Super-Sustainable Bullitt Center is ENR Editors' Choice for Best Project in 2013
During a 2010 preconstruction meeting with the owner-developer of Seattle's super-sustainable Bullitt Center, the 50,000-sq-ft project's consulting engineer had a minor meltdown over electric-plug loads—the silent killer of green-building power conservation. Paul Schwer's eventual victory over his plug-load agita exemplifies the way the job's team members often were forced to exit their comfort zones during the $30-million project. In doing so, they not only improved Bullitt Center, they created an example for others to follow.
Interview with Jenny Gersten, Executive Director of Friends of the High Line
The term “Off Broadway” may assume a vertical dimension as Jenny Gersten’s vision for the High Line takes shape. In January, Gersten officially started as executive director of Friends of the High Line (FHL), the nonprofit responsible for the elevated park, which connects New York’s West Village neighborhood to the future Hudson Yards development. In addition to management and fundraising, the role will have her focusing on the High Line’s cultural programming, to which Gersten brings a wealth of performing arts experience. The native New Yorker was most recently artistic director of the renowned Williamstown Theater Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and associate producer at Manhattan’s Public Theater prior to that.
Against the Tide
Photographed by Alejandro Durán, the ongoing Washed Up series catalogues the vast amounts of trash that wash along the coast of Sian Ka'an, a federally protected biosphere in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The world's second-largest coastal barrier reef, Sian Ka'an has an ecosystem that supports hundreds of endangered species—including black-handed spider monkeys, West Indian manatees, American crocodiles, and the Central American tapir—and is also home to 330 bird species and over 850 vascular plants. Yet, the Sian Ka'an Neighbor's Association—an NGO dedicated to conservation—estimates that this preserve has been subject to 29 tons of waste in the two years it's been removing it.
Worthy of Ophelia
For 15 years, WEAVE operated out of a converted public restroom continually plagued by graffiti, located in Waterloo Park. A recently completed gut renovation of that building, by the progressive local firm Collins and Turner, has finally transformed the secondhand facility into a workplace fitting of the association’s mission.
A New Recreation and Education Facility Set to Revitalize Sherman Creek
The New York Restoration Project Selects Architecture Firm Bade Stageberg Cox to Design a Flood-resistant Boathouse along the Harlem River.
A Recipe for Madison Park
Seattle’s first Passive House–certified home tailors performance to infill conditions
10 U.S. Cities Tackle Efficiency
Buildings are the source of one half to three-quarters of greenhouse-gas emissions in most American cities. Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Houston, and six more large cities have joined forces to tackle the problem by targeting their biggest buildings. “The largest buildings tend to be 3 to 4 percent of the overall number of buildings but account for 40 to 50 percent of the square footage and energy consumption. You have this terrific opportunity to work with a handful of buildings and make a big dent,” says Laurie Kerr, director of the City Energy Project (CEP), which launched in late January.
Natural Resources Defense Council Midwest Office
If it were only a case of “practice what you preach,” the sustainably designed Midwest offices of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) would offer an impressive enough example, with a new space that exploits daylight and incorporates reclaimed materials. But this esteemed environmental-action group and its architect, Studio Gang, wanted to set a new standard. The project surpasses LEED Platinum to become the world's first tenant retrofit to achieve certification through the Living Building Challenge, the built environment's most rigorous performance standard. More than that, though, the office is a stunning workplace, with a carefully considered layout that caters to the unique needs of the Chicago branch of the organization's small but growing staff of lawyers, economists, engineers, communications specialists, and policy experts.
Revamping the Parking Lot
The Rauch Foundation called upon four architecture firms to reimagine the parking lot and come up with ideas to free up parking space for better uses. In January, the Long Island–based organization introduced the results of its ParkingPLUS Design Challenge to demonstrate how these former eyesores can provide new services and enliven Long Island’s downtowns.
Genome Sciences Building
SOM's design for the Genome Sciences Building at UNC focuses on daylighting and stormwater mitigation to achieve LEED Gold.