ne percent may not sound like much, in the grand scheme of things. One percent is just a penny out of a dollar, less than four days out of a year, two Doritos from a family-size bag. One percent is the first fourteen words of the Declaration of Independence. One percent of a movie won’t get you past the opening credits, and one percent of a good night’s sleep is less than five minutes. One percent can also be huge. One percent of the world’s population is 78 million people. One percent of Alaska is over 6,500 square miles. One percent of the time we spend working in a typical year is about 20 hours. What we do with one percent of our working hours matters a great deal, if we spend them well. Architect John Peterson, founder of the nonprofit organization Public Architecture, has long been an advocate of architects using their unique training and problem-solving skills in service to the greater
good. He had a bold vision: to help link design firms offering one percent of their time to pro bono projects with nonprofit organizations who could benefit from great design. This vision was the inception of the 1+ movement in 2005. Firms of all sizes heeded the call, and LS3P–a longtime supporter of pro bono design for community organizations–formally joined the 1+ organization at the end of 2019. Through 1+, LS3P has pledged 1% of staff hours– roughly 20 hours a year per employee–for pro bono work. Anyone in the firm can propose and lead a project; the in-house application process is simple and inclusive to empower and encourage employees to participate. Targeted projects provide solutions for architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, engineering, urban design & planning, and sustainability needs.
Architecture is deeply rooted in design thinking and problem solving, and when we apply our
unique skills to the built environment, we can generate far-reaching impacts.
Katherine Peele LS3P Chief Practice Officer
Chief Practice Officer Katherine Peele, FAIA sees this commitment as an important avenue for strengthening communities and elevating design quality for all. “Architecture is deeply rooted in design thinking and problem solving, and when we apply our unique skills to the built environment, we can generate far-reaching impacts,” Peele explains. “Access to high quality design can be instrumental for our community partners in raising awareness, fundraising, providing facilities, and serving their clients at a higher level.” The speed with which projects took off was remarkable, as was their range and geographic reach. In the course of one year, the firm has been involved in at least a dozen 1+ projects to date, as close as a few blocks from our offices to as far away as Africa.
Honoring History, Honoring Memories
The Silent Witness of Saint John Cemetery Charleston has 128 cemeteries, each with its own unique story. At the intersection of Coming Street and the Crosstown Highway lies one special cemetery whose history was almost lost to time and change: Saint John Cemetery, the final resting place of nearly a thousand Catholic African Americans- both enslaved and free- who lived in the city between 1843 and 1882.
Following a 1994 citizen-led study conducted in partnership with the Chicora Foundation and Calvary Episcopal Church, research revealed that the cemetery was the final resting place for as many as 1,000 people. The Diocese assumed responsibility for the siteâ€™s care and upkeep, installing a fence and signage indicating its use. However, many gravestones had been lost or destroyed
The land was purchased by the Diocese of Charleston in 1843 to serve as a burial ground. The adjacent land was used for a church, then a school; by 1923 the church was replaced, and by 1967 the Diocese consolidated congregations. The SC DOT acquired the property by eminent domain, the buildings were damaged by fire and demolished, and during the transfer of congregations, the cemetery death register was lost. The cemetery suffered from neglect as the property remained vacant and unmarked for more than 20 years.
and the siteâ€™s significance was largely forgotten, and neighbors frequently used the consecrated ground as a dog park.
BEFORE The Saint John Cemetery Memorial Project, led by nonprofit charitable organization Carolina Catholic Professionals, seeks to restore the cemetery as a place of remembrance and prayer. LS3Pâ€™s team worked closely with the organization to create a conceptual design for a memorial park which will honor those who are buried there and educate the community on the historical, spiritual, and cultural significance of the site.
Welcoming Pint-Sized Congregants
Summerville Baptist Church Playground A church tends to all its members- even, and maybe especially, the smallest ones. When Summerville Baptist Church wanted to upgrade and relocate its playground, LS3P brought architectural skills to a variety of important tasks, including inventorying favorite existing equipment and picking out new additions to expand the playgroundâ€™s offerings.
LS3P assisted with the new layout, planned for safety zones around each item, compiled cost estimates, worked with the existing slope to determine equipment installation needs, selected new surface material, and selected new fencing and gates for security. The project is about to move from planning and design into construction.
Passport to Adventure
Cainhoy Elementary Reading Room The Rotary Club of Daniel Island is “a service and fellowship organization focused on building better communities and changing lives.” The Club wanted to help local students at Cainhoy Elementary School get excited about reading, and came to LS3P for help designing a Reading Room.
a design charrette to generate ideas for a kid-friendly design that would complement an existing jungle mural on the wall. The designers created several concepts and enlisted several product reps who are willing to provide free or low-cost furnishings to bring the room to life.
The team identified and surveyed an unused classroom, and LS3P’s Charleston office held
The project is currently in the design phase.
Rural Uganda faces many challenges with access to modern healthcare. Among those are a lack of doctors, lack of training, and lack of facilities, resulting in a high mortality rate for mothers and infants. In order to help address this problem, a team of designers partnered with Ugandan and American doctors to offer pro-bono design services at the highest level. GoDesign, a Savannah, GA organization working to â€œdesign hopeâ€? for communities in Africa, mentioned that they could use some design assistance for a healthcare project in Uganda, and LS3P was eager to participate. The design team collaborated on a facility that will offer lab spaces, maternity wards, patient rooms, emergency services, optometry, dental, doctorsâ€™ housing, and a physician training center. The facility builds upon the traditions of local tradesmen while elevating the design through applied research with adapted typologies. By celebrating the local materials, employing local skilled trades, and drawing from traditional typologies, the design team created an architecture that is uniquely African and deeply rooted in place, community, and making. Sited roughly at the equator just north of Lake Victoria, the area takes advantage of strong north/south prevailing winds from the lake while also receiving a
significant amount of rain. Located directly to the south is a school that furthers the idea that community services should be offered in the same location. The building concept is centered around community and campus. A chapel anchors the site at the center, and patient care buildings designed to be built in modular sections cascade down the siteâ€™s 25â€™ of elevation. Ugandan families are very large and close knit, so the spaces between the buildings were prioritized and programmed to facilitate informal connection and surprise experiences throughout the campus. The central ground plane is defined with pavers, plantings, trees, and cascading steps with seating zones. Due to budget constraints and technological limitations in this area, the buildings must function without an HVAC system, so the identity of the structures is tied directly to their passive performance. Due to the yearround equatorial sun, all facades are protected with a large floating roof that keeps the heat gain from the spaces
below. Adapted solar chimneys which pass through the double roof system will passively pull air from breathable facades below and expel it above the roof. Central dogtrot adaptations were added to buildings that cannot share cross ventilation due to potential contamination of adjacent spaces. Medical equipment will have battery back-up and energy offset by solar arrays on the roofs, resulting in a netzero energy facility. Building materials are largely renewable, low carbon, and native to Uganda. A dry stack brick made from excavated compressed dirt on the site will make up the majority of the wall systems. However, to add diffuse light and airflow, the design team developed a layered screen system from mosquito mesh and bamboo sticks that will allow for infill and windows. Doors, screens, and accents are all made from eucalyptus planks. By focusing on native materials, the construction of the campus will teach and expand the knowledge of local craftsmen so these sustainable building techniques can be used for future projects.
Celebrating Community Investment
Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina Signage With a mission to help “create vibrant communities by uniting people and investing resources,” Coastal Community Foundation has served South Carolina since 1974. CCF is the largest grantmaking entity in the state, and its fundraising operations enable a better quality of life for citizens across the Lowcountry. For the organization’s new home at the former Navy base in North Charleston, LS3P provided pro-bono design and implementation services to install a monumental donor wall with donor signage. This tribute honors and celebrates all who make CCF’s mission possible.
All in This Together
WHO Burkina Faso Covid Hospital The COVID-19 crisis has not only forced us to re-think the ways in which we work, but also has led us to surprising and exciting opportunities to collaborate across international borders. When colleagues at Mazzetti asked LS3P to join an effort led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Healthcare Engineering (IFHE), the team was honored and humbled by the opportunity to help. The directive was to present strategies for circulation, physical distancing, PPE, and ventilation for an existing healthcare facility in Dedougou, Burkina Faso to prepare for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients. The
urgency of the situation was reflected in the ambitious eight-day timeline. Bolstered by an initial WHO training session and existing protocols for drawing standards and formats, the team collaborated through virtual meetings to develop a targeted plan to provide safer spaces for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment using readily available materials, technology, and on-the-ground expertise. Using very basic information, including photos of the site, elevations, and floor plans, the team developed a long list of questions: what were the funding sources available? What construction resources are available? How does the facility currently operate? Conversions between metric and imperial measurements, and from French to English, added layers of complexity on a tight timeframe, but together the team achieved a quick turnaround and viable solutions for the clinic. Program spaces included treatment areas
(mild to moderate, severe, and critical), laundry, restrooms, offices, donning/doffing areas, morgue, incinerator, and circulation. The team used existing information to analyze flow of patients and providers to minimize opportunities for cross-contamination. The existing facility relies on natural ventilation, and the design proposed a hybrid system with natural ventilation with mechanical exhaust to keep clean air flowing into patient rooms and prevent contaminated air flowing back into corridors. The design directs staff, patient, and visitor flow for maximum efficiency and safety as well as strategic use of PPE. Staff can observe patients from a central corridor to reduce donning and doffing needs. Cultural considerations greatly impacted the decision-making process. While in many countries visitors to COVID-care units are prohibited, the team determined that in Burkina Faso, family members are considered to be
critical to recovery and therefore visitors would be strongly encouraged to visit (albeit with PPE, physical distancing and other safety protocols). The design accommodates visitors with dedicated circulation routes in and out of the facility depending on the patient level of acuity. LS3Pâ€™s work with the Burkina Faso project has led to a series of opportunities to mentor teams on international WHO projects in Brazil, Haiti, Yemen, Chad, and Ethiopia. These projects included tent facilities, modular facilities using shipping containers, construction additions, waste facilities, and hybrids integrating a variety of project types. LS3P provided guidance on the process and best practices for participation. This process enables diverse teams of healthcare experts to contribute invaluable knowledge to prepare hospitals and clinics to manage potential COVID surges, providing strategies for circulation, air flow, patient/provider safety, and other critical design elements.
Room to Grow
Windwood Farms Home for Children Renovation Windwood Farms offers residential behavioral health care for at-risk boys aged 6 to 16 in Awendaw, SC. Founded in 1985, the organization provides both outpatient and residential programs to support â€œhelp, hope, and healing.â€? Along with program growth, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated additional capacity; LS3P provided construction documents to add beds to the residential facility. In addition to expanding bed capacity, the design reconfigures the first floor to enclose an existing porch to add dining space and improves existing circulation. On the second floor, an office will be converted to a bedroom for three patients, and a consultation room will be added to the living room/ day room. Another office will be converted to a full bathroom.
A Building for the Builders
Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity LS3P and Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity already know each other well through the organizationâ€™s annual Upscale Resale event. When Habitat needed help with drawings to convert an existing facility into warehouse, training, office, and storage space, LS3P was delighted to assist. The design team contributed expertise in code and life safety, commercial materials specifications, and space planning. The resulting design gave them the most efficient use of shared space and warehouse space to keep all functions under one roof. The efficient plan created a six-person office and training room with 2,800 SF of the 11,400 SF warehouse, minimizing the required conditioned space for a cost-effective solution.
Coffee and Compassion
Vigilant Hope Roasting
Vigilant Hope, a Wilmington, NC nonprofit, has been working to alleviate poverty and homelessness in the area for a decade. One of its programs, Business on a Mission, focuses on job skills training and employment through a coffee roastery; the programâ€™s success has led to the need for expansion by turning an existing retail space in downtown Wilmington into a full-fledged coffee roastery and cafĂŠ. LS3P conducted a Life Safety Plan and Appendix B Code Summary for the 2,595 SF space, which will ultimately support program participants and provide revenue for operations.
A New Home for a New Beginning
My Sisterâ€™s House
A safe and affordable home is essential for human survival and dignity. Upon release from prison, women identify housing as one of their most urgent needs in order to successfully reenter their communities. Individuals with past incarceration records face significant barriers to housing access and are at greater risk for homelessness due to stigmatization, policies barring them from most federal housing assistance programs, and the challenges of finding employment due to their criminal records.
My Sisterâ€™s House, owned and operated by Tried By Fire Inc. in New Bern, NC, will create a stable, secure, and supportive home for women during the first 30 to 90 days after incarceration. The organization is transforming a donated house in need of extensive renovation into a warm, welcoming place for transition. LS3P is assisting with a range of services including code studies, construction documents, interior design, and hands-on volunteer work during a series of workdays.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Rowan Outdoor Classrooms School systems around the country are seeking creative solutions for a safer school experience. To meet the need for more space for outdoor learning, the Rowan-Salisbury School System is interested in building outdoor classroom structures for 34 K-12 schools, sized for 12-15 students.
LS3P is working with the System to create concept designs for three different types of open-air structures- a rectangular structure with solid roof to shelter from both sun and rain, a rectangular structure with open roof such as louver or trellis to shelter from sun only, or a round/segmented structure such as a gazebo with solid roof to shelter from sun and rain. Each concept will be scalable to three sizes. The structures will be designed for a maximum budget of $10,000 each for the smaller structures and $18,000 for the larger structures, including construction labor and materials.
Parking Space Pivot
Wilmington Parklet Project
When COVID-19 upturned the restaurant industry this year, cities got creative with ways to encourage safer outdoor dining. Wilmington, NC explored the idea of creating temporary “parklets,” or reclaimed spaces from street parking, to expand dining spaces and support restaurants in continuing to serve their patrons outdoors. LS3P worked with the city to generate dining concepts and identify potential parklet locations adjacent to participating restaurant establishments. In Charleston, the design is also underway for an LS3P submission to AIA Charleston’s “sPARKing” Competition to explore “possibilities for expansion of the public realm in a 7x22 parking space.”
A Pathway Home
Miracle Hill Ministries Miracle Hill, a faith-based nonprofit in Greenville, SC, aims to help people who are struggling with homelessness to find a better life. For those finding success through structured programs such as those at Miracle Hill, access to safe and affordable housing can still be a huge challenge. This transitional home for women will ease that burden, allowing guests to work towards independence in a supportive environment. LS3P, in collaboration with a Leadership Greenville team, will renovate a 1960â€™s residential property to welcome six women and/or children at any given time. The project will provide a new kitchen with cabinetry, appliances, and lighting; new flooring; updates to the bathroom, including new vanities and plumbing; new paint; and new windows and roof if possible.
LS3P’s pro bono work over several decades has benefitted a broad range of community partners; joining the 1+ network allows the firm to formalize its commitment to community engagement through design and to track long-term impacts. CEO Marc Marchant, AIA, believes that joining the 1+ network reinforces the firm’s values. “Our vision states that in our commitment to the Southeast, we create architecture that enriches community through a culture of design excellence, expertise, innovation, and collaborative engagement,” Marchant says. “Designers have a responsibility to help communities address challenges and prepare for new opportunities. Good design can enable our community organizations not only to thrive, but also to flourish.”
Designers have a
responsibility to help
challenges and prepare for new opportunities.
Good design can
enable our community
organizations not only to
thrive, but also to f lourish. Marc Marchant LS3P CEO
To learn more about the 1+ Program, visit their website at www.theoneplus.org
In service to LS3P's vision, we are a proud member of 1+, a network of designers committed to dedicating a minimum of 1% of working hours to...