Squeezing Water from a Stone: Water-Reuse Services
A recent mandate by the City and County of San Francisco requires all new buildings larger than 250,000 square feet to incorporate greywater systems, increasing the demand for these services. We can help determine the most appropriate approach and the space allocation required for incorporating blackwater, greywater, rainwater and/or stormwater into building projects.
We helped the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission reduce municipal water use at its headquarters at 525 Golden Gate Ave. by 60 percent compared to similarly sized buildings. A Living Machine blackwater system collects and treats all of the building’s wastewater (5,000 gallons a day) to satisfy 100 percent of the demand for flushing toilets. A rainwater-harvesting system manages up to 250,000 gallons of water per year. Typical daily water consumption in a standard office building is around 12 gallons per person. The systems at 525 Golden Gate have reduced water use to just five gallons per person.
Want to learn more? Email Joel Stout.
Earn CEUs With Our USGBC Course on Parametric Modeling
Parametric modeling allows users to simulate a multitude of options and optimize projects in support of occupant comfort and energy reduction early in the building design process. Our new course, “Parametric Modeling: Visualizing and Calculating Sustainable Building Designs,” demonstrates the possibilities and power that parametric modeling tools brings to the design of energy-efficient building systems.
These tools allow us to quickly evaluate the impact of design choices such as building height, glazing, window-to-wall ratios, shading strategies and more. From the perspective of an integrative design process, this course promotes a holistic and collaborative approach to building design with the goal of constructing high-performance buildings where occupants will be comfortable.
This intermediate-level course is registered for one hour of AIA/CES (LU) credit and one hour with GBCI.
Achieving Comfort Naturally: Kean Highlands
The appeal of a cabin in the woods is not just that it is surrounded by natural beauty but that it offers a vacation from reliance on mechanical equipment. The Kean Highlands project sought this appeal for a three-story classroom building, aptly referred to as “the cabin,” set in a mountainous area of New Jersey. Our client, Grimshaw Architects, wanted to take advantage of the project’s special microclimate, so they retained our services to guide them in designing for natural ventilation.
We used simulation tools such as EnergyPlus, DesignBuilder CFD and CoolVent to analyze how long we could extend hours of comfort with natural ventilation alone. By integrating the capabilities of these tools, we were able to more accurately understand the impact of natural ventilation on human comfort.
Our analysis found that 51 percent of the total cooling hours typically provided by air conditioning could be offset by natural ventilation. Where walls blocked cross-ventilation, we helped our client determine the best design approach for operable openings in the interior partitions.
Want to learn more? Email Vamshi Gooje.
A Sustainable Giant: Oceanwide Center
San Francisco’s Oceanwide Center consists of two towers, one of which will be the second tallest in the city, at 850 feet. Totaling nearly 2 million square feet, the development will include office space, luxury condominiums, retail and restaurant space, a high-end hotel and the “Urban Room,” a dynamic, five-story-high open space beneath one of the towers.
We are working closely with the project team to integrate sustainability into this enormous development, which is targeting two LEED Platinum certifications and a LEED Master Site designation. The project will be a showcase for green building strategies, commitment to sustainability, and thoughtful and engaging building design.
The city’s Transbay Transit District Redevelopment Plan has layered additional sustainability requirements on top of those already in the local green-building ordinance. We are guiding the project team through these provisions, the Non-potable Water Ordinance requirements and the many nuances of achieving LEED Platinum certification on a massive scale. We are also providing research, water-reuse-strategies guidance and sustainable materials training for the designers.
Want to learn more? Email Joel Stout.
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