With global climate change sharpening our collective recognition of the true limits of the world, the piece explores the many technologies and strategies we employ to help clients design for resilient futures. The full article is available via subscription and below are a few key excerpts.
CCBJ: Describe your Sustainable & Resilient Design practice.
“We offer specialized sustainability and resilience consulting, including climate action planning, resiliency risk assessments and portfolio future proofing, but the concepts and ideas from these services are embedded in our firm’s DNA. This means considerations for climate and resilience infuse all aspects of our practice to help deliver enduring value through durable high-performance buildings that reduce overall cost and optimize resource consumption. Our Director of Sustainability, Eric Corey Freed, leads a team of more than two dozen office sustainability leaders ensuring our client partners’ concerns for addressing environment conservation and climate change are addressed.”
CCBJ: How is CannonDesign using innovative technologies to increase building performance in areas like energy optimization, water reduction, and waste handling and reduction?
“We extensively use data-driven insight and computer simulations on every project to take advantage of energy reduction strategies and understand building performance. Starting with massing and concept EUI targets through detailed BIM models and parametric analysis of building elements, the computer simulation is used to inform design decisions.”
CCBJ: How can you design a building to help prepare for climate change?
“We’ve been focused on the use of computer modeling to determine a building’s passive survivability in order to help our clients determine their best plans for the future. The potential for the loss of utility infrastructure and an extended loss of power exists with almost every severe weather or climate change related event from hurricanes to wildfires.
Understanding how a building will perform when there is no power and no HVAC can help inform how long and where in the facility the occupants can safely shelter in place. This knowledge can lead to inclusion of operable windows, back-up power generation with extended fuel storage capacity or onsite renewable power systems.
We also recognize the exclusive use of engineering tables with historical data averages do not reflect the climate conditions predicted over the next 50 to 100 years. We conduct vulnerability assessments with hydrological modeling for multiple flood risks. HVAC systems are designed to add capacity as the number of days above 90°F will become more frequent.”
CCBJ: How are green buildings contributing to the development of smart cities?
“Every project is really part of a larger story. Regardless of size or scope, every building sits within some context, some neighborhood, and part of some larger district. By taking a district-scale approach to design, siting, resources, and community engagement, we have found an abundance of opportunities that make the project better than we could have ever expected.
We’re currently working on district scale projects around climate, carbon, equity, resilience with the Cortex Innovation District in St. Louis, Mo. and the San Bernardino Community College District in California. We have also partnered with Los Angeles County on the design and construction of a well-being community.”