BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY ANNUAL REPORT Crescent Communities Corporate Headquarters Charlotte, NC
Welcome to Little's Beyond Sustainability Report. We're thrilled you are here. Little is fully committed to transparency on our journey toward a regenerative future, and we are excited to share our progress. We hope this report serves as inspiration to you as we firmly believe that regeneration is a collaborative effort.
At Little, our work is driven by our core values: CARE, STRETCH, and SPARK. These values shape our approach to everything we do together.
CARE reflects our deep commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs and aspirations of our clients, communities, and the environment. STRETCH fuels our dedication to innovation and exploring frontiers. And SPARK embodies our passion for creative and transformative design.
These values are the bedrock of our organization, fostering collaboration and driving regenerative impacts in the built environment.
Ally Charlotte Center Charlotte, NC
Parkline Chapel Hill, NC
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION CRAFTING OUR PATHWAY 3 WHY CHANGE IS NEEDED NOW ............................................................ 4 LEARN ABOUT THE NATURE OF CARBON .......................................... 5 EXECUTING A FRAMEWORK OUR SUSTAINABILITY PHILOSOPHY .................................................... 8 PATHWAY TO A REGENERATIVE FUTURE ......................................... 10 TAKING ACTION 12 ELEVATING CLIENT PERFORMANCE THROUGH HEWS 14 MEASURING OUR PROGRESS LOWERING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT 21 IMPROVING OUR OPERATIONS AND OUTREACH 22 COMMITMENTS THAT SPARK CHANGE 24 AIA 2030 COMMITMENT ....................................................................... 26 BUILDING A HEALTHY COMMUNITY CELEBRATING DIVERSITY 30 MAKING A DIFFERENCE ........................................................................ 32 INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION .................................................. 34 LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE OUR 2023 SUSTAINABILITY AND REGENERATION GOALS ........... 39 THE POWER OF PERSPECTIVE ............................................................. 40 LEAVING A LASTING IMPACT 42 Glossary of Terms 44
Cumberland County Solid Waste Ann Street Landfill Fayetteville, NC
WE CANNOT KEEP BUILDING THE WAY THAT WE ALWAYS HAVE. WE LIVE IN A WORLD THAT IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING, AND WE MUST NEVER STOP LEARNING.
Jen Todd Regen CoLab
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4Roots Regenerative Urban Farm Campus Orlando, FL
CRAFTING OUR PATHWAY: Little's Regen CoLab
In April of 2022, Little established the Regen CoLab, a team of four individuals with diverse sustainability expertise. The CoLab is a firmwide resource that collaborates closely with both our internal teams and our clients. Together, we think beyond conventional design solutions and explore the broader potential of each project, while also positively impacting people and the planet. Our approach involves evaluating and developing more efficient and integrative processes, educating our teams on innovative sustainability practices, and providing strategic services that elevate the performance of our clients.
We believe regeneration is a global imperative. To achieve this goal, every project must actively improve our clients' performance through regenerative outcomes. Our projects serve as catalysts for fostering interaction, resilience, and growth within the diverse ecosystems they inhabit. Embracing the concept of regeneration is a continuous journey, and we are dedicated to enhancing Little's collective skills and capacity to implement this transformative approach. We are equally committed to empowering our clients to embark on the same journey, recognizing that regeneration extends beyond the boundaries of the project itself.
To effectively document our progress and focus our efforts, we have identified specific areas of measurement: Health, Energy, Water, and Social Equity (HEWS). By concentrating on the HEWS, we can make significant progress in each area and work toward achieving regeneration. We are actively collecting essential project data related to our projects and fine-tuning internal operations to establish benchmarks for our own progress (see page 32). These efforts enable us to set measurable, attainable goals that align with our clients' objectives which is the essence of Little.
Every day, every client, and every project presents us with opportunities to address the challenges our industry faces in reducing environmental impact and contributing to healing where possible. While this endeavor is ambitious, we eagerly anticipate the results we will deliver for our clients and our communities in the coming years. We invite you to join us in our commitment to a regenerative future and take part in crafting our pathway forward.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 INTRODUCTION
Jen Todd AIA, CPHC®, NCARB
Philip Donovan AIA, LFA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB
Vickie Breemes CSI, CCS, LEED AP BD+C, LFA, WELL AP
Scott Brideau LEED AP, CDT
WHY CHANGE IS NEEDED NOW: A Global Imperative
In today's world, we face a pressing global imperative to address climate change, enhance resilience, and tackle social inequities. It is crucial that we take collective action to mitigate the negative impact on our planet and create a more sustainable future for all.
We acknowledge being part of an industry that results in significant contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. By recognizing the consequences of our actions, we are actively and collaboratively working to reduce our carbon footprint and implement holistic sustainable practices. It requires rethinking traditional project delivery methods and redefining the meaning of good design. Embracing energy and water-efficient technologies, transitioning to renewable energy sources, and minimizing waste all play a pivotal role in this transformative change.
Shifting our focus toward regeneration moves us beyond today's definition of sustainability. By embracing regenerative principles that actively restore natural systems and resources, the building industry can help create the balance needed and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future for our planet while still creating spaces and places to shelter, engage and inspire people.
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© Architecture 2030. All Rights Reserved. Data Source: IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2020, February 2021 Revised Edition BUILDING OPERATIONS 27% (9.9 Gigatons) OTHER CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BUILDING CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY 6% (2.3 Gigatons) © Architecture 2030. All Rights Reserved. Data Source: IEA (2022), Buildings, IEA, Paris Building Construction Industry and Other Construction Industry represent emissions from concrete, steel, and aluminum for building and infrastructure respectively. OTHER OTHER INDUSTRY TRANSPORT 7% (2.4 Gigatons) ANNUAL GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS IN 2040,
THE GLOBAL BUILDING STOCK WILL BE BUILDINGS THAT EXIST TODAY.
EMITTING GREENHOUSE GAS
LEARN ABOUT THE NATURE OF CARBON: Video Series
(please click on a panel below to start)
It takes two to make an impact.
Driving down energy demands is a familiar approach to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in buildings. However, Operational Carbon, the emissions associated with energy use, is only one part of the GHG equation. Embodied Carbon, the emissions associated with material production and construction processes, is the other. Together these two equate the total carbon footprint of a building.
Before we can improve a process, we must first understand it, and carbon is complex. Through this brief three-part video series, we demystify what carbon is, why it’s important, and how we are elevating our efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 5 INTRODUCTION
PART 1 (2:45) : Carbon's role in the environment, the natural processes of carbon sequestration, the human impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and the resulting global climate change.
PART 2 (2:44) : Carbon in the building industry, including the importance of a comprehensive approach to design and construction that considers progressive renewable strategies.
PART 3 (2:38) : Little's commitment to regeneration and our holistic approach to decarbonization in the built environment, which includes minimizing embodied carbon and benchmarking operational carbon.
Ravenscroft School PreK - 12
EXECUTING A FRAMEWORK
WE WORK EVERY DAY TOWARD A GOAL OF DESIGNING PROJECTS THAT NOT ONLY DO LESS HARM, BUT ULTIMATELY DO GOOD — REGENERATIVE PROJECTS THAT ACHIEVE A SUCCESSFUL BALANCE BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC, AND HUMAN FACTORS.
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E XECUTING A F RAMEWORK 9
Microsoft Courtyard Morrisville, NC
PATHWAY TO A REGENERATIVE FUTURE
Little's pathway to a regenerative future is guided by four critical areas of measurement: Health, Energy, Water, and Social Equity.
We support a whole-systems approach through an integrative process. To achieve our mission of a regenerative future, we assemble project teams of individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds who collaborate to find innovative solutions for each project. Our aim is to deliver results beyond architecture, addressing the holistic needs of our clients. Our commitment to each HEWS focus area is rooted in good design. We approach every project with the intention of making a positive impact, considering the unique context, location, and client requirements. We recognize the significance of doing good in all aspects of our work and strive to create meaningful, sustainable outcomes for each project.
We design environments that elevate health and wellness.
We use a smart, responsible design approach to reduce the energy demand of our projects and practice.
We design for the preservation and conservation of water.
We address universal design and social inequities through empathetic and intentional planning.
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listen craft elevate
Our Design Approach is centered on actively engaging with our clients throughout the entire project journey, from inception to occupancy. Through this collaboration, we craft powerful design solutions that elevate their performance.
To achieve success, we prioritize gaining a deep understanding of our client’s goals and design drivers. We combine this knowledge with our transdisciplinary design process and innovative thinking to unlock the full potential of each project. Throughout this process, we remain mindful of the health of our planet, actively seeking opportunities to create regenerative and efficient design solutions that benefit both our clients, communities, and the environment.
Our unwavering focus is on delivering Results
Beyond Architecture, meaning our design solutions go beyond aesthetics and functionality. They elevate our clients' performance, enrich the communities they serve, and improve the quality of life for people who occupy these spaces.
The increasingly complex problems we are facing require transdisciplinary solutions: results that come from diverse mindsets and disciplines coming together to identify, analyze, and craft new and improved ideas to those challenges. Our Integrated Project Framework provides a deliberate and effective transdisciplinary and regeneratively-focused process to help solve those challenges. At the core of the framework is a deeply ingrained belief that our world needs regenerative ideas, those that not just do less harm, but do good and can transcend people, places, and planet. A commitment to diversity of discipline and regenerative frameworks will elevate our clients' performance on every project moving forward.
Tomas Eliaeson CDI, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB Design Partner
TABLE OF CONTENTS DESIGN APPROACH (high-level) NETSIL NA D L E A RN TODISCOVEROPPORTUNITIES CRAFT EXPERIENCESTHATSOLVEFOR YO U R V I S I NO SLAOGDNA
TAKING ACTION: How We Practice Regeneration in Partnership with Our Clients
When it comes to regenerative concepts, each practice area requires a different perspective. By working collaboratively across disciplines, we harness our team's collective expertise to develop comprehensive and innovative solutions. This approach allows us to address the unique challenges and opportunities in each practice area.
Through collaboration, integration, and a shared understanding of the importance of sustainability and regeneration, we can make significant strides toward delivering Results Beyond Architecture.
TALK LESS, DO MORE
POSITIVELY IMPACT LIVES
The clients we serve in our Community Practice often seek healthy buildings that reduce energy and water consumption. We commit to consistently push the boundaries and set a new standard for all projects by giving our best effort. Additionally, we are frequently asked about social equity, which poses a more complex challenge for architects. In addressing this challenge, it is vital to ensure the inclusion of all parties and voices, especially those who are typically marginalized or disenfranchised.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says, “Future generations will judge us not by what we say, but what we do.”
Let’s talk less and do more!
Thomas Carlson-Reddig AIA, LEED AP Partner & Community Practice Leader
A healthcare facility's impact on the community lasts for many decades. Our Healthcare Practice needs to ensure that we are being good stewards with all the organization’s and community’s resources. Regeneration plays a critical role in accomplishing this. Our goal is to partner with our clients, their patients, and care providers in the creation of hopeful, healing, and healthy built environments. Our intention is for those that come behind us find that we were faithful to this mission.
Roger Wilkerson EDAC Partner & Healthcare Practice Leader
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SEEK INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO DRIVE POSITIVE CHANGE FOR THE FUTURE
PROVIDE DIRECT ACCESS TO OUTDOOR SPACE
BRING FRESH VOICES INTO THE CONVERSATION
As customers increasingly expect brands to incorporate more sustainable initiatives, retailers have an opportunity to adopt integrative design methodologies that lead to more regenerative outcomes. The HEWS enable our transdisciplinary teams to address complex challenges in our industry, including environmental, social, and economic factors that enhance our projects' performance. Given that sustainability is an ongoing journey, it's important to continuously seek innovative solutions and incorporate feedback to drive positive change for our future.
James Farnell CDI, RDI, LEED Green Associate Partner and Retail Practice Leader
As the world continues to evolve from the impacts of the pandemic, direct access to outdoor space is the single biggest request from our clients, followed closely by cleaner indoor air. Of course, energy is still a key topic, but creating spaces that are healthier and more inclusive have risen to the top and become key drivers for many of our clients as they seek to bring their workforces back together. On another front, we have seen a significant rise in the revitalization of our existing building stock. Clients seek to save older buildings and convert them into creative office space, dynamic retail space, and amazing residential units.
Eddie Portis AIA, NCARB, CDT, LEED BD+C Partner & Workplace Practice Leader
The path to regeneration oftentimes starts with expanding the context of the problem we’re solving. What will the project’s impact be on the community it resides within? How will it affect people, in the broadest sense possible? We believe that 'broadening’ is facilitated by bringing fresh voices into the conversation— and our Collaborative Specialty experts deliver the diversity of thought that expands the context meaningfully.
Bruce Barteldt Jr. AIA, LEED AP BD+C Chief Innovation Officer and Collaborative Specialties Practice Leader
TABLE OF CONTENTS 13 E XECUTING A F RAMEWORK
ELEVATING CLIENT PERFORMANCE through Health, Energy, Water, and
14% INCREASE IN THE SATISFACTION OF COLLABORATION SPACE
WELL PLATINUM LEED SILVER
CRESCENT COMMUNITIES Charlotte, NC
15% INCREASE IN THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE OVERALL WORKSPACE
Ø A warm, inviting materials palette, including regional red brick, local sandstone, and interior wood paneling facilitate a sense of peace and calmness
Ø Private windows and transparent glass façades provide ample daylit spaces
Ø Large, single floors with ample corridor and door widths, accessible and bariatric restrooms, and elevators dispersed throughout the floor provide accessibility to everyone
105% OF ENERGY GENERATED ON SITE
12% INCREASE IN BELIEF OF MISSION AND VALUES
Ø Regenerative farming
Ø Carbon sequestration
Ø Mass timber building structures (glulam columns and beams, cross-laminated timber (CLT), walls & roof deck, fire rated building elements)
Ø Livestock rotation land maintenance
Ø Permaculture landscape
Ø Pollinator rooftop gardens
Ø Bat houses and rotating apiaries
Ø Vertical greenhouse
Ø Pathways and patios are universally accessible and open to the public
Ø Material selections reduce heat island effect
"Little brought a unique level of expertise and perspective to our project. This opened our eyes to a much greater potential result than we originally aimed for. They ensured the goals for the project were integrated with our organizational mission and culture and aimed at measurable outcomes. It was clear that each member of the Little team was passionate about helping us achieve everything we wanted our project to be for our leadership and all Conservancy staff.”
– Regina Jackson, Director of Office Management at TNC Worldwide Office
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Morrisville, NC 4
Orlando, FL 3
TARGETING LBC ENERGY PETAL
Ø UV was used for air quality
Ø Carbon/MERV filtration used
Ø Point-of-use water filtration
Ø Staff comfort through lighting, expansive views, plantings and natural patterns, and robust acoustics
20% INCREASE IN EMPLOYEE WELLNESS AND HUMAN SUSTAINABILITY
92% CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE DIVERTED
VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTHCARE CENTER Fredericksburg, VA
"We have been fortunate to partner with Little on several sustainability- and wellness-forward projects, most recently the design and certification of both Ally Charlotte Center and our Charlotte office within the building. With the exceptional sustainability team of Little leading, we achieved LEED Silver and WELL Gold Certifications for the Core and Shell, and LEED Silver with WELL Platinum Certifications for our own office. We value innovation that the Little team brings to the table, and their shared passion for delivering excellence in building performance." – LISA PHOCAS, LEED AP, WELL AP
24% ENERGY COST SAVINGS RELATIVE TO THE ASHRAE 90.1-2013 BASELINE
26% WINDOW-TO-WALL RATIO ON THE FACADE
Ø Rooftop and floating solar, biodigestors to generate gas, electrochromatic glazing, excess energy credit to offset adjacent community
Ø Rainwater harvesting with above ground cisterns, HVAC condensate reclamation & reuse, irrigation supplied by on-site water bodiesManufacturing partnerships
Ø Access to natural environments support employee well-being
Ø Pollinator meadows support and encourage healthy ecosystems
Ø Stone patio lowers embodied carbon compared to traditional concrete
76% WATER USE REDUCTION
100% MASS TIMBER PROCURED WITHIN 375 MILES
33% ENERGY COST SAVINGS RELATIVE TO THE ASHRAE 90.1 2010 BASELINE
13.9% SAVINGS IN ENERGY COSTS FROM RENEWABLES
63% REDUCTION IN POTABLE WATER USE AND NO IRRIGATION
TARGETING LEED PLATINUM
TABLE OF CONTENTS 15 E XECUTING A F RAMEWORK
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY Arlington, VA
ELEVATING CLIENT PERFORMANCE through
Ø Efficient, prefabricated construction components include brick wall panels, glass curtain wall assemblies, patient headwalls and bathrooms
Ø 400,000 SF of historic industrial warehouse space will be transformed into an exciting adaptive mixed-use development
Ø Will be a creative destination for the community to come together to work, eat, shop and play
Ø Adaptive reuse of the existing facility provides an incredible advantage of resources, saving time and money while eliminating waste and reducing the embodied carbon footprint
Ø Minimizing disruption to the existing portion of the hospital while adding two floors housing 92 patient beds above was essential for keeping one of the busiest emergency departments in the state operational
Ø Views and access to the outdoors was priority as well as comfortable daylit spaces with lighting controls
Ø Community kitchen will offer cooking classes that promote health and wellness
Ø Reinvigorated the existing courtyard and created an extremely walkable, pedestrian friendly, and inviting space
Ø Plant areas act as natural stormwater retention areas and incorporate native plantings
CROSSING BURTONSVILLE, MD
Ø Beacon for Community Engagement – created to educate customers and focused on financial solutions that suit the customers lifestyle
Ø Raised planters along the walkway capture runoff from the roof drains
Ø Permeable pavers in the parking area capture and treat stormwater during a large rain event
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With the introduction of an exterior plaza, and the beautification of an existing exterior area, this project will become a destination for the Burtonsville community. While the existing strip mall was a place to visit a store or two and then leave, the new design encourages people to spend more time, engage with others in the community, and enjoy the many offerings it has. This shopping destination will be much more than a collection of stores, but a place to meet up with friends, grab lunch while the kids play in the plaza, or grab a drink with friends after getting off the bus coming home before driving away.
Health, Energy, Water, and 15% ENERGY SAVINGS
2010 BASELINE THE THREAD Rock Hill,
10 BURTONSVILLE CROSSING PROJECT HIGHLIGHT BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION DIAGRAMS 05/04/22 REMOVE AND RELOCATE GREENSPACE SITE CIRCULATION PLACEFINDING BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION DIAGRAMS 05/04/22 REMOVE AND RELOCATE GREENSPACE SITE CIRCULATION PLACEFINDING BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION DIAGRAMS 05/04/22 REMOVE AND RELOCATE GREENSPACE SITE CIRCULATION PLACEFINDING BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION DIAGRAMS 05/04/22 REMOVE AND RELOCATE GREENSPACE SITE CIRCULATION PLACEFINDING A1 B2 D D D D D C D D D D D B1 A2 B2 D D D D D C D D D D D B1 A2 CROSSING ELEVATION DIAGRAMS 05/04/22 DIAGRAM_MASSING DIAGRAM
Ø 961 kg C02eg/m2 were saved by the addition vs new construction - even with heavy structural reinforcement to support helipads
Ø Elevating the patient's experience through daylighting and access to roof gardens.
80% INCREASE IN PLANNED STUDENT ENROLLMENT
Ø Reclaimed concrete from the site was used as pavers to reduce carbon footprint
Ø Reduced heatisland effect by creating pockets of green areas
Ø To help promote more public integration with the surrounding community, the building’s old northwest loading dock, has been appropriately branded as “Freight Yard at The Thread” and repurposed to serve as a dedicated outdoor events/ music venue and food truck court
The prime location supports and encourages nonvehicular traffic, leading to less greenhouse gases
The preservation of open space, reduction in air pollution, and preservation of natural areas offer immense environmental and ecosystem benefits
50% OF THE LOT IS SHADED TO COMBAT PARKING LOT HEAT ISLAND EFFECT
TABLE OF CONTENTS 17 E XECUTING A F RAMEWORK
WILSON YMCA Charlotte, NC
FEAR MEDICAL CENTER Fayetteville, NC BRIGHTLEAF Durham, NC 8
BURTONSVILLE CROSSING PROJECT HIGHLIGHT 08.15.2022 AXON STUDIES AND PRECEDENTS BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION FACADE STUDY -D1 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D1 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D2 RENOVATION DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D3 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY C BURTONSVILLE CROSSING PROJECT HIGHLIGHT 08.15.2022 AXON STUDIES AND PRECEDENTS ENCLOSURE TO PROTECT EXISTING STRUCTURE FROM ELEMENTS PRESERVE EXISTING AWNING AND GUTTER SYSTEMS NEW CEILING WITH WOOD THIN BLACK EDGE PROFILE NEW TPO ROOFING ABOVE AWNING BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION FACADE STUDY -D1 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D1 05/04/22 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D2 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D3 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY C BURTONSVILLE CROSSING PROJECT HIGHLIGHT 08.15.2022 AXON STUDIES AND PRECEDENTS NEW CEILING WITH WOOD BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION FACADE STUDY -D1 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D1 05/04/22 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D2 RENOVATION DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D3 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY C BURTONSVILLE CROSSING PROJECT HIGHLIGHT 08.15.2022 STUDIES AND PRECEDENTS ENCLOSURE TO PROTECT EXISTING STRUCTURE FROM ELEMENTS PRESERVE EXISTING AWNING NEW CEILING WITH WOOD FEATURES THIN BLACK EDGE PROFILE NEW TPO ROOFING ABOVE AWNING BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION FACADE STUDY -D1 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D1 BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION FACADE STUDY -D2 05/04/22 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D2 ACCENT ELEMENTS WOOD ELEMENT FOR NEW TPO ROOFING OVER EXISTING AWNING BURTONSVILLE CROSSING RENOVATION FACADE STUDY -D3 05/04/22 DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY D3 RENOVATION DIAGRAM_FACADE STUDY C
"I wish the community could see how much we care.”
– Cape Fear Medical Center
Little's Orlando Office Orlando, FL
MEASURING OUR PROGRESS
This year, Little made a commitment to achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2030. Our first step is to understand our carbon impact baseline. From there, we will strategically develop a plan to reach neutrality through well-defined goals, initiatives, and a commitment to transparency. We recognize that there is significant work ahead of us.
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Microsoft Courtyard Morrisville, NC
LOWERING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
As design professionals, our primary focus is to provide our clients with the best service, design, and building performance. However, as part of the Building Industry, it is crucial to hold ourselves accountable and take collective responsibility for lowering our environmental impact.
Scope 1, 2, 3 Emissions
1. DIRECT EMISSIONS
that occur from sources controlled or owned by an organization and fuel consumption from owned systems paid directly or within lease agreement
To achieve this, we leverage the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Protocol, widely known as Scope 1,2,3 Emissions. This protocol is a consistent measurement framework applicable to all types of businesses. It promotes transparency, knowledge sharing, action, and community.
2. INDIRECT EMISSIONS
associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heating, or cooling and are a result of an organization’s purchased energy usage
3. SUPPLY CHAIN EMISSIONS
that occur in the value chain of the reporting company
TABLE OF CONTENTS 21 MEASURING OUR PROGRESS
LEASED ASSETS* BUSINESS TRAVEL
GENERATED IN OPERATIONS*
OF GOODS AND SERVICES*
PURCHASED ENERGY COMPANY FACILITIES * next steps COMPANY VEHICLES PURCHASED HEATING AND COOLING
IMPROVING OUR OPERATIONS AND OUTREACH
At Little, we are committed to realizing a regenerative future that positively impacts both people and the planet. We are proud of our growing firmwide efforts that propel us along this path, in our internal operations, industry engagements, and client projects.
Percentage of Employees by Location
4% REMOTE FROM VARIOUS LOCATIONS
The Little Waste Program seeks to educate, challenge, and inspire our employees, clients, and communities to achieve zero waste.
1,214 LBS OF WASTE DIVERTED FROM THE LANDFILL
1,204 MILES OFFSET
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50% CHARLOTTE, NC
17% DURHAM, NC
1% CHARLESTON, SC
10% ORLANDO, FL
10% NEWPORT BEACH, CA
8% WASHINGTON, DC
Little Waste Program
# 24 ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD TOP GREEN DESIGN FIRMS
Reducing Our Carbon Emissions
To support our efforts in carbon emissions reporting, we conducted a commuting survey across our entire firm. The survey gathered information about our staff’s preferred mode of transportation for commuting to work, including driving electric/hybrid vehicles, carpooling, ridesharing, using public transportation, biking, or walking. We also collected data on daily commuting distances and frequencies.
Based on the survey results, gasoline vehicle is the most common mode of transportation among our team members. However, the findings also highlight potential opportunities to reduce emissions by decreasing reliance on single-occupant driving. Armed with this knowledge, Little is prioritizing public transportation access for current and future office locations, promoting lower-carbon commuting behaviors through education, and prioritizing our staff's health and wellbeing while also reducing our firm’s carbon emissions.
75% OF EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATED IN THE SURVEY (314 OUT OF 416)
71% COMMUTE TO THE OFFICE VIA GASOLINE VEHICLE (AVERAGE 26 MILE ROUNDTRIP COMMUTE)
4% DRIVE ELECTRICAL VEHICLES
11% COMMUTE BY TRAIN OR LIGHTRAIL
3% WALK TO THE OFFICE
2% BIKE TO THE OFFICE
4 AVG NUMBER OF DAYS EMPLOYEES COMMUTE TO THE OFFICE
TABLE OF CONTENTS 23 MEASURING OUR PROGRESS
SUSTAINABILITYFOCUSED SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS 10 SUSTAINABLE PROJECT AWARDS 09
COMMITMENTS THAT SPARK CHANGE
Little is proud to be at the forefront of the movement toward carbon-neutral buildings. We recognize our responsibility and obligation as design professionals to create environments that significantly reduce carbon and water consumption.
Understand, reduce, and ultimately eliminate embodied carbon in our projects by 2050.
Advocate for and achieve net-zero carbon in our projects: operational carbon by 2030 and embodied carbon by 2040.
MEP 2040 ChallengeCarbon Leadership Forum
Shifting how we evaluate the products and finishes we specify on a daily basis, we commit to five overarching statements that lead to more intentional product specification across our portfolio over time.
Architecture and Design Materials Pledge
AIA 2030 Challenge
Our firm is dedicated to reducing the energy consumption of the buildings we design, as evidenced by our adoption of the 2030 Challenge back in 2008. By participating in this challenge, we not only improve the performance of our clients' projects but also enhance the quality of people's lives.
As part of the 2030 Challenge, we have committed to achieving an energy consumption performance standard of 50% of the regional or country average for each project. Every five years, we will increase this standard by an additional 10%, ultimately leading to the realization of carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030.
COP26 (Conference of the Parties 26th Summit) seeks to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep a maximum of 1.5C degrees of warming within reach. Little is among the 60 largest and most influential design and construction firms to have signed an open letter to world governments that attended the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), requesting decisive action to reduce carbon emissions.
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ReGenLA Los Angeles, CA 25 MEASURING OUR PROGRESS
AIA 2030 COMMITMENT
Since 2008, Little has been a signatory of the AIA 2030 Commitment, while actively reporting our progress since 2010. As part of our commitment to transparency, we share performance-related data with our industry peers through the AIA's Design Data Exchange, a collaborative platform that facilitates discourse and accountability within the industry.
2022 4,056,963 Gross Square footage (GSF) reported to AIA 2030
% PREDICTED LPD* REDUCTION
* Lighting Power Density (LPD): The total input power of the lighting system per square foot.
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Not modeled Modeled 66.25% 33.75% 100 80 60 40 20 0 41.38% Industry Target 1.00 0.75 0.50 0.25 0 0.35
Site Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is Calculated: SPACE HEATING PUMPS & FANS SPACE COOLING LIGHTING HOT WATER OTHER LOADS ENERGY CONSUMPTION ON-SITE ENERGY PRODUCTION (kBtu / YEAR)
AREA (SQ. FT.)
Code Baseline (watts per square FOR 365 DA YS
% PREDICTED EUI REDUCTION ENERGY MODEL (% GSF OF PROJECTS)
Moving forward, we acknowledge the need for improvement and the responsibility we bear as 2030 rapidly approaches. So, what steps are we taking? First and foremost, we are embracing a data-driven approach to decision-making on every project. This approach allows us to make informed choices that lead to improved outcomes. We are also adopting an integrative process in recognition that collaboration and coordination across disciplines are essential to achieving our neutrality goals.
REDUCTION IN LITTLE’S AVG PERCENTAGE PREDICTED ENERGY USE INTENSITY (PEUI) FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS:
TABLE OF CONTENTS 27 MEASURING OUR PROGRESS
100 80 60 40 20 0 2018 2020 2021 2022 Industry Average 2019 38.18% 51.22% 53.53% 40.80% 41.38% 59.30%
THE SE 2050 COMMITMENT TO NET ZERO IS A KEY DRIVER FOR OUR WORK AS A TRANSDISCIPLINARY FIRM.
REPORTED SUCCESSFULLY WITH AN EMBODIED CARBON MODEL IN FIRST REPORTING YEAR (2022)
421 N. Harrington –Smoky Hollow Raleigh, NC
National Intern Day at Little Charlotte, NC
BUILDING A HEALTHY COMMUNITY
We prioritize and celebrate diversity in all its forms, embracing a culture of respect, acceptance, and tolerance.
Our values of CARE, STRETCH, and SPARK are deeply intertwined with our commitment to a regenerative future and our passion for crafting purposeful spaces for our clients and communities. We firmly believe that our success in elevating client performance and delivering Results Beyond Architecture relies on creating an inclusive environment where every employee feels valued, included, and empowered to contribute their unique experiences and perspectives.
To foster a sense of community and belonging, we have established voluntary Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). These groups are open to all Little employees and provide forums for employees to connect with others who share similar backgrounds or interests, promoting awareness and fostering positive relationships.
Through these intentional actions, we strive to cultivate an engaged, diverse, and inclusive workplace where everyone feels respected, appreciated, and inspired to make a meaningful impact.
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International Women's Day Event
Black History Month Event
E-Pros Game Night
ERGs and SIGs typically share several key goals, which include:
• Providing a discussion and support network for employees
• Boosting professional development
• Building employee connections and culture
• Creating opportunities for community outreach and engagement
• Encouraging a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace
• Strengthening allyship and helping connect employees in different locations
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs):
• Colorways – Elevate and advance the perspectives and voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC).
• Prism – Empower and support LGBTQ+ communities through education, networking, and outreach initiatives.
• She Belongs – Support and advance a culture of diversity and belonging. Honor women’s voices and contributions while empowering women at all levels to develop and realize their full potential.
• E-Pros – Provide value to emerging and evolving professionals by creating opportunities for leadership growth, professional development, relationship building, and community service.
Special Interest Groups / SIGs:
• Elevate Design – Design-focused conversations for those with strong passions or whose positions are focused on design.
• Mentoring – Firmwide exchanges about practice and professional development opportunities.
• Under Construction/Foundation to Finish – Lessons learned on projects through in-person site visits.
OUR INTERNAL PROGRAM, BELONG AT LITTLE, ADVOCATES FOR EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE THROUGH DISCUSSION, EDUCATION, AND OUTREACH WITHIN THE FIRM AND OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS. WE BELIEVE ALL VOICES DESERVE A PLACE AT THE TABLE AND THAT LITTLE AND OUR CLIENTS MUTUALLY BENEFIT FROM THE DIVERSITY OF PERSPECTIVES.
Julie Hecksher She Belongs
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MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Healthy Company, Healthy Community
Through Pulse Surveys, we harness the power of our employees' voices to shape an exceptional workplace experience. By listening attentively and acting on valuable insights, we are Elevating Our Performance.
• Satisfaction with Benefits
• Support of a Healthy Work-Life Balance
• Focus on Collaboration & Performance
• Development & Professional Growth Opportunities
40+% EMPLOYEE RESPONSE RATE AVERAGE
COLLABORATION, FLEXIBILITY, AND CARING HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS OUR STRONGEST TRAITS
Holistic Wellness Programs
Focused on mental, physical, and financial wellness.
• Management resources
• Employee assistance programs
• Six free in-person and virtual counseling sessions per matter
• Lifestyle management
• Health assessments
• Healthy rewards program
• Biometric screening
• Preventive care
• Healthy Mind/Healthy Kids program
• Social networking
• Personal pathways and goals
Financial Education and consulting on topics, such as:
• Retirement, emergency, and college savings and planning
• Debt management
50% OF RESPONSES ARE FROM EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN AT LITTLE FOR 15+ YEARS
WE HAVE IDENTIFIED THE BENEFITS THAT HAVE THE MOST IMPACT AND AREAS WHERE WE CAN IMPROVE
• Student loans
• Cyber fraud
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ARTPOP FELT LIKE HOME FOR ME BECAUSE THERE WAS AN ALIGNMENT WITH THE ORGANIZATION’S GOALS AND MY OWN… MY PERSONAL GOAL IS TO MAKE THE GREATER CHARLOTTE AREA THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE THAT I CAN, AND I BELIEVE THAT PUBLIC ART IS AN INVALUABLE PIECE OF THAT.
Doug Broome ArtPop Board Member
Clean the Queen Volunteer Day
Rebuilding Together: National Rebuilding Day
Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Day
Canstruction Can Drive Competition
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WeCare Annual Event
INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION
National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
Fostering diversity and advocacy in our profession, the Project Pipeline camp introduces middle and high school students to the architecture and design industry.
HBCU Professional Development Program
The NOMA Historically Black Colleges & Universities Professional Development Program fosters mentorship and self-advocacy by creating additional opportunities for HBCU students. The program provides students with the resources they need to transform their professional journey and promotes workplace culture through diversity of experience among employees.
Established in partnership with the AIA Large Firm Round Table, the NOMA Foundation Fellowship creates mentorship opportunities for students across the country to broaden the pipeline of minority designers within the field of architecture.
ACE Mentor Program
The ACE Mentor Program informs and excites high school students about career opportunities in Architecture, Engineering and Construction. Through this program, students foster relationships with industry professionals while receiving support to develop both fundamental and technical skills necessary for success in these fields.
Expanding Our Diversity of Thought
As our firm expands, we embrace and celebrate the diverse perspectives that enhance our work. We actively seek to build relationships with design and engineering programs across a range of disciplines. With team members who represent a wide geographic reach, we bring a comprehensive approach that allows us to craft meaningful solutions for our clients.
10.9% INCREASE IN MINORITY REPRESENTATION AT LITTLE BETWEEN 2018 AND 2023
45.5% OF THE 2022 SUMMER INTERN COHORT AT LITTLE IDENTIFIED AS A MINORITY
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PURSUING LICENSURE HAS BEEN A PRIORITY FOR ME EVER SINCE I STARTED CONSIDERING CIVIL ENGINEERING AS A CAREER PATH. SINCE I BEGAN AT LITTLE AS AN INTERN, THE IMPORTANCE OF LICENSURE, AND THE BENEFITS I WOULD BE ABLE TO REAP AS A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL, HAVE BEEN INSTILLED IN ME. MY TEAM MEMBERS HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY SUPPORTIVE AND ENCOURAGING THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS OF STUDYING FOR MY EXAMS.
Skylar Gomez Civil Engineer
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DECADE ETHNICITY / RACE GENDER AMERICAN INDIAN ASIAN BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN HISPANIC OR LATINO 2 OR MORE RACES WHITE NOT SPECIFIED 73% 10% 2% 7% 6% 1% 1% MALE FEMALE 52% 48% 1959 and before 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 24% 24% 4% 17% 5% 26%
Marine Discovery Center
New Smyrna Beach, FL
LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE
MEASURE100% OF OUR P R O JECTS VERIFYPROJECT PERF O R MANCE
INCREASEMEASUR E MENT TARGETS
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SERVICESAROUND NOITARENEG BEA LE A DERINREGENE R A MPOLEVEDEVIT TNE
SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTOURIN INCREASE VISIBILITY OFEXPERT DEVELOP NE W
OUR 2023 SUSTAINABILITY AND REGENERATION GOALS
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SFORHEWS INTEGRATIVE PRO C E S S RTISEIN REG E N E R NOITA OUND R E ENEG
THE POWER OF PERSPECTIVE: Cultivating a Vision for Measurable Transformation
Gazing upward, a clear night sky unveils an indescribable splendor, evoking a profound sense of awe even within the narrowest field of vision.
It is estimated there are more than two trillion galaxies in the observable universe. Earth is located along one of the great spiraling arms of the Milky Way galaxy, an immense swirling cloud of space containing more than 100 billion stars, including our sun. Continue to gaze upward, and you will discover we are nestled within an expansive and dazzling celestial ecosystem where countless other planets orbit their own fiery stellar spheres.
Our viewpoint is framed by our power to find our place both within the stars and beside one another. Together, we form a unified existence, sharing this planet as one interconnected life.
From the vast expanse above to the intricate ecosystem of our own surroundings, we view a tree in a yard, an avenue, a park. Trees not only frame the focal points of our lives but provide shade, food, oxygen, habitat, and numerous other necessities for life. Astonishingly, a single average tree sustains more than 2,300 distinct species. Amazing still, there are more trees on earth than stars in the Milky Way galaxy – roughly 420 trees for every person alive today.
These silent, ancient lifeforms give abundantly to the world around them. It is now incumbent upon us to do the same through our work. Instead of building better systems to support life, we must prioritize better support for the life systems that already exist to carry us forward here on Earth.
From macro to micro, our understanding of these fascinating realities is rooted in diligent
measurement, scientific data, and keen observation. With this knowledge in hand, it is imperative we apply the same rigor to measuring the impacts and outcomes of our own endeavors. By recognizing the relationships between life systems and striving for a harmonious balance, we embrace the strong purpose for adaptation, renewal, and regeneration.
The profound interconnectedness of all life is embodied in the essence of science and enlightenment. At its base is the measurement of carbon moving from one form to another. Carbon, the fundamental building block of life, remains constant in quantity throughout the existence of Earth.
Intrinsically intertwined with life, carbon forms the foundation of the projects we contribute to. Recognizing the carbon footprint associated with our efforts allows us to measure and enhance our work’s impact on carbon neutrality, ultimately striving for regenerative outcomes. This concept of circularity is deeply rooted in the way humans have existed within nature for millennia. We know the measure of our footprint on the world and its impact. In fact, the Cherokee people use the same word "ugili" to represent both a footprint and a unit of measurement.
The path to swift progress toward regeneration lies in embracing measurements, enabling us to discover solutions that yield the highest return on investment for all stakeholders. The key to this effort is understanding how data-driven decisions can solve our greatest challenges, if we integrate them effectively into our work. With a keen awareness of a project's resource consumption we can align our work with the Earth's carrying capacity.
Of the many tools available, artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming one of the most promising. By integrating it correctly, AI can play a pivotal role in analyzing vast amounts of data to help us optimize
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adaptive outcomes. In a recent report, members of the Boston Consulting Group identified the opportunity for AI to support efforts in battling climate change. The group noted that “Due to its capacity to gather, complete, and interpret large, complex datasets on emissions, climate impact, and more, it can be used to support all stakeholders in taking a more informed and data-driven approach to combating carbon emissions and building a greener society.”
The report further stated that we must quickly adapt to constantly changing climate situations that harm our existence. The BCC group proffered that “Minimizing the harm will also require increasing our efforts at adaptation and resilience—from immediate crisis response to long-term planning.”
In our own work, AI can help elevate our efficiency in creating strategies that minimize embodied and operational carbon, while identifying areas of highest impact for resource deployment across the entire life cycle of design, construction, and operations. At Little we are exploring ways to leverage AI and all of its potential to inform innovative solutions for a quicker return on a regenerative investment.
Little's focus areas of measurement - Health, Energy, Water, and Social Equity (HEWS) - enhance positive outcomes. By gaining insights into human behaviors and attitudes within a specific building typology, we can establish baseline metrics to develop improved operational strategies. For example, this process can effectively eliminate unnecessary energy and water demand, promote the well-being
of occupants and surrounding communities, and create opportunities to offset the building's resource consumption through renewable sources.
In simple terms, Good Design balances the needs of the project with the needs of the ecological and social communities within which it exists. Designing for regeneration uplifts all systems of interconnected life both upstream and downstream. Environmentalist David Orr writes, “Design is not so much about making things as about how to make things that fit gracefully over long periods of time in a particular context”. To ensure our enduring presence on Earth, we must strive to create projects and places that harmoniously coexist with nature, fostering a lasting equilibrium.
This work is noble, and together we have the power to change minds and change culture toward a regenerative future. We must find ways to spark the passion for the work ahead, by building resilience and renewal into our everyday practices. We must find the wild places that still exist and rewild others that have tipped out of balance within our ecosystems. AI can solve incredibly complex problems but cannot truly interpret human connection. We are all here to do a little better and to grow alongside the wildest flowers, into something great, with grace and love guiding our hands, hearts, and minds.
Our success rests on the ability to see a regenerative future, focusing on the strength of our relationships with each other and with nature.
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AI Image of Milky Way Generated by Midjourney
LEAVING A LASTING IMPACT: Words from our CEO
It's a reminder that even the smallest of gestures or decisions can have a profound impact on our community and the world around us.
Carol Rickard-Brideau AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP Partner & Chief Executive Officer
When a pebble is dropped into a pond, the impact creates ripples that extend far beyond the initial point of contact. These ripples can travel great distances, affecting the water's surface even in the most remote areas of the pond. This simple act illustrates a larger truth about the interconnectedness of our world. Every action we take has the potential to create a ripple effect that can influence people and systems far beyond our immediate surroundings.
It is with great pleasure that we share our 2023 annual report on sustainability and regeneration, highlighting progress we have made over the past year and the positive impacts it has made for our clients. This report represents our ongoing commitment to creating places and spaces that deliver results beyond architecture, positively impacting the communities where they exist and the people who come in contact with them.
At Little, we believe that the built environment has the power to transform lives, shape the world around us, and create a better future. That's why we have made it our mission to create spaces that are not only beautiful and functional, but also regenerative — meaning they give back to the people and communities they serve and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future for all. In this report, we've shared some of the lessons we’re learning along the way, the challenges we've faced, as well as data and insights into our performance and progress toward our regenerative goals. Over the past year, along with training a core group in the integrative process and benchmarking our own carbon footprint, we’ve completed a wide variety of projects with regenerative goals. These projects have become the “family trees” that are generating more sustainability-driven work, for our clients.
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• NeoCity Academy, a net-zero energy, ground-up public high school, saves the equivalent of two and a half teachers’ salaries every year by reducing energy costs. The success achieved with this facility has helped transform the way school districts across Florida are launching new facilities
• The Nature Conservancy Worldwide Office renovation resulted in 33% energy reduction and 63% water reduction, setting the stage for LEED Platinum certification while serving the Conservancy’s teaching mission by sharing real-time building performance with the occupants and guests.
• Crescent Communities Enterprise Office, an interior upfit addresses physical and emotional well-being by balancing building and human performance. A multiprong approach to air quality through the mechanical system, filtration, and biophilic design resulted in optimal performance for occupants returning to the office. An integrative approach resulted in WELL Platinum and LEED Silver certifications.
At Little, we believe regeneration is not just a buzzword or a trend — it's the future of our profession and our world. We're proud to be at the forefront of this movement, pushing ourselves and our industry toward a more sustainable and regenerative future, and we hope this report inspires you to join us in that mission. Together we can create a better world by understanding the long-term effects of our choices and their impacts on the people around us.
Be the pebble that starts the ripple.
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EVERY ACTION WE TAKE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CREATE A RIPPLE EFFECT THAT CAN INFLUENCE PEOPLE AND SYSTEMS FAR BEYOND OUR IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS. IT'S A REMINDER THAT EVEN THE SMALLEST OF GESTURES OR DECISIONS CAN HAVE A PROFOUND IMPACT ON OUR COMMUNITY AND THE WORLD AROUND US.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Regenerative and restorative buildings go beyond living building levels by not only enhancing their own structures but also revitalizing the surrounding environment. This includes activities like restoring the natural hydrology of a site or creating habitats for wildlife and plants that have been lost.
Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.
Health, Energy, Water and Social Equity (HEWS) are Little’s focused areas of measurement.
Predicted Energy Use Intensity (pEUI)
Predicted Energy Use Intensity is the measurement of a building's annual energy usage.
Lighting Power Density (LPD)
Lighting Power Density is the total input power of the designed or installed lighting system per square foot, expressed as watts per square foot (W/sf). You may also see Predicted Lighting Power Density (pLPD).
Embodied Carbon is the carbon dioxide emitted during the manufacture, transport, and construction of building materials, together with end of life emissions.
Operational Carbon is the carbon emitted during the lifetime operational use and maintenance of a building.
An Energy Model is a simulated prediction of energy use based on designed characteristics and historical climate data.
Net Zero/Net Positive
Net Zero/Net Positive is an energy-efficient building where, on a source energy basis, the actual annual delivered energy is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy.
Net Zero Ready
Net Zero Ready is a high performance building with ultralow energy consumption and has the ability to be offset with on-site renewable energy generation to become a zero energy building.
An integrative process is a comprehensive approach to building systems and equipment. Project team members look for synergies among systems and components, the mutual advantages that can help achieve high levels of building performance, human comfort, and environmental benefits. (usgbc)
Gross Square Feet (GSF)
Gross Square Footage is the total area of enclosed space measured to the exterior walls of a building.
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups focused on creating a sense of community through common backgrounds and life experiences.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups focused on creating a sense of community through common interests.
Earth's Carrying Capacity
Earth's Carrying Capacity is the maximum, sustainable population size that the planet can support while maintaining a balance between the resources available and the demands placed on them by human activities and other species.
Rewilding refers to the process of restoring and reconnecting natural habitats and ecosystems, often by reintroducing native species and allowing natural processes to occur with minimal human intervention.
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