Sustainability Standards in Museums
WRL recently had the honor of helping to develop a one-day summit on sustainability standards for museums at the 2013 American Alliance of Museums annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. The summit was born out of a longer-term strategic plan of PIC-Green, AAM's sustainability focused professional interest committee. The summit included three parts:
- Where are we? This included a panel discussion with representatives of several major sustainability rating systems, including the Living Building Challenge, SITES, Green Building Institute (Green Globes), LEED, EnergyStar, and the Green Exhibits Checklist developed by OMSI.
- Where we've been doing: this included six presentations by representatives...
The Future of Buildings: Integrated Project Delivery
recool has been a little bit on hiatus the past couple of weeks, with a significant effort on the design of the new art museum at the University of California - Davis campus. WRL was honored to be partnered with Kitchell and Work AC on this project, which we believe is the first major art museum to be developed using the design-build approach. Stay tuned for more insights on the process and our perspectives on the future of project delivery. In the meantime, check out images from the three finalists on the UCD Facebook site.
Role Reversal: Engineers as Architects?
What would happen if engineers took the first pass at designing a building? As we work on more and more complex renovation projects, we find that building systems may drive the overall phasing and programming approach. For a new building, efficiency can already be compromised if mechanical and electrical rooms aren't located optimally. Some considerations for anyone designing:
- Mechanical rooms: these spaces typically want to be located adjacent to an exterior wall, to allow for air intake and exhaust. Sufficient clear height is needed to allow for efficient transitions from air-handling units to ductwork.
- Electrical rooms: while feeder sizes can be increased...
Solar Energy: a Time to Invest?
On almost every project I've worked on in the past year, Clients have asked about the feasibility of Incorporating a photovoltaic array on their project. Most often, we find that the financial metrics don't look good for the implementation of solar, at the scale typical for a commercial or institutional building. Trends on PV costs were recently released by the Department of Energy, which show significant drops in installed costs in the first half of 2012. The DOE SunShot initiative aims to drive the cost of PV-generated electricity down by 75% between 2010 and 2020. This would significantly increase grid-parity...