Wood. The United States is the largest producer of the natural resource in the world. But yet we rarely see it in commercial, high-rise construction. So we asked a wood expert – Rebecca Holt at Perkins+Will, an analyst for reThink Wood‘s recent Tall Wood Survey – to tell us about its potential benefits.
AD: Why is wood a material architects should use in taller buildings?
There are lots of reasons to consider wood – first it has a lower environmental impact than other traditional choices like concrete and steel. Wood is the only major building material that is made the by sun and is completely renewable.
Northwestern University has selected Perkins+Will to design the new 600,000 square foot Biomedical Research Building for the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Planned for the site of Bertrand Goldberg’s recently demolished Prentice Woman’s Hospital, the new building will “anchor the University’s research facilities and be the hub of a world-class research and development enterprise that attracts innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Location: University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
Project Team: Rob Goodwin, Design Principal, NYO; Tony Caputo, Project Designer, NYO;Gary Shaw, Managing Principal, BOS; Andy Goetze, Project Architect, BOS; Madaline Hale, Interior Designer,BOS.
Collaborators: BR+A, Mechanical Engineers; LeMessurier, Structural Engineers; Mik-Young Kim, Landscape Designers
Area: 133510.0 ft2
Photographs: Eduard Hueber
Everyday, Americans all over the country go to work. They get in their cars, arrive at the office, and sit inside. Then, they go home, maybe watch some TV, and go to bed. 5 days a week. About 50 weeks a year.
Our built environment is where we now spend about 90% of our time. Unluckily for us, however, a recent Forbes article suggests that, most of the time, indoor air quality is actually worse than outdoor, to the point where it’s potentially hazardous: “paint, carpet, countertops, dry wall, you name it and chances are it’s got some sort of toxic ingredient.”
And yet we have little way of knowing just how bad our building’s “ingredients” are for us. Until now.
Perkins+Will has been busy making lists of harmful substances, and their side effects, found in commonly used building materials. Just last week, they released a report tackling one such “toxin”: asthmagens, affecting over 23 million Americans (including 7.1. million children).
The forward-thinking firm is on the cutting-edge of a movement, instigated by clients and fast taking over the architecture world – towards “healthy” buildings (inside and out).
Read more about Perkins+Will’s revolutionary Transparency Project, after the break…
The new facility designed by Perkins+Will for the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland approaches the design as a total experience of healing that includes architecture and urban design. The project proposes to redefine the hospital experience with The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center and the Sheikh Zayed Tower, whose goal is to emphasize transformative patient-centric care.
More after the break.
Big news: two architectural heavyweights have joined forces.
Pringle Brandon and Pringle Brandon Drew (their more commercial branch) have merged with top-ranking international design firm Perkins+Will. Their joint London and Dubai Offices will know be known as (take a deep breath): Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will.
Pringle Brandon (PB) stands to expand its international presence with the merger; Perkins+Will will be able to tap into PB’s strengths in interior design, workplace consultancy, & sustainable practice – as well as their presence in Europe and the UAE, where it has experienced two consecutive years of double-digit growth.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions. Now in its 16th year, the COTE Top Ten Green Projects program is one of the profession’s best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence.
The highlighted projects are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They have made a positive contribution to their communities, improved comfort for building occupants and reduced environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.
All the projects will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition, next month in Washington, D.C. Continue after the break to review the top ten green projects.
Perkins+Will‘s VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver, BC is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the most rigorous set of requirements of sustainability. Formally and functionally, it encompasses the goals of environmentally and socially conscious design. The building is an undulating landscape of interior and exterior spaces rising from ground to roof level and providing a vast surface area on which vegetation could grow, thus reoccupying the land on which the building sits with the landscape. The building also features numerous passive and active systems that reuse the site’s renewable resources and the building’s own waste.
More photos after the break, including a video about the project!
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company
Civil Engineer: ATS Chester Engineers
Lighting: Studio i
Project Area: 64,500 gsf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Steinkamp Photography, VEKA Marketing, Joshua Franzos Photography