KVA Brings Digital Brick to Harvard

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As part of an extensive renovation, Kennedy & Violich Architecture re-skinned Tozzer Library in a high performance brick, glass, and copper envelope. (John Horner Photography)

As part of an extensive renovation, Kennedy & Violich Architecture re-skinned Tozzer Library in a high performance brick, glass, and copper envelope. (John Horner Photography)

Old and new technologies combine in renovated anthropology building.

Tasked with transforming Harvard‘s 1971 Tozzer Library into a new home for the university’s Anthropology Department, Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA) faced a unique set of challenges. Read More

Hord Coplan Macht Pushes Performance at CSU

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Hord Coplan Macht's Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building achieved LEED Gold certification without sacrificing transparency. (Courtesy Hord Coplan Macht)

Hord Coplan Macht’s Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building achieved LEED Gold certification without sacrificing transparency. (Courtesy Hord Coplan Macht)

Ultra efficient curtain wall system marries transparency and sustainability.

For some institutions, building “sustainably” means doing the bare minimum—checking the boxes of government or in-house requirements and then moving on.

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Unveiled> Egypt’s National Cancer Institute hires SOM for 9 million square foot campus

Despite its mammoth size, the 200-acre campus is intended to feel cohesive, according to SOM's project description, because of its highly organized layout. (SOM)

Despite its mammoth size, the 200-acre campus is intended to feel cohesive, according to SOM’s project description, because of its highly organized layout. (SOM)

Looking to expand its footprint across 35 acres outside Cairo, Egypt’s National Cancer Institute has hired Skidmore Owings & Merrill to design and plan nine million square feet of healthcare space for an “international nexus of cancer research, education, and discourse” that is targeting LEED Gold.

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Gruen Associates Clad Utility Plant in Flowing Steel

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Gruen Associates wrapped the new LAX Central Utility Plant in a sleek envelope of stainless steel and corrugated aluminum. (Courtesy Gruen Associates)

Gruen Associates wrapped the new LAX Central Utility Plant in a sleek envelope of stainless steel and corrugated aluminum. (Courtesy Gruen Associates)

Curved metal facade embodies spirit of mobility at LAX.

The commission to design a new Central Utility Plant (CUP) for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) came with a major caveat: the original 1960s-era CUP would remain online throughout construction, providing heating and cooling to adjacent passenger terminals until the new plant was ready to take over. Read More

Cincinnati’s newest police station is also one of the city’s greenest buildings

Rendering of Cincinnati's new Police District 3 headquarters, which officials say will achieve LEED Platinum. Local firm emersion led the design.(City of Cincinnati)

Rendering of Cincinnati’s new Police District 3 headquarters, which officials say will achieve LEED Platinum. Local firm emersion led the design. (City of Cincinnati)

Last week Cincinnati officials lauded the opening of a new police station that they’re calling one of the nation’s greenest buildings devoted to public safety.

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VernerJohnson Sets Museum Ablaze with Dichroic Glass

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VernerJohnson's Museum at Prairiefire features a multi-colored envelope in dichroic glass, iridescent steel, and Kansas limestone. (Sam Fentress)

VernerJohnson’s Museum at Prairiefire features a multi-colored envelope in dichroic glass, iridescent steel, and Kansas limestone. (Sam Fentress)

Faceted facade evokes regenerative prairie burns.

For most projects, admits VernerJohnson‘s Jonathan Kharfen, architects steer clear of evoking a potentially destructive force like fire. But Museum at Prairiefire, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) outpost in Overland Park, Kansas, proved an exception to the rule. Read More

Shanghai Talks> Watch SOM’s top sustainable engineer talk air quality, environmental design

Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, a 280-meter-tall SOM tower Leung worked on. (© Si-ye Zhang)

Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, a 918-foot-tall SOM tower Leung worked on. (Si-ye Zhang)

Last September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Luke Leung, director of sustainable engineering for SOM.

Watch the interview after the jump.

Oberlin breaks ground on LEED Platinum hotel complex by Solomon Cordwell Buenz

(SCB, The Olympia Companies)

(SCB, The Olympia Companies)

Work is currently underway on a new mixed-use development at Ohio’s Oberlin College that, once complete later this year, will include one of only a handful of hotels pursuing LEED Platinum certification in the United States.

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Beantown Goes Deep Green with ISA

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Interface Studio Architects' 226-232 Highland was the first project built under Boston's E+ Green Building Program. (Sam Oberter)

Interface Studio Architects’ 226-232 Highland was the first project built under Boston’s E+ Green Building Program. (Sam Oberter)

Boston launches a sustainable housing initiative with net-zero energy townhomes.

As anyone who has come into contact with Red Sox Nation knows, Bostonians tend not to believe in half measures. A case in point is the city’s E+ Green Building Program, a joint initiative of the Office of Environment & Energy Services, the Department of Neighborhood Development, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Designed to demonstrate the feasibility of building net-zero energy, multi-unit housing in an urban context, the program made its built debut in 2013 with 226-232 Highland Street, a development consisting of four three-bedroom townhomes in Boston‘s Roxbury neighborhood. The building achieved substantial energy savings on a tight budget in part through a highly insulated facade constructed from conventional materials. “The envelope is key,” explained Interface Studio Architects (ISA) principal Brian Phillips. “We design many super high performance projects and we believe strongly in the quality of the envelope as the starting point.”
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Jeanne Gang, Wanda Group unveil new renderings for supertall Wanda Vista tower in Chicago

(Studio Gang Architects)

(Studio Gang Architects)

Studio Gang’s Wanda Tower may climb even higher than originally planned. New renderings revealed Monday night show the tower topping out at 93 stories instead of the previous 88. At 1,144 feet, the tower, whose development is being bankrolled by Beijing-based Wanda Group, would be the third-tallest tower in Chicago (provided it fits the standards of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, who arbitrate such matters.)

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Chicago’s Field Museum becomes just second such building to get Gold under LEED EB O+M

Chicago's Field Museum (GoCal83 via Flickr)

Chicago’s Field Museum (GoCal83 via Flickr)

Chicago‘s natural history museum, the Field Museum, announced Monday it has earned a Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council under the LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (EB O+M) program, becoming just the second museum in the nation to do so. (The Madison Children’s Museum is the other.)

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Net Zero and the Future of Facade Design

Next week, leaders in the fields of facades design and fabrication will gather in LA to discuss pressing issues, including sustainability. (Neil Kremer/Flickr)

Next week, leaders in the fields of facades design and fabrication will gather in LA to discuss pressing issues, including sustainability. (Neil Kremer/Flickr)

Though sustainability remains a primary goal for many AEC industry professionals, its definition is increasingly up for debate. Tried-and-true energy efficiency standards such as LEED and Energy Star are facing competition from other rubrics, including net zero. “LEED was the sustainability measure,” said CO Architects‘ Alex Korter. “It’s good, but people looked at it more as a certification. With net zero, you’re setting hard performance goals.” With his colleague Kevin Kavanagh, Korter will lead a panel on “Net Zero and the Future Facade” at Facades+ LA next week. Korter, Kavanagh, and the panelists—who include ARUP‘s Russell Fortmeyer, Atelier 10‘s Emilie Hagen, and Stephane Hoffman from Morrison Hershfield—will dig in to the what and why of net zero, and ask how facade designers and builders can push the envelope on environmental performance.

Continue reading after the jump.

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