Originally published on Intercon, Ohioan and Africa-based architect Charles Newman, LEED AP discusses the pitfalls of LEED in rural Africa. Newman, who is currently working for the International Rescue Committee in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, is dedicated to the integration of sustainability in communities worldwide. Learn more about his work and travels on his blog Afritekt.
While in a small southern town of the Democratic Republic of Congo in mid-2012, a colleague of mine approached me for some guidance on a large health proposal he was putting together. A portion of the grant would be earmarked for the construction of hundreds of clinics across the DR Congo, and he mentioned that the donor would be very interested in “green” building standards. Knowing that I was a LEED Accredited Professional, he began asking how we might be able to incorporate such building standards into the designs for the pending projects. I rattled off some general guidelines such as using local materials – recycled ones if available, incorporating existing infrastructure, natural ventilation, etc. He jotted down a few notes, then began to pry a little deeper. “What about the LEED point system? Could we incorporate that into our strategy?”
My response was frank: “No, not really. LEED doesn’t work here in rural Africa.”
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has appointed HOK’s green-building leader Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, to a consulting position as a Resident Fellow. In this position, Lazarus will help guide and influence a program heavily based in sustainability and health as the AIA implements its ten-year pledge to the Decade of Design: Global Urban Solutions Challenge, a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. The purpose of the commitment is to document, envision and implement solutions that leverage the design of urban environments through research, community participation, and design frameworks. It is a commitment based in the interest of public health with special attention to the use of natural, economic, and human resources.
More about Mary Ann Lazarus’s work and future at the AIA after the break.
Similar to what LEED did for buildings, City Protocol promises to do for cities. The first certification system for smart cities, due to come out in April 2013, is being developed with the guidance of over 30 organizations. It will provide a framework for designing sustainable systems in a model that integrates the vast number of elements that contribute to urban development. This global thinking expands upon the goals of the LEED certification system, which provides a more isolated, building specific agenda for architects.
More about the City Protocal Certification Program after the break.
At this point, it’s fairly uncontroversial to say that the Earth is under siege. From us, from our resource-consuming ways, ultimately, from our thoughtlessness.
Green Design is not just a catch-phrase, but a mindset. As Architects, implementing the principles of Green Design means putting thoughtfulness back into our actions, conscientiously considering our built environment, and reversing the havoc we have wreaked on our resources.
To do that, we need to know what Green Design means, and be able to evaluate what it is and isn’t. Using Earth Day as our excuse then, let’s examine the single most influential factor on the future of Green Design: LEED.
To its credit, LEED has moved a mountain: it has taken the “mysticism” out of Green Design and made Big Business realize its financial benefits, incentivizing and legitimizing it on a grand scale.
But as LEED gains popularity, its strength becomes its weakness; it’s becoming dangerously close to creating a blind numbers game, one that, instead of inspiring innovative, forward-looking design, will freeze us in the past.
Read the 10 Pros & Cons of LEED, after the break…
The Y.S Sun Green Building Research Center at National Kung University in Taiwan has recently been awarded top honors by the USGBC, in addition to receiving the Taiwan Ecology, Waste Reduction and Health Diamond Certification from the Ministry of Interior. The three-story 4800 square meter building utilizes 13 different sustainable building techniques in order to achieve a 65% energy savings and a 50% water savings over typical office buildings.
Architect: Line and Space, LLC
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Completion Date: 2011
Project Area: 52, 700SqFt
Client: US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management
Contractor: Straub Construction
Structural Engineer: Holben, Martin, and White Consulting Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: GLHN Architects and Engineers
Exhibit/Interpretive Consultant: Hilferty and Associates
Photography: Robert Reck, Henry Tom
Architect: Line and Space, LLC
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Project Year: 2008
Project Size: 25,000 SqFt
Client: City of Phoenix
Contractor: Linthicum Constructors Inc.
Structural Engineer: Caruso Turley Scott
Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer: Energy Systems Design
Landscape Architect: McGann and Associates
Photography: Bill Timmerman, Henry Tom
Architect: Ehrlich Architects
Location: Beverly Hills, California
Project Year: 2009
Client: City of Beverly Hills
Contractor: Bayley Construction
Structural Engineer: John A. Martin & Associates Inc.
MEP Engineer: IBE Consulting Engineer
Civil Engineer: KPFF
Landscape Design: LRM Inc.
Acoustic Consultant: Schaffer Acoustics Inc.
Lighting Consultant: HLB Lighting Design
Cost Estimation: C.P. O’Halloran Associates
Specifications: CSI Specifications
Photography: RMA Architectural Photographers
Arizona State University’s new Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB 4) was designed to be a progressive home for ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) and some departments from the Fulton Schools of Engineering (FSE). At 294,000 sq.-ft., this seven-story “smart” structure will be the largest research facility in the history of the university. In addition to cutting-edge laboratories and research offices, ISTB 4 will house extensive public outreach and K-12 education spaces designed to engage the Greater Phoenix community in earth and space exploration. Ehrlich Architects’ new Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration is a clearly organized laboratory building that will enhance the research, science and educational programs housed within.
This impressive, LEED-certified, fifty-six-story office tower is Philadelphia’s newest and tallest. The Comcast Center’s stateliness and elegance are carried through to OLIN’s plaza at its base. However, the plaza is more than merely a suitable platform for the building—it is a vibrant, well-used, civic space, wholly connected to the city. It serves as a new destination for residents and workers, and as a principal entry to the regional rail lines, markets, and food court located beneath the site. The plaza elements are conceived as a series of vertical and horizontal layers.
Landscape Architect: OLIN
Architect: Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Project Team: Lucinda Sanders, FASLA, Yue Li
Consultants: Atelier Ten, Ballinger, Bartlett Tree Experts, Jonathan Borofsky, Kendall/Heaton Associates,
L.F. Driscoll Company, Lynch & Associates Ltd., Nancy Rosen, Parker Interior Plantscape, Paul H. Yeomans, Pennoni Associates, Quentin Thomas Associates, Thornton Tomasetti Group, Two Twelve Associates, WET Design
Project Area: 2 acres
As an important urban infill project in Southwest Florida and a catalyst for future development in the government center, this design responds to the need to be a sustainable, survivable, yet open and inviting public building that maintains all critical functions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, during any event. The project is sited on approximately 69,184 square feet of property and consists of 6 stories that house approximately 102,000 square feet of program, with the first 3 levels parking 200 vehicles. It is also LEED Certified.
Architect: Architects Design Group
Location: Sarasota, Florida, USA
Project Area: 102,000 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Architects Design Group
The “Green Concept Home” is a two-story single-family residence located in Bellevue, Washington. This 2,840 sqf house has a contemporary design and is owned, designed and built by husband and wife team David Huang and Millie Leung. Designed by Modus V Studio Architects, the house broke ground in September 2009 and was completed the following year in September 2010.
Architects: Modus V Studio Architects, David Huang
Location: Bellevue, Washington, USA
General Contractor: David Huang
Interior Designer: Millie Leung
Green Verifier: O’Brien & Company
Mechanical Engineer: Mitchell Engineering, Inc.
Landscape Designer: Studio 342 Landscape Architecture
Energy Consultant: Bushnell Energy Consulting
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Millie Leung
Borrowing from the symbiotic relationship of a young saguaro cacti and its nurse tree along the arroyos edge, the expansive roof of this branch library creates a shaded microclimate, providing filtered daylight, shelter and a nurturing environment for intellectual growth. This project’s strength is in the integration of the exterior with the interior of the building.
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Project Team: James E. Richard (AIA Designer & Principal-in-Charge), Kelly Bauer (FIIDA Project Manager + Interior Design), Steve Kennedy (AIA, NCARB Project Architect & CA), Erik Koss (RA Project Architect), Stacey Kranz (IIDA, FF+E Speicifications + CA)
MEP Engineer: Energy Systems Design
Civil and Structural Engineer: KPFF, Inc.
Landscape Architect: E-Group
Project Area: 15,378 sqf
Photographs: Bill Timmerman, Timmerman Photography, Inc.
The building is a remembrance of the desert slot canyons of northern Arizona and monument valley, capturing the powerful and unique experience between the compressive stone walls and the ultimate release to the sky above. Ever-patient threads of water, sculpting and polishing the massive walls, cut these natural sandstone canyons over millennia. Harder stone and slow water sharply defines vertical slivers while softer stone gives way to wider crevasse.
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Project Team: James E. Richard (AIA Designer & Principal in Charge), Kelly Bauer (FIIDA Project Manager + Interior Design), Steve Kennedy (AIA, NCARB Project Architect & CA), Ben Perrone (Project Architect), Stacey Crumbaker (Interior Design)
Mechanical and Plumbing Engineer: Kunka Engineering
Electrical Engineer: OMB Electrical Engineers
Structural Engineer: Caruso Turley Scott, Inc.
Civil Engineer: PKLAND Engineering
Landscape Architect: EGroup
Artist: Norie Sato
Contractor: Redden Construction
Project Area: 20,875 sqf
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Bill Timmerman, Timmerman Photography, Inc., Mark Boisclair, Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.
Formerly a convenience store and significant loitering/drug dealing corner property, Onion Flats said, neighbors seemed pleased when it caught on fire and was demolished in 2005. Onion Flats felt it was important to restore the life and sense of community to this small but unique corner of Fishtown. Their design has become the first LEED-H Gold Residential/Commercial live/work space in the City of Philadelphia.
Architect: Onion Flats (Plumbob Llc)
Location: 636 Belgrade St. Fishtown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Project Team: Kurt Schlenbaker, Tim McDonald, Howard Steinberg
Owner / Developer: Onion Flats
Green Roof & Rainwater Harvesting: G.R.A.S.S. (Green Roots And Solar Systems)
General Contractor: JIG Inc (Project Manager Kurt Schlenbaker)
LEED Rater: Magrann Associates (Sam Klein)
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Tim McDonald
“Reaching this milestone signifies the continued transformation of the home building industry towards high-performing, healthy homes that save home owners money,” said Nate Kredich, Vice President of Residential Market Development, U.S. Green Building Council. “Market leaders across the production, multifamily, affordable and custom home segments have recognized that there are green homes, and then there are LEED Homes, and they are acting accordingly.”
The Ross Street House by RWH Design received its LEED for Homes Platinum rating in July 2009, the first of Wisconsin. The home has captured the attention of green enthusiasts throughout the country for far exceeding the requirements to achieve the highest LEED rating of Platinum.
More following the break.
This new neighborhood, situated on seven-and-a-half acres in the southern end of Oakland, has a range of affordable housing, green pathways, pocket parks, and open spaces. The development has achieved one of the first LEED ND Certified Gold Plans.
Architect: David Baker + Partners
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Landscape Architect: PGA Design
Structural Engineer: OLMM Consulting Engineers
Electrical Engineer: FW Associates
Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: Guttmann + Blaevoet and SJ Engineers
Contractor: Cahill Contractors
Civil Engineer: Sandis
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Brian Rose, Courtesy of David Baker + Partners