From LEED to Living

PCC Newberg Center_slideshow_2

Can Certifications make Better Buildings?

Over the last decade LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has become perhaps the most widely known environmental third-party certification for buildings, helping to bridge the technical barrier of sustainable design between owners and architects. While LEED promotes many positive things within the built environment, it is limited to a prescriptive manner of certification, which can result in theoretically “better” buildings that may not actually perform better than a typical baseline building.

A little less than a decade ago, the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) unveiled a new building certification – The Living Building Challenge (LBC) which focuses on a standard of performance.  Branded as “a philosophy, advocacy platform and certification tool” it has established itself as perhaps the most advanced and inspirational environmental third-party certification for buildings. Organized around seven petals – Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty – the LBC pushes projects towards regenerative solutions. These efforts are then proven through a 12-month post occupancy verification period required for certification. Less than 10 projects worldwide have achieved full Living Building certification while dozens of others are in various stages, perhaps most notably the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington (which hasn’t yet completed its 12-month verification). As a firm we have not yet completed a Living Building, however, we recently proposed LBC certification for the early concept of a project. Time will tell if the project ends up pursuing and achieving the LBC, but we thought we’d share a bit of what we learned in the initial process.

Read More

Award Winning Sustainable Design

Ash-JoshPartee-8783-outdoor-kitchen-rev

AIA

Hennebery Eddy project Ash+Ash, a home that integrates contemporary architecture and high performance sustainable design, received the 2030 Challenge Award for Single Family Residential Excellence from the Portland Chapter AIA.

Cascades Academy of Central Oregon

Since its completion in fall 2013, Cascades Academy of Central Oregon has been recognized with local and national design awards.  Watch this video to learn more about this preK-12 school located just outside of Bend, Oregon and how we worked with them to develop their new campus.

Resolving Design Dilemmas

The work of most architects is known only by the end result. Whether brick and mortar or steel and glass, designers don’t typically stand at the main entry explaining to passersby the concept, diagram, or the many painful decisions that were involved. However, most buildings have a story to tell, of last minute changes and dozens of tough decisions. For this post we decided to look at a recently completed project and highlight a few of these critical crossroads, the final decisions, and our take away lessons.

Read More