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SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PLAN AIA 2030 Commitment


ABOVE: University of Connecticut, Oak Hall, Storrs, CT / LEED Gold (pending) PHOTO CREDIT: © Charles Mayer


CONTENTS

01.

INTRODUCTION Our Sustainable Design Philosophy

02.

DESIGN Practice, Case Studies: Energy Facility | Mass Timber

03.

EDUCATION In-House GM, Outreach & Advocacy

04.

FIRM OPERATIONS Practicing Green


01

INTRODUCTION Our Sustainable Design Philosophy


01

INTRODUCTION Our Sustainable Design Philosophy


Leers Weinzapfel Associates is committed to designing vibrant, enduring, sustainable buildings which are integrally linked to their site and context, and imbued with qualities of space that encourage users and the public to value them for generations. We have created environmentally responsible architecture since the firm’s inception in 1982. Sustainable design principles, including strategic urban infill, the relationship of the building to the landscape, the use of natural light, energy efficiency, and materials research, inform every aspect of our work. Our integrated approach to sustainability maximizes the impact of passive design, while incorporating strategic, innovative engineering solutions to minimize energy use. We have pioneered new standards of building sustainability for major academic and civic institutions, surpassing performance goals and moving the benchmark for future projects. Harvard University’s Library Services Building (2007) was the university’s first ground-up LEED building. Harvard’s target was LEED Silver; through careful daylighting, envelope performance, and geothermal pump systems, the completed project achieved LEED Gold. The Dudley Square Police Station (2012) was the first LEED building constructed by the City of Boston. Built on a heavily contaminated brownfield site, the city targeted LEED Silver accreditation. The project maximized site protection through underslab ventilation, stormwater retention and green roof planting. It was the first city building to achieve LEED Gold. The renovation of Dartmouth’s Dana Hall (projected completion 2019) will transform an under-utilized medical library into the highestperformance, lowest energy use facility on the Dartmouth campus. A comprehensive approach to building sustainability integrates a wide range of strategies, including on-site energy generation (rooftop PV panels), high-performance triple glazing with integral shading, demandcontrolled ventilation, a building-wide natural ventilation mode, and radiant ceiling heating/cooling. Leers Weinzpafel Associates adopted the AIA 2030 Commitment in 2012, with the goal of achieving carbon neutral design throughout our work by the year 2030.

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02

DESIGN Practice / Case Studies


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DESIGN Practice


Sustainability LWA actively pursues sustainable design opportunities, strategies, and goals through material research, design review, and partnerships with green experts and initiatives. LWA is proud to have many firsts amongst its projects, as listed previously. A significant amount of our work includes public projects in dense urban areas. Sustainability in this context is critical for the neighborhood as well as the environment. We believe that the quality of the user’s experience is ultimately where the success of the design is revealed. Our civic and institutional clients value resilient and enduring design which requires long lasting systems and materials. At the beginning of each project, the design team rigorously studies project-specific strategies addressing issues of resiliency and energy efficiency, coupled with material and design innovation. Energy modeling is a regular practice throughout all design phases. Project managers apply a “green” quality assurance / quality control checklist to track the sustainability progress. Today, we continue to strive for sustainability to be an inherent part of our projects and a part of the user’s experience. LWA has gathered extensive research and become leaders in engineered timber architecture and energy facilities design. As advocates for sustainability, members of the design team regularly publish articles and give lectures at multiple occasions (WoodWorks Conferences, ABX, AIA, SCUP, etc) sharing “lessons-learned” with the broader design community.

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02

DESIGN Case Studies


Case Study 01: Mass Timber

University of Massachusetts John W. Olver Design Building

Technologies in engineered mass timber and composites are rapidly advancing, and the growth of these products will make the construction industry more sustainable. Wood a low carbon footprint and many positive impacts on occupant health, making it an inherently sustainable building material. Our firm recognizes the many benefits of the use of mass timber and advocates for the advancement of its integration into the North American building industry. LWA is an industry leader in the design of mass timber buildings in the United States, designing buildings that show off the material and explore its formal and structural potential. The John W. Oliver Design Building is intended to exemplify the University of Massachusetts’ commitment to sustainable and innovative design with its LEED Platinum certification (pending) and demonstration of emerging wood construction technologies. Bringing together the previously dispersed Departments of Architecture, Building Construction Technology, and Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning, the Design Building fosters multidisciplinary collaboration and serves as a model for sustainable design.

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02

DESIGN Case Studies


Featuring an innovative use of engineered timber, the building is currently the largest cross laminated timber (CLT) academic building in the US. Harnessing FSC-certified wood as a renewable material that sequesters carbon with its low embodied energy, the building represents 2,681 metric tons of CO2 in total carbon benefit. Exposed wood structure combined with daylight create spaces that are bright and warm, and sensitive to touch and smell of wood; spaces that foster human comfort, productivity, and well-being. The central commons of the building displays both the strength and expressive potential of wood, with a “zipper truss” that supports an intensive roof garden above; CLT roof panels are supported on three-dimensional array of triangulated glulam and steel rod trusses. Connecting the Commons with the roof garden is the main stair made of CLT panels and glulam tread blocks, suspended from the roof structure with steel tension rods. The ceiling of the Commons is finished with maple wood slats, mitigating the visual impact of the building’s MEP utilities while still allowing it to be seen and studied. The building is clad in recycled copper anodized aluminum panels. The design showcases the wood structure by making it visible through large areas of glazing at the public spaces throughout. Passive design strategies informed the massing and program layout at the schematic design phase. The building form is compact thereby reducing the envelope and heat loss while allowing occupied spaces to have generous natural light and views to the campus. The envelope is highly-efficient with a hybrid mechanical system zoned for maximum efficiency. Carefully placed expanses of glazing and skylights provide maximum daylight to the building’s interior to significantly reduce artificial lighting energy. The building will be known for exceptional learning spaces that offer exposed natural materials, exterior campus and courtyard views, and thoughtful daylighting in a high-performance building with measurable and verifiable operations.

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02

DESIGN Case Studies


Case Study 02: Energy Facilities Harvard University District Energy Facility

District Energy technologies have evolved to become key components of sustainable design initiatives for college campuses, and urban centers. The concept is not new, as district energy distribution has been utilized for nearly a century. Today, however, with new technologies such as cogeneration and advanced storage systems, District Energy helps building owners, local communities, and colleges campuses provide reliable and resilient heating and cooling while meeting sustainable goals and reducing carbon emissions. By utilizing a centralized energy production strategy, with heating, cooling and electrical generation gathered together into one facility, wasted energy is dramatically reduced and new opportunities for symbiosis between the systems can be developed using strategies like heat recovery, chilled water storage, renewable energy sources. The Harvard Allston District Energy Facility (DEF) which will supply electricity and hot and cold water to the Allston expansion of Harvard’s campus, is designed to be efficient, flexible, and resilient while also presenting a transparent face to the community and allowing for future development around it. Energy storage and heat recovery increase the plant’s efficiency and the design can accommodate future equipment upgrades to help Harvard facilitate its goal of being fossil fuel-free by 2050. The plant is also designed to withstand predicted flood levels and to continue operation in the case of a total blackout. Large extents of glass and an exterior screen of vertical metal fins reveal the exciting inner workings of the facility, making it a dynamic presence in the community and a teaching tool for Harvard. In the past two decades, LWA has created elegant solutions to complex infrastructure projects built in often highly visible and urban sites. We believe that these facilities can be bold and dynamic, showcasing the advanced technological apparatus that support our daily lives and providing resiliency and efficiency to their communities.

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EDUCATION In-House Education / Outreach & Advocacy


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EDUCATION

In-House Education / Outreach & Advocacy


In-House Education LWA’s sustainability group called “Green Monsters” forms the core of the office’s commitment to in-house edification and growth. The group meets monthly to review a variety of topics: • • • • • •

Actively updating our progress towards meeting the 2030 Challenge goals Reviewing innovative uses of green materials, cutting edge precedents and various sustainable certifications Organizing sustainability reviews and charettes of office projects in Pre-Design and SD phases Preparing materials for COTE Awards submissions and reviewing past recipients Reforming of our in-house recycling and energy use policies Organizing in-house guest lectures by sustainability experts in the area (MIT, Harvard Green Building Services, Carbon Free Boston, etc.) Attending sustainability workshops and lectures

Outreach & Advocacy As signatories of 2030 Challenge, LWA is committed to being sustainability leaders. LWA works closely with national, regional, and local organizations that advocate for sustainability including USGBC, Boston Society of Architects, Carbon Zero Boston, WoodWorks. LWA regularly publishes articles on sustainability research and projects and leads discussions at conventions, conferences, universities, and industry events. Recent topics have included… “”

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FIRM OPERATION Practicing Green


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FIRM OPERATION Practicing Green


As leaders in sustainable design, Leers Weinzapfel Associates is equally committed to keeping in-office operations as sustainable as possible. The Green Monsters, our in-house green committee, periodically evaluates firm operations and looks for opportunities to further our sustainable goals. Updated and new policies generated at these meetings are presented to firm leadership for approval and then conveyed to the full office during biweekly staff meetings. Some of the policies that have been implemented since the group’s founding are listed below.

ENERGY USE We regularly monitor energy use and office operations and evaluate ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Currently, we monitor office electrical use by tracking monthly KWH of electricity consumed. Occupancy sensors have been installed in all common areas, conference rooms, and lobbies. Energy-saving LED bulbs have replaced incandescent and halogen bulbs officewide. We research and purchase equipment and appliances with a high energy star rating. Additionally, all computers are set to enter power-saving modes when not in use.

WASTE & PAPER CONSUMPTION The use of electronic files over printing is encouraged officewide. Bluebeam Revu is installed on all desktops, which allows everyone to annotate PDF documents without the need to print. When printing is needed, employees are encouraged to print double-sided when possible. Unnecessary printing is discouraged when documents can be easily viewed and stored as PDF files. The office exclusively purchases 100% recycled paper for all small-format printing. For in-office lunches, we request food vendors to have food prepared with as little packaging as possible (i.e. platters instead of individual boxes) and maintain a list of ‘preferred’ vendors who are committed to sustainable practices. Our office maintains an adequate supply of reusable silverware, dishes, and drinkware to discourage the use of plastic/paper cups and plates.

RECYCLING LWA’s annual operating budget includes the cost of recycling vendors for paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum products, as well as ensuring the proper recycling of any e-waste. A stock of reusable cloth bags is kept available to encourage employees to utilize rather than single-use paper or plastic bags. We work with product representatives to maintain a minimal but useful sample library only stocked with actively-used products, and work to return unused or discontinued product lines back to the vendor to be recycled. We discourage product vendors from leaving binders in our office, as more up-to-date information is often readily available on the internet. In 2017, the office recycled 10,605 pounds of paper, saving the equivalent of 90 trees.

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04

FIRM OPERATION Practicing Green


HEALTH & WELLNESS LWA’s health insurance reimburses participants for gym memberships, and the office sponsors an in-office yoga class that meets monthly. LWA encourages participation in various outdoors sports; the office is a regular participant in the summer architects’ softball league and organizes an office kayaking trip in the summer.

GREEN PURCHASING We have worked with our supply vendors to purchase environmentally friendly office, cleaning, and kitchen supplies when possible, and to encourage them to stock more sustainable products. We worked with our office supply vendor to source and stock a 100% recycled paper option for our office, which has since been added as a standard product option to their customer base.

TRANSPORTATION LWA provides many incentives to encourage employees to take public transit, walk, or bicycle to work; only 4% of staff drives to work. Our building is easily accessible due to its central downtown location in walking distance to South Station station and 3 subway lines. The office also offers a commuter tax benefit deduction. We successfully worked with the City of Boston to have bike racks installed on the sidewalk adjacent to our office. In the years since their installation, they have become so popular that we are looking into having additional bike racks installed to accommodate the increased demand. When rental cars are needed, hybrid cars are requested.

MEETINGS LWA encourages the use of paperless technology for agendas, handouts, and presentations. We request that those coming to our office for presentations do the same. We encourage virtual meetings when possible. We have retrofitted each of our three conference rooms with a full videoconferencing suite, including computers that can run our entire program suite and videoconferencing software package Zoom. us for ease in conducting virtual meetings whenever appropriate. This has allowed us to cut back significantly on our office’s carbon footprint generated by travel.

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LWA Sustainability Action Plan 2018 [Draft]  

AIA 2030 Commitment

LWA Sustainability Action Plan 2018 [Draft]  

AIA 2030 Commitment