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.