04.27 2017

April is Earth Month

With April being Earth Month, MOA’s Green Team took the time to remind all of us how we, as architects, can reduce the impact on built environments. One of MOA’s greatest successes in achieving that was with Bioscience 2, which was awarded LEED Gold Certification in 2015. One of the biggest challenges the design team faced was hitting energy goals with an increase in building ventilation required by code for laboratory buildings. One unique decision made during the SD phase was to conduct a wind wake analysis that studied ways to mitigate effluence from laboratory exhaust systems. This analysis led to the discovery of extending exhaust stack throw heights which in turn requires lower fan speeds. This not only saves energy, but reduces ambient noise associated with exhaust fans.

Other sustainable features of the project that wouldn’t directly translate to a LEED scorecard were glazing strategies and the use of college students to document LEED requirements. The glazing strategy is a great example of integrated decision making as it required our energy modeler, mechanical designer, design builder, and architect to develop performance criteria early in the process in an effort to keep mechanical equipment sized appropriately while capturing appropriate costs. The use of college students for the documentation process had mutual benefits; it gave future architects real world exposure and education on the LEED process and sustainable design, it also gave the design team an opportunity to deliberate valuable out-of-the-box feedback and potential solutions.

Great job team Bioscience 2!