Monday, December 3, 2012

Healthcare Design Software Company Latest CBE Member

Aditazz, a San Bruno-based firm, offers a complete scope of design services, using highly refined computer simulation and optimization strategies. The company has developed an integrated platform for healthcare that allows stakeholders to virtually operate a building model while still in the design stage. Their overall goal is to improve patient care through a new design approach, enabling the creation of better buildings faster, and at a lower cost than conventional delivery methods.

CBE members may remember Benjamin Welle, who participated on a panel on building information modeling (BIM) at a past CBE advisory board meeting. Ben is now Mechanical System Product Design and Development lead at Aditazz.

Aditazz's winning entry for Kaiser Permanente's Small Hospital Big Idea Competition.

Friday, October 19, 2012

CBE Consortium Welcomes first Asia-based Company

Representing the first CBE member headquartered in Asia, LG Electronics has recently joined CBE. LG is a global leader in consumer electronics, appliances, and commercial building HVAC, solar cells, and lighting. The firm is a leader in variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology for commercial, education, hospitality, retail, and healthcare applications, and also duct-free technology for residential and light commercial markets. The company provides numerous technical and engineering resources to assist specifiers.

Dr. Juyoun Lee, a principal research engineer with LG Electronics Research Center, has worked with CBE as a visiting scholar for over a year, and has worked with CBE researchers on laboratory and simulation studies on human comfort. Dr. Lee is our primary liaison with LG, and is now supporting new CBE market research in collaboration with LG.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Big Ass Fans Joins CBE Consortium

Big Ass Fan brewery installation at
Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI.
As the name implies, Big Ass Fans is a preeminent designer and manufacturer of fans for commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional, and residential buildings. The company has headquarters, research and manufacturing facilities in Lexington, KY, and additional facilities in Queensland, Australia. Their products contribute to the sustainability of a building by reducing ductwork, increasing the effectiveness of air distribution systems, and reducing the energy required to provide comfort to occupants.  Included in the company's products is the Haiku® fan, made from FSC bamboo and recently named as a Top-10 Green Building Product in 2013 by BuildingGreen. Haiku is certified by ENERGY STAR as the world’s most efficient ceiling fan, using only 2-30 watts (compared to 90-110 watts for a typical fan).

Big Ass Fans generously donated fans for use in CBE’s human test chamber, and we look forward to working with them and other industry partners on the development of new standards for testing fan performance.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

P2S Engineering Joins Integral Group Team

Fullerton College Library
renovation by P2S Engineering.
We are happy to welcome P2S Engineering to CBE, who joined as part of the Integral Group team. CBE members may remember P2S founder Kent Peterson, who was our guest speaker at CBE's October 2010 advisory board meeting. P2S offers engineering services including MEP, energy efficiency, commissioning and technology for both new and retrofit construction projects. The firm’s practice includes a broad range of project types including education, government, laboratory, industrial, clean energy, infrastructure, and more. 

P2S’ technical staff, comprised of over 50% LEED Accredited Professionals, are passionate about providing sustainable solutions and expertise in high-performance green building projects, and helping clients reach their sustainability goals. The firm has been named for three years in a row as one of the best places to work in Los Angeles, by the Los Angeles Business Journal. The recognition cites the firm’s offices in Long Beach, CA, located in a LEED-Gold tenant improvement project that includes morale boosting features such as a fitness center and green workstations.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 Livable Buildings Award Winners Announced

Winner: Clif Bar Headquarters

This summer, a jury of CBE partners selected the winners for the 2012 Livable Buildings Award. Now in its sixth year, this annual award is given to buildings that demonstrate exceptional performance in terms of occupant satisfaction (using CBE's Occupant Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Survey), resource efficiency, and overall design.

The top award was given to the Clif Bar Headquarters, located in Emeryville, California, and designed by CBE partner ZGF Architects. The project has many outstanding features, including reused materials, open office space, natural light, and photovoltaic panels that generate most of the energy needed for the tenant spaces. 
Honorable Mention: Midtown
Community Elementary School

An honorable mention was also awarded to the Midtown Community Elementary School in Neptune City, New Jersey. This school brings elements of sustainability education not only to the children, but the surrounding community as well.

>> Read more about the projects here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Centerline: Summer 2012 Now Available

Check out the latest edition of Centerline, CBE's bi-annual e-magazine! You can download the PDF here:

This edition includes a feature article on measuring workplace productivity, news about many of our projects that are moving forward this summer, a welcome to the newest CBE Partner, and information about events planned for this fall around CBE's October conference and Greenbuild.

We hope you enjoy this issue! Looking for the Centerline archive? View it here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Productivity and "Rules of Thumb"

We are exploring two topics, and are seeking feedback from industry professionals. Please send David Lehrer your thoughts, insights, and opinion on:

1) Workplace productivity in green buildings: Considered a compelling benefit in high-performance buildings by some, increased productivity has been difficult to quantify. What is your firm doing to improve, investigate, or document productivity (or effectiveness) in the workplace?

2) "Rules of thumb" for design and operation: What rules of thumb do you use, where did they come from, and when are they appropriate and useful? What problems do they cause?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cubicle Culture

CBE researcher John Goins is gaining more national attention with his expertise on occupant comfort and indoor environmental quality. Last week, he was interviewed on the NPR show Radio Times, where he discussed his research on productivity and cubicle culture. John has surveyed over 65,000 office workers through our IEQ Survey, providing him with tips and insight on office design and maximizing worker productivity. You can listen to the full show here, with John's portion beginning at 15:00.

How is your company office arranged? What is your experience working in a cubicle? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Plug Loads Research Project Seeks Energy Modelers

An ongoing CBE research project, Simulated and Actual Energy Use: The Role of Plug Loads, is seeking experienced energy modelers for a survey to assess modelers' assumptions when simulating plug load energy use. Since design teams are frequently left to estimate the annual receptacle load energy use and peak demand using rules of thumb or other standardized/generalized practice, this research will help to determine the accuracy of these rules of thumb as compared to actual energy use, or a more itemized energy projection.

We invite energy modelers to contribute to the research by taking this brief (9-question) survey by June 29, 2012. Take the survey.

Any questions can be directed to

Monday, May 21, 2012

CBE quoted on the Sunday NY Times front page

On the front page of last Sunday’s New York Times, CBE Researcher John Goins is quoted in John Tierney’s article about noise in open office environments. The article cites findings from CBE’s occupant survey research as evidence of the types of challenges people face with the growing prevalence of shared and collaborative workplaces. The author, who is a frequent contributor to the Times and writes about social sciences and controversies in science and medicine, interviewed researchers, managers and facility professionals about acoustical problems in today’s so called “cubicle culture.” He includes case studies such as Autodesk, and the collaborative “bullpen” created by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read the entire article, From Cubicles, Cry for Quiet Pierces Office Buzz.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Affiliated Engineers Brings New Perspectives to CBE Consortium

In Spring 2012, Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI) became the newest member of CBE. AEI is a multi-discipline engineering practice providing innovative solutions for complex and large scale projects worldwide. AEI integrates laterally across offices, bringing the best talent to a given project, regardless of location, and brings a fundamental commitment to ensuring that their work reflects the highest standards in sustainable design practices. The firm has over 600  people in 11 offices, with U.S. locations spanning coast to coast, and north to south, as well as an office in Bahrain. We enjoyed the participation of a number of managers and technical staff from AEI at CBE’s April industry advisory board meeting, and look forward to our future collaborations with them.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Leader in Net-Zero Engineering Joins CBE

CBE is proud to announce that Interface Engineering became a member of our consortium in Fall 2011. Established in 1969, the multidisciplinary consulting and engineering firm currently has a staff of 180 located in four West Coast offices and in Doha, Qatar. Its services include MEP design, specialty system design (building technologies, lighting and fire/life safety systems), building performance simulations, construction administration, building commissioning and post-occupancy evaluations. For more than a decade, Interface’s practice has focused on high performance buildings, resulting in 88 LEED certified buildings, over 200 LEED buildings in design and construction, two net-zero buildings, and 10 net-zero buildings in design and construction.  

OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Science Building. Interface is providing MEP
design and building performance simulations for this new medical, lab, and
research facility. Architecture: SERA Architects, CO Architects.

CBE Welcomes New Member NSA

In Fall 2011, we welcomed our newest federal agency to the CBE consortium. The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) leads the U.S. government in cryptology, confronts the challenge of preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to sensitive or classified national security information, and collects, processes, and disseminates intelligence information from foreign signals for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes and to support military operations. The Sustainable Design and Construction Program at NSA incorporates a number of features and program areas, including use of materials with recycled content, recycling of construction materials, waste minimization, the use of biologically-based storm water management, and water and energy conservation. The broadest portion of the program is the incorporation of the green building program known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
NSA is using the principles of LEED to enhance the quality of future construction and renovation within the Agency, both with and without formal certification. Even when projects are not scored, the use of LEED criteria affects the selected materials, construction techniques, and design approaches. Formal scoring is performed on new construction efforts and in leased facilities fit-up and renovation.

RTKL Collaborates on Urban Wind Study

CBE was pleased to welcome RTKL Associates back to the consortium in Fall 2011. RTKL offers a range of services, from planning, architecture, and interior architecture, to MEP, structural engineering, and landscape architecture. They have 12 offices in North America and abroad, with a staff of more than 1,000 professionals.

Rendering of the Venturi Effect Turbine Array (VETA) as 

envisioned for downtown Chicago. Image: RTKL.
We were contacted by three architects with the firm who had won an in-house competition for an innovative proposal to place wind turbines in “urban canyons” in locations such downtown Chicago. The proposal, the Venturi Effect Turbine Array (VETA), was awarded research funding from RTKL’s parent company, Arcadis, to study the proposal’s technical and economic feasibility. The project team came to UC Berkeley last November to conduct a series of tests in CBE’s wind tunnel facility, using a model of Chicago’s central business district to evaluate the energy potential of such a site. Graduate students from the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative also contributed to the study, providing a report on regulatory, climatic, and economic aspects of the VETA system in selected cities around the globe.

HGA is Latest A&E to Join CBE

In Fall 2011, we also welcomed HGA Architects and Engineers, Inc., as a new CBE partner. HGA is an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm with more than 600 professionals located in seven U.S. locations, including 170 LEED accredited professionals representing all disciplines of the practice. The firm is active in healthcare, corporate and government organizations, arts, community, higher education, science/technology and energy infrastructure sectors.

School of Education Building at University of Wisconsin - Madison. 
HGA lead the design team and provided architectural design and 
mechanical and structural engineering services for the project.
Image: HGA.
HGA strives to create places that meet aggressive performance targets that enhance eco-system health and provide financial best value. An example of this commitment is shown in the recent renovation and addition to the historically significant School of Education Building at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. The building is LEED Platinum-certified and is the first LEED certified project on the Madison campus and the first Platinum certification in the state university system. The project uses chilled beam technology, also a first in the state system, both to reduce energy consumption and to minimize space needed for ductwork in the original historic building.