassador to the environment. “It’s raised the bar for sustainable streets in Denver … and improved the city’s sense of place,” Rubba says. The street is now as complete as can be: extra-wide sidewalks for pedestrians, ample bike lanes and street-side racks, light rail transit, and a clear wayfinding system for motorists give equal opportunity for each mode of transit. As a bonus, the revamped streetscape has helped attract $1.5 billion in new investment to the district.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN DETAILS Not all of
the design features that form the new streetscape are apparent to the casual observer. To maximize space for both street trees and people, Rubba specified IRONSMITH’s invisible Paver Grates. “Paver Grates allow you to extend walking surfaces over the root zone without compacting the soil,” says Bill Evans, a product design manager at the Palm Desert, California-based manufacturer. The 100-percent recycled, heavy-duty steel grates are an “invisible, suspended paving system,” he says. A perimeter concrete footing allows the grates to span the topsoil around street trees and supports the weight of the pavers several inches above the root zone. “We custom built these according the designers’ specifications,” Evans says of the unique cutouts in the grates where the tree trunks emerge—a design motif that Rubba repeats throughout the streestscape as a form of visual branding.
PHOTOS: WILLIAMSON IMAGES
THIS PAGEDenver’s redesigned 14th Street features extra-wide sidewalks, ample bike lanes and street-side racks, light rail transit, and a clear wayfinding system for motorists. The project has helped attract $1.5 billion in new investment to the surrounding district.
Pollution, compacted soils, and
seas of impervious paving make life tough for street trees everywhere, and Denver’s extreme climate doesn’t help. Previously, city regulations said street trees could not be planted closer together than 35 feet, but Rubba advocated for 20foot spacing so the trees would be sure to provide shade even if they did not reach their full spreads. When it rains, the Paver Grates allow runoff to percolate right through the sidewalks, rather than rushing into the city’s storm drains. The system “allows the soil to breathe and water to permeate the root zone,” Rubba says. As a result, a lush forest is already emerging on 14th Street. And the extra pedestrian space provided by the Paver Grates means plenty of space for people to congregate in the shade as they meander down Denver’s new main street. gb&d
City blocks redesigned as part of Denver’s streetscape project
Feet between trees on 14th Street, less than the previously mandated 35 feet
Billions of investment dollars attracted by the redesign project
PHOTOS: WILLIAMSON IMAGES, STUDIOINSITE
GROWING AN URBAN FOREST
THIS PAGEThe streetscape is certified Bronze by Greenroads, a LEED-like rating system for transit corridors (above). Paver Grates allow for a continuous root zone below permeable pavers and widen the walkable area of sidewalks (right).
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In Indiana, one grocer finds optimization of both building performance and shopper experience embedded in LEED certification By Brian Justice
BELOWStrack & Van Til now uses computer software to monitor refrigerant usage to meet EPA standards and manage costs.
This past spring, Strack & Van Til’s newest location in Cedar Lake, Indiana, received LEED Silver certification, the first such distinction the company has received. For the supermarket chain, it represents the culmination of a company-wide effort to reduce its energy spending by adapting green and sustainable design-build practices while enhancing the shopping experience for its customers.
DETAILS Location Cedar Lake, IN Program Supermarket Size 49,583 ft² Architect The Jenkins Group Client / General Contractor Strack and Van Til Completion 2 013 Certification LEED Silver Cost $4.5 million
“Our primary reason for seeking LEED certification on this project was that the new energy code made the gap between LEED certification and complying with the energy code much closer,” says John Ritchie, director of facilities for Strack & Van Til. “We felt that the additional cost to build a LEED-certified store would be worth it.” A former Wilco store, the existing building proved too small, gbdmagazine.com
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“The new energy code made the gap between LEED certification and complying with the energy code much closer.” John Ritchie, Strack & Van Til
and the walls and roof were castin-place concrete with virtually no insulation. Strack & Van Til, also a licensed general contractor and acting as such on this project, decided to demolish it and rebuild, grinding the rubble and using it as fill material on site. Building new from the ground up also allowed Strack & Van Til to fully optimize daylighting through skylights and windows around the perimeter that allow natural light to fill the interior. “When you introduce daylighting, you have a lower ambient, and by using LED lighting instead of florescent, you create a more comfortable shopping experience,” Ritchie says. Additional lighting controls allow for the maintenance of lighting levels throughout the store. Lighting levels are increased or decreased according to the availability of natural light. Light levels, therefore, remain constant and create a more comfortable, customer-friendly environment as well as a more efficient building that further reduces energy costs. Grocery stores use a great deal of refrigerant, but at the Cedar
Percent wateruse reduction in restrooms
R-value of building insulation (roof is R-30)
Percent of UV rays reflected by the store’s white roof membrane
Lake store, open-deck refrigerator cases are outfitted with glass doors or night curtains to reduce unnecessary waste. Those refrigerated cases can have as many as 12 fans a piece, and the new store features energy-efficient models. Further optimizing the company’s refrigerator management system, computer software monitors the use of refrigerant to meet or surpass EPA standards and manage costs. Over time, many building systems tend to lose their calibration and begin consuming additional energy, so Strack & Van Til regularly recommissions its stores. All equipment is checked and tested to ensure that it is fully operating to manufacturers’ specifications. A company-wide measurement and verification program is in place, and, in addition to commonplace recycling practices such as those associated with cardboard and cooking oil, Strack & Van Til has
THIS PAGELED lighting (above) is controlled via daylight sensors, and open-deck refrigerator cases (below right) are outfitted with glass doors or night curtains to reduce unnecessary waste.
supported its sustainable practices by participating in programs offered by utility providers, partnering with them in pilot programs designed to reduce energy usage. “This has been a learning effort for us,” Ritchie says. “We’re always trying to reduce our energy spend, and part of LEED certification has to do with the environment, the shopping experience. We wanted to make sure that we achieved that by building the most efficient building possible and provide the best environment as possible, in terms of the shopping experience.” gb&d
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Oregon Convention Center An ongoing commitment to sustainable operations earns the one million-square-foot facility in Portland LEED Platinum certification
In 2003, 13 years after construction of the original facility and shortly after an expansion that doubled its size, the Oregon Convention Center became the first convention center of its kind to receive LEED certification. Since then, it was designated LEED Silver under the Existing Buildings rating and, this year, earned LEEDEB Platinum certification. Director of operations Matt Uchtman, executive director Scott Cruickshank, and sustainability coordinator Erin Rowland—who have continually made the facility more energy efficient and environmentally responsive—share some of the center’s most innovative strategies. —Brian Justice
The Oregon Convention Center, originally designed by ZGF Architects, was certified LEED Platinum under the Existing Buildings rating in 2014.
DEMONSTRATION RAIN GARDEN
LOWER WATTAGE LIGHTING
Water conservation played a key
Daylighting has been a priority at
role in the center’s original upgrade. Flush valves were switched out throughout the facility, providing greater efficiency, and in 2003, a rain garden was incorporated into the expansion. “It’s a unique feature of our facility that can be used as a demonstration piece to show how a stormwater-treatment facility can be incorporated into a building’s design,” Uchtman says. The garden captures rainwater from the roof and loading dock, which then flows through a series of channels and ponds lined with plants and rocks. They slow and cool the water as it flows and filter out pollutants before it infiltrates the soil, evaporates, or enters the sewer system.
the convention center since as early as 1990, when the original building was built with an abundance of skylights and windows designed into it. But two major lighting projects completed in 2011 and 2013 resulted in the replacement of 1,000 400-watt metal halide lamps with 200-watt induction lights, cutting the expo halls’ energy use by half. In the meeting rooms, 250-watt quartz down lights were switched out for 14.6-watt LED lamps.
PHOTOS: BRUCE FORSTER (EXTERIORS)
LOCATION Portland, OR ProgramConvention center Size 1 million ft2 Completion 1990 (original building),2003 (expansion) CertificationLEED-EBOM Platinum Cost $ 85 million (original building), $116 million (expansion)
OWNER P ortland Metro Regional Government Architect ZGF Architects General Contractor Turner Construction Company (original building), Hoffman Construction (expansion)
A BROADER IMPACT
“When the original building was
In partnership with the Energy
An employee-led energy campaign
constructed, it was assumed that expansion was likely,” Cruickshank says. “In 2003, the mechanical systems did not change much, and the features were blended.” Several challenges led to upgrading the controls on air-handling units to streamline the controllability and functionality of those units. Although the facility had been unable to shut down the boilers during the summer, requiring them to be kept at a constant temperature year-round, major upgrades to the gaskets and couplers have allowed them now to be turned off, which has resulted in energy savings of up to $50,000 per year.
Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management program, convention center leadership has created an energy policy “to identify additional energy-saving opportunities,” Uchtman says, and is working towards employee behavioral changes by building an understanding of the staff on all levels of the facility to determine how they can contribute to energy efficiency. Of course, innovation and creativity are required in implementing an employee communications program, Rowland says. “We have employees in the building 24/7, and many do not have email,” she says. “So we have to be really creative and flexible in how we provide training.”
was launched in January 2014 that offers training opportunities for staff of all kinds, from the kitchen to the marketing department. “Since we started the outreach campaign in January, we have seen approximately 10 percent in savings just by increasing awareness,” Uchtman says. The program includes educating employees about turning computer monitors off at night and shutting down hood systems in the kitchen when not in use. “I think that our success in this program has largely been that we have a group of employees that have taken this project on and have made it fun,” Cruickshank says. “They’ve created different activities and contests, scavenger hunt-type things, and have engaged employees in all work groups in a fun way. I think that has really been the key to this program.”
Uchtman, Cruickshank, and Rowland see their mission as extending a message of sustainability far beyond the convention center. “Really personalizing things has been important to us—communicating that sustainability is in the habits that employees form at work and, hopefully, translate to habits that they form at home,” Rowland says. “We’re really helping the community to be more environmentally friendly.” gb&d
THIS PAGEThe Oregon Convention Center added a rain garden (below left) in 2003, an additional natureharnessing feature that complements others that have been around since it was first constructed in 1990, such as its wide skylights (below right).
Green Mountain Power Energy Innovation Center Green Mountain Power’s $2.75 million renovation of a 7,000-square-foot, circa-1925 department store demonstrates a commitment to sustainable design, renewable energy, and community revitalization. “Many of our customers want to use solar power, and we’ve incorporated that into our business model by trying to develop a more concierge-style approach to providing energy,” says Steve Costello, the company’s vice president of generation and energy innovation. GMP supplies 75 percent of Vermont’s electricity, and its LEED Gold Energy Innovation Center, set to open November 2014, reflects that mission, housing an array of sustainable features, public exhibits on energy, offices for 30 GMP employees, and space for nonprofits Efficiency Vermont and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. Costello takes us on a tour. —Mary Beth Rohde
The Vermont utility transforms one of downtown Rutland’s most neglected buildings into a LEED Gold showcase for renewable energy
Once one of
Twelve exhibits educate school
the largest manufacturing hubs in Vermont—shipping slate, granite, and precision-weighing devices worldwide—downtown Rutland is now largely vacant. The Eastman Building, neglected for nearly a decade, had flooded at least three times and had been subjected to four feet of water and raw sewage in its basement. “None of the damage was ever remediated,” Costello says. “There was mold, asbestos, fire damage, trees growing through the roof—you name it. But when we looked at every available building and lot, this was the perfect fit. We could also have the most impact on the city by restoring it.” Restoration efforts included preserving historical elements like the metal ceiling and terra cotta façade and design improvements to improve drainage.
groups and the public about renewable energy sources like hydro, wind, and solar power and how each contributes to the electrical grid. Kids can learn about the nature of cause and effect by jumping on a floor panel, creating energy to power up a light display. A sevenfoot-long animatronic cow named Electra illustrates how electricity is generated from manure produced by area farms. On the rooftop, visitors can view the building’s two solar arrays, a miniature wind turbine, and heat pumps. The building is part of the energy exhibit, showcasing efficiency in a real setting. “Our goal is to burn no fossil fuels to heat this space,” Costello says.
CREATIVE HEATING Although air-source heat pumps are SUM OF TWO PARTS The original Eastman Building
is Art Deco in design but linked with a smaller, wooden clapboard structure. GMP’s team hired a local company to reface the wooden building in a stucco-like finish, adding several raised aluminum accent pieces for an Art Deco feel. “We created a mini version of the larger building,” Costello says. The building boasts Rutland’s first revolving door, adding visual interest and increasing energy efficiency by 30 percent. Natural lighting comes from large skylights over the exhibit areas and light tubes that draw it from collectors on the roof. “The lights are all on sensors, but the building is so bright during the day that the bathroom lights almost never switch on,” Costello says.
fairly common in warmer climates, GMP wanted to demonstrate its ability to warm the built environment even during Vermont’s chilly winters. “The first winter we were open, we burned about 40 gallons of oil,” Costello says. “The heat only came on for two days. We’ve proven that in a huge space with good insulation, this type of heat can work in a cold climate.” Heat socks—blue fabric tubes on the ceiling—direct the heat throughout the large space and provide even heat regardless of drastic changes in exterior temperatures. The system is working so well that GMP is piloting a program to install air-source heat-pump systems in 150 customers’ homes. gb&d
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Moorings Park at Grey Oaks
WATER ECOSYSTEMS Stormwater will be collected and treated through a series of
on-site detention and retention ponds before being discharged via the Gordon River. The ponds help refill the water table and provide storage during heavy rain events. Irrigation water will be a blend of treated, reused municipal water and pumped ground water stored in separate, lined lakes. These lakes will supply the irrigation needs of the development and surrounding golf courses; rainwater sensors will minimize demand. City-supplied potable water will be used for drinking only within the individual units and apartments, where lowflow faucets and fixtures further reduce water usage.
A Florida retirement community invests in water-smart planning and design A 16-acre luxury retirement community is rising in Naples, Florida, and is implementing smart water features. Comprised of 96 garden apartment homes, a center for healthy living, and a 64-unit assisted living and memory care center, Moorings Park at Grey Oaks—which follows in the footsteps of the existing LEED Silver Moorings Park—is being spearheaded by Steve Brinkert, the organization’s vice president of resident services, and James Krall, its executive director of engineering and construction. “Our CEO, Dan Lavender, was the driving force behind the development of this community,” Brinkert says. “He saw it as a great opportunity for our first satellite campus.” Scheduled for completion in early 2017, the project offers lessons in greener development. —Brian Justice
The numerous small lakes planned for this retirement community help store and treat stormwater. That water is then used for irrigation.
The name of
PROJECT LOCATION Naples, FL Program96 units for independent living (phases 1-3), 64-bed assisted-living / memory-care facility, wellness center, and clubhouse (phase 4) Size 16 acres Completion 2017 (expected) CertificationLEED (expected)
TEAM OWNERThe Moorings Inc. ArchitectsSotolongo, Salman, Henderson (phases 1-3), Perkins Eastman and BSSW (phase 4) General Contractor Kaufman Lynn (phases 1-3), Suffolk Construction (phase 4)
the development hints at what one can expect from the landscaping. “We hired one of the premier designers here in Southwest Florida, JRL Design Studio,” Krall says. “They took a good, hard look at the desires of this community, and the design includes extensive use of native vegetation such as oak trees.” The overriding goal of the landscape design to create a lush, natural environment that requires minimal irrigation to further reduce water use.
ENERGY CONSERVATION Specifications for the project included an emphasis on high
SEER-rated HVAC systems. Local building codes require a SEER rating of 16, but the systems used at Moorings Park at Grey Oaks will be rated at 18, using less energy. In addition, the air-conditioning systems include energy-recovery units. Extensive use of high-efficiency appliances, LED lighting, and tight building construction standards have been incorporated into the design, and construction management teams will be charged with maintaining tight control during the building process to minimize waste. gb&d
GREEN BUILDINGFEATURES & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
76 The Meaning of Brightwater
Why the Washington wastewater treatment plant represents a new era of public awareness about water
86 Return to the River
As waterways reenter the urban imagination, planners and city officials are realizing their ecological and economic potential
FEATURES THE WATER ISSUE POP QUIZ
This LEED Platinum building near Seattle is a . Wedding venue Sewage treatment plant Education center Salmon habitat All of the above
ANSWER: E, ALL OF THE ABOVE
Why Washingtonâ€™s Brightwater Treatment Plant represents a crucial step in increasing public awareness about what happens to our water Story by Russ Klettke Photos by Benjamin Benschneider
BELOW: The Brightwater treatment facilities are uniquely connected to their site through natural and constructed landscape elements like wetlands, stormwater ponds, and overlooks, as well as plantings that are integrated into the built areas.
A Americans’ distaste for all things toilet-related goes deep. Even today, the marketing of toilet paper depends on squeezability, babies, and cartoon bears. The whole nature of human defecation remains somewhat unmentionable, hidden in private places, imbued with code language (restroom, powder room, lavatory, water closet, etcetera) and dismissed with the magical act of the flush. Beneath this cloak of cultural secrecy lies the problem, one that has had a tremendous effect on the environment. In an effort to “disappear” our waste, cities historically have dumped raw sewage into waterways, threatening wildlife and posing serious health issues to humans
Field House and Garden
OPPOSITE: Using state-of-the-art technologies in daylit facilities, Brightwater can treat up to 36 million gallons of wastewater a day. The resulting Class A water is sold to golf courses and private companies, and dehydrated biosolids are sold as fertilizer to the area’s hops farmers.
as well. Which is why Woodinville, Washington’s Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant, possibly the most sophisticated and certainly the most beautiful sewer plant ever built, turns the whole mystery of wastewater on its head. Since opening its Mithun-designed, LEED Platinum Environmental Education and Community Center in 2011, the place has become so popular that it regularly hosts classes, provides habitat for salmon, and even serves as an event venue for weddings. Yes, brides in white arrive by limo while millions of gallons of sewage per day flow by them via an underground tunnel 18 feet in diameter, the product of 105,000 homes in Seattle metro’s King and Snohomish counties. When weddings are not underway, the on-site educational facility teaches 10,000 program participants that a flush is not a metaphysical disappearance act, but instead an imperfect part of the water cycle. “We talk about the four 'P's: poop, pee, puke, and paper,”
Environmental Education and Community Center
SITE PLAN: Brightwater Treatment Plant
says a blunt and enthusiastic Susan Tallarico, who serves as the director of Brightwater for King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. Tallarico clarifies that she means only toilet-type paper, designed to fall apart in water, should make the many-mile journey from the surrounding homes and businesses to Brightwater. But wastewater here and everywhere involves a lot of, shall we say, rule breaking. The private nature of bathrooms enables it, and for too many people, the toilet is the convenient place to get rid of things. “Disposable” and “flushable” products are increasingly popular for personal and household cleaning, making up what is now a $6 billion-per-year industry. But that’s money made by the product manufacturers. On the receiving end, at municipal wastewater-treatment facilities such as Brightwater, those products arrive fully intact, unlike toilet paper, and get caught in machinery. The City of New York, for instance, spends $18 million a year to collect and landfill discarded debris that shouldn’t be in the wastewater stream in the first place—110,000 cubic yards each month. And officials say the volume of this non-degrading matter has doubled in the past five years. This is not just in the United States. In 2013, London resorted to explosives to blast apart a bus-sized glob of various items that threatened to constipate the system. Teaching better bathroom behaviors is part of Brightwater’s mission, but it also addresses broader issues of water, waste, and return. “This is a story that gbdmagazine.com
PHOTOS (THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS SPREAD): BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER / OTTO (COURTESY OF MITHUN)
is not told too often,” Tallarico says. “Most people don’t think about where we fit in the water cycle. We don’t think about what happens when we flush a toilet.” She likens it to the disconnect that exists in much of the Western world with regard to the often hidden infrastructure that allows for the production of cheap food and clothing. Modern conveniences allow new things to show up at our door and old things to disappear seemingly without a trace. Of course, nothing disappears, and water is especially limited in this era of climate change and population increase. “People should be worried about their water,” Tallarico says. The Pacific Northwest is enduring drier-than-normal conditions while California and the American Southwest are in serious drought. Farmers on the West Coast are drilling deeper into increasingly depleted aqui-
fers, fearing dried-up orchards that would mean a decade or longer before new trees could produce crops again. Wastewater treatment, or a lack thereof, has a tenuous history in Seattle (see p. 80), but today, Brightwater expels treated water into Puget Sound in a much-improved state and has negotiated contracts with golf courses, businesses, and local jurisdictions, which use this water for landscaping. According to Michael Popiwny, the capital projects manager for King County’s parks department, the treated water is surprisingly clean, “with very little difference from potable water.” The outflow pipe in Puget Sound, 600 feet underwater and a mile from shore, feeds unsold, reclaimed water into outflowing currents headed toward the Pacific. Not every municipality on the northern Pacific Coast is so kind to maritime habitats.
“Most people don’t think about where we fit in the water cycle. We don’t think about what happens when we flush a toilet.” Susan Tallarico, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks
The seas off the shores of Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska are home to thousands of species that range from bald eagles to bivalves, kelp, salmon, sea lions, and gray whales. The otherwise lovely city of Victoria, British Columbia, controversially dumps 34 million gallons of raw sewage every day into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Canadian city is now considering a $783 million treatment plant, motivated perhaps by the example set by their American neighbors to the south. Across the globe, raw sewage is commonly dumped into natural waterways, seemingly explained with the axiom, “the solution to pollution is dilution,” despite the fact that such practices have proven unsustainable in the face of population increase. Popiwny and civic leaders acknowledge that the $1.8 billion invested in the Brightwa-
A Brief History Wastewater Management in Seattle 1890-1910 Throughout much of the industrialized world, human excrement in urban areas is dumped into brick-lined cesspits or other contrivances that might be periodically emptied and dumped elsewhere. Seattle’s population grows from 42,000 to 237,000 in these two decades, requiring huge sewers to be built, which divert the untreated flow to the Duwamish River and Puget Sound.
1940s-1950s Due to continued population growth, 70 million gallons of raw sewage per day enter these bodies of water through 61 outfalls. Salmon runs in the Duwamish are threatened and water contact is banned on all saltwater beaches in the Seattle metropolitan area.
1957-1960s Lake Washington becomes unsuitable for recreation due to mostly raw sewage from 11 treatment plants applying minimal treatment. In the lake, phosphorous and nitrogen promote algal blooms, foul odors, and swimming bans, and activists begin to demand cleaner waters. After some political wrangling, a “metro” is established to handle water issues that cross jurisdictions. Two sewage treatment plants are completed by 1966 at a cost of $125 million, and raw sewage discharges are eliminated in eight and a half years.
1970 Visibility in lake water increases from 30 inches to 20 feet; saltwater beaches reopen, salmon runs in the Duwamish River are saved, and Seattle is recognized for having one of the best pollution control programs in the United States (before the federal Clean Water Act). The metro area pioneers the use of biosolids for silviculture (commercial forestry).
2011 Built to accommodate a growing population, the Brightwater Treatment Plant is deemed one of the most effective wastewater treatment facilities in the world. By combining technology with smart design and site-specific art, the treatment plant and education center pull back the curtain hiding our shortsighted approach to wastewater treatment.
PHOTO: BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER / OTTO (COURTESY OF MITHUN)
“We considered 95 possible locations. The facility had to be accepted by the community, had to be a good neighbor, and had to be sustainable.” Michael Popiwny, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks
THIS PAGE: Soils displaced by the construction of wastewater conveyance systems were reused to create landforms and buffers designed as part of Hargreaves Associates’ master plan. Had the dirt been hauled away, it would have required 37,500 truck trips.
ter plant may be inaccessible to many municipalities. Popiwny says public relations was an important part of his job prior to construction beginning in 2006. “Wastewater treatment is not easy to site,” he says, adding that more than 100 meetings were held to explain to the public how the plant would function, what it would look like, and that it would not smell. “We considered 95 possible locations. Most communities are worried it will be ugly and stink. The facility had to be accepted by the community, had to be a good neighbor, and had to be sustainable. Everything considered, we had to build a high-performance facility. We also were committed to building something attractive that had no odors.” That odor-treatment equipment added $53 million to the price tag. Brightwater is built on the edge of Wellington Hills, a well-heeled Seattle suburb where homes fetch prices north of $1 million. Locating effluence next to affluence involved both education—tackling that unwanted discussion about what can and should be done with human waste—and cutting-edge technologies. Engineering for the high-performance facility began in 2002, led by CH2M Hill and Brown and Caldwell. At the core of the system is a membrane bioreactor (MBR). Made up of hollow fibers with microscopic pores, MBRs are able to filter out particulate matter and individual bacteria, resulting in treated wastewater that is seven to ten
BELOW: A vehicle ramp is built between aeration basins and illustrates Brightwater’s massive scale: The treatment plant and its public-facing community center occupy 43 acres. An additional 70 acres are dedicated to natural areas and wildlife habitat.
times cleaner than what is possible through the alternative method, which largely depends on settling tanks and biological activity. MBRs, relatively new to the US but proven elsewhere, also require 40 percent less space than conventional treatment options, which means there is room for the Brightwater facility to expand several decades into the future when population growth may require it. (Already, the facility is planned to accommodate more people moving to the area by 2040.) MBR systems are more expensive to build and maintain, but the county was committed to running an energy-efficient sewage treatment plant. Beyond the MBRs, several measures were taken to further minimize power use. Special micro-turbine blowers aerate the plant at 30 to 50 percent greater efficiency than traditional systems. The MBR itself requires 50 percent less air-handling. In combination, these technologies reduce annual electricity consumption by 4.5 million kilowatt-hours. Once treated, Brightwater’s Class A reclaimed water, as defined by the state ecology and health departments, is primarily returned to the ocean. But this water is also acceptable for landscaping and agricultural irrigation, heating and cooling systems, and industrial processing. A golf course in nearby Redmond, Washington, receives reclaimed water for landscaping, replacing stream withdrawal from a salmon habitat. Biosolids—yes, that stuff—are sent through a dewatering process, digesters, and a centrifuge to become commercially sold fertilizer used by hops farmers,
Special microturbine blowers aerate the plant at 30 to 50 percent greater efficiency than traditional systems. In combination with the membrane bioreactor, these technologies reduce annual electricity consumption by 4.5 million kilowatt-hours.
RIGHT: Approximately 10,000 people have visited Brightwater each year since it opened in 2011. Educational programming—and spaces designed especially for it—is built into the facility to teach visitors about local water systems and aquatic habitats.
fruit growers, and gardeners. “If we didn’t recycle this, we would have to pay to landfill it, wasting nutrients,” Popiwny says. Digester gas is captured to create electricity on-site while excess heat from the digesters is used for a radiant heating system at the education center. Relentlessly eco-efficient strategies were in place from the moment Brightwater broke ground, starting with the soils displaced by tunnels and buildings on its 114-acre property. During excavation, the dirt was repositioned on-site to create landforms and buffers designed as part of Hargreaves Associates’ master plan. Had the dirt instead been hauled away, it would have required 37,500 truck trips and tons of fossil fuel. About 15,000 cubic
yards of compost material left behind by the previous site occupant, a landscape business, was worked into the landscape, while 67 percent of construction and demolition materials (370,000 tons) were reused in building the new facilities. Before the first foundation was laid, however, workers restored a salmon habitat, reclaiming a stream corridor of 1,700 feet that had been routed through culverts, parking lots, and ditches. Popiwny says this was important to show the surrounding community that the project team could make good on its environmental goals from the start. Brightwater Center’s LEED Platinum certification is appreciated by more than the fish and occasional seagull. As Tallarico
PHOTOS: BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER / OTTO (COURTESY OF MITHUN)
Brightwater’s installations, which include sculpture, film, kinetic art, and etched glass, were created for and about the nature of wastewater treatment.
ABOVE: The education center features water-centric artworks, including this installation near the entrance, which uses the language of household plumbing products to channel stormwater from the roof to the rock bed below.
explains, the majority of the 10,000 people who have come each of the three years since opening in 2011 is not made up of casual tourists coming for a tour—they come to learn about water systems and their local environment. “This fills a hole in education in the north end of Seattle,” she says. Tours for school groups typically take four to five hours, and schoolteachers often connect the field trip experience to what they are learning in the classroom for a fuller learning experience. Students study types of water habitats by way of the salmon stream and ponds in the 70 acres of public natural areas. Field trips and summer day camps are sponsored by an organization called IslandWood, which uses nature as a platform for teaching science, self-awareness, and stewardship in a fully immersive experience. Schoolteachers can also earn
continuing education credits at Brightwater while learning about the environment. Community groups attend classes where they are taught the benefits of using biosolids to enhance their garden beds. “We show them two carrots: one raised in our biosolids compost, the other in regular soil,” Tallarico says. “The bigger carrot grows in our waste.” This learning takes place in Mithun’s geometric structure, which cantilevers over a wetland area and is detailed with reclaimed wood, polished concrete, and extensive daylighting in interior spaces. An art program appropriately complements the contemporary building. King County requires that a proportion of expenditures for building projects (about one percent) be used to commission works by local artists, and Brightwater’s installations are not simply canvases
that might look nice over a sofa. They are site-specific, created for and about the nature of wastewater treatment. Before beginning, selected artists toured the treatment facility and learned about the reclamation work at Brightwater. What came out of that exercise included sculpture, film, kinetic art, and blown and etched glass that all relate to the microbes, water flows, and other very real parts of what happens here. The mission is to pull back the curtain that so far has hidden our shortsighted approach to wastewater treatment. By combining new technologies, smart design, and site-specific art, Brightwater is making good on that mission. The neighbors are happy, the salmon are spawning, and the next generation of environmental stewards knows exactly what happens after they deposit their four "P"s into the water cycle. gb&d
PHOTO: BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER / OTTO (COURTESY OF MITHUN)
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HERE’S TO COMMUNITY LEADERS MAKING STRIDES TOWARD A MORE SUSTAINABLE MICHIGAN. Consumers Energy has helped Michigan customers, like the City of Grand Rapids, save more than $575 million since 2009. It’s all part of caring for the communities we serve. ConsumersEnergy.com/save
From the toxic soup coursing through devastated communities to the waterways walled off by worried cities, American rivers—once great economic powerhouses—have suffered decades of neglect. Today, they are returning to the urban imagination as planners and others realize the ecological and economic opportunities they offer. Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, and New Orleans offer lessons in designing for the water’s edge. BY BRIAN BARTH
THE WATER ISSUE
Dams installed in the 1800s altered the nature of the Grand River in Grand Rapids, MI. Today, a group is advocating for the removal of the dams and the return of white water as a way to revitalize the riverfront and add options for outdoor recreation.
FEATURES RETURN TO THE RIVER
Rivers were the highways in early America, the arteries that led settlers into the rich interior of the continent and the meandering network that funneled a continent’s worth of raw materials to the port cities where they were processed, consumed, and traded. First came furs by canoe and timber via rafts and flumes; later, livestock and grains passed on barges and steamboats, fueling America’s rural economy well into the 20th century. With the flood of natural resources from the hinterlands, river cities became industrial powerhouses, generating immense wealth and establishing the United States as an economic titan. ¶ With industrialization, however, came horrific pollution and loss of habitat. Urban riverways were dammed and channelized, their floodways filled and adjacent wetlands drained. In short, they became engineered systems, designed to fulfill the needs of the urban machine. By the 1960s, urban water pollution reached epic proportions and the industrial heartland, now known as the Rust Belt, was ground zero of the epidemic. Lake Erie was declared dead, and when the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland caught fire in 1969 for the 13th time, the cries of environmentalists were finally heard. A suite of federal regulations was enacted, including the landmark Clean Water Act of 1972. ¶ As the ecological devastation reached its zenith in the latter half of the 20th century, riverfront industrialization simultaneously declined, opening the door to reprogram the American riverfront. In this new era, recreation, tourism, and real estate development are the driving economic forces, and designers are working to integrate these uses in a way that does not degrade habitat and water quality, but actually improves it. ¶ Riverfront redevelopment is one of the most challenging contexts for environmental design, but perhaps the most rewarding, too, because of the need for healing and the potential for regeneration in dynamic hydrologic systems. This is the story of three riverfront cities that are grappling with this challenge—and of the pioneering minds that have come together to meet it.
THE GRAND RIVER
WHAT IT MEANS GRAND RIVER RENEWAL DAM REMOVAL Improved aesthetics of the downtown river corridor Increased fish migration, including for sturgeon Increased oxygen levels and types of wildlife habitat RIVERBED RESTORATION Opportunities for diverse watersports, from wading and fishing to competitive rowing and kayaking Habitat opportunities for fish and other aquatic and riparian species Installation of an inflatable barrier to prevent the upstream migration of the invasive sea lamprey SHORELINE DEVELOPMENT Creation of a connected riverfront park with bike and pedestrian paths Restoration of native riparian forests Future riverfront development oriented toard the river and ensured connectivity from the street grid to the greenway system
Traffic went up and down the once-quiet rivers of the East, but there were always places where shoals or rapids got in the way, halting the paths of ferries and bargemen and necessitating arduous portage routes. What may have started as trails became wagon roads lined with inns, general stores, and, eventually, homes, churches, post offices, and courthouses. Nearly every town in eastern North America founded before 1850 sprang up within earshot of the rapids blocking an otherwise navigable river. In the Great Lakes region, there was one particularly mighty set of rapids, said to “make a noise that broke the stillness of the forest and echoed from the neighboring hills,” according to the account of one early explorer. The founding fathers of Grand Rapids, Michigan, began the process of damming the rapids roughly 150 years ago as part of a system of canals and locks that created a passage around them. They were also after the power contained in the falling water. Grand Rapids was later nicknamed Furniture City, an allusion to the mills that lined its shores, which made use of both the lumber that floated down from forests upstream and, to power its lathes, the river’s gradual 18-foot drop. (Grand Rapids still serves as the headquarters to five of the world’s largest furniture manufacturers, but they no longer source their power from the river.) Today, there is a movement afoot to “put the rapids back in the Grand” and redevelop the downtown riverfront as a playground for the city. It all started in 2009 with a couple of kayakers and has since evolved beyond their wildest dreams.
A Recreational Ecosystem “There is no longer a reason for the dams,” says Chip Richards of Grand Rapids White Water (GRWW), the organization he and his friend Chris Muller formed to advocate for the return of whitewater to the city’s downtown corridor. Muller and Richards propose removing all five of the low-head dams along a two-mile stretch of the river. GRWW’s plans call for 200,000 tons of boulders, gravel, and sand to replace the material dredged from the river bottom for the sake of navigability to create everything from wildlife habitat to a standing wave for “kayak surfing.” Their reasoning—and that of the growing constituency of local residents and civic leaders whose interests they represent—is that bringing the rapids back will provide a boost to the city’s identity and fuel for the downtown’s economic engine. “People used to say we were crazy,” Richards says, but with the city commission’s unanimous vote this summer endorsing their vision, the dissenters have all but dried up. A few months earlier, the plan had been selected as one of eleven priority projects in the Urban Waters Federal Partnership program. The program does not award funds directly but greases the wheel of the permitting process, which, as any river engineer will tell you, is the single biggest sticking point to getting anything done in a riverbed. Last year, the organization released a feasibility report cataloging the economic, ecological, and engineering constraints involved in removing the dams and outlining a conceptual design for a multiuse park with features ranging from wading pools to fishery habitat to Class 4 whitewater courses to a redeveloped greenway system along both shores. gbdmagazine.com
JASON CAREY, RIVER RESTORATION
“It’s a very good project from the perspective of the triple bottom line,” says Dr. Haris Alibasic, director of the City of Grand Rapids’ office of sustainability, citing prior studies that have demonstrated that restoring the rapids would provide top-quality spawning habitat for the Great Lakes sturgeon, an endangered species once prized for its caviar. Grand Rapids is already known for its pro-environment community—it has more LEED buildings per capita than any other city in the country—and this is reflected in the municipality’s focus on improving the health of the urban ecosystem. Yet, “everything we do has to be tied directly to the budget,” says Alibasic, who recently oversaw a 135-kilowatt photovoltaic installation at the city’s water and environmental facility as well as significant energy-efficiency improvements at various city buildings. The project has the support of elected and appointed government officials, too. Mayor George Heartwell, an avid fisherman and environmentalist who passionately advocates for water quality protection, has recently appointed 22 local leaders to an advisory board charged with coordinating redevelopment of the Grand River waterfront. “We work handin-hand with our local partners,” Heartwell says, adding that the key to success will be “a common vision that aligns various projects related to river restoration.”
The Midwest is losing a generation of young people to outdoor meccas like Portland and Seattle.
PHOTOS: JAN LEWIS (THIS PAGE & OPENING SPREAD); RENDERINGS: COURTESY OF GRAND RAPIDS WHITEWATER
The plan calls for $28 million to remove the low-head dams, re-engineer the riverbed, and make the necessary shoreline improvements to allow for maximum public access. Richards is confident that the money will be there: “It’s a very philanthropic community,” he says. Private donations funded the initial study, along with money from a local brewing company and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), which helped to seal the deal. Now the DDA, the City, and 70 stakeholders are collaborating to blend the wet and dry elements of the plan, according to Suzanne Schulz, who serves as the managing director for planning and community engagement for the City. “It is this community’s river,” she says, “and they are helping design its next life.”
Reversing Brain Drain “Outdoor recreation is a legitimate driver of dam-removal projects,” says Jason Carey, the founder of Colorado-based RiverRestoration, the engineering firm hired by GRWW to help bring its vision to reality. Carey, who also is an avid kayaker, points to the $646 billion spent by consumers each year on outdoor recreation—twice what Americans spend on pharmaceuticals—as a strong indicator of the
potential economic return from the removal of dams nationwide. “It helps that the outdoor lifestyle is closely attuned to an environmental ethic,” Carey adds. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership added the Grand River in Grand Rapids to its project priority list as a way to link the restoration project to goals in economic development, recreation, and environmental improvement. Grand Rapids has long been on the cusp of innovation and advancement when it comes to protecting the Grand River and its tributary streams. “Investments to protect our water resources are critical, particularly investments in infrastructure that will sustain the quality of life not just for current generations but for future ones to come,” says deputy city manager Eric DeLong, touting the city’s combined-sewer-overflow reduction of 99.97 percent as well as its green infrastructure initiatives that protect the Grand River and, subsequently, the Great Lakes. DeLong also believes that the restoration of the Grand River will attract young people to the city, and Carey agrees. “The Midwest is losing a generation of young people to outdoor meccas like Portland and Seattle,” says Carey, who thinks that increasing opportunities for outdoor
Flowing from calm rowing lanes to the rocky rapids, reefs, and shoals ideal both for spawning fish and kayaks, the Grand Rapids White Water plan aims to reconnect the city to its eponymous river.
FEATURES RETURN TO THE RIVER
will likely catalyze would make restoration of the Grand River’s rapids as important to the economy as it is to the river’s ecology.
THE MENOMONEE RIVER
Between 1970 and 2003, African American unemployment rose from 15 percent to a staggering 50 percent in Milwaukee,s working-class neighborhoods.
recreation in heartland cities will stir the cultural mix, making it more enticing for the 18-to-25-year-old crowd to stay. The argument certainly has weight, especially considering that the so-called “creative class”—the presence of which is widely accepted as a prerequisite for economic competitiveness in the 21st century—is highly engaged in environment-oriented activities. The rush of whitewater, however, will hopefully be an ambiance that anyone can enjoy, and, for a city whose identity literally originated with its raging waters, it is a branding approach that makes sense. “We realized early on that Grand Rapids is not a kayaking community and that nine out of ten people will never get in the river,” Richards says, “but everyone will appreciate having access to it.” Construction is at least two years out between the required engineering studies, design development, and permitting process still ahead, but the city is already mobilizing to make the riverfront central to its evolving image as a green hub. “In the past, people viewed the river as dirty and polluted,” Richards says, explaining the historic lack of pedestrian-oriented development along the river. “There are still so many buildings along it without any windows on the river side,” he says. There is also about a mile of underutilized industrial property along the downtown river corridor that he expects to see redeveloped in conjunction with the dam removal. While the $28 million investment may seem like a significant investment, however, the revenues and general economic stimulus that it
While the redevelopment of Grand Rapids’ riverfront is just gaining steam, another variation on the theme is playing out across Lake Michigan in Milwaukee’s industrial core. Unlike the roaring rapids of the Grand, the Menomonee—the river to which Milwaukee owes its existence—entered Lake Michigan as a half-mile-wide matrix of marshland and slow-moving water. Early efforts at real estate development in the city involved excavating material from the bluffs above to fill in the marshlands below. On top of this unstable foundation, a raging industrial economy developed. By the early 1900s, Milwaukee was known as the “Machine Shop of the World.” In the Menomonee Valley, a district known simply as “The Shops,” railroad fleets that linked America’s heartland with East Coast ports were built and serviced, employing tens of thousands of lowwage workers in the crowded neighborhoods along its periphery. However, the rise of interstate trucking as the preferred shipping method in the ’50s and ’60s—coupled with the mass exodus of heavy industry in the ’70s and ’80s—caused the manufacturing economy to grind to a halt, as it did in Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, and other Rust Belt cities. Between
1970 and 2003, African American unemployment rose from an already abominable 15 percent to a staggering 50 percent in the working-class neighborhoods of the Menomonee Valley. The Shops shut down for good in 1985, and the 1,200-acre industrial district devolved into arguably the most blighted area in the country. This was the geographic heart of the city, yet for 20 years it remained a ghost town; road access was closed, sewer and water lines were disconnected, and the adjacent neighborhoods fell into extreme poverty. And the Menomonee River, which snaked its way through the toxic mess, was completely cut off from the city.
A Confluence of Goals In 2002, a coalition of local business leaders, public health advocates, developers, and designers organized a national competition to come up with a plan to redevelop 140 acres in the heart of the infamously polluted valley. “The goal was to build a job-rich light industrial complex and city park,” says Bill Wenk, the founder of Denver-based landscape architecture firm Wenk Associates and the head of the consortium selected for the project. Rather than treating the industrial park and riverfront park as separate entities, the design integrates the two. “The conventional approach would have been to put one massive detention basin at the far end of the complex,” Wenk says of the stormwater plan. Every landscape architect is familiar with the heavily engineered, fenced-in abysses encouraged by modern land development codes, but
Wenk was against the idea for this development. “They take up so much space,” he says. “I think they’re very anti-urban.” Instead, the 70-acre park was designed as a sponge for the 70 acres of impervious industrial land wrapped around it. When it rains, a network of broad, shallow basins throughout the recreational landscape fill with water. They’re planted with native species from the fens, wet meadows, and marshes that would have thrived there when the area still functioned as an estuary of Lake Michigan. And they provide the same function: to filter overland flow as it makes its way to the lake. It sounds easy enough, but on a highly contaminated site well within the 100-year floodplain, the project is an engineering marvel. There wasn’t much elevation change to work with, but the construction of a new interchange nearby at the intersection of I-94 and I-43 made for a source of inexpensive fill. “We were able to use the rubble to elevate the industrial sites out of the floodplain,” Wenk says. This netted a ten-foot elevation gain, allowing the development to qualify for flood insurance. An additional two feet of clay also was imported and spread over much of the site. The mounds and berms that formed the biological treatment system for stormwater runoff were sculpted from that clay, but the naturally impenetrable substance also serves another purpose. Rather than hauling off the soil- and asbestos-contaminated debris at a cost of $10 million—and risking public exposure to the toxic dust—the clay layer forms a cap, preventing surface water from leaching through to the contaminated soil below. The raised areas form the backbone of the bike and pedestrian routes through the park, while the basins are filled with a free-draining growing medium and planted densely to suck up the moisture. Stormwater trickles through the vegetated sponge, eventually seeping into the river channel just above the high water line. The absorptive tissue of the park is vast enough to not only accommodate the runoff from the adjacent development but also to serve as a floodway for the river during major storm events.
Ripple Effect “This was one of those rare projects that was built almost exactly as designed for the competition,” says Wenk, who also contributed to the gb&d
WHAT IT MEANS MENOMENEE RIVER VALLEY REDEVELOPMENT LAND STEWARDSHIP Capping of an existing brownfield with a two-foot clay barrier that prevents groundwater from reaching contaminated soils Use of the clay barrier to form a series of stormwater basins that absorb and treat runoff from impervious surfaces Creation of a natural floodway for the river that can accommodate up to the 100-year storm event threshold A VALLEY-WIDE PLAN Green infrastructure that doubles as a pedestrian network, providing connectivity between developed areas and riverfront green space Support for the green building policies and practices actively promoted by Menomonee Valley Partners Use of the park by area youth as a lab for environmental education and as a training ground for green-collar jobs
master plan for the larger 1,200-acre district. Canal Street, the main arterial running parallel to the river that links the valley neighborhoods to the central business district along Lake Michigan, is on the same low-lying ground as the park. Now that the jobs are back and the neighborhood is coming up again, the corridor is ripe for redevelopment. Here, too, Wenk has worked out a scheme to treat stormwater runoff without dumping it into storm drains. “The engineers wanted a pump system to drain it [Canal Street], but we figured out a way to cricket it with a series of dips and rises leading to green fingers that connect to the river,” Wenk says. The vegetated basins are intended to double as part of the streetscape and would run perpendicular from Canal Street to the river as pedestrian gateways to the waterfront. “It’s a civic network that treats and conveys stormwater,” Wenk says. This larger plan has yet to be fully implemented, but the finishing touches were put on the park last fall, eleven years after the close of the design competition. Its presence has been rippling out into the community for a number of years already. Business is booming in the industrial park, which is nearly full. Menomonee Valley Partners (MVP), a nonprofit group overseeing development in the area, has landed a total of 40 new companies in the valley in recent years, many of which are housed in the one million square feet of office space it has designated to be built to meet green building standards. The green infrastructure approach has been used as a selling point for private investment, attracting a number of companies that em-
ploy an industrial ecology approach to their own operations. As the jobs have returned, so have the families. In recruiting companies to set up shop, MVP targets those that offer a “family-supporting wage” of at least $25 an hour. This year, a local environmental education center, Urban Ecology, opened a branch adjacent to the park and is using the 70 acres of green space as an outdoor laboratory and training ground for disadvantaged youth. “They’re training the kids in ecological restoration, and they’re even learning how to build stormwater filtration systems,” Wenk says. “They’re actually changing the program of the park—there are community gardens there now, rather than soccer fields.” The engineering and permitting process for redeveloping brownfields and riverfronts like Menomonee Valley may seem to move forward at a snail’s pace, but the concept proves itself again and again as a catalyst for rapid change in the country’s most blighted cities.
THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
NEW ORLEANS The Menomonee and Grand rivers both eventually reach the sea south of Newfoundland where the St. Lawrence River rips open the northeast corner of the continent, delivering the massive effluent of the Great Lakes basin to the churning Atlantic. On an unassuming rise just 30 miles from Milwaukee is an invisible line where a drop of rainwater has a 50/50 chance of entering the MenomoneeGreat Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed, or trickling into a very different ennovember–december 2014
FEATURES RETURN TO THE RIVER
The newly opened Crescent Park in New Orleans, just one part of a massive master plan, allows residents a rare chance to access the Mississippi River. Highly visible, cor-ten steel walkways arch over the walls and deposit visitors among oak trees, bougainvilleas, and other native plantings.
LEARN MORE ABOUT REBUILDING NEW ORLEANS With exclusive interviews, original photography, and a foreword by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans: Structure, Community, City captures the vibrancy of a post-Katrina New Orleans. The city has rebuilt itself and boasts a citywide commitment to sustainability that continues to drive the creation of incredible, world-class buildings. Look for the book in the Greenbuild bookstore or visit gbdmagazine.com for more information.
PHOTO: TIMOTHY HURSLEY
led the planning process for the city. A report commissioned by the city in 2008 estimated that the $294 million plan would generate 24,000 permanent jobs and more than $60 million in annual state and local tax revenue once complete, giving an internal rate of return of 18 percent over 30 years.
WHAT IT MEANS REINVENTING THE CRESCENT RENEWED IMAGE Addition of worldclass green space to neighborhoods without access Cultivation of New Orleans as a progressive, environmentally conscious, and technologically innovative city Assistance in attracting residents back to the city and appealing to newcomers, especially entrepreneurial and creative professionals ECONOMIC IMPACTS Creation of 24,000 permanent jobs over the course of the implementation Generation of more than 60 million dollars in state and local tax revenue on an annual basis
HISTORIC INFRASTRUCTURE Conversion of the Mandeville Wharf shed into a 65,000-square-foot outdoor event venue for concerts and festivals Adaptive reuse of Piety Wharf into a public sundeck and preservation of one of the firewalls as a backdrop for performances and film screenings Preservation of numerous pylons and other relics of the industrial era as part of the architectural language
Though the idea was seeded before the disaster, it has come to represent a conscious choice on the part of civic leaders about what New Orleans can become as it rises from the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. A plan known as “Reinventing the Crescent” calls for much more than a riverfront park—it outlines a vision for urban development based on an entrepreneurial and artisan-based economy, rather than oil, gas, and other resource-driven industries. New Orleans remains an active shipping port, but there is little in the way of processing and manufacturing for the products moved on and off the big ocean liners. That occurs overseas or upstream in the heartland, where real estate is less valuable. “It happened at a time when the city was thinking about its ability to be resilient, not only in the face of a systemic environmental shock, but a large economic one as well,” says Cristina Ungureanu, a planner and urban designer at Eskew+ Dumez+Ripple (EDR), the firm that
PHOTOS: TIMOTHY HURSLEY; CALEB FOX (LOWER LEFT)
vironment, headed south to the city of New Orleans. The Great Lakes Basin may hold the largest freshwater reserve on the continent, but the Mississippi basin has by far the widest reach, extending its net into 31 states and two Canadian provinces. By the time it reaches New Orleans, the Mississippi looks nothing more than a living thing all its own, a leviathan snaking its way to the Gulf. Its main channel is nearly a mile wide, and the delta stretches out across the entirety of southern Louisiana. As a funnel for the commerce, culture, history, and sediment of the United States, it is the perfect natural allegory for the endearing chaos of the Crescent City’s well-simmered melting pot. The French originally laid out the city along a crescent-shaped natural levee in 1718. “The way rivers work is that they build up sediment on the outside of a horseshoe bend where the water slows down,” says George Hargreaves, a landscape architect, “so this part of New Orleans is actually out of the flood plain.” His firm, Hargreaves Associates, is helping stitch the city back to its namesake landform after a long and awkward divorce. The intent to reclaim the derelict industrial land along the river for a greater civic purpose began well before Hurricane Katrina brought the city and its vulnerable relationship to the Mississippi into the spotlight. Over the last 10 years, a plan to create an uninterrupted linear park along six miles of the waterfront has slowly gained momentum—Crescent Park, which encompasses the first 1.4 miles of the plan, opened to the public this past spring.
Life on the River “The park has become an extension of neighbor’s backyards, and it’s giving people a nudge to return to the city, whether they’re actually people returning to the area or new people who saw what New Orleans was doing and wanted to come and be a part of it,” says Amanda Rivera, the project manager at EDR who oversaw the design of the park. Hurricane Katrina displaced 800,000 people in New Orleans and the surrounding region, and the hardest hit areas remain substantially depopulated. Previously, there was only one small park on the water and a handful of other places to access the riverfront, like the cruise ship terminal. The new vision for the waterfront, however, is as a front porch for the city. “Of course, in New Orleans, music is number one on the list of things to do,” Hargreaves says. Anchoring both ends of the park are event spaces built from the bones of the historic wharf structures. Piety Wharf is now a giant sun deck, and one of the old masonry firewalls of the port’s voluminous shed structures was preserved as a backdrop for performances and can even be used as a movie screen. At the other end of the park, a new roof was put on top of the Mandeville Wharf shed, transforming it into an open-air pavilion. The all-weather performance venue is expected to become a public gathering space for festivals, concerts, and traveling exhibits, providing much needed space and protection
Responsible Reuse Sustainability plays a big part in NOLA’s reimagining and is a strong thread in the park’s design. Tulane University plans to build a research facility and museum along the waterfront dedicated to bioenvironmental technology with a focus on hydrokinetic energy production. The facility will include a demonstration of underwater turbine technology with the potential to generate enough energy to power more than a million homes using the Mississippi’s slow muddy waters—without building a dam. These ideas are big and bold, but the current stage of riverfront redevelopment has a more fundamental purpose. Simply providing access and celebrating the river’s presence represents a cultural shift that may lay the foundation for the future realizations of such ambitious plans. The issue of access is actually much more complicated than it seems. Those who haven’t spent much time in New Orleans may not realize why there are so few places in the city to see the Mississippi, let alone dangle your toes in it: in addition to the levees, a 10-foot, concrete flood wall was built in the 1970s between the city and its river. “People lost the notion that there is even a river on the opposite side of that wall,” Rivera says. “We can’t take that wall down because we acknowledge that we need it from time to time, but to allow access to the other side of it is extremely important for our city.” Crescent Park is entirely within the 40- to 100-foot-wide corridor that lies between the banks of the Mississippi and the flood wall, a space it shares with an active rail line. Massive steel gates permeate the wall here and there for trains to move through, but opening and closing them is a major logistical event. Since most of the city is several gb&d
feet below sea level, the combined height of the levees and flood walls blocks all ground-level vantage points to the river. “Our office is located at the base of Canal Street on the 31st floor,” Ungureanu says, “so we see the river a lot, and our studio has a strong visual connection to it. But not everybody in the city has that connection, so it’s a pretty big opportunity to be able to build these public spaces that allow anybody to go on the other side of the wall.” Pedestrian bridges that go up and over the flood wall and rail corridor were added at either end of the park to compliment the less glamorous entrances through the flood gates in between. Built with a simple palette of cor-ten steel and concrete to blend with the industrial language of the environs, they are part of the unique architecture emerging to suture the city’s past and present back together. In the spirit of the late Allen Eskew, EDR’s founder and a long-time resident of New Orleans who championed the notion of adaptive reuse in the city, every effort has been made to preserve and integrate the port’s industrial relics in the park design as a reminder of the river’s historic role for future generations.
A Winding Journey The water that convenes in the Mississippi watershed’s uppermost reaches has traveled for more than
AMANDA RIVERA, ESKEW+DUMEZ+RIPPLE
from the constant parade of thunderstorms in the sultry subtropical city. Rather than a memorial to the losses of Hurricane Katrina, Crescent Park is a celebration of how New Orleans has always seen itself: jubilant. When construction delays pushed back the opening date, “people were screaming,” Hargreaves says. So, the city went ahead and opened the 90 percent of the park that was complete, which included a dog park, a playground, vast lawn areas, and the promenade, all of which were immediately inundated with users.
People lost the notion that there is even a river on the opposite side of that wall.
ninety days by the time they reach New Orleans. Starting from places like Big Beaver, Saskatchewan, and Salamanca, New York, it passes through scores of lochs, levees, dams, canals, and flood-control structures, which have created a very different path than the historic meandering flow. Efforts to straighten out navigable rivers like the Mississippi have been very good for commerce and represent a valiant effort to protect adjacent communities from the wrath of flood waters. But as the world saw in the late summer of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit, our best engineering efforts are not always sufficient to withstand the changes that occur in a river system—or in a climate—over time. At the end of Crescent Park by Piety Wharf, the space between the water and the flood wall was wide enough to allow for an extensive public garden. It is a showpiece of New Orleans horticulture at its finest, a place for romantic Sunday afternoon strolls amid oak trees, bougainvillea, and exotic bird-of-paradise flowers as well as several native species. The meandering paths follow the lines of the tracks that crisscrossed the ground when this was a railroad switchyard, leading out to the freshly resurfaced wharf. The designer’s invitation is broad and inclusive, offering the city an ecumenical sanctuary, a cloister for remembrance, and a place for visioning. gb&d
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
98 Wet Lab
Research at Penn proves the value of plants in stormwater management
102 Go with the Flow
Hastings Architecture preserves green space with a unique soccer pitch
105 By the Numbers
Chico State’s reaps the benefits of monitoring-based commissioning
106 Stealing the Show
ESPN’s Digital Center 2 sets a new standard for broadcasting
Architect-contractor collaboration is key for Fox Head’s headquarters
116 Constructive Feedback
122 Show, Don’t Tell Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón’s new office is
built to educate clients about design
128 From the Ground Up At FedEx, sustainability spans every
scope and scale
130 Storm-Proofing Pierhouse
How Hurricane Sandy altered the design of a Brooklyn development
134 Urban Core Values
With the Tellus, Erkiletian builds on its founder’s vision
138 Terminal 2.0
San Diego unveils the planet’s first LEED Platinum airport terminal
144 A Cooler Crate and Barrel
The home furnishings company uses lighting to reduce the cost of cooling
S PAC E S L E A R N
Shoemaker Green is a 2.75-acre parcel on Penn’s West Philadelphia campus that has been designed as a cutting-edge piece of green infrastructure. A monitoring project is tracking the ability of the park’s plants to manage stormwater.
THE WATER ISSUE FIELD REPORT
WET LAB PHOTO: BARRETT DOHERTY
Armed with key findings from their first year of research, the landscape architects behind Philadelphia’s Shoemaker Green make a case for why cities should rethink stormwater By Emily McCoy, ASLA, PLA
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PROJECT LOCATION Philadelphia, PA Program U niversity green space for foot transportation and passive recreation Size 2.75 acres Completion2012 CertificationSITES Two-Star Certified Landscape Architect Andropogon Associates Client University of Pennsylvania
ONE LARGE BATHTUB At first glance, Shoemaker Green appears like any college green: a central lawn adorned by shade trees, undergraduates playing Frisbee, and freshmen hurrying to class. But despite its familiarity above ground, the green space is a heavy-duty piece of living machinery, outfitted with gadgets to track its every vital. The 2.75-acre parcel on Penn’s urban campus in West Philadelphia is a SITES pilot project and a part of the Penn Connects Master Plan. As a landscape architecture firm specializing in ecological planning and design, Andropogon was commissioned to revive the property, one of the most underused spaces on campus. What previously housed aging tennis courts, concrete walkways, and only a few trees is now the “front door” to the surrounding historic athletic structures and the recently completed Penn Park. Through a variety of strategies and technol-
ogies, Shoemaker Green not only has provided vibrant social spaces but also—and, perhaps, more importantly—has become a living laboratory of green infrastructure, brought benefits to the City of Philadelphia’s ecosystem services, and spurred the development of sustainable design and maintenance policies for the entire campus. Despite its vibrant condition today, the project began with an abundance of both literal and figurative quandaries. Below the tennis courts were roadbeds, a piped stream, and row-home foundations. Since infiltration rates ranged from a half-inch to thousands of inches per hour, infiltration was not recommended. Even within these limitations, the site was required by the City to treat one inch of stormwater for water quality concerns, and additional capacity was requested by the client in order to manage runoff from potential future renovations of adjacent buildings. Adding to the complexity of the program, Penn required that the site
TEAM Penn Earth and Environmental Science Dept Craig Calabria, Grant Scavello, Alicia Coleman Andropogon Associates Emily McCoy, Donna Shumpert
BELOWIn its first year, this college green in Philly has managed 100% of stormwater due to its strategically designed rain gardens and other living features.
not only provide niches for passive recreation, but also support large gatherings, such as graduation events and the Penn Relays, which are attended by more than 100,000 people each year. The resulting design was one large bathtub, where evapotranspiration and irrigation reuse became critical. A sand storage bed, rain garden, and 20,000-gallon cistern along with tree trenches, planting beds, and various other conveyance systems route nearly every drop of water on the site—including air-conditioning condensate—through a matrix of plants and soil and to the cistern for irrigation. Then, it’s either a gracious exit to the atmosphere or a less glamorous one to the combined stormwater system, which overflows to the Schuylkill River less than a half-mile away during heavy rain. FEEDBACK LOOPS A five-year monitoring plan was established with the University’s Earth and Environmental Science Depart-
PHOTO: BARRETT DOHERTY
Why do practicing designers often forget the power of learning? Aside from being creative problem-solvers, designers are innately visceral tinkerers, so why have we strayed from the passion, the craft of observation and experimentation, that originally led many of us to our profession? As a relative newcomer to the field with a growing body of work, I was beginning to be haunted by my own answers to these questions. So when the opportunity presented itself to examine whether a project was indeed performing as it was designed, Andropogon Associates and our client, the University of Pennsylvania, seized the moment and launched a five-year monitoring project that, in addition to measuring transpiration and various other metrics, might illuminate the way forward for designers equally interested in tracking performance.
ment to measure the design’s performance. The goal of the monitoring was to not only test the assumptions the green infrastructure’s performance within an urban setting, but also to provide feedback for the facility managers to improve landscape performance across the campus. (A grant was secured to purchase the monitoring equipment.) Monitoring the water, soil, and micro- and macrofauna has proven to be a wonderful and necessary feedback loop for the performance of the designed system. Without this knowledge and ability to tweak the systems based on data findings—especially in the first few years of the life of the project—the effort to design the systems for maximum performance might have been lost. Major findings include the discovery of just how undervalued plants and soils are in stormwater management. From May 2013 to June 2014, data shows that no stormwater left the system for the combined sewer, even during a 3.16-inch storm in June 2013 and 11 unusually wet months within the 14-month monitoring period. Transpiration measurements of the vegetation show that native floodplain species and uncompacted turf are veritable workhorses, transpiring anywhere from three to ten gallons of water per day during the growing season. Increased residence time within the vegetated areas also allows more opportunity for transpiration and evaporation, especially in higher-temperature microclimates. We also analyzed stormwater for the prevalence of pollutants, and results gb&d
Inches of rainfall recorded at Shoemaker Green during a single event in June 2013
Amount of water that left the natural stormwater system during the 14 months of monitoring
Gallons of water transpired by Shoemaker’s plants each day during the growing season
show significantly decreased levels as water moves through the system. Despite this success, analysis of the data indicates that during the summer and winter of 2013, stormwater was not efficiently managed and came very close to overflowing to the sewer system on 14 separate occasions. This can be partly attributed to the winterization of the cistern due to the use of deicing salts and the dormant vegetation. Currently, the designers are devising a plan to increase the efficiency of the system during the winter months in order to prevent a possible future overflow; ideas include adding storage capacity in the lawn for the winter months and adding real-time electrical conductivity sensors. Beyond the abiotic, the living inhabitants on the site also provide important feedback. Sand-based soils were a no-brainer to resist compaction given the foot traffic, and so a compost tea program was developed to build organic matter within the mostly inorganic, engineered soil. Data indicates that beneficial microorganisms are proliferating and that the soils are developing organic matter to the desired levels with the help of the compost tea program and a turf management plan, which has become a part of the campus’s standard maintenance regime. Wildlife that is visible without a microscope also makes use of the site. The migratory yellow warbler, rarely found in urban settings, has been spotted gleaning insects in the grasses and sedges of the rain garden. Following this project, habitat cre-
ation has been integrated into Penn’s new Ecological Landscape Plan. The social impacts of the site are currently being studied through surveys and behavior mapping. From surveys, most of the respondents value stormwater management amenities but were not aware of the contributions of Shoemaker. The extensive use of the space, as observed through the seasons, and the perceived value of the space indicate an opportunity for education that can encourage an appreciation for urban ecological systems. Strategies are being devised to enrich the users’ experiences through environmental education. EXCEEDING MULTIPLE GOALS Data indicates that this relatively small urban landscape is capable of exceeding environmental goals and has the capacity to fulfill the multiple aesthetic and social roles a public space demands. There is still much more to learn from ongoing monitoring, but clearly, we must adapt our communication and collaboration channels between maintenance, monitoring, and design to demand more out of our landscapes. Monitoring built work does not have to be costly—it mostly requires a desire for the feedback. We must push ourselves to continually ask questions and seek answers—not just design and walk away. gb&d Emily McCoy, ASLA, PLA, is the director of integrative research at Andropogon Associates in Philadelphia. november–december 2014
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GO WITH THE FLOW In Nashville, Hastings Architecture helps grow Montgomery Bell Academy’s nearly 100-year-old campus while protecting Kingfisher Creek
OPPOSITE LEFT This study space in Lowry Hall features large windows that provide views to the surrounding trees and neighborhood. Overhead lighting can be dimmed independently to adjust for varying levels of natural light.
By Joann Plockova
Having occupied the same campus since 1915, the Montgomery Bell Academy (MBA) had long outgrown its site five miles outside of downtown Nashville when it enlisted Hastings Architecture Associates to help with an expansion in 2008. With an increase in both its enrollment numbers and its academic and athletic offerings, the all-boys school was feeling the pressure of growth on its infrastructure, its land use, and its residential neighbors. Having acquired a number of the residential houses along the campus’s southern edge over a period of about sixteen years, the school sought the architects’
guidance in how that acquired land could best be used for both the school and the larger community. Together, along with local residents, they devised a master plan through what principal William Hastings aptly describes as a “robust process” lasting eighteen months and including both “one-on-one meetings at the kitchen table and public community meetings.” The concerns of the school and its neighbors—which regarded solutions for stormwater management, parking needs, lighting, traffic, safety, and the health of a creek that runs through campus—were addressed by the final plan.
OPPOSITE RIGHT Lowry Hall, like other buildings on campus, uses a combination of pervious hardscaping and native landscaping to minimize both irrigation needs and rainwater runoff.
The adjoined parking garage and soccer pitch combine to conserve campus green space, prevent parking-lot rainwater runoff, and capture rainwater. One of the campus’ three bioswales is in the foreground.
PROJECT LOCATION Nashville, TN Program Classrooms, lecture hall, soccer field and garage Size 4 2,000 ft2 (Lowry); 220,000 ft2 (garage) Completion 2011 (garage); 2012 (Lowry) CertificationLEED for Schools Gold v2009
PHOTOS: JIM ROOF CREATIVE, INC.
OWNER Montgomery Bell Academy Developer Montgomery Bell Academy Architect H astings Architecture Associates Civil Engineer Barge Cauthen & Associates Structural Engineer EMC Structural Engineers Mechanical Engineer Smith Seckman Reid Electrical Engineer Smith Seckman Reid Landscape Architect Hodgson & Douglas General Contractor The Parent Company Field/Turf Consultant Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company
“This campus, over the past 100 years, has been a leader in the community and also a conservative institution,” Hastings says. “That the school and its leadership embarked upon a massive transformation to their campus and did so with the greater community and the environment at the forefront of their planning, while also trying to accomplish their academic and athletic needs, is paramount.” That transformation included the addition of an enclosed, 300-car parking garage, but in a genius move that preserves green space, the garage’s roof was transformed into a regulation-size soccer pitch including bleachers for at least 700 spectators and stadium lighting for night games. Directly below the field, on the first level of the partially below-grade garage, a 10,000-gallon cistern captures rainwater. Making its way to the cistern through a pipe via drains underneath the field’s turf, the captured water is used to irrigate the campus landscape. Groundwater from subsurface rock along the garage foundation is also diverted to the cistern. (Much of the excavated rock was crushed on-site and used in the building process.) When the cistern reaches capacity and irrigation needs are fulfilled, excess water makes its way to a bioswale area and is treated before flowing on to Kingfisher Creek. The construction of three large bioswales, located adjacent to the garage and the creek, was one of several water treatment measures implemented as a component of the school’s wider stormwater management plan. Another part of that plan was the remediation of Kingfisher Creek itself. The newly created bioswales act as a buffer to prevent excessive erosion but are just one means of treating both captured and runoff water before it makes its way
to the stream. The removal of invasive species and the creation of a no-mow, no-touch zone of maintained natural grasses, which acts as a filtration system for surface water, also contribute to the health of the stream. A large sports field nearby uses organic fertilizers. Pervious pavement is used in expanded surface parking lots. And large islands running down the length of a completely renovated lot to the southwest of the campus also function as bioswales. The buildings address water as well. In the LEED Gold-certified Lowry Hall—a 41,000-square-foot classroom building that marked MBA’s first foray into LEED— low-flow, low-flush fixtures “gave us a water-use reduction of about 50 percent,” says Erica Weeks, an architect in Hastings Architecture’s greenSTUDIO. “We actually save more than 100,000 gallons of water per year through these fixtures,” she says.
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ENGINEERING & CONSULTING WWW.SSR-INC.COM
CHICO STATE ARTS & HUMANITIES BUILDING This new campus gateway building hosts a diversity of performance, creative and learning spaces. Energy efficiency strategies include demand-based control ventilation, photovoltaic panels, high performance glazing, a high albedo roof and daylight harvesting.
ABOVECustom LED light fixtures hang from the glulam trusses in Montgomery Bell Academy’s voluminous, 300-seat dining hall. Daylighting studies were completed to ensure that the space receives ample natural light but without excessive glare.
Lowry uses a geothermal exchange system that is shared with the campus’s new dining hall, which also is certified LEED Gold. Lowry’s variable refrigerant flow system “allows each classroom to be tuned for its heating and cooling needs,” Weeks says. “So, you’re really dialing in an optimization of your mechanical system.” Not only do lighting control systems and occupancy sensors allow each classroom to manage its energy use on a classroom-by-classroom basis, but rowed pendant lighting fixtures, which are parallel to exterior windows with high-performance glazing, are able to be adjusted and dimmed row-by-row to adjust to natural light. Aside from the water-saving fixtures, Lowry’s green features also include water-bottle-filling stations and recycling centers—both of which provide an opportunity for the students to actually see sustainability in action. “The commitment to the environment is evident from the time students walk in the door to the time they leave,” Hastings says. “We took the opportunity to treat the design and construction process as an opportunity to teach.” Weeks says that the firm is primarily interested in doing the right thing, regardless of points and prerequisites. “With the projects at MBA, a lot of the conversation was about ‘This is the right thing to do,’ regardless of the LEED scorecard,” she says. Hastings concurs, speaking to the design’s protective measures that preserved open space and undeveloped land: the enclosed parking garage, the soccer field on the roof, the multistory buildings. “That’s what sustainability is about,” he says, “not just bells and whistles that can distract from smart, creative choices that make a positive impact. It’s about good design and planning from the outset.” gb&d gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: JIM ROOF CREATIVE, INC.
Sustainable solutions that last.
By the Numbers Chico State’s Student Services Centers reaps multiple benefits from the rich data made possible by monitoring-based commissioning
PHOTOS: DOUG DUN / BAR ARCHITECTS
By Peter Fabris
THIS PAGE California State University–Chico employed monitoring-based commissioning on its Student Services Center, reducing energy use for heating by 65% and saving approximately $66,000 each year.
California State University–Chico, located about 90 miles north of Sacramento, has taken giant steps to become more sustainable in recent years, reaping accolades that reflect a campus-wide environmental mission. The institution has reduced its carbon footprint by 36 percent since 2008, was one of the first universities to sign on to President Obama’s Climate Change Challenge, and was a finalist for the Planet Forward College and University Climate Leadership award. According to university president Dr. Paul J. Zingg, sustainability “is a fundamental value of this institution.” One particular honor that Chico State earned in 2011—the University of California and California State University’s Comprehensive Energy Management Program sustainability award—represents the school’s commitment to its built environment. Chico State is a leading practitioner of monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx), the application of building management systems to measure energy usage trends, identify ways to boost efficiency on building systems, and make adjustments to those systems to optimize efficiency. MBCx has been performed on six campus buildings to date, including the Student Services Center. Some campus buildings have undergone what Neil Nunn, the campus’s chief engineer, calls a “light version” that doesn’t include extensive system revamping. (A light MBCx program identifies a range of energy efficiency measures, implements some low-cost measures, and suggests more costly steps to be taken later when funds become available for implementation.) Other campus buildings have had the full MBCx treatment. The Student Services Center had a fullscale MBCx in 2010 with consultant EnerNOC guiding the process, and is the best exemplar of MBCx’s value. Retooling the HVAC system reduced energy needed for heating the 71,950-square-foot structure by 65 percent, for cooling by 30 percent, and for electricity (excluding cooling) by 37 percent. The resulting total annual cost savings is estimated at $66,000. An upgrade of the building’s energy management system, a prerequisite to the effort, enabled the capture of energy-trending data that could be analyzed graphically. That work led to several major efficiency improvements, including the
reprogramming of the air-handlingunit control sequences (so that heating and cooling units operate separately) and the reprogramming of the variable air volume terminals (so that heating now uses mostly return air). The commissioning also corrected the problem of return air escaping through the outdoor air damper of one of the air-handling units, which made the system work excessively. Changing fan speeds on 475 air handlers from static pressure control to volume demand control cut the energy needed to run the fans by half, which resulted in the lowest energy cost per square foot on campus. The adjustments yielded a target thermal window that ranges from 68 degrees to 78 degrees. As a result, occupants can experience a 10-degree swing in a single day. That’s more variability in thermal conditions than they were accustomed to, so it took time for them to become acclimated. “It took a lot of tweaking to keep most occupants happy,” Nunn says, admittedly. Optimizing HVAC systems didn’t end with the conclusion of the MBCx project. Real-time monitoring enables operations staff to quickly identify malfunctioning fans and other system components and immediately dispatch maintenance staff when something needs attention. Indeed, to get the most value out of the process, each building system has to be constantly monitored and adjusted to keep performance at top efficiency. Chico State is committed to applying MBCx to most of its major buildings, though it will take years before this is done campus-wide due to funding constraints. Funding comes from the statewide university chancellor’s office in partnership with four California utilities, which provide rebates for efficiency improvements. Though the up-front investment for MBCx is substantial—about $95,000 for the Student Services Center—the value is compelling, particularly when it contributes to a core institutional value. Zingg says the cost savings resulting from energy efficiency is important but that it is a green mindset that drives the effort towards continuous energy-efficiency improvement: “We want to provide a good example for sustainability that students and others will embrace.” gb&d november–december 2014
S PAC E S WO R K
Stealing the Show
Digital Center 2, ESPN’s cuttingedge TV production facility and the new home of SportsCenter, sets an environmentally conscious standard for broadcasting By Brian Barth
RIGHTThough fans of SportsCenter may never see them, ESPN’s Digital Center 2 employs smart design strategies to reduce energy and water use while providing the network a state-of-theart studio.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF HLW INTERNATIONAL LLP
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PROJECT LOCATION Bristol, CT Program F our broadcast studios, six production control rooms, office space Size 194,000 ft2 Completion 2 014 CertificationLEED (expected)
With four new broadcast studios, six production control rooms, and a kaleidoscopic array of moving, touchscreen, and 3-D displays, Digital Center 2 will take fans into the game in a way that has never been done before. DC-2, as it is known to staff, is the new home of SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship program. But for John Cistulli, ESPN’s senior director for global construction and facilities engineering, it is the pinnacle of a career spent perfecting the company’s behind-the-scenes mission critical infrastructure and operations, while simultaneously working to bring energy efficiency to the table. “Sustainability is important to ESPN, and we wanted to show that even a production facility—which, by nature, uses a lot of energy—could be an example of sustainability,” says Cistulli, an ESPN lifer and trained engineer. Cistulli worked his way up from the broadcast engineering crew when ESPN first went on air in 1979 and has championed the “reduce, reuse,
recycle” ethic at ESPN, which is now woven into every fold of the organization, right down to the compostable plates in the employee cafeteria. Over the past five years, Cistulli has marshalled DC-2 down the path to LEED certification, from concept to construction—a trek, he says, that has not always been easy. HLW CHARTS THE COURSE “TV studios are typically energy-intensive buildings,” says John Gering, managing partner at HLW International, the New York-based firm that designed DC-2. Joseph Calabrese, HLW’s LEED-accredited director of engineering, adds that such facilities “are even more aggressive in their technical requirements than a hospital.” To create the magic of television, broadcast studios need a high degree of isolation from the outside world, which in the past has translated into immense fortresses designed with only the end product in mind. “The question for architects PHOTO: COURTESY OF HLW INTERNATIONAL LLP
CLIENT ESPN Architect / MEP & Structural Engineer HLW International Site Civil EngineerBVH Integrated Services Landscape Architect Sasaki Associates Exterior Lighting Consultant L am Partners Geotechnical Engineer H aley & Aldrich Medium Voltage Engineer F acilities Engineering Associates Acoustic Consultant W alters Storyk Design Group LEED ConsultantYrg Sustainability
A television studio is hardly the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of sustainable building design. Yet the Walt Disney Company has set an enterprise-wide goal of LEED Silver for all of its facilities since 2005. Now, ESPN, the megalith of sports broadcasting and part of the Disney family of subsidiaries, has taken the torch of green design and is shining it brightly across its 125-acre campus in Bristol, Connecticut. Digital Center 2, the company’s new 194,000-square-foot television production facility, is as high-tech as they come and showcases the clever design maneuvers needed to take the wattage out of the broadcast industry without sacrificing punch.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF HLW INTERNATIONAL LLP
THIS SPREADInside the new home of ESPN’s SportsCenter, LED lighting pulls less than 15 watts per square foot, and a reflective roof membrane adds another 24 million kWh per year to the energy savings. “DC-2 has established a new benchmark in media production,” says Keith Hanadel, HLW’s broadcast design director. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and this is one of the most exciting buildings I’ve ever worked on.”
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LEFTVast walls of windows bring natural light into DC-2. Typical production facilities are “built like bunkers,” says HLW managing partner John Gering, but ESPN’s building prioritizes sunlight wherever possible.
becomes, ‘How do we design this type of facility and not make it look and feel like a bunker?’” Gering says. “People working in 24/7 facilities need access to sunlight when they exit a technical environment.” With 20 hours of live sports broadcasting each day, ESPN can’t afford any technical hiccups. DC-2 is fed by two separate utility feeds that enter the ESPN campus from opposite directions and has its own 16-megawatt emergency generator to sustain mission critical systems. HLW also designed an ESPN facility in Los Angeles that has the capacity to back up the Bristol operation in the event of a natural disaster. These thick layers of redundancy are what make live TV possible, but such programming demands can be challenging for architects committed to a sleek, slender, green design aesthetic that pulls
them in opposite directions. DC-2 bucks this trend with its efficient use of space and streamlined appearance. “We couldn’t find any energy savings in the equipment rack rooms,” says Cistulli of the studio’s core technical systems and biggest power hogs. But the team was able to take a few big bites out of DC-2’s energy pie from other places, and lots of little ones, to reach the LEED benchmark. In the past, ESPN used incandescent bulbs exclusively for studio lighting, guzzling electrons to the tune of 50 watts per square foot of studio space. The team scoured the market for LED lights to find an alternative that met ESPN’s strict requirements for production quality. Their diligence paid off with an LED system that pulls less than 15 watts per square foot—a 70 percent reduction.
“Sustainability is important to ESPN, and we wanted to show that even a production facility—which, by nature, uses a lot of energy—could be an example of sustainability.” John Cistulli, ESPN 112
A MILESTONE FOR MEDIA “There is no way that a fan watching SportsCenter will realize any of this,” Cistulli says, “but there are indirect effects.” The energy-efficient design cuts operating costs, funds that ESPN can reroute into programming, “bolstering what we put on the air and adding value to the broadcast,” he says. There is no doubt that ESPN is the premier sportscast organization in the world, reaching more than 100 million viewers each month in the United States alone, yet it continues to raise its own bar. Cistulli says DC-2 is so high-tech that it is likely the most advanced TV facility in the country. “DC-2 has established a new benchmark in media production,” says Keith Hanadel, HLW’s broadcast design director. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and this is one of the most exciting buildings I’ve ever worked on.” Will DC-2’s example become the norm as the next generation of media consumers grows up expecting the industry to tread lightly on the planet? When Calabrese took his nine-year-old son Michael, who is a huge hockey fan, for a tour of the facility, Michael’s review was succinct: “Dad, this place is incredible.” gb&d gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF HLW INTERNATIONAL
The next big chunk was a high reflectivity roof membrane that knocked out another 24 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. Powersmith high-efficiency transformers saved an additional 675,000 kWh, and variable frequency drive controls on HVAC system fans and motors were used throughout the facility to further ratchet down energy use. In the realm of water conservation, HLW devised a number of innovative strategies, like pumping air-handler condensate back into the cooling towers to reduce reliance on the municipal water supply. They also utilized site-specific features, such as a groundwater-collection system that takes advantage of the high water table in the area to provide non-potable water for the cooling towers, as well as for flushing toilets.
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or the past ten years, Howard Building Corporation (HBC) has done the majority of the construction work in Southern California for Google. This includes the Internet monolith’s LEED Platinum-certified campus in Venice Beach—the one with the rock-climbing wall, theater, and satellite juice-and-coffee bar—and the more recent Google/YouTube production facility, which also earned LEED Platinum certification. Marking 31 years this year, the Los Angeles-based general contracting company has a long list of big name commercial clients under its belt, including Accenture, Glumac, and Warner Brothers Studios, to name a few. According to CEO Paul McGunnigle, the company’s secret lies in its consistency and a philosophy that carefully defines success: “We set up a project to be successful in our estimation, and then whether or not financially it will be successful, we treat it as if it’s the best project we ever did,” McGunnigle says. “You never make decisions solely [based] upon money. You base them upon success.” Along with the YouTube project, which was built inside a portion of the circa-1930s Howard Hughes complex and required HBC to balance historical preservation with LEED criteria, HBC’s recent successes include the new 82,000-squarefoot headquarters for motocross apparel company Fox Head. Working under tight time constraints, HBC established a collaborative relationship with architect Clive Wilkinson in order to meet those demands as well as Wilkinson’s desire to incorporate unique architectural elements. “He was part of Frank Gehry’s early studio,” McGunnigle says. “[He’s] almost a sculptor more than an architect. He was open minded enough to come to us and say, ‘Well, how would you build this?’” McGunnigle recently joined the board of directors for USGBC-LA and believes the green movement in Southern California has finally caught on. Throughout the nineties, he says, only a small number of gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: BENNY CHAN (FOX HEAD)
As a guiding voice of USGBC-LA, Howard Building Corporation’s Paul McGunnigle hopes to foster more of the architect-contractor collaboration that made the Fox Head headquarters so successful
The 82,000-square-foot office space for Fox Head features a variety of one-of-a-kind interior elements, including this zebra-patterned walkway. Clive Wilkinson collaborated with HBC to find efficiencies in constructing these unusual elements.
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BELOWThe angular façade of the Fox Head headquarters belies the building’s previous existence as a completely nondescript warehouse, just as the slate gray paint job makes no hint of its fire-engine-red interior.
businesses willingly embraced sustainability. The bottom line took precedence. “Most clients would say, ‘Well, we’re interested in this,’ but they wouldn’t take it very far. If there was even a dime that was associated with getting certification, it was a killer.” McGunnigle saw people “starting to turn the corner” in the early 2000s, and, though not a fan, he gives credit to Al Gore, whose film An Inconvenient Truth McGunnigle believes was a true catalyst for change. “That’s when I started seeing people here actually saying, ‘Yeah, we can spend that much,’” he says. “The private sector was really starting to look at green building and be serious about it.” Southern California’s massive entertainment industry has wholeheartedly embraced sustainability, McGunnigle says, and while the state itself already had one of the most stringent energy codes in the country, as of July 2014, “it’s been notched up incredibly.” “Some of the
“He was part of Frank Gehry’s early studio,” Paul McGunnigle says of Clive Wilkinson. “[He’s] almost a sculptor more than an architect.”
points necessary for LEED certification are virtually automatic in California,” McGunnigle says; in order to comply with codes, earning those points is essentially mandated. “So now you’ve given people a little push in the right direction.” A push in the right direction also means more collaboration, the kind exhibited by Wilkinson, an effort McGunnigle is leading while on the board for
PHOTOS: BENNY CHAN
SPOTLIGHT FOX HEAD The Fox Head headquarters in Irvine, CA, features a plaza lined with showrooms that resemble storefronts along a shopping district’s main avenue. This central area is daylit with skylights, around which are blankets of white thermal insulation that also provide acoustic dampening in the open space. Collaboration played a major role in the completion of the office project. In addition to the tight timeline—less than nine months— Howard Building Corporation (HBC) worked with architect Clive Wilkinson to incorporate a number of additional unique architectural elements into the formerly vacant facility. “[Wilkinson] was open enough to come to us and say, ‘How would you build this?’” HBC’s Paul McGunnigle says, “so it was a collaborative effort of my team [suggesting various methods and materials] in order to get that effect, and he incorporated those ideas into the design.”
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“There is a resource in the construction end that has not been tapped into ... and I would really like to see that expand.” Paul McGunnigle, Howard Building Corporation
ABOVEThe use of trees inside the workspace reinforces the streetscape-style layout of the office and helps purify the indoor air.
PHOTOS: BENNY CHAN
BELOWBreakout spaces, meeting rooms, and walkways are bathed in red, one of Fox Head’s signature colors. The office also features a sewing room and photo studio.
USGBC-LA. “I think there is a resource in the construction end that has not been tapped into until now,” he says, “and I would really like to see that expand.” Although McGunnigle recognizes that HBC enjoys a more collaborative position than some of its peers, he feels the construction industry in general has been left out of the process. “Historically, we have been dragged along by the design industry, who has secured the commitment from the owner to implement sustainable design,” he says. “Then the general attitude is, ‘Come on, contractor, we want you to do this, we want you to do that.’ There’s been very little outreach to the contractors, and there has been absolutely no incentive for contractors to be proactive in the process, and I think that they are missing opportunities. “Designers who recognize that contractors have [experience],” McGunnigle continues, “will profit by the idea that if you
ask a contractor or subcontractor, ‘What’s the best way to do fill-in-the-blank,’ you’re going to find efficiencies that you didn’t know existed.” Fox Head and HBC’s recent I Heart Radio project are examples of successful collaborations, as is the Herman Miller showroom, the first project in California to receive LEED Platinum certification for Commercial Interiors. As with a current project HBC will soon complete for video games company Riot Games, the Herman Miller showroom is in an old bowstring truss building. “It’s a very popular look out here, but most of the architects really kind of leave it alone,” McGunnigle says. “[But Herman Miller] really made an elegant design with a very rustic background.” Beyond taking responsibility within the construction community to encourage sustainability, HBC does the same in house, encouraging employees to continue relevant education, which the company pays for, along with testing to earn LEED Accredited Professional credentials. “We’re just trying to raise the level of competency of our staff … and make it a positive experience, where they want to do it.” HBC also is a steward to ANEW, a nonprofit that helps companies repurpose unused furniture, further emphasizing McGunningle’s unique approach to sustainability, in which any effort is inherently a collaborative one. gb&d
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SHOW, DON’T TELL The LEED Platinum office of Puerto Rico’s Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón is built to educate clients about design By Joann Plockova In San Juan’s historic Santurce barrio on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, a beautifully preserved, century-old former school looks out toward the main avenue in front of a small plaza. Built in 1904, the structure originally housed the Blanche Kellogg Institute for Women, an institution founded by a relative of the family behind the cereal giant. Following the culmination of the Spanish-American war when Puerto Rico became a US territory, various philanthropic families, in an effort to educate the community, brought a number of initiatives to the island. The school, a missionary initiative, included a chapel along with dormitories. After the school’s eventual closure and a period of abandonment, the building
was later used for government offices and various agencies. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that it was closed completely and sat suffering from neglect. Around 2003, a developer came to the area with a plan for a mixed-use residential and commercial development. Because the building was on the list of historic places, its destruction was not permitted, so the developer built around it. Today, surrounded by that mix of uses, the storied building recently become the new headquarters of architecture and interior design firm Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón (AD&V). Previously renting more typical corporate office space in downtown San Juan, the company—led by Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz and his wife Cristina Villalón— was motivated by the opportunity to continue the unique structure’s preservation and the limitations of their then current environment. With no control over building air-conditioning or the space’s lighting systems, the firm felt limited. The architects would talk to clients about the advantages of LED lighting or more efficient air-conditioning systems. “They would ask, ‘Well, can you show me?’ and we would [have to
Due to restrictions in altering the building’s historic exterior, the architects’ new office uses Solatube daylighting systems to bring natural light into the workspace. OPPOSITEThe office features state-of-the-art lighting controls by Lutron, which are used to educate AD&V’s commercial clients.
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ABOVEIn creating their ideal office, AD&V infused the former boarding school with contemporary furnishings and healthy, highperformance products. The firm hopes to dispel the myth “that if you [go green], you have a certain aesthetic,” Villalón says.
explain our situation],” Álvarez-Díaz says. If he and Villalón truly wanted to educate their clients, he says, they would have to develop a space that not only worked for the design firm, but also became a showcase of the sustainability strategies they often recommended to others. Up and running since June of last year, the firm’s new office is one of a just handful of buildings on the island to achieve LEED certification. What’s more, it is the first architecture office in Latin America to be certified LEED Platinum. “It wasn’t that much more expensive for us to do this,” Álvarez-Díaz says, “and the savings are huge.” The firm spends roughly 40 to 45 percent less on energy than it would in a comparable but less efficient space. It was the unique opportunity to work with a historic building, including an interior that Villalón describes as “a blank canvas,” that allowed AD&V to simultaneously showcase its three divisions: interiors, green initiatives, and architecture. “There was no need to demolish this beautiful structure and build a modern monster just to satisfy our own ego,” Álvarez-Díaz says. “By using a historic property, we were able to, in a very subtle way, represent who we are as a firm.” With their sustainability initiatives divided into two divisions, energy conser-
vation measures and responsible sustainable practices, the architects worked to showcase both sides of sustainability, incorporating low-flow appliances that reduced water use by more than forty-five percent and adding high-efficiency air-handling systems and controls, including inverter air-conditioners. The adaptive reuse brought with it one primary challenge: natural light. According to Villalón, the space’s biggest drawback was that it was relatively dark; the only natural light came in through the front. The architects were not allowed to manipulate most of the building, but they could manipulate the roof, which is how the firm arrived at the idea of solar harvesting. High-efficiency lighting systems by Lutron incorporate occupancy and daylight sensors, and daylight is harvested via Solatube tubular fixtures. “Now the whole space is bathed in natural light,” Villalón says. Highest among the implemented sustainable practices is a recycling policy that became a catalyst for the entire complex. Partnering with the local government, the firm also adopted a composting program, which will be implemented into the complex as well. Their intent is to produce zero waste in the coming year. Aesthetics weren’t comprised. From the get-go, AD&V was determined to dispel the myth “that if you [go green], you have a certain aesthetic that’s not pleasing somehow or has a very granola feel to it,” Villalón says. Designed in the firm’s characteristic modern aesthetic, with pops of color and some industrial hints, “there is nothing granola about this office,” Álvarez-Díaz says. The firm’s enthusiasm for the space is contagious. “I absolutely love this space,” Villalón says. “I feel very proud that … we
PROJECT LOCATION San Juan, Puerto Rico Program O ffice space Size 5,000 ft2 Completion 2013 CertificationLEED Platinum AwardsAIA Puerto Rico, People’s Choice Award
TEAM OWNER/ARCHITECT Álvarez Díaz & Villalón Mechanical Engineer Jorge Ledon Webster Electrical Engineer J.R. Requena & Associates General Contractor Bird Group Commissioning RAP Consulting Engineers
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can showcase a space that can really sell our philosophy—what we believe in and how we work,” she says. What do they believe? That it is their duty to make more responsible choices, through which they can then help their clients do the same. “For me,” Villalon says, “the most rewarding [aspect of the project] is that, without having to preach, we’re educating our clients.” gb&d gbdmagazine.com
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For the transportation moguls at FedEx, sustainability spans from the smallest office spaces to the largest distribution centers By Emma Janzen
Though some FedEx employees drive, bike racks and showers encourage bicycling to and from the center.
FedEx Ground’s official sustainability and fuel department may celebrate its first birthday this November, but the company has been implementing energy-efficient initiatives for much longer than the past 12 months. Paul Melander, the managing director of sustainability, says the department was brought to fruition last year to act as a liaison between corporate and ground departments and to ensure initiatives were running efficiently across the board. “[Sustainability] is something that is core to our business,” Melander says. “We consistently and constantly focus on doing things in a more efficient manner, both in the field and in our buildings. It’s an ongoing effort.” Melander points to four specific components that compose the company’s efforts today: targeting renewable energy sources, reducing waste, cutting back on energy and water consumption, and developing strategic partnerships to ensure vendors and suppliers share their same energy-saving goals. New construction projects, such as the company’s new distribution facility in Redmond, Washington, which achieved LEED Silver certification earlier this year, are outfitted with various efficiency components from day one, and existing buildings are selected for retrofitting based on a number of criteria. With more than 560 facilities in their ground distribution arsenal—and the
Native and drought-tolerant plants make up the majority of the FedEx distribution center’s grounds. Such plantings reduce water and increase wildlife habitat in developed areas.
PHOTOS: CHIP ALLEN (EXTERIOR), STUART ISETT (INTERIOR)
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size of buildings varying dramatically— prioritizing which locations receive the most attention can pose a challenge. “We identify those where we have the greatest opportunities to go back in and do both lighting retrofits while looking for other opportunities,” Melander says. “Whether that is using aerators to reduce water consumption, reducing waste, or removing paper towel holders and putting in air dryers, we are looking at every opportunity possible to be able to reduce waste across our network.” A shining example of FedEx Ground’s current success in these initiatives is the Redmond project. Designed by Freiheit & Ho Architects and developed and owned by SunCap Property Group and PMF Investments, respectively, the 212,000-square-foot behemoth is the largest industrial building in Redmond. Thanks to the use of recycled materials and its reflective white roof, the building scored 18 out of 19 points in the energy-savings category, reducing overall energy consumption by 46 percent. The Redmond distribution center, which also employs water-reduction strategies, is one of many FedEx buildings that exemplify the company’s commitment to sustainability, but the company’s management team is quick to point out that they also work to instill a sense of responsibility throughout their workforce as
ABOVEThis LEED Silver distribution center, which operates 24/7 and was certified earlier this year, is FedEx Ground’s first LEED-certified building. The division operates 560 facilities around the world.
another way to improve efficiencies across the board. Employees are encouraged to limit waste, volunteer in the community outside of work, and engage in internal sustainability networks when possible to
establish a continuing dialogue. At the Redmond facility, bike racks and showers were installed to encourage workers to reduce their individual footprints. It’s a task that becomes easier thanks to the building’s proximity to mass transit. For a business that in many ways operates 24/7, finding even the smallest ways to cut back on energy use can make a big impact, and FedEx Ground is working to make sure its cross-country footprint leaves a little bit less of a mark, one package at a time. gb&d
FedEx’s distribution center in Redmond, WA, features a white roof that saves energy by minimizing solar heat gain.
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THE WATER ISSUE
Hurricane Sandy forces architect Jonathan Marvel to tweak the design of a waterfront development alongside Brooklyn Bridge Park By Joann Plockova
The temporary flooding of Brooklyn Bridge Park forced Marvel Architects to redesign one half of Pierhouse, resulting in a shorter, four-story building and an altered façade.
t the New York Harbor, mist rolls off of the water, the city appearing and disappearing behind it at various intervals. Cloud cover produces dramatic morning and evening skies, which in turn produce a variegated and wholly distinct light. As a watercolor painter with a fondness for marine landscapes, particularly that of the Hudson River School, architect Jonathan Marvel understands the unique quality of the New York Harbor. His engagement with that environment played a key role in Marvel Architects’ design for Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park—even more so once Hurricane Sandy rocked the city during the design phase. The frequency and intensity of severe storms has been on the rise—a result, most scientists agree, of climate change—and among the many effects of climate-related weather events is an increasing understanding that our cities must evolve. Green building no longer is about making an environmental statement, or even strictly about preventing far-off disaster. Today, sustainable design requires responsiveness to new environmental realities. In the case of Pierhouse—adding 109 residential units and one 195-room hotel to a mile-long strip of Brooklyn Bridge Park—the building literally changed shape in the aftermath of 2012’s superstorm.
RENDERINGS: TOLL BROTHERS / MARVEL ARCHITECTS
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD Hurricane Sandy left Brooklyn Bridge Park underwater for hours, and although the park sustained minimal damage, FEMA raised the flood elevation following the storm. Marvel and his design team were forced to go back to the drawing board. (Marvel’s original design had accounted only for the 100-year flood elevation known at the time.) The most dramatic change to the development was that the entire southern building was raised four feet. (The northern building was already slightly higher than its companion.) To prevent a “fortified look,” Marvel incorporated steps, ramps, benches, and planters to mitigate that height difference, using an existing buffer zone the team had created between the sidewalks and the building. Height limitations, gb&d
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Jonathan Marvel, Marvel Architects however, forced the designers to remove a floor from the southern building. “The result was the building got a lot nicer,” Marvel says, indicating that each of the four floors now features higher ceilings. New floodgates that prevent water from entering the below-grade basement, which runs the length of both buildings and houses a 300-car parking garage and support systems for the hotel, including the spa and offices, were also installed. LOCAL CONNECTIONS Slated for LEED Gold certification from the beginning, Pierhouse boasts architecture that always had been intimately connected to its surroundings, in part through the incorporation of locally sourced materials. “Even though the buildings are built from scratch, we wanted to express a sort of ruggedness by reintroducing these original materials wherever we can,” Marvel says. Materials include granite mined from the same quarry as the Brook-
lyn Bridge and granite recycled from bridges that have been taken down in the harbor. Longleaf yellow pine, used for the flooring in the residences, was reclaimed from the warehouses that once ran along the entire waterfront. The residential building also features vertical limestone fins that act as shading devices. “The material is evocative of the geological presence of limestone in the area,” Marvel says, adding that this particular material was also chosen for the residential buildings because it plays off the harbor light. “[Limestone] is kind of a neutral color, so it has the capacity to take on the color of the sky. We really wanted to make the buildings participate in the light of the harbor.” By facing the residential units outward, Marvel and his team strengthened that engagement. “We were given a fairly large site,” Marvel says of the buildable area, which was one hundred feet deep but more than one thousand feet long. “But we decided to occupy as little of that space as possible to give as much square footage back to the park.” They made the building as narrow as possible, and with a single-loaded corridor, oriented its residential units toward the park and the harbor. Further reinforcing the connection between the built and living environments, the park-facing
THIS PAGE The residential units at Pierhouse feature a plethora of green features such as high-efficiency heat pumps and composting systems.
façades feature planted terraces “that step in a very dominant, clear way, connecting the park and bringing it up inside the building,” Marvel says. A drip irrigation system is used to maintain the plantings, while a 30,000-gallon in-ground retention tank captures rainwater runoff for use in the park. “There’s a kind of symbiosis linking the building and the park,” Marvel says. Pierhouse is designed to be as high-performing as possible. Residences feature high-efficiency heat pumps and composting units. “The building is super-tight. We use a lot of passive solar techniques, but in the long run, having the park kind of climb up and down the building became a very important way the building engages the city. Our focus from a design perspective was really connecting the buildings to the park and its harbor with the form of the building.” gb&d RENDERINGS: TOLL BROTHERS / MARVEL ARCHITECTS
“Even though the buildings are built from scratch, we wanted to express a sort of ruggedness by reintroducing these original materials wherever we can.”
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With the Tellus, DC real estate developer Erkiletian builds on its founder’s vision By Mary Beth Rohde
URBAN CORE VALUES PROJECT LOCATION Arlington, VA Program 254 one- and twobedroom apartment units plus retail Size 260,640 ft2 Completion 2014 CertificationLEED Gold (expected) Cost $70.5 million
TEAM OWNER/DEVELOPER Erkiletian, Jefferson Apartment Group ArchitectWDG Architects Interior DesignerCarlyn & Company LEED Consultant Paladino Civil Engineer B ohler Engineering Structural Engineer T adjer, Cohen & Edelson Associates Mechanical Engineer Mechanical Design Group Electrical Engineer P ower Design Landscape Architect ParkerRodriguez General Contractor S.E. Foster
Speaking about his company’s environmentally conscious development philosophy back in 1972, Myron P. Erkiletian said, “We developers are very anxious on a long term basis to work on ecology.” Some 40 years later, his family business continues to manifest this environmental ethic and quest for sustainability with the Tellus, a 16-story, 254-unit apartment building in the heart of Arlington, Virginia. Erkiletian began his construction career at age 24, working on the now-infamous Watergate complex. In 1968, he started his own construction and development company with only $2,000. To date, the eponymous company has developed, built, and now owns more than 8,000 residential units, two million square feet of office space, and nearly one million square feet of commercial space in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Its projects include mixed-use residential communities and the Discovery Communications building in Silver Spring, Maryland. Stefanie Erkiletian, who took over as Erkiletian’s president in 2004, works with her four brothers and 28-year company veteran Bill Denton within the ethical framework her father created: to develop, build, and invest in properties that define a region; to employ responsible and forward-thinking building and management practices; and to promote sustainable practices in harmony with the environment. “We look at this as a responsible approach to development,” Stephanie says. “My father was always environmentally sensitive. He believed in the urban core—locating apartments, offices, and retail buildings within high-density areas so you keep the country in the country and the city in the city.” Erkiletian develops sites in neighborhoods along metropolitan DC’s urban corridors and near public transportation, razing or rehabbing neglected, outdated
buildings. The Tellus, slated for occupancy this summer, replaces a circa-1960, seven-story office building near the Arlington Court House Metro station, rising above a vibrant mix of restaurants, offices, condos, and apartments. “Developing here follows the urban infill approach, where you create density around mass transit hubs and step it down as you enter surrounding neighborhoods. We know this market, and it’s a strong market, so the long-range plan is to focus our development efforts in this region,” says Denton, Erkiletian’s director of development. Stefanie and the company’s development team continually challenge themselves to build on Myron’s vision. “Each time we go through a project, we try to outdo our own expectations in terms of optimizing sustainability,” she says. The Tellus, on track for LEED Gold certification, incorporates natural design elements indoors and out. From the glasswalled lobby, residents glimpse the stepped courtyard plaza behind the building rising 12 feet above 14th Street to link the Tellus grounds to those of the building next door and creating 26,000 square feet of landscaped outdoor space. The courtyard’s Constellation Wall, a public art installation created by Erkiletian’s landscape designer in collaboration with a George Mason University astronomy professor, depicts a star map of the northern hemisphere in laser-cut cor-ten steel, back-lit to create the illusion of the night-time sky. Building amenities include a rooftop pool and sundeck, outdoor terrace, fitness center, business center, and secure parking garage with electric-car-charging stations and bicycle parking. The Zen-inspired interior design features subtle colors, natural wood, and stone finishes to create the feeling of an urban oasis. All apartment units are equipped with energy-saving appliances and recycled countertops and carpet. “My mother and father taught us about the importance of nature and making things last for future generations,” Stephanie says. “It’s been really nice to bring that forward into how we do business.” gb&d gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: STEVE HINDS (INTERIOR)
SPACES LEARN WORK LIVE PLAY
With Zen-inspired interiors featuring subtle colors, natural wood, and stone finishes, the Tellus also offers electric vehicle-charging stations and bicycle parking for tenants.
SPACES LEARN WORK LIVE PLAY
M-22 HOUSE MICHAEL FITZHUGH TRAVERSE CITY, MI
Combining Michael Fitzhugh’s site-specific approach to architecture with the owner’s interest in Eastern philosophy, the M-22 House references all four of Earth’s elements. “When you’re sitting in the living room looking out at the bay, you’ve got earth, wind, water, and fire all within one view,” Fitzhugh says, noting the home’s dynamic hanging fireplaces. Comprised of raw exposed concrete—sandblasted to expose the material’s natural aggregate and countered with the use of western red cedar—and a LEEDcertified composite siding, the home also features a green roof and a geothermal heatingand-cooling system. And in the home’s lowerlevel spa, two soaking tubs are used as heat reservoirs to preheat hot water via heat-exchange loops—a tactic, Fitzhugh says, “to pick up energy wherever we can.” gb&d
San Diego International Airport fills the planet’s first LEED Platinum airport terminal with responsive escalators and intelligent controls By Peter Fabris
The building team for San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 2 expansion and renovation didn’t set out to create the world’s first LEED Platinum-certified commercial airport terminal. The initial goal was LEED Silver, but with the cost of significant sustainable elements within budget, architects and other specialists at HNTB, AECOM, and general contracting joint venture Turner/PCL/Flatiron realized that they could aim higher. “It was obvious at an early date that we could reach Gold,” says Bob Bolton, the airport’s director of design and construction. “Near the end of the design phase, it started to look like we could get close to Platinum. We didn’t want to go public with that, though, because you never know if you can achieve it until you get
official notification from the USGBC.” Guided by rigorous cost-benefit analyses, this Platinum project demonstrates that LEED’s top designation is within reach for airport terminal projects anywhere. In large airport terminals, electric motors for escalators, baggage handling equipment, and pumps and air-handlers for HVAC systems are among the biggest energy hogs. Terminal 2 employs highly efficient variable-speed models for all of these systems. “We received special state approval to install new escalators that slow down when not in use,” Bolton says of the Otis escalators, which use sensors to determine when a person is approaching. (Importantly, the escalator increases speed before, not after, the person sets foot on the first step—a significant safety
PHOTOS: TIM GRIFFITH (EXTERIOR), MARBLE STREET STUDIO (INTERIOR)
S PA C E S P L AY
LOCATION San Diego, CA Program C ommercial airport terminal expansion and renovation Size 460,000 ft2 Completion 2013 Certification L EED Platinum Awards American Public Works Association San Diego & Imperial Counties Chapter Public Works Project of the Year; American Society of Civil Engineers San Diego Section Project of the Year; Construction Management Association of America San Diego Chapter Project Achievement Award Cost $ 411 million
OWNER San Diego International Airport Authority Architect / Civil Engineer HNTB Structural Engineer JAMA (John A. Martin & Associates) Mechanical EngineerURS Electrical Engineer WSP Flack & Kurtz Program Manager AECOM LEED Consultants AEC and Drew George & Partners Landscape Architect HNTB General ContractorTurner/PCL/ Flatiron (joint venture)
ABOVETerminal 2’s atrium is almost entirely daylit, surrounded by windows and a multistory curtainwall featuring high-performance glazing. BELOWThe new terminal, which is LEED Platinum certified, is the largest building project ever undertaken at the San Diego airport. The 470,000-square-foot project added 10 new gates.
SPACES LEARN WORK LIVE PLAY
feature.) Two other green systems are unique to airport applications: a 400-hertz aircraft power supply and pre-conditioned air supplies. Both feed airplanes at the gates from the building, eliminating the need for planes to run engines between arrival and departure. This both saves jet fuel and improves air quality. The building was designed with rooftop solar panels in mind, but how they would be paid for wasn’t settled until later in the project’s development. The most cost-effective option turned out to be a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Borrego Solar Systems. The airport authority avoids spending capital to buy the
ABOVEWhat little artificial lighting Terminal 2 needs is controlled via sophisticated systems. Such automation can pay for itself in nine months, says HNTB’s Tom Rossbach. BELOWOnly the most efficient escalators and baggage handlers were installed. Escalators slow down when not in use and use motion sensors to determine when visitors approach.
PHOTOS: MARBLE STREET STUDIO
Piling Oldcastle Precast Concrete C MC Steel Arizona Structural Steel S huff Steel Company Interior Architectural Woodwork ISEC Composite Wall Panels S ierra Aluminum Company Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Clark Pacific Weather Barrier D upont Thermal Insulation International Cellulose Corporation Hollow Metal Doors and Frames Steelcraft PVC Roofing S arnafil Window Wall System E n-Wall, Viracon SealantsDow Corning, USG Interior GlazingPilkington, GlasPro Glass Entrances K awneer, Viracon Interior Paint S herman Williams CarpetInterfaceFlor Portland Cement P lastering Interior STO Acoustical CeilingsUSG, Certainteed Gypsum Board Cemco Steel (framing), Certain Teed, Georgia Pacific Terrazzo FlooringTerrazzo Marble and Supply, Heritage Glass, White Cap Supply Stone Tile RBC Tile Distributers Baggage Handling System S iemens BHS Conveying Systems O tis Electrical Systems Square D HVAC Systems T rane, ABB, Bell & Gossett, Greenheck
Th e G r e e n B u i l d - S A N Te r m inal 2 West Building & Air side Exp a n si on
Proud builders of the first commercial airport terminal in the world to achieve LEED Platinum!
MAKING THE CONNECTION
As a leader in managing, designing and constructing sustainable infrastructure projects, AECOM helps airports—large and small—stay competitive in today’s dynamic marketplace. We are ranked as the Top Design Firm in 2014 and #1 in Airports for 7 of the last 8 years by Engineering News-Record.
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BELOWLow-flow and energy-saving fixtures were specified throughout the terminal, even for Jim Campbell’s art installation, The Journeys, which uses 37,000 LED lights (far left).
panels, and its electric rates are locked in for the full 20-year term. The solar array will provide one megawatt of electricity to the building, accounting for 12.5 percent of the terminal’s electrical needs for an estimated $4-8 million of savings over the next 20 years. Thanks to the energy-efficiency and solar power elements, the project received the maximum 17 points in LEED’s Energy and Atmosphere category. Some leading-edge green options did not make the cut. “We did an analysis very early in the program on geothermal and thermal energy storage for hot water, but the payback was not optimal,” says Tom Rossbach, a principal at HNTB. A rainwater capture system couldn’t be justified either, given San Diego’s low annual rainfall. Some systems, by contrast, were no-brainers: “Lighting controls can pay off in as [little] as nine months,”
“It was obvious at an early date that we could reach Gold. Near the end, it started to look like we could get close to Platinum.” Bob Bolton, San Diego International Airport Rossbach says, and “LED lighting can pay for itself in one year.” Other notable green features include white reflective roofing, drought-tolerant landscaping, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and shaded fenestration for the large atrium, with darker glass near the top and lighter glass at the bottom to reduce heat gain. gb&d
PHOTOS: MARBLE STREET STUDIO (TERMINAL, RESTROOM), FRANK ROGOZIENSKI (EXTERIOR, LIGHTS)
ABOVESite features include drought-tolerant landscaping and a reflective roof, which save water and reduce solar heat gain, respectively.
HNTB leads aviation terminal design.
HNTB has helped airport terminals across the country be more sustainable. Our San Diego International Airport Terminal 2 West expansion project is the world’s first commercial terminal to receive the LEED® Platinum certification. We help our clients achieve their goals through every phase of the project.
TO BRING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN TO YOUR TERMINAL, CONTACT US: Laddie Irion HNTB National Aviation Practice Leader email@example.com
Tom Rossbach HNTB National Director of Aviation Architecture firstname.lastname@example.org
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Crate and Barrel Designs a Cooler Store The home furnishings company reduces its environmental footprint with new lighting systems that save on cooling costs
PHOTOS: PETER BRENTLINGER
By Emma Janzen
ABOVE Crate and Barrel’s Carrefour Laval store outside Montreal features LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and controls for both.
ne of America’s favorite stores is shedding new light on sustainability. Home furnishings company Crate and Barrel has long had a robust recycling program, and now stores, corporate officers, and warehouses are being retrofitted with new energy-saving systems—primarily in the lighting arena—to further the company’s sustainability goals. The initiatives started just over three years ago, in part to relieve the high energy loads stores generated from incandescent track lighting systems. “We had incredible electric loads and HVAC loads to compensate for all the lighting,” says Anthony Garippo, vice president of architecture and construction at Crate and Barrel. “The heat load generated in the store by the lights made it barely necessary to use heat in the system because there was so much.” Although new construction implements 18-watt LED track lighting from progressive companies like Juno Lighting Group, Crate & Barrel also aims to update
most of its stores in the United States and Canada within the next three years (and will soon move to even more efficient 12-watt bulbs). To date, energy costs have been reduced by about 20 percent, Garippo says, and, as a result, HVAC loads have been approximately cut in half. With more than 100 stores in Crate and Barrel’s portfolio, change happens gradually, but the company makes improvements with every new store. For example, when the location in Carrefour Laval, just outside of Montreal, opened in 2012, new lighting and HVAC controls were added to better regulate the store—in addition to the new track lighting. Lighting systems have been tweaked in the back-of-house operations at warehouses and distribution centers as well. Onethousand-watt bulbs are being replaced with more efficient 400-watt ones, and the lights that line warehouse aisles illuminate on a sensor system, activated only by nearby activity. Emilio Nini, a director at Sajo, which handled the full interior fit-out at the
OPPOSITE The company is working to replace the track lighting at the majority of its US and Canada locations with 18-watt LEDs within three years. It plans to move to 12-watt LED fixtures in the near future.
Carrefour Laval location of Crate and Barrel, believes the company’s efforts to be more sustainable are commendable. “We all know the [energy-efficient] materials cost more, initially. But in the long term, it does end up costing less with the ongoing operations,” he says. “[Crate and Barrel] are the leaders when it comes to efficiency.” Since activating its sustainability plans, Crate and Barrel has achieved LEED certification at five locations, an achievement that Garippo calls an honor but not the driving reason behind the company’s change. “In our minds, we are doing it anyway,” he says. “But it’s nice to get that pat on the back.” gb&d november–december 2014
Crate & Barrel and Juno Lighting Group… Working together for a more sustainable world As one of the nation’s leading retailers of housewares and furnishings, Crate & Barrel strives to be in tune with the needs of its customers and the world at large. From product design to store interiors, they are committed to serving the interests of today’s eco-aware consumer by minimizing the environmental impact of their operations. In the pursuit of sustainable practices, Crate & Barrel has enlisted the help of Juno Lighting Group to equip its retail stores with high-performance lighting fixtures that are both energy and resource efficient. Juno Lighting Group’s product line includes LED track, recessed, and outdoor fixtures that use just a fraction of the energy of conventional lighting. And in typical retail applications, they offer ten or more years of maintenance-free operation. Eco-friendly LEDs contain no harmful mercury, lead, or other toxins and are UV/IR free. Juno Lighting Group would like to help you achieve your sustainability goals, too. Visit our Web site to learn how our LED lighting products can reduce your energy and maintenance costs while supporting your efforts to be a responsible steward of the environment.
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
148 Welcome to the Office Park
In Baltimore, neglected parkland becomes a LEED Platinum workspace
151 Cracking the Chinese Market
JLL’s Parker White proves that energy efficiency is in demand overseas
152 IceStone’s Unlikely Comeback
After Sandy, the countertop maker claws its way back to the top
156 Industry Accelerator
Measuring Build Smart NY’s impact in the private and public sectors
159 Money Talks
Steve Schueth on the ripple effect of sustainable investing
160 Regime Change
Examining Greenwood Energy’s renewable alternative to coal
Welcome to the Office Park Turning a piece of neglected parkland into the LEED Platinum headquarters of a Baltimore nonprofit By Russ Klettke
Several decades ago, overzealous road building in Baltimore cut off a triangular, nine-acre section of a circa-1860 park, rendering it useless and allowing a 19th-century stone home to be gradually consumed by vegetation. To begin a 21st-century reclamation and renovation of the home and site—which, with the addition of two new buildings, will become the LEED Platinum headquarters for Baltimore’s Parks & People Foundation—the project developers hired an usual group: goats. “The site was overgrown with vines and poison ivy,” recalls Steve Ziger, a principal at Ziger/Snead Architects, the firm overseeing the
revitalization of the site and buildings, known as Druid Hill Park at Auchentoroly Terrace. “Goats eat everything in an environmentally friendly way.” Only once the vines around the existing building (formerly the park superintendent’s home) were gone could the firm analyze the integrity of the structure. There was good reason to be wary: The entire roof and interior floors had collapsed from neglect and fires, and some of the exterior walls were in bad shape as well. Project leadership had to prove to the Maryland Historical Trust that the building was salvageable. But Ziger, along with Parks &
THIS SPREADThe new Parks & People headquarters in Baltimore will utilize a renovated 150-year-old former park superintendent’s house (opposite) and add two LEED Platinum buildings (below).
People, which is helping restore the property, persevered. The team was able to keep the exterior walls (with tuck-pointing and bracing), restyle the interior to serve Parks & People’s needs, and even recreate gingerbread trim from what was found in the ruins and old photographs. The LEED Platinum certification is in keeping with Parks & People’s mission. The 30-year-old nonprofit links natural urban resources with the physical and social needs of city residents. By headquartering itself in this economically challenged neighborhood—the community adjacent to the site has an average household income of less than $25,000 per year—
Steve Ziger What is it about Parks & People that has driven your nearly 20-year involvement? Parks & People is recognized as a thought leader, providing a system of community engagement and an investment in neighborhood projects. We support community leaders in greening and environmental stewardship projects. What are some of the accomplishments of Parks & People? Citywide, the comprehensive vision is One Park. It’s a green network of open spaces and a lot of different things: tree planting, stormwater management, bike trails, and community gardens. It is designed to connect people to the green spaces and recreational amenities around the city.
staff and resources are better linked to much of what the organization stands for. “This is central to the city and yet part of a real neighborhood,” says Ziger, who also serves on the foundation’s board of directors. The campus, which will house 50 employees plus visitors and volunteers and offer a publicly accessible ecology center, reading rooms, demonstration gardens, and walking paths, is at a confluence of several public transportation lines, bike and pedestrian trails, and a linkage of parks and green spaces that make up Baltimore’s “One Park” system. The renovated building and an adjacent carriage house achieved gb&d
You have a research arm called the Urban Resources Initiative—what is it and what does it produce? It’s an incubator for best practices in natural resource management, where our relationships with the Yale School of Forestry and other colleges provide interns who conceive and pilot projects. Some results are the Gwynns Falls Trail, a 15-mile green path for bikes and pedestrians. Another is the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, which examines the dynamic between people and their urban environment.
several environmental goals. Of 200 existing trees on site, a majority of the healthy trees were preserved. Geothermal wells support interior climate controls, solar panels heat the water, and reclaimed and rapidly renewable wood is being used for cladding and solar shading. Community composting is in development while demonstration gardens and walking paths serve important education functions. Stormwater management is a particularly important part of this program. On its hilly site, the nine-acre property falls within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, subject to stringent Maryland standards for reducing toxic runoff into that fragile ecosystem. The project goes above and beyond to capture stormwater on site, surpassing mandates with several tactics. Installed at various points on and around the buildings were five separate bioretention facilities, a vegetated roof, rainwater-harvesting cisterns, porous paving, reinforced turf, and a sand filter. Requirements for water quality and groundwater
“[The office location] is central to the city and yet part of a real neighborhood.” Steve Ziger, Ziger/Snead Architects
recharge volumes—measures of how water is held and discharged via the natural aquifer—were surpassed by more than 90 percent, according to STV, the project’s lead civil engineer. Finally, about a quarter mile of one street lane on the perimeter of the project, that same street that cut the area off several decades ago, was converted to bike lanes and bioretention facilities to treat stormwater runoff. It turns out those wide streets were overbuilt all along. gb&d november–december 2014
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Enlighted Lighting Controls Lighting Controls by Enlighted save energy through a combination of task tuning, occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, and demand response. However, typical energy savings of 50-70% are just the tip of the iceburg. A better environment means more than saved kilowatt hours or carbon emissions. It also means more personal, friendly, people-smart environments for occupants. Enlighted’s data analytics engine helps facility managers plan beyond energy bills. Floorplan optimization tools, proactive maintenance, and the added security of a real time view of the building impact the cost of rent and upkeep. And Enlighted’s fixture control and space booking apps contribute to higher occupant productivity and comfort. Enlighted’s holistic approach to designing tomorrow’s green buildings is setting the pace for sustainability goals from Finance to HR to every individual employee. To learn more visit enlightedinc.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
9 3 0 B E N E C I A AV E N U E , S U N N Y VA L E C A 9 4 0 8 5
Cracking the Chinese Market JLL’s Parker White proves that opportunities for energy efficiency exist in developing regions By Zach Baliva
In 2006, Parker White showed up to the airport with two suitcases and a one-way ticket to Shanghai. He had never been to China. He didn’t speak Mandarin. And he didn’t have friends or family in the region. Born and raised in Tennessee, White started working full time at the age of 16 and later found himself working in a sales role with a national residential developer at the height of the housing bubble. White saw the recession coming and wanted to gain international experience. After struggling to find an open position that didn’t require international work experience, he enrolled in a program that provided Chinese work visas. In Shanghai, White got by on broken Mandarin and inexpensive meals of rice and street meat until he found a job as a commercial real estate broker for a global real estate services firm. Things were moving quickly, and managers put White on a team that developed a strategy for the first multitenant commercial development in China to implement a fledgling program that promised to cut costs and increase efficiencies—LEED. Fast-forward to 2014. White is a sustainability director for global professional services and investment management company JLL (formerly known as Jones Lang LaSalle) and vice president in its Smart Building division. He has improved his Mandarin, and in 2009, he partnered with environmentalist Peggy Liu to work with JUCCCE developing the official Energy Smart City management training curriculum delivered to China’s mayors as part of a mandatory leadership training program managed by the Chinese central government. When conventional wisdom in the commercial real estate world said sustainability wasn’t worth pursuing in developing markets, White gb&d
Energy savings achieved by Parker White’s energy and sustainability services team in China and North Asia
“The amount of data generated by buildings is tremendous. The integration of that data with services and systems is the future.” Parker White, JLL
set out to prove that the opposite is true. In 2010, he started JLL’s energy and sustainability services (ESS) business in China and North Asia. In just three years, White grew his team from two people to six dedicated specialists supported by 15 engineers and 60 trained LEED professionals. The ESS team delivered two million square feet of LEED-certified real estate, $9 million in identified or achieved energy savings, and 20 megawatts in rooftop solar services. They also tied 42 buildings into an advanced monitoring and reporting platform and applied a new approach to how buildings are treated. “We found success almost immediately,” White says, “because we treated a building like the ecosystem it is and worked closely with building vendors to ensure all systems were aligned.” Enlighted, Inc., for instance, provided intelligent sensors that collect energy consumption, occupancy, and environmental data while controlling light fixtures based on available ambient light and occupant preference. Unlike other firms, JLL has inhouse expertise to support global companies. “We have the ability to provide consistent quality standards in all locations, and our methods bring real results,” White says. Those results have been good for JLL, too; the ESS division doubled its business every year for the first three years and quickly turned a profit. “We’re not the first to try sustainability in China,” White says. “But we do it differently. We’ve actually created a model that turned into a viable business. Our competitors have remade their approach or left the region altogether. We’re staying.” When industry analysts said sustainable businesses wouldn’t succeed in developing markets, White looked for unorthodox ways to make sustainability work. When he real-
ized that increasing electricity costs in developing markets and supportive government regulations had set things in motion, he focused on creating energy services that would bring financial returns quickly. “The perception that energy services require a premium investment is a general misconception,” he says. Once he made a straight business case built on analysis of returns-on-investment, the ESS started to take off. Although China’s economy is slowing, JLL continues to do well in the region as clients look to reduce costs and governments put requirements on clean energy. White’s ESS services are increasingly in demand. Meanwhile, White has relocated to New York to develop solutions that support the company’s Smart Building business. The Smart Building division is still in its infancy, but White is working on projects like IntelliCommand, a software-as-service product that uses a cloud-based analytics platform integrated with on-the-ground facility management staff. Algorithms anticipate and address problems in commercial buildings before they arise. The system analyzes data on energy, lighting, heating, air-conditioning, ventilation, and cooling and allows for around-the-clock monitoring and controlling from a remote location. Made for a scale that few companies other than JLL possess, the platform currently manages 6.6 billion points of data per year. “The amount of data generated by buildings is tremendous,” White says, “and the integration of that data with services and systems to deliver better performance is the future.” gb&d
IceStone’s Unlikely Comeback The countertop maker claws its way back to the top after the Great Recession and Hurricane Sandy By Julie Schaeffer
IceStone makes countertops from glass reclaimed from the waste stream using a lowheat manufacturing process and greywater recycling.
IceStone, which manufactures countertops from recycled glass, cement, and non-toxic pigments, is the ultimate sustainable manufacturing company: It pulls recycled glass from the waste stream and uses a low-heat manufacturing process with a greywater-recycling system that reclaims approximately 90 percent of the water used. Machines are lubricated with soy-based products to reduce dependence on petroleum. The factory is even daylit. When he stepped in, LaMagna rallied the other investors to implement an aggressive employee-empowerment policy. Empowering employees, in this case, meant paying a living wage, making all employees owners in the company, offering profit sharing, and providing job and health security. IceStone raised its hourly wage to $15 and began paying for 70 percent of employee healthcare costs (with the goal of upping it to 100 percent once the company became profitable). Investors unanimously agreed to give 10 percent of the company to employees.
RIGHTDal LaMagna and other investors saved IceStone from closing its doors in 2011. Today, LaMagna is president, CEO, and CFO of the countertop manufacturer.
“We were at the door of becoming profitable when Hurricane Sandy slammed it shut.” Dal LaMagna, IceStone
LaMagna embedded employees in every level of decision-making. He and another investor, both managing partners, welcomed a third managing partner—one of the now-employee-owners who was selected by peers. It’s a powerful position, LaMagna says. If the initial partners disagree, the employee gets the winning vote. LaMagna also set up an executive committee of five department heads, including himself, to run the day-to-day operations and a steering committee of 11 employees to make other decisions. “In those early days, I ran the company like a school,” says LaMagna, who taught classes about the company’s financials. “[Employees] came to understand that one reason the company was losing money was there was too much overhead, and in response, they started coming with all kinds of ways to save money.” The environment changed dramatically. IceStone lowered its monthly breakeven from $600,000 to $350,000 within a year. By October 2012, it was losing just $10,000 gbdmagazine.com
PHOTOS: FLOTO + WARNER (PORTRAIT), SHADOWLIGHT
When Dal LaMagna first began investing in IceStone in 2003, the countertop manufacturer was poised for success. Within a few years, however, it fell victim to the 2008 economic collapse—which caused a meltdown in the construction industry—and by 2011, it was ready to close its doors. But LaMagna and several other socially conscious investors saw a business worth saving. “The company had perfected the product, and the construction industry was reawakening, so I stepped in, and 58 of our 81 investors came up with another $1.2 million to provide a financial runway,” LaMagna says. He also orchestrated the company’s transition and went from investor to president, CEO, and CFO. This wasn’t an unfamiliar role for LaMagna, who had retired from the business world after founding and running Tweezerman, a beauty products company, for 25 years. IceStone also was a passion project for LaMagna, who invests solely in companies with a social impact.
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How to Make IceStone
Inside the Brooklyn operation
Step 2 Place the mix into large molds sized 52.5 inches wide, 96 inches high, and 1.4 inches deep.
Step 3 Vibrate the mixture in the molds to remove air bubbles and evenly distribute the glass.
Step 4 Place the molds in a kiln. Cure them for 18 hours with high heat and 100-percent relative humidity.
Step 5 Remove the panels from the molds and calibrate their backsides by removing the necessary cement to make the panels even in both directions.
Step 6 Send the panels through a polishing machine with 14 heads, ordered from rougher to finer grains. ABOVEIceStone’s final product is Cradle to Cradle Silver certified and contributes to LEED points for recycled content and innovation in design.
a month versus $250,000 a month when LaMagna took over. This wouldn’t last long, however. Another catastrophe was on its way. “We were at the door of becoming profitable,” LaMagna says, “when Hurricane Sandy slammed it shut.” After the hurricane, IceStone’s Brooklyn manufacturing facility, including $6 million worth of equipment containing 5,000 electrical components, was under five feet of
water. “I thought it was game over,” LaMagna says. IceStone’s 38 employees, however, volunteered to manually dismantle every piece of equipment and examine the electrical components, determining which could be dried and which had to be replaced. LaMagna agreed to let them try and, for his part, guaranteed a $988,000 Small Business Administration disaster loan, which the company used to buy spare parts and pay employees while they were rebuilding the factory. It took five months—a significant
Step 7 Run two levels of quality control, measuring for thickness and visual imperfections, ultimately separating the panels into finished goods, samples, and rejects.
Step 8 Apply penetrating sealer.
length of time for IceStone. “People don’t go around buying countertops like they buy tweezers,” LaMagna says. “They buy countertops months in advance, so we lost past and future business during that period of down time.” The good news was that rebuilding the factory helped IceStone improve efficiency, particularly in its batching plant. In the old days, a mixer was operated by one employee, “a wizard,” LaMagna says, “who knew how much glass went in from his years and years of experience.” Now, the mixer is computerized, with glass and additives automatically fed into it. This made it possible to run multiple shifts, which has allowed IceStone to drop its prices by 30 percent. The upgrades were crucial. Over the years, competitors have entered the market with surface products made from glue instead of cement in emerging markets such as China. “It’s essentially plastic, but it’s cheaper, and the big commercial developers were using it,” LaMagna says. “IceStone still isn’t as cheap as that stuff, but it’s not double the price, either, so we’re back in the business of being able to do big projects, and we’ve clawed our way back to almost breaking even again.” After Hurricane Sandy, LaMagna and the company’s other investors agreed that when the investors recoup their investment in the company, the employees’ ownership will double to 20 percent. LaMagna expects that day to come within three years due, in part, to an increased desire in the United States to buy American-made goods, especially sustainably manufactured ones. Meanwhile, he says, “you have to continue to emphasize employee empowerment, turning every employee into an entrepreneur and many of them into leaders.” gb&d gbdmagazine.com
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Industry Accelerator Measuring Build Smart NY’s long-term impact in the private and public sectors Interview by Anne Michelsen
gb&d: Your job requires you to coordinate with more than 46 agencies and their staff. What process did you use to develop guidelines for such a massive program? Lloyd Kass: It was very much a participatory process. On numerous occasions during the summer of 2013, we engaged large numbers of agency representatives in productive, faceto-face discussion. It was very much a bottom-up, top-down exchange of ideas. Where possible, we pulled from prior experience. The New York Power Authority has been investing hundreds of millions in public-sec-
Snapshot Build Smart NY
Percent increase in energy efficiency anticipated in stateowned buildings by 2020
Millions of square feet of infrastructure involved, including universities, prisons, office buildings, hospitals, and mass-transit facilities
Millions of dollars saved in the first year (most of the projects will pay for themselves)
Thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions avoided in year one (equal to taking 25,000 cars off the road)
Build Smart NY, a program designed to accelerate energy efficiency efforts, encompasses nearly 50 New York state agencies and institutions.
tor energy-efficiency projects for two decades. We also pulled from best practices and the experiences of other states and cities. We learned from everybody. When you’re trying to move quickly, there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. gb&d: How do you prioritize projects? Kass: Our methodology is based on best practices. It’s really data driven. You look at where the energy use is greatest, where the risk of increase is greatest, and where opportunities exist. We’ve identified two levels of prioritization. Where facilities and equipment are in good stead, we focus on better operations, and we have a data-driven method to do that. In other instances, where infrastructure investment is necessary, we identify the most critical needs. We focus largely on the agencies
with the highest energy costs. It all comes down to dollars and cents. gb&d: What types of projects offer the lowest-hanging fruit? Kass: Lighting is a big one. We’re increasingly moving to LED technology because the economics are so attractive, the lighting quality is good, and the reliability is there. Also, boilers and chillers are prime upgrade candidates, and we do a lot of work with building control systems. You can really have more granular control with these systems. You can accomplish more with fewer staff when buildings are controlled automatically, allowing agencies to redeploy resources to other aspects of their businesses. gb&d: How do you see the program affecting New York’s economy? gbdmagazine.com
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In December 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo initiated Build Smart NY, the largest state-government energy-efficiency program in the United States. Lloyd Kass, the director of Build Smart NY at the New York Power Authority and an adjunct professor at Columbia University in New York, spoke to us about the challenges and thrills of running the ambitious program.
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ABOVELehman College in the Bronx is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Such institutions fall under the Build Smart NY umbrella.
Kass: I think in a number of ways. Build Smart NY is about accelerating activity. There’s been a solid services and construction industry around energy projects in New York for some time. Build Smart NY is opening things up more. There are demonstration projects galore coming out of this for emerging technologies. The private sector can borrow from this just as the public sector borrows from them, and there’s further investment by the private companies as well. I think it’s steadily encouraging growth and investment in the building-energy technology sectors in New York. New York Power Authority is encouraging private-sector partnerships and technology development through complimentary programs like our Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative (EE-INC). The Build Smart NY program and the spotlight we shine on the agencies are all contributing to that.
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Kass: Seeing government bringing solutions to scale. New York is a big state. Everyone is pitching in, and it’s happening simultaneously and organically. It’s exciting to witness the groundswell of activity. The buyin has been very gratifying. People see Build Smart NY increasingly as a core part of their business and appreciate how it enhances what they’re already doing. gb&d
“There are demonstration projects galore coming out of this. The private sector can borrow from this just as the public sector borrows from them.” Lloyd Kass, New York Power Authority gbdmagazine.com
PHOTO: EDUARD HUEBER, COURTESY OF PERKINS+WILL
gb&d: What do you consider your biggest triumph to date?
Money Talks Steve Schueth on the ripple effect of sustainable investing Interview by Julie Schaeffer
Many consider the greatest challenge in green building to be the choice between the environmental option and the economical one, but that’s a dichotomy that’s consistently been proven false. In the investing world, there’s a similar false dichotomy: making a profit versus being socially responsible. Steve Schueth, the president of First Affirmative Financial Network and an investment manager with a portfolio of more than $885 million, says it’s possible to do both. gb&d: What attracted you to socially conscious investing? Steve Schueth: I’ve been in financial services since 1977, except for a
BELOWInvestor Steve Schueth served as director of development for the Wharton School for three years. While there, he fell in love with impact investing.
brief three-year hiatus, during which I worked as director of development at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. While there, I met two Wharton alums who had founded Calvert Investments, a mutual-fund pioneer in the sustainable, responsible, impact-investment industry. In conversation with them, I began to realize that making money just to make money wasn’t all that interesting to me anymore. Once I moved to Calvert and got involved in conversations with clients about what they care about, I got increasingly excited about helping investors connect the dots between their values and their money, assisting them in embracing their purpose in life and becoming more fully actuated human beings. I started spending all my waking hours working with investors who are interested in putting money to work to create a truly sustainable future. We are directing the flow of capital in a way that’s transformative. gb&d: How does your business work?
Schueth: Most clients are introduced to us through a network of financial advisors in local markets. They turn to First Affirmative when appropriate to manage a client’s portfolio. We also work directly with large institutional accounts. For each client, we customize accounts to the best of our ability. For small accounts—$50,000 to $300,000—we will generally recommend a managed mutual fund that will own 18 to 20 funds. We have a variety of models designed for different levels of market risk, and we offer faith-based models and fossil-fuel-free models that more accurately reflect the values and priorities of certain clients. As we get into larger accounts, we have a robust, unified-managed-account program that customizes at three
levels. At the first level, we diversify the account across asset classes: large-cap equity, fixed income, real estate, etcetera. At the second level, we allocate assets across investment managers—we have 25 managers and about 75 investment strategies. At the third level, we can add avoidance criteria at the client-account level, so if you tell me you don’t want to ever own a particular company or companies, those companies will never get into your portfolio. Sometimes clients don’t want one stock, like Walmart. Others choose to side-step a larger group of companies, like fossil-fuel-extraction companies. gb&d: What’s the impact of what you do? Schueth: Visualize a continuum. On one end, you have directly impactful investments, like putting money into a startup company. That’s risky business. We operate on the other end of the spectrum, populating client accounts with publicly traded securities. There, the impact story is more focused on shareowner advocacy. When hundreds of thousands of investors vote our proxies in support of key social, environmental, and governance issues, it’s a powerful way to encourage the company to be a more responsible corporate citizen. If we can get 40 percent of the vote, which has happened often this proxy season, that’s meaningful. It gets management’s attention and often results in dramatic changes in the way a company behaves and the impacts on the world around them. Consider Walmart: It’s still a highly controversial company from a responsible investing perspective, but a few years ago, it started asking its suppliers to embrace sustainability, especially in reducing packaging, and the positive ripple effects have been phenomenal. gb&d november–december 2014
Regime Change Does a renewable alternative made from industrial byproducts signal an end to coal? By Peter Fabris
Last year, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced tougher air-quality standards for industrial and commercial coal-fired power plants that will require them to use maximum achievable control technology (MACT) to reduce acid gas and mercury emissions. To be compliant, coal-burning power plants would have to spend millions on new equipment, and this could make coal too expensive for many users. The EPA’s actions may very well accelerate the energy industry’s move to cleaner fuels. Greenwood Energy is at the forefront of this movement, offering services to power utilities for developing greener power technologies including biomass, fuel cells, natural gas, solar, and hydro. Interestingly, Greenwood also produces a solid, combustible fuel for small-scale, coal-fired plants used to power manufacturing plants and institutional campuses. A Greenwood factory in Green Bay, Wisconsin, converts non-recyclable paper and plastic byproducts of various manufacturing processes into pellets that closely emulate the energy, storage, and
ABOVEDennis Loria (top) and Scott Whitney are at the forefront of alternative energy. One product they are behind is a pellet made from manufacturing byproducts (below).
handling characteristics of coal. “The pellets have about the same energy value per pound as bituminous coal, but are significantly lower in sulfur and mercury emissions,” says Scott Whitney, the CEO of Greenwood Renewable Fuels, the company’s pellet-making division. The pellets fuel furnaces designed for coal with, in most cases, only minor modifications to existing fuel-feed systems, operating parameters, and environmental permits. “Our pellets are certified by the US EPA as a non-waste fuel. The feedstock has never been in anyone’s trash can,” Whitney says. “It is not subject to EPA waste incinerator regulations and is classified as a renewable fuel by the states of Ohio and Wisconsin.” The result is a renewable fuel made from non-recyclable material that would otherwise end up in landfills. The Green Bay plant produces 250 tons of fuel per day that is trucked to large manufacturing plants and university central-power facilities. However, the plant actually has the capacity to produce nearly twice its
current output. Greenwood’s customer base is mostly made up of small- and medium-sized coal or solid-fuel boilers to whom Greenwood can supply anywhere from 20 tons to several hundred tons of fuel pellets per day. Greenwood’s other areas of business also move power generation in a greener direction. The company is developing utility-scale solar-power plants in the United States as well as several Latin American countries. “There is tremendous potential for solar power in Latin America—particularly in Mexico, Panama, and Chile,” says Dennis Loria, Greenwood’s senior vice president of project development. In those areas with high solar insolation and where conventional fuel sources have to be imported, solar can be cost competitive even without government incentives. Advances in battery technology and manufacturing could provide a boost to solar adoption domestically, Loria says, as the ability to store sun-generated power would address many of the current utility integration concerns. California’s AB 2514 law requiring 2,000 megawatts of storage in the state by 2024 will help kick-start the battery market. “The technology is there now, but the cost is still a challenge for most applications,” Loria says. Greenwood’s work in developing small-scale cogeneration and fuel-cell plants is also nudging power generation closer to sustainability. Other renewable technologies, such as anaerobic digestion gas produced from organic waste, could be in the company’s future. Indeed, wherever there is an opportunity for greener power generation, you might just find Greenwood. gb&d
PHOTO: CALEB FOX
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9/11 Memorial Plaza, New York, NY In the footprint of the Twin Towers, Memorial Pools cascade to the depths below. Six acres of surrounding trees thoughtfully double as a living roof to the underground. ILDâ€™s renowned inspectors made certain the entire plaza was watertight.
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GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN
Up Front Typology Trendsetters Approach Inner Workings Features Spaces Next Punch List
164 Person of Interest
Mayer Dahan on working for the social good
166 In Progress
Waterproofing the massive green roof that is Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park
170 Hot Topic
Michele Steinberg of the NFPA on how to reduce risks posed by wildland fires
New green products from ventilation to security
173 Discussion Board
What message should we send to young women?
174 Material World
The green benefits of Phifer’s SheerWeave 4000 series
176 On the Spot
Guest editor Liz Davey on necessary jargon and Make It Right
Person of Interest Mayer Dahan
A rare combination of luxury property developer, green builder, and philanthropist, the stylish serial entrepreneur who built Dahan Properties side-by-side with Prime Five Homes and Dream Builders—a ‘charity for charities’— talks about his philosophy of giving back
gb&d: What was going on in your life as a young adult that led you to the path of entrepreneurship and philanthropy? Mayer Dahan: Growing up, it wasn’t that I didn’t fit in, but I never felt that I was quite in the place I should be. My mind was always off dreaming. I didn’t make the best employee. I wanted to create things. I wanted to see if I could do green, eco-friendly, modern homes—simple, uncluttered, clean. It’s my personality. It was the way that I wanted to live, and it was how I saw the future.
Interview by Brian Barth gb&d: Why did you choose to enter the luxury real estate market? Dahan: I think the luxury home market is somewhere that you can flex your muscle when it comes to being green. There is a bigger budget for experimentation. It’s much more difficult to be sustainable and green when it comes to lower-income housing. The margins are smaller, and the budget is tighter. gb&d: How did your commitment to environmentally friendly building practices come about?
year. Beyond this financial commitment, what is the relationship between the two? Dahan: My companies support the nonprofit not only with money, but with staff and organizational structure, social media. So, we can run our charity without having to pay a staff to run it. We volunteer, we throw fundraisers, we’ve thrown feed-the-homeless events all over California. It’s a cycle of good karma, I like to think. I’m shocked more people don’t do that. gb&d: You manage several businesses. How do they all fit together in your vision of entrepreneurship? Dahan: They’re all under the same ideology: to create business, create jobs, and give back to the community. Dahan Properties is the larger parent company that is responsible for supervising the others, through PR, social media, marketing, research, etcetera. Having that main company to keep everything organized and to keep all the ideology on the same page keeps everything clean and kosher. It’s kind of a godsend. gb&d: What’s your company culture like?
gb&d: Your companies—Dahan Properties and Prime Five Homes—give back five percent to the Dream Builders project each
Dahan: I love employing people; it’s probably my favorite thing in the world. I didn’t see the work environment I grew up with as very successful in allowing people to grow and become their best. So instead of micromanaging people and controlling them, we create an environment that allows people to learn and feel comfortable and safe. I give individuals as much responsibility as I can while being responsible myself about it. gb&d: What types of projects are you currently working on? Dahan: I just finished a house last week that probably took me longer than any house I’ve ever worked on. It’s actually next door to another modern house I fingbdmagazine.com
PHOTOS: KAREEM ASSASSA
ABOVE132 Laurel Ave., completed in 2013, is representative of Dahan’s modern aesthetic. The three-bedroom house sold before it was finished, in part because the developer’s sustainably built homes fill a gap in the LA market.
Dahan: It happened pretty naturally, to be honest. I was raised in Los Angeles, a very liberal city. When I started working in West Hollywood, I noticed there was a push from the City to be more green, but there was a huge pushback from the developers, so I saw an opening there. [The City] told us to implement certain green standards about seven years ago. I thought they were great. Instead of just doing that, we went way beyond, whether it was with solar panels or recycled materials. We became more and more green, and the company became more and more popular. So, they kind of fed into each other.
“I want to bring this idea to the masses—regardless of the profits—that there is a better way of building, and I hope to morph it into some larger-scale community planning.” Mayer Dahan, Dahan Properties
ished last year. That’s important because in my neighborhood there are houses built all over the place. It’s very disorganized; there’s no planning, no ideology, no theory going on behind the construction. People are just trying to make money. I want to restructure my neighborhood with much safer, more sustainable houses that are going to last hundreds of years and that look good together. So, with two houses now side by side, I can show people what it would look like if every house was built in unison. gb&d
gb&d: Where do you see your work going in ten years? Dahan: I want to bring this idea to the masses—regardless of the profits—that there is a better way of building, and I hope to morph it into some larger-scale community planning. Have you heard of the LA River project? They’re going to redo the entire river, tear up all the channeling, bring the wildlife back, put parks in, put trails in. I absolutely love ideas like that—where the city, nonprofits, and com-
ABOVEMayer Dahan grew up in Los Angeles and has focused his residential development in the city. Five percent of profits go to a charity, Dream Builders.
panies are coming together to organize something. It is very eco-friendly and sustainable, but it’s much greater than that. I really admire people for doing such big things for the community. I would hope for our company to grow to do things like that one day. gb&d november–december 2014
PUNCH LIST THE WATER ISSUE
In Progress Maggie Daley Park
Like its predecessors, the Windy City’s new lakefront park is a giant green roof, which means waterproofing services by ILD, Hydrotech, and others are key By Tina Vasquez When Chicago’s beloved former First Lady, Maggie Daley, lost her battle to breast cancer back in 2011, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was already in the process of talking to Daley’s family about a way to permanently honor her. In August 2012, he announced that a nearly 20-acre parcel in the northeast corner of Grant Park would be redesigned by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and renamed Maggie Daley Park, creating a $60 million project that would breathe new life into downtown. Ten years prior, American Hydrotech, a Chicago-based company that develops and distributes premium waterproofing and roofing products, had been hired to waterproof the parking garage beneath Millennium Park, the park adjacent to Maggie Daley Park, just across Columbus Drive. When the company was asked to handle the new park, Bill Schaefer, the north-central district manager at American Hydrotech, says the company was thrilled. “It’s an honor to have been a part of two iconic projects that define downtown Chicago,” Schaefer says. Re-waterproofing the parking garage beneath Maggie Daley Park seemed simple enough—American Hydrotech has been doing this for almost 40 years—except for one small thing: this project would be one of the biggest projects in the history of the company. At 750,000 square feet, the site in question is equivalent to 12 football fields. The parking structure had been waterproofed in the 1970s, but over the years, the concrete had been compromised.
THIS SPREAD Maggie Daley Park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and filled with active amenities such as rock-climbing walls and ice-skating “ribbons,” is actually built on top of a downtown parking garage. International Leak Detection, which can detect breaches with 100% accuracy, was hired to ensure the parking structure’s roof was watertight.
FINDING AND FIXING LEAKS—FAST If a leak in a waterproof membrane—untraceable to
the naked eye—meets a season of wet weather, it can mean a perfect storm for costly water damage. “You especially don’t want a breach in your green roof,” says Chris Eichhorn, the president of International Leak Detection (ILD), which has built a reputation for testing green roofs, including the parking garage topping Maggie Daley Park in Chicago. “We believe in the environmental value of green roofs, and so we’ve worked hard to make the testing accurate, even through inches of overburden. With EFVM (Electric Field Vector Mapping), we can read through the soil, pavers, and ballast without the need for a project to be dismantled, so we can test existing green roofs and plazas, too.” A former roofer himself, Eichhorn has devoted the past 14 years to perfecting the EFVM method
IN CONVERSATION with Liz Davey Continued from p. 23
PART 3 ‘WAITING FOR THE CITY TO REOPEN’ gb&d: I want to ask about Hurricane Katrina. You were at Tulane and living in New Orleans when Katrina hit in 2005. The university was evacuated and eventually closed. Davey: Right. It reopened for the spring semester in January 2006. gb&d: Where were you during the storm? Where were you staying?
RENDERINGS: MICHAEL VAN VALKENBURGH ASSOCIATES, INC.
“One of the things that has been really difficult in the years since Katrina is to see so many other communities go through major disasters and to suffer flooding.”
to test roofing and waterproofing membranes. Since 2001, ILD has tested more than 250 million square feet of membrane all over the world—including on some of the world’s most iconic buildings, such as the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial Plaza, and the Library of Congress—and boasts a startling 100-percent accuracy rate. “We don’t leave the roof until it’s 100-percent breachfree,” Eichhorn says. EFVM—which has largely replaced flood testing, in terms of speed, ease, and accuracy—works by applying water to the membrane surface and delivering a low-voltage pulsating charge between the nonconductive membrane and the conductive structural deck. Any breach will cause an electrical connection to occur. Breaches are circled, numbered, and documented in a report by ILD
inspectors, and repairs are made by the contactor. In addition to Maggie Daley Park, ILD recently tested the 309,300-square-foot green roof of the Javits Center in New York City and Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers and the first LEED Gold football stadium in the country. Bill Schaefer, the north-central district manager at American Hydrotech, which manufactures the waterproofing products used at Maggie Daley Park, relies on EFVM regularly and says ILD is “one of the best testing agencies out there.” Eichhorn estimates that ILD has saved its clients almost $20 million since it adapted EFVM to North American standards, in part because the company can test up to 20,000 square feet in a single day. “Not only are we sticklers for quality,” he says, “but we work fast to promote an on-time schedule.”
Davey: We were actually recycling cardboard on campus. It was our move-in day, and we do a big recycling program as students move in, and that was the day they announced the university was going to close. I went with a bunch of friends to Memphis. Eventually, I ended up in Madison, and then a friend found a friend who had an extra room about an hour from New Orleans. So I came back about three weeks later and hung out on the edge, waiting for the city to reopen. My house was just a little bit flooded. It was a big job, but not a catastrophe. But I was anxious to get back—I knew if I got to work on it right away, it would reduce the damage. gb&d: Did you have any responsibilities as a Tulane employee? Was the faculty in charge of anything in the immediate weeks after? Davey: As the fall went on, I did work to get ready to reopen the recycling program—just calling around to see who was open, who would be able to take things—and then I did a lot of work with our community-service staff person at the time. We did service projects during the fall, and then when we reopened, Tulane and the other universities did a huge joint day of service with other universities all over the city. The conversation continues on p. 168
PUNCH LIST THE WATER ISSUE
IN CONVERSATION with Liz Davey Continued from p. 167
In Progress Maggie Daley Park
gb&d: So you were in Memphis when you saw the footage of what was happening. What was that experience like? Davey: It’s amazing how much of it I’ve shut away. It was absolutely shocking. First, the collapse of the levees, and then the delay in helping New Orleanians evacuate. This is a tough time of year right now because it’s the anniversary this week. One of the things that has been really difficult in the years since Katrina is to see so many other communities go through major disasters, to see so many communities suffer flooding. It was so hard to figure out what to do with a partially flooded house. What could you save? What did you have to take out? And to think that Katrina was a unique experience and then see versions of it—smaller versions—has been really hard.
Davey: So much in campus sustainability is working on the details that I haven’t had the chance to look up. But seeing something happen that was predicted, that was anticipated, but was not planned for, gives some urgency to work on climate change. gb&d: Have you experienced any kind of shift in others?
ABOVEThe park will reimagine the current green space east of Chicago’s Millennium Park as a recreational area for kids and adults. Before it could be built, however, American Hydrotech had to solve several issues of drainage and waterproofing.
Davey: Oh, definitely. I had worked a lot on bicycle improvements in the city before Katrina—I helped found the local bicycle advocacy group—and after Katrina, I thought, that work was just wasted. After a hurricane, no one’s going to be interested in bike lanes. And then, in the planning meetings all across town, people spoke up and wanted bicycle improvements. People wanted their neighborhoods to come back as vibrant, active places, attractive to young families. So there’s been this real embrace of all different aspects of sustainability throughout New Orleans. PART 4 WHAT’S NEXT FOR TULANE? gb&d: I had an interesting conversation with some friends about this ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that’s gone viral. Some in the group were very critical of the tactic being used because they didn’t think it was informing anyone about ALS or creating advocates around the disease. I’ve heard similar things said about certain green initiatives, that if a building owner switches to LEDs based The conversation continues on p. 173
“We believe in the environmental value of green roofs so we’ve worked hard to make the testing accurate.” Chris Eichhorn, International Leak Detection
Typically, American Hydrotech looks to use a site’s natural slope to assist with drainage, and while the Maggie Daley Park parking garage slopes from north to south, an existing bridge built 10 years ago made drainage difficult. “Basically, there was a small lake forming,” Schaefer says. “We resolved it by diverting water away from, and then off of the site.” To ensure the project’s integrity, American Hydrotech joined forces with Western Waterproofing Company, which served as general contractor on this phase of the project and which Schaefer says did an excellent job. “Not only did they do a terrific job installing the Hydrotech waterproofing, but they also self-performed all of the surface prep, concrete repair, and some new concrete work,” he says. International Leak Detection, another trusted partner, used what’s known as Electric Field Vector Mapping (EFVM) to find and document any possible leaks in the roofing membrance (see p.166). “We’ve never taken on a job of this size in Chicago,” Schaefer says. “It was maybe a little challenging at first, but this is quality that will last. There’s a lot of talk about sustainability these days, and the best way for us to be sustainable was to ensure that the City of Chicago wouldn’t have to pull everything up and waterproof the structure all over again. In 40 years, this structure will still be waterproof. That makes us proud.” gb&d gbdmagazine.com
RENDERING: MICHAEL VAN VALKENBURGH ASSOCIATES, INC.
gb&d: Has the experience shaped your approach or commitment to sustainability?
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Hot Topic Wildfire Prevention Michele Steinberg at the National Fire Protection Association is helping educate the public about ‘firewise’ principles—an endeavor that has everything to do with sustainability By Evan Cline The 1990s were a time of expansion in the United States, and Michele Steinberg has seen the effects of that expansion firsthand. “We saw a huge amount of population growth and development [in that period],” says Steinberg, who serves as the wildland fire projects manager at the National Fire Protection Association. “There was a very big push out into what was formerly agricultural, rural, wild land that hadn’t really been developed before, and it tends to be land where wildfire is part of the landscape.” Today, there are more than 70,000 communities with a significant risk of wildfire. This emerging “wildland-urban interface” poses unique challenges for firefighters—and builders. Wildland firefighters are trained to contain a fire and may embrace a “let it burn” mentality knowing that fire is of benefit to the local ecosystem. This mentality does not always mesh with citizens who expect the fire department to spare no effort in saving their homes. “Firefighters don’t have the resources to extinguish 100 homes,” Steinberg says. “The reality is that you’re not trying to keep your home from burning until the firefighters arrive—you’re trying to keep it from burning at all.” Here are steps homebuilders and owners can take to prevent wildfire damage.
IMPEDE THE FIRE, NOT THE FIREFIGHTERS
REDUCE IGNITION THROUGH DESIGN
All the necessary aspects of a property
Besides posing a danger to the roof, embers can enter attics and crawlspaces through vents on the side of a building. One-eighth-inch mesh screening should be applied to minimize ember entry. Gable-end vents are especially vulnerable, so consider under-eave or soffit vents instead. The NFPA recommends tempered glass or double-paned windows—single-paned windows are more easily shattered by heat and falling debris. Firewise choices for siding include brick, stone, fiber-cement, and treated wood. “To a fire, whatever is attached to your house is part of your house,” Steinberg says. Consider ignition-resistance when adding a deck, porch, or fence to a property.
development can be optimized for wildfire damage mitigation. Roads should be wide enough to allow for emergency vehicles and can be designed to act as firebreaks. Whenever possible, there should be more than one point of access to a community. Since wildfires accelerate quickly up hills and canyons, the NFPA recommends houses be set back from hillsides. Burying utilities and power lines ensures that they will impede neither the safety nor mobility of firefighters on the scene. CREATE FUNCTIONAL FIREBREAKS Contrary to popular belief, wildfire preven-
tion practices need not detract from the health or beauty of a community. “With some care and thought, you can live in an environmentally compatible fashion,” Steinberg says. While it may seem that naturally wooded areas should be left undisturbed, selectively clearing trees and underbrush enhances both property value and scenery. Steinberg notes that more wildlife will reveal itself, too, as birds, deer, and other grazers are drawn to edges where both sunlight and shelter are readily available. As part of the clearing process, trails and bike paths can be constructed to create additional firebreaks while promoting community health and wellness. OPT FOR SIMPLE, CLEAN ROOFING
PAY ATTENTION TO THE ‘IGNITION ZONE’ The NFPA has coined the term “home
ignition zone” to include the home and its surrounding area within 200 feet. This area is a “defensible space” as long as potential fuel sources are limited. Lawns should be healthy, well-hydrated, and kept short. Alternatively, homeowners and homebuilders in drought-prone areas should consider xeriscaping to reduce both the risk of wildfire and their water footprint. Trees should have branches trimmed 10 feet from the ground and 30 feet apart from each other to prevent crowning. Trimmings and debris should be promptly removed from the property. gb&d
Property owners should start with the
house and work outwards, according to the NFPA. A house’s roof is the dominant factor in ignition prevention. “In a severe wildfire, thousands of embers are hitting a home per second,” Steinberg says. Concrete tile and metal roofing are good options, but simple, composite asphalt shingles can be just as effective. Roofing materials and assemblies should have a Class-A rating from the American Society for Testing and Materials. Avoid complex or Spanish-tile roofs. These allow debris, which falling embers will ignite, to accumulate. Roofs should be regularly inspected for gaps or weaknesses, and gutters should be kept clean.
BELOW The Angeles Crest fire sends smoke billowing over Los Angeles on August 28, 2009. Smart building practices, such as using bike paths as firebreaks, can reduce a home’s susceptibility to wildfires.
PHOTO: BRIAN C. WEED / SHUTTERSTOCK
Learn more about wildfire defense at firewise.org.
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The experiences with Passive Houses in North America and Europe largely have been excellent, but the tricky matter of air quality has vexed a few projects. The challenge is to ensure healthy air at optimal humidity while minimizing the need for mechanical heating and cooling. In some parts of the world, the solution is earth tubes. However, those have proven to be disastrous in the United States and Scandinavia, where some Passive House occupants contracted mold-related diseases. (Not to mention the variation in climate—outside air in Stuttgart is far different than air in, say, San Diego.) To meet this demand, Czech Republic-based Air Pohoda has developed heat- and energyrecovery ventilators specifically made for highperformance and Passive House construction. Its most innovative product is the Ultima iERV, which can capture almost 100 percent of moisture leaving a home while allowing the homeowner to select the precise moisture retention level. “The impetus behind our innovative iERV was to maximize household comfort and minimize primary energy usage under any environment through intelligent humidity control and high efficiency,” says Daryl Jacobson of Air Pohoda USA. “We’re fully functional at -30°C (-22°F) without any pre-heating of outdoor air.”
Despite our population’s increasing respect for the water cycle—recognizing the importance of managing and recycling water in efficient, Earthfriendly ways—arid and drought-plagued areas continue to look for better ways to manage what little water they have. These regions require smart wastewater and stormwater technologies that meet their unique needs. Consider the Middle East and North Africa region. Several countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), source almost all potable water by way of desalinated seawater, an expensive and energy-intensive process, while groundwater is dedicated to agriculture. But what if wastewater could be treated and reused? This was the question one employer asked, hoping to recycle treated wastewater for reuse in toilets and other non-potable uses such as curing concrete. After all, the employer’s 5,000 construction workers create about 500 cubic meters (132,086 gallons) of sewage per day. Enter Bio-Microbics’ MicroFAST treatment system. MicroFAST uses a simple, low-cost, and robust technology to solve a gamut of onsite wastewater treatment issues. The product combines an attached or suspended, aerobic or anaerobic treatment process that recirculates nitrified wastewater to the primary settling chamber for automatic denitrification. Impurities are then digested, creating a clear, odorless, high-quality effluent that is reusable for most non-potable applications.
The wireless technology revolution, by definition, knows no bounds. It not only enables personal communication but also opens up new ways of doing business. For example, smart parking meters and car- and bike-share depots, many of which are fueled by the sun, can be neatly installed in a matter of weeks—no pavement disruption necessary. Smart access management systems can be similarly enabled by wireless technology, with environmental and economic benefits to building owners. “Ninety percent of commercial real estate openings don’t have electronic locks yet largely because they are cost prohibitive,” says April Dalton-Noblitt, director of vertical marketing at Allegion. She describes how with Bluetooth wireless technologies smarter door lock capabilities can be installed in those buildings without running wires and or replacing doors. “There is so much material waste in current systems,” she says. The firm’s Schlage NDE wireless locks, which use battery energy only when activated, will roll out in October 2015. Dalton-Noblitt notes that recycled content in the lock hardware also qualifies for LEED points. The locks fit the common Schlage hole pattern, enable usage monitoring, and offer control access rights through the company’s Engage app.
What advice would you give young people seeking positions in sustainability? “It’s crucial for our younger generations to be hopeful. There is so much bad news around climate change—hope can be lost. My message to them is to keep hold of that positive vision because you’ll find others that share it, and together we can create a great positive force.” Amanda Sturgeon, Executive Director, International Living Future Institute, p. 38
“My advice to young people looking to get into this field, especially women, is to acquire foundational skills. Study engineering and the hard sciences and look for early opportunities to apply that knowledge in an energy field. Then, experiment with different functional roles within the industry and build a network of supporters who can help open doors.” Arielle Bertman, Principal, Energy and Sustainability, Google, p. 38
“If you’re passionate about sustainability, get the skills you need and find ways to work in the field you are knowledgeable about. With hard work and determination, you can be an in-house agent of change and do what you believe in.” Daniele Horton, Founder and Principal, Verdani Partners, p. 39
“Try to weave sustainability into your daily activities. That might mean starting a green team on campus if you’re in college. If you’re already in the workplace, see how you can bring eco-friendly practices into your job function by looking at the operations through a green lens. Network. Get active in the community and get credentialed.” Leisha John, Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability, Ernst & Young, p. 40
“For new people coming up, I tell them it’s really helpful to have a technical foundation like science or engineering before they move into a communications or policy function because it helps to have that fundamental understanding of natural systems and how the Earth works.” Rochelle Routman, Director of Sustainability, Mohawk Group, p. 36
This question was posed by guest editor Liz Davey, the director of sustainability at Tulane University. See what happens when we put her on the spot on p. 176.
IN CONVERSATION with Liz Davey Continued from p. 168
on the cost savings, it doesn’t mean he’s running the rest of his business in a way that’s beneficial to the environment—or isn’t directly harming the environment. Others say it doesn’t really matter, and that the point is to get as many people as possible to make as many good choices as possible. Where do you fall? Davey: Well, if I can split those two pieces apart, because I love the Ice Bucket Challenge. New Orleans is home to Steve Gleason, the wonderful Saints player who has ALS and who has been an amazing spokesperson for ALS, so every time I see an ice bucket [video], I think, somebody’s gonna find their way to Steve Gleason and learn a lot more. On the issue of sustainability, it’s important to be working on many fronts, but we do need to have a continual conversation about where we’re trying to get to and how we know if we’re making progress. We have a lot of ways to measure that now—LEED is one system, and we have STARS. Particularly at universities, because we are places of research and education, we need to be more engaged in thinking about those frameworks—not just accept each action as advancing the larger good. We need to continually take a step back and say, “Let’s go through this again: What are we trying to do here, and how do we know that we’re making a difference?” gb&d: You mentioned LEED. Tulane has invested a lot in LEED projects in the past several years. Davey: We have three [projects] certified, three where we’re about to submit the documentation, and then a number of others that are underway. gb&d: What’s it been like advocating for a campus-wide green building program? Davey: We took a very collaborative approach to learning about LEED. We said, “Let’s take this renovation of this building and use it to learn about LEED together— how difficult it is, the benefits of it.” After that project, the design staff, the facilities staff, and the construction staff were all knowledgeable about it and found a lot of benefits in it. For example, commissioning was a service that we hadn’t used before, and now there’s 100 percent support for it, and I can’t imagine a project going ahead without commissioning. The conversation continues on p. 177
Material World A Greener Vinyl
By Evan Cline The benefits of Phifer Incorporated’s SheerWeave sun-control fabrics are already well-known in the industry: decreases in solar heat gain, glare, and UV rays help reduce energy costs, increase productivity, and extend the useful lifetime of interior fabrics and surfaces. Now, Phifer has advanced its SheerWeave line, introducing products that utilize Dow Chemical Company’s bio-based plasticizer Ecolibrium. “The plasticizer is what gives a vinyl product its flexibility,” says Bill Strickland, Phipher’s national market manager of sun-control products. “It’s the difference in a rigid PVC pipe and a flexible fishing worm.” Until Ecolibrium, all plasticizers on the market were petroleum-based, and while PVC-free window treatments are available, the majority of the market has continued to gravitate towards the advantages of vinyl-coated fabrics. Enter Phifer’s SheerWeave 4000/4100 and 4400 sun-control fabrics with Eco-
librium. “With the Series 4000 products, we are still manufacturing a traditional vinyl product, but using a new, greener technology. It’s a greener vinyl,” Strickland says. Using a corn- or soybean-based plasticizer creates a more sustainable product by reducing petroleum consumption and lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 percent. Using Dow’s lifecycle analysis of Ecolibrium, Phifer is able to calculate the total petroleum savings and greenhouse gas avoidance achieved over traditional vinyl on a project-to-project basis. “It’s a valuable tool for the architectural community that can give tangible environmental impact,” Strickland says. Most surprising is the ease with which Ecolibrium was incorporated into Phifer’s product. According to Strickland, there was “no compromise in the product’s overall performance,” and there were even some surprising advantages. Removal of a petroleum-based ingredient brought an increase in the natural flame retardancy of the fabric. Ecolibrium is also naturally phthalate-free, and even the final product’s odor has improved. Phifer currently offers SheerWeave made with Ecolibrium in nine colors and three openness factors and plans to introduce more options in the future. gb&d
MATERIAL HEALTH SHEERWEAVE WITH ECOLIBRIUM Better for the environment Consumers can get the durability, longevity, and cleanability of vinyl without the environmental costs. An increased natural flame retardancy further reduces the number of chemical additives in the formula. Naturally phthalate-free Phthalates may pose a health threat when found in consumable products. Even though no one is likely to ingest a window shade, any reduction in unnecessary chemicals is praiseworthy. Affordable While Ecolibrium is a newer, more expensive technology, the efficiencies it provides have allowed Phifer to maintain the same price point in the market. Improved odor Ecolibrium-based fabrics surprisingly offer a more neutral odor that dissipates quickly, although some may miss that “new car smell” generated by traditional vinyl products.
PHOTO: CALEB FOX
Phifer’s SheerWeave sun-control fabrics with Ecolibrium fill a gap in the market
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EXPO: OCT. 22-23 | CONFERENCE: OCT. 22-24 MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER | NEW ORLEANS, LA
On the Spot Liz Davey
Tulane’s green guru and our guest editor talks Make It Right, necessary jargon, and the enduring beauty of coastal Louisiana
AN ARTICLE YOU RECENTLY SHARED
HARSHEST CRITICISM YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED
It’s a report—the Nation-
hat we still have far to T go towards sustainability at Tulane.
al Climate Assessment that was released this spring. THE PERFECT CITY WOULD HAVE
ots of parks and L natural areas for kids to explore. ONE TECHNOLOGY ON THE HORIZON THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
ith anaerobic digesW tion, organic waste can be converted to methane and power vehicles that we currently run on diesel. YOUR TOPIC IF YOU WERE ASKED TO GIVE A TED TALK
he Why and How T of Running a Good Meeting. THE NEXT BIG IDEA WILL COME FROM
A university. BUILDING YOU WOULD SAVE IF THE WORLD WAS GOING TO END
he Make It Right T house that floats.
PHOTO: CALEB FOX
MOST MEMORABLE MENTOR OR TEACHER
J im Hornig, the Dartmouth chemistry professor who founded an outstanding environmental studies program.
FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
Bicycling. MOST MEMORABLE HOMETOWN HAUNT
he University of T Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison. It was created by Aldo Leopold and other university faculty. It was perhaps the original university sustainability project. INDUSTRY JARGON YOU WOULD BANISH
he language of T climate action planning is tough—greenhouse gas emissions inventories, MTeCO2, Scope 1 emissions—but we have to accept it and remember to explain it to others in every meeting. A CURRENT EVENT WE SHOULD FOLLOW MORE CLOSELY
he implementation of T the new EPA Carbon Pollution standards. MOST COMPELLING ARGUMENT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
e can’t rebuild natuW ral systems in the same way we can rebuild our infrastructure.
WAY TO MAKE THE ENVIRONMENT A NON-PARTISAN ISSUE
he more local and T specific the issue, the less partisan it seems.
IN CONVERSATION with Liz Davey Continued from p. 173
So, the first piece was key staff learning about it. Then, the next piece was explaining it to the campus public, and we took a very practical approach. We pulled out the particular credits that we thought were essential to projects in the future, and we developed a green-building standard based on those credits. Those credits include all the low-emitting materials credits so that using LEED is a way to make sure that the indoor air quality will be good. MOST COMMON GREEN MYTH
hat it’s a lot of expenT sive extras. FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE TRAVELED
WHAT YOU’D PITCH TO PRESIDENT OBAMA IF YOU HAD 30 SECONDS
I’m lucky to have family to visit in Maine.
reating a climate C adaptation fund to help communities prepare for future changes.
MOST IMPACTFUL EXPERIENCE IN NATURE
THE BOLDEST IDEA IN SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
rowing up near so G many woods and parks. In Madison, we even had a school forest.
he net-zero-energy T building.
YOUR FIELD’S BIGGEST HURDLE TO IMPROVING ITS PRACTICES
CASUALTY OF THE CUTTING-ROOM FLOOR YOU’D RESURRECT
ustainability directors S need to work ourselves out of a field by helping our colleagues incorporate sustainability into their daily work and professions.
wapping an existing S tax for a carbon tax. CURRENT PROJECT YOU’RE MOST EXCITED ABOUT
he renovation of RichT ardson Memorial Hall, the home of the Tulane School of Architecture. With the involvement of faculty and students, it’s helping us define the next level of sustainable design for Tulane. ONE BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ
ayou Farewell by B Mike Tidwell. It was written before Katrina and before the BP oil disaster, but it is a beautiful introduction to our overriding local sustainability issue: the loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. MOST IMPACTFUL DOCUMENTARY YOU’VE SEEN
ost recently, Saving M Pelican 895, about the BP oil spill. Surprisingly, it shows the beauty of coastal Louisiana.
BUILDING TREND YOU HOPE WILL NEVER GO OUT OF FASHION
Windows that open. PROFESSIONAL PET PEEVE
Seeing a cardboard box in a campus dumpster.
CAUSE YOU’D SUPPORT IF YOU HAD A BILLION DOLLARS Helping universities
around the world offer courses in environmental science. ENVIRONMENTAL COME-TO-JESUS MOMENT
Learning from environmental justice activists in the early 1990s. SOCIAL MEDIA: HELPING OR HURTING?
elping—if you’re able H to put your phone away for a stretch each day.
gb&d: Do the School of Architecture and Tulane City Center get involved in campus green-building projects? Davey: The School of Architecture is actually in the design phase for a major renovation, and they have used that process to include their students and faculty and think about what will be the next level of sustainable building at Tulane. We laid out the basic level, but what should we pursue next? For example, rainwater harvesting is a real priority, so working through the issues with permitting and restrictions from the Department of Health and Hospitals will be part of the project.
“I think of net-zero buildings more as a discipline than as an actual goal. I think it’s something that we should be working on and at least doing those calculations.” gb&d: You mention in our questionnaire (left) the excitement around net-zero buildings. Do you think there’s a net-zero building in Tulane’s future? Davey: Oh boy, I don’t know. I think of net-zero buildings more as a discipline than as an actual goal. I think it’s something that we should be working on and at least doing those calculations. gb&d: I’m not a building engineer, so I may have this completely wrong, but it doesn’t seem that New Orleans is the greatest fit for renewable energy generation. Davey: Well, actually, Louisiana has a very favorable tax credit for residential-scale solar power, so as you go around town, you will see solar everywhere. I think that’s one thing people will really be shocked by when they come to Greenbuild. gb&d
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HLW International, 113 hlw.com, 212.353.4600 Great designs, like celebrated relationships, begin with open dialogue and the exchange of ideas. At HLW, we pride ourselves on the candid discussions we have with our clients about what matters most to them, before we start designing. Those key insights, combined with our design expertise, inform and direct all our endeavors. Design is a way to express a company’s unique attitude and a tangible representation of their position in their industry, their community and in the world. Our philosophy of Better Performance by Design leads to design solutions that respond to the competitive pressures of business today. Related story on p. 106
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Leadership by design
Denver’s 14th Street Project included IRONSMITH Paver-Grates™ in various sizes to optimize planting areas. Custom triangular trim rings were added to match other streetscape elements to create a cohesive look. Paver-Grate™ is an excellent choice for urban areas; it seamlessly provides root space without impeding on pedestrian walk areas. Other IRONSMITH products included on 14th Street are custom cast iron rings designed to soften the bases of the numerous banner poles identifying the area. IRONSMITH’s patented Paver-Grate™ suspended paver system lets you design over –instead of around— tree areas for tree health and pedestrian comfort.
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