Here are a few specific examples which demonstrate how we have applied green principles to our designs.
We are proud to say that we designed the first green roof on Utah State University's campus. This design feature was selected to provide a natural visual buffer for offices overlooking an adjacent roof surface. The green roof increases the thermal performance of the overall building envelope, provides a green educational tool, and also extends the life of the roof membrane by protecting it from UV radiation.
The Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community at the U of U is certified LEED Gold! It is now the first LEED-certified university residence hall in Utah and exceeds energy code requirements by more than 30%, resulting in $55,000 annual energy savings. The building uses a high-performance envelope design created from a mixture of locally quarried sandstone and locally manufactured brick masonry. The multi-crenulated facade not only breaks up the mass of the building, but also utilizes passive-solar strategy to create opportunities for natural daylighting and shading. Each apartment is fitted with operable windows for natural ventilation, reducing the need for air conditioning. The design also reduced the use of VOC emitting materials and maximized materials with high recycled content.
As a method for reducing automobile trips, the building is located directly adjacent to a TRAX rail stop and also contains interior bicycle storage and even a bicycle maintenance area. The landscaping integrates low water-use plantings and on-site storm water retention. Mechanically, the building utilizes high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and a heat recovery system that captures heat from the exhaust system and reuses it. Additionally, the plumbing fixtures yield a 44% reduction in water use, resulting in 2.4 million gallons of water saved annually. Electrically, the building utilizes daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors that control lighting, Energy Star-rated appliances, and LED and CFL lighting.
The Animal Teaching and Research Center utilized an innovative method to reduce material waste and improve building envelope performance. The building skin is a system of factory foamed insulated metal panels that are designed in conjunction with continuous insulation outside the building foundation and structure to eliminate cold bridging and mold-generating condensation.
•Indoor Air Quality
In consideration of the educators and small children who occupy the Early Childhood Education and Research Center, we were careful to specify low VOC paint, carpet, floor coverings, and furniture to maintain a high quality of indoor air.
•Natural Daylight for Internal Corridors
To improve the quality and energy efficiency of an internal corridor of the Early Childhood Education and Research Center, a special pop-up roof is used to create a clerestory window to fill the corridor with natural light.
The office spaces and carrels areas of the Early Childhood Education and Research Center employ daylight harvesting, a special system with sensors and building logic to switch on electric lighting only when there is not adequate natural light.
•Passive Daylighting and Heating
To maximize sunlight penetration in the winter and minimize it in the summer, engineered trellis structures are used to provide passive shading and daylighting for the classrooms and office windows at The Early Childhood Education and Research Center.
•Natural Playground for Education
The children who attend the Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Education and Research Center have a 350-foot-long educational natural playscape that facilitates exploration and learning from the natural environment.
•Light Shelves for Classrooms
Interior light shelves reflect natural daylight and create diffuse light to enhance the learning environment for classrooms in the Animal Teaching and Research Center. This design feature reduces the amount of artificial light and energy used in the building.
•Double Skin Facade
In a design for a renovation to the Biology and Natural Resources Building, it was important to maintain occupation of the building during construction. To meet this criterion and improve energy performance, a design for a double skin was developed. During cooling season the facade allows excessive heat to be ventilated from the top of the facade system rather than be absorbed into the building. During heating season the facade system captures solar heat and introduces it into the building.
Typically, the envelope design for our buildings includes thermally broken window frames, high-performance glazing, integrated air barriers, correctly positioned vapor barriers, and vented masonry cavity walls that include both rigid and batt insulation.
Our standard is to work with our engineers to specify high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment to reduce the overall energy consumed. Additionally, we work to integrate economizer cycle equipment, heat recovery systems, efficient pumps and efficient fans.
•Use of Local Stone
As a method to reduce the embodied energy of construction and materials for the Watson Shelter, the exterior of the building is clad in natural stone that was quarried on-site.
•Waterless Urinals and Low Flow Fixtures
To reduce the impact on an environmentally sensitive site and a region where water is a diminishing resource, low-flow and waterless fixtures were installed at Watson Shelter for Alta Ski Area.