Sam Batchelor of designLAB architects, inc designed the World Headquarters for the IFAW. A LEED-gold building – the structure must integrate landscape and built form, and minimize the negative impact of the building on its surroundings.
Did ArchiCAD software assist in your efforts to meet that goal? How so?
The building rings on three sides, a reconstructed meadow (built on a former brownfield site). In addition to the physical and logistical environmental strategies, we worked very hard for the building to evoke an emotional connection to the landscape. This was done by maintaining sight-lines to the reconstructed meadow from almost every location in the building, and by pulling similar materials inside and outside in order to obfuscate the boundary line between interior and exterior.
Please discuss the use of the architecture to facilitate rainwater use, establish systems to treat all on-site waste water and septic system with focus on how the ArchiCAD software provided support.
All of the rainwater and wastewater was treated on-site and returned to the aquifer. Wastewater is treated using an innovative septic system that removes nitrates as part of its filtration process. Rainwater is filtered through a series of bioswales that are integrated into the meadow, and rain gardens located throughout the parking area.
Please explain the how ArchiCAD software best served your needs in maximizing passive solar technology to achieve the best possible daylight and reducing heating & cooling operational costs.
Because large portions of the building are glazed and covered with a range of solar reduction aids, the software allowed us to run daylighting models, analyzing different screening strategies at different locations in order to optimize the building treatments for each solar condition.
Did elements of the design software make it easier to keep sustainability as the goal? Was there another element of the project’s design that you’d like to highlight in terms of sustainability or green design.
Because the client is an animal welfare organization, they have very clearly articulated goals about the environment. To the extent that these largely meshed with the LEED system, we were able to achieve a relatively high rating. However, our primary goal was to reinforce the clients environmental mission. Therefore, we pursued certain initiatives that were not part of the LEED system, while de-prioritizing others that were. The result is that the building is reflection of, and educational tool for, the organization as they pursue the worldwide initiatives.
Take advantage of this webinar, “Case Studies in Sustainable Design Success” – in which designLAB’s work on the IFAW headquarters was profiled. The webinar is available to you through McGraw Hill Construction Continuing Education Center. Go at your pace, watch and listen to the webinar in its entirety (one hour duration) or take in the information in segments.