© Crodd Chin
For the fifth year running, Thornton Tomasetti has been recognized by Engineering News-Record (ENR) as a Top 100 Green Design Firm. This year the firm comes in as #34 in a ranking that considers revenue from design services for projects registered with, or certified by third-party organizations such as the USGBC, and the number of accredited staff at each company. At the time of the survey, the firm had 181 LEED accredited employees –about 30% of all our staff – and 26% of our 2012 projects were registered or certified as “green buildings.”
The ENR ranking comes at a time of growth for our Sustainability practice, which recently acquired the green building consulting firm Simon & Associates in San Francisco. Our overall expansion coupled with innovations in integrating sustainability consulting with structural engineering and façade engineering expertise will likely bring us in even higher in the ENR rating next year.
Because of the integration of AEC practices within the firm, our advanced integrated analytical tools are resulting in more informed early design decisions. In the ENR article (p.4), Principal Gunnar Hubbard discusses these technological advances: “Parametric simulations enable modelers to try out hundreds of design variations in order to derive one ‘best’ solution,” he says. “For a given room, a modeler is able to run various permutations of window positions, sizes, glass types and shading configurations. Every possible combination of parameters is run through an optimizer that balances the need for daylighting with space cooling and heating.”
We’d like to see ENR consider some additional factors next year. How many of ENR’s Top 100 Green Design Firms have joined the AIA 2030 Commitment, for instance? Thornton Tomasetti was the first structural engineering firm to join the commitment, which sets our course towards climate neutral buildings by 2030. And how many of these firms have a Corporate Sustainability Department that works to achieve sustainability in the firm’s business operations in addition to the on-the-ground practices?
Read the article in ENR about The Top 100 for more about developments in sustainable design and predictions for the future. Check out the cover photo of the LEED Platinum De Anza College Media & Learning Center (pictured above), a project for which we served as the LEED consultants.
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