Net Positive Intern Helps Firm Progress Toward 2030 Challenge Goals

By Eugene Leung, Design Intern

As part of our commitment to the Architecture 2030 Challenge, Hennebery Eddy welcomed a net positive intern to our Portland office earlier this year to support our design staff in creating project energy models and submitting energy performance data to the AIA 2030 Design Data Exchange (DDx). Here, Eugene Leung, a student at the University of Oregon, reflects on his experience. For more information about our internship program, please visit our Opportunities page.

Net Positive Intern Eugene Leung works with the Net Positive Committee
Net positive intern Eugene Leung worked with the net positive committee to help the firm in our progress toward the AIA 2030 Challenge.

It has been an overall fabulous experience working as the net positive intern with Hennebery Eddy for the past five months. The internship experience has broadened my horizons and inspired me to continuously learn and achieve.

For the last couple of months, I was given a variety of opportunities to work closely and learn proactively with the firm’s net positive team. I primarily worked with them to coordinate the firm’s AIA 2030 Design Data Exchange (DDx) portfolio by recording and producing energy models that can better help the firm to understand the overall energy performance of all the eligible projects. During the time I was producing energy models for various projects, I was assisted by project teams to better understand how to achieve lower energy consumption by improving building enclosures and building material. These fundamental relationships are effective in reducing heat gains within the building designs. The use of energy modeling helps predict and evaluate potential energy use through climate simulation and addresses the overall pEUIs data for project teams to alternate and achieve better energy savings in the design. As a result, I helped project teams to illustrate better energy-saving strategies through consistent testing and development.

After collecting the data and information with the new amended designs, I was able to compare data on the AIA 2030 DDx database to observe other energy-saving projects in the firm and across the nation. I gave a firm-wide presentation near the end of my internship and set up guides to suggest future directions for the firm to efficiently evaluate and improve all projects’ energy performance.

Hennebery Eddy is forward-thinking when it comes to environmentally sustainable design. I was exposed to the mass timber design structure of the ongoing NIR Center project. I investigated the embodied carbon values of the wood structure and compared the numbers to a similar concrete-structured building. During the comparison process, I explored processes to measure and calculate embodied carbon, and how material life cycle analysis and environmental product declarations (EPDs) can influence building designs and benefit the environment. In addition to embodied carbon calculations, the firm is also actively recognizing the importance of collaborating with previous clients to track buildings’ post-occupancy energy performance.

What I observed in the firm is an immensely collaborative working atmosphere, where ideas flood around the whole office. Hennebery Eddy has been a great employer where all upper-level managerial roles show care and consideration to all levels of employees across the firm. The firm has a high level of transparency, and everyone is eager to support and encourage each other to succeed. Everyone is happy to share their project processes, so it is easy for us to observe different types of project schemes. I was fortunate to be able to participate in various “Thinks and Drinks” office events and lunch hour continuing education workshops that helped me to grow endlessly and reflect about building design processes, even during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

What I took away from Hennebery Eddy is phenomenal, and I am fortunate enough to have the chance to work in this amazing city of Portland. Sustainability concerns are showing more prevalence regionally and globally than ever before. This internship has not only allowed me to equip myself with expertise and dexterity when it comes to green designs in my future career, but also helped me tremendously for my upcoming graduate studies.