EPMA Presentation Recap: Prefab Architecture

Written by Oliver Bautista and Lindsey Machamer

Oliver presents on Prefab Architecture in front of USGBC MA's Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts group.
Oliver presents on Prefab Architecture during November’s Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts meeting.

With the October presentation we had Oliver Bautista, Designer III at Turkel Design, explain the exciting features of Prefab Architecture. The presentation began with an explanation of the definition of ‘prefab’ in architecture and the different types that exist.

Oliver’s presentation centered on modular homes built in components, in this case wall panels, and how the process works from the Schematic Design phase through the built core shell assembly. The process begins with the selection of either a standard home design, a modified standard home design, or a custom home design; the choice depends on client needs and site conditions.

Simulated design of prefab architecture
Simulated design of Prefab Architecture

During the presentation, Oliver explained the advantages of doing prefab, from the components built in a controlled environment to reductions made to the construction schedule. The sample project shown during the presentation displayed a timeline of one hundred days to complete the core shell assembly, which was elevated with piers due to a high flood elevation line. The two story single family residence was delivered in flatbed trucks and assembled on site; the visuals shown explained how a small crew was able to put together a fantastic home in a short period of time, along with the flexibility and quality prefab can bring to Architecture.

EPMA Event Recap: The Power of Networking

Written by Kavita Karmarkar

Attendees take notes on their phones while Julie goes over networking tips.
Attendees take notes while Julie goes over networking tips.

On November 21, EPMA organized a fireside chat event–‘The Power of Networking’, as part of EPMA’s ongoing efforts to help young professionals further their careers and learn new skills.  

This roundtable discussion focused on tips and tricks to be better at networking, either for job, business, or personal development. Our guide and coach for the event was Julie Nasser. Julie is the director of business development at Marguiles Perruzzi Architects, an award-winning architecture and interior design firm located in downtown Boston. Julie has more than ten years of experience in business development, A/E/C recruiting, sales, and real estate leasing. Our venue host for the evening was Perkins Eastman. Perkins Eastman, an architecture firm with seventeen interdisciplinary offices around the globe, designs for a sustainable and resilient future, and to enhance the human experience through the built environment.

Julie Nasser laughs and addresses attendees
Julie Nasser addresses attendees

Julie coached the group on a variety of subjects such as developing networking skills, striking up easy conversations at events, finding the correct networking groups, following up after meeting at seminars and conferences, and balancing professional and business development at events. 

One of the common questions shared by the team was dealing with the nervousness of going to an event, especially if you don’t know anyone or do not have a friend to accompany you. Julie guided the group through some common tricks like starting a conversation about everyday things, such as the weather and holiday/summer plans, to break the ice. A casual introduction about yourself, without focusing heavily on your work, can get the conversation flowing as well. Another very important tip is to carry your business cards with you: if you make an acquaintance with someone and get their business card, you can write to them with a few ‘possible follow-up’ topics depending on the conversation. 

Making contacts and building networks should ideally be done throughout your career as you progress, and not only when you are in a job seeking or developing your business. Also, finding the correct networking groups, depending on your interests and field of work, is very important: searching on Google, asking your professors, or connecting with your colleagues and peers will give you an idea of what organizations you should consider joining. Volunteering is one of the ways that you can meet new people and build networks, while contributing in a meaningful way. Volunteering can be especially useful for job seekers and young professionals for events which might be too expensive to get into otherwise. 

Julie discusses networking tips with attendees.
Julie discusses networking tips with attendees.

Another networking tip is determining how and when to follow up after meeting people at events and conferences. Reaching out through LinkedIn and by email are a few of the best ways to make contact after a couple of weeks. You can refer back to the event or conference in the message, and ask the acquaintance if they would like to meet again and discuss a topic, such as the acquaintance’s field of work. It is considered acceptable to reach out one more time if there is no response, usually in a couple of weeks. Generally, when you make a new acquaintance, it’s better not to talk about your job seeking or business development situation directly. Instead, you should get to know more about the work done by your contact. Asking people for ‘informational interviews’ is a good way to better understand people and their work. It can be especially helpful for job seekers to learn more about a company and the work culture. 

The event gave participants a chance to talk about these questions openly and learn from each other’s experiences. At the end of the session, all participants got an opportunity to exchange cards/LinkedIn profiles and make new contacts. 

The entire team at EPMA would like to thank our coach, Julie Nasser, for her words of wisdom and our host, Perkins Eastman for providing venue and refreshments. 

EPMA Presentation Recap: Shifting Company Policy and Culture Towards Sustainability

Written by Michael Orbank

Michael presents at the November 2019 Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts meeting
Michael presents at the November 2019 Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts meeting.

At this past USGBC EPMA meeting, I had the pleasure of discussing the work Commodore Builders is doing to move towards a more sustainable future. Commodore is a growing CM firm, and their rapid growth is continuing to innovate and deliver the best possible product for its clients, while balancing and improving the working life of its employees. Building a sustainable culture is pivotal in expanding successfully and ethically.

Through small sustainable steps, significant progress can be made. A big mistake many companies make is a “shock and awe” campaign which leaves employees and clients dazed and confused with the new changes. Taking small, incremental steps is pivotal in creating lasting change. Small steps Commodore has taken include forming a carbon committee, reviewing areas of improvement, and speaking honestly with both clients and employees about sustainable changes. In the competitive Boston construction market, Commodore has realized that sustainability must be a collaborative effort.

Earlier this year, Commodore introduced changes to their subcontractor contracts, mandating LED’s for temporary lights, and banning idling onsite. It is the hope that we can move to bigger, bolder moves while keeping education a priority to make sure that all involved parties understand why changes are being made and what the impact is. Just this past week, office wide composting was introduced with a focus on personal, hands on training to teach employees what can and cannot be composted. Going forward, Commodore hopes to improve their material sourcing, transition towards zero construction waste, and continue to provide employees with one of the best workplaces in Boston.  

Careers in Sustainability: Charging into a Career in Renewables

Panelists for the Careers in Sustainability Panel in the middle of a discussion
Panelists discuss how to aim for a career in sustainability.

Written by Andrew Breiter-Wu

Last month, EPMA organized their annual panel discussion called Careers in Sustainability: Charging into a Career in Renewables. The event was moderated by Andrew Breiter-Wu, the President and Investment Manager of Breiter Planet Properties, who has a very extensive background and has experience with the renewable energy industry. 

The panelists included Alexandra Gadawski from HMFH, Emily Powers from DOER, and Kshitij Chopra from Breiter Planet Properties. 

The discussion interweaved the panelists’ personal and professional experiences across their careers while eloquently layering future trends across the renewable energy industry. 

The audience was very engaging and we were able to ensure the content of the panel catered to what everyone wanted. We thank all who attended and spent the evening speaking with us. 

The purpose of the Careers in Sustainability series is to educate everyone on the different career paths that one can take in the sustainability industry through the use of different people’s experiences and journeys across their careers. There is not one “right” path to take, but learning from other people’s failures and successes is the best way to efficiently chart your path towards a career in sustainability. 

Finally, we thank Boston University for accommodating us for the event and allowing such an important conversation to transpire on their campus.

For follow up questions about the event or about hosting a similar event on your own campus, email [email protected].  

Green Building Showcase 2019 Winners

Well, GBS ’19 sure was a blast!

We had an amazing time at Green Building Showcase 2019! From the hilarious opening skit performed by Jim Stanislaski, Jim Newman, Jill Pinsky, and Lindsey Machamer to Arrowstreet’s King Open/Cambridge Street Upper Schools & Community Complex winning Green Building of the Year, there were some memorable moments.

This event would not have been possible without support from all of our sponsors, judges, and our wonderful community. From the beginning, USGBC MA has been a team effort, and we firmly believe it’s your community.

Check out event photos below, as well as short bios on each of the winners of the night. We hope to see you next year!

Green Building of the Year

King Open/Cambridge Street
Upper Schools & Community Complex
Submitted by Arrowstreet

Photo Credit: Robert Benson Photography

Project Team: William Rawn Associates, Architects and Arrowstreet Architecture & Design

King Open/Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex sets a new standard for school design and high-performing buildings. Completed in August 2019, it is designed as the first Net Zero Emissions school in Massachusetts and was the pilot for Cambridge’s Net Zero Action Plan, which defines Net Zero Emissions as an all-electric building with no on-site fossil fuel combustion and whose energy use is offset through renewables. The 270,000 sf

building includes an elementary school, middle school, school district administration, preschool, public library, public pool, and parking garage. The building was designed to push the envelope on net zero, occupant wellness, site impact, water use, and resilience. 

Despite heavy daily and year-round building use, the project is designed to perform at an EUI of 25 using several unique planning and user engagement strategies in addition to energy efficient systems. Building mechanical systems are groundsource heat pumps supplying radiant heating and cooling and displacement ventilation with demand control, providing improved thermal comfort and air quality. Other features include R-28 walls, R-40 roofs, daylight controls, LED lighting, and point-of-use hot water. Renewable energy is generated by roof, façade, and sunshade mounted PV and solar thermal hot water.

Water reduction is achieved through low-flow fixtures and rainwater capture resed for toilet flushing and irrigation.
In addition to thermal comfort and air quality, wellness is supported through daylighting, healthy materials, biophilic design, and enhanced acoustics. The classroom finishes are Red List free.

Site improvements include increasing infiltration by converting an acre of asphalt to vegetation. Resiliency features include an elevated first floor, cooling stations, and biodiesel generator.

The building is a unique example of a 21st century Learning Lab with constant feedback of fine-grained metering, prominently located science and technology labs as well as interior and exterior interactive displays about sustainable features.

Market Leader Award Series

SITE – MARKET LEADER

Xuhui Runway Park
by Sasaki

The Xuhui Runway Park is the award winner for Sites category. It employs diverse green infrastructure approaches including previous paving, inverted berms, ponds, subsurface storage, and robust plantings to reclaim an abandoned runway. They have created nature-rich and historically reverent haven in a dense metropolis by reusing materials in creative ways and maintaining the linear configuration of the space.


Judges Shawn Hesse, Betsy del Monte,
 and Jodi Smits Anderson

Photo Credit: Sasaki

Project Team: Sasaki

Xuhui Runway Park is an innovative urban revitalization project that breathes life into a unique piece of Shanghai’s history. Located in the Xuhui District, this 8.24-hectare site was formerly a runway for Longhua Airport, which had operated for over 80 years and was Shanghai’s only civilian airport until 1949. To reflect the site’s previous life, the park’s design scheme mimics the motion of a runway, creating diverse linear spaces for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians by organizing the park and the street into one integrated runway system. While all the

spaces are linear in shape, diverse spatial experiences are created by applying different materials, scales, topography, and programs. In this way, the park serves as a runway of modern life, providing a space for recreation and respite from the surrounding city.

The Sasaki design team applied good practice into the park design, which greatly contributed to its Gold certification in September, 2019, marking the first SITES certified project in Mainland China.

The design preserves portions of the runway’s original concrete where feasible, including the reuse of broken concrete pieces to build paths, plazas, and resting areas. The historic aerodynamic and industrial sensibility of the site is also referenced through the use of lighting poles that recall the transmission of communication and airfield illumination of the airport. All lighting is refrained from the habitat area and nocturnal life.

INNOVATION – MARKET LEADER

New Science Center – Amherst College
Submitted by Payette

The New Science Center at Amherst College is the award winner for Innovation category due to the significant achievement in energy efficiency in a lab building, and the focused, creative approach to the thermal design of the building. Although sporting a significant glass wall, facing west, this wall is triple-paned thermally broken curtainwall system, is shielded by the more private west-reaching wings of the building, and it fronts the main circulation space which is impeccably designed for the support and access of the people and the control and use of airflow.

 

 Judges Alex Wilson, Tristen Roberts, and Jodi Smits Anderson

Photo Credit: Chuck Choi Photography

Project Team: Design Architect: PAYETTE;  Structural Engineer: LeMessurier Consultants; MEP Engineer: van Zelm Engineers; Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering; Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

The Amherst College New Science Center is a high intensity laboratory with one of the lowest energy footprints of its typology. The building employs several strategies contributing to energy efficiency including a high performance envelope, abundant natural light, low-energy HVAC chilled beams, fan-coil distribution systems,

optimized fume hood control strategies, demand control ventilation including laboratory spaces, high performance heat recovery with indirect evaporative cooling, and freezer heat recovery for domestic hot water. Indirect-direct evaporative cooling reduces the heating and cooling needed for the ventilation system to reduce peak loads in the laboratories. High performance triple-pane glazing, curtainwall and façade systems implement thermal breaks. Opaque, natural ventilation panels were used in the faculty offices to provide natural ventilation while maintaining thermal integrity of the triple-pane windows. The Commons’ roof monitors integrate architectural and mechanical elements that provide an overall comfort conditioning solution: chilled beams, radiant slabs, acoustic baffles and a photovoltaic array to generate onsite power.

HEALTH & WELLNESS – MARKET LEADER

Community Living Center
DCAMM Chelsea Soldiers’ Home
Submitted by Payette

The design of this facility, with excellent energy performance, natural ventilation, and connection to views and community spaces, is an exemplar of care for our veterans.

 

Judges Tristan Roberts, Bill Walsh, and Anne Hicks Harney

Photo Credit: Payette

Project Team: Design Architect: PAYETTE; Structural Engineer: Lim Consultants; MEP Engineer: BR+A Consulting Engineers; Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering; Landscape Architect: Studio 2112

Located atop Chelsea’s iconic Powder Horn Hill, the Community Living Center is a long–term care facility for Massachusetts’ veterans that creates a dramatic new urban landmark capped by its solar canopy and reaching outward to frame the horizon. Designed to harness panoramic views of downtown Boston and the harbor, the

transformative new facility will have 154 private rooms organized around shared community spaces and surrounded by generous courtyards.

The net zero hospital uses a performance-based approach to the building and systems design resulting in a building that is designed to use 63% less energy than a typical facility utilizing geothermal heating and cooling, extensive natural ventilation and a 0.5 megawatt rooftop–mounted solar array to meet state and federal fossil fuel reduction targets.

ENERGY & WATER EFFICIENCY – MARKET LEADER

Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society

Submitted by Goody Clancy

The Irving Institute demonstrates the art and science of sustainable design.  It is contextual, responding both to its place and interacting with the natural systems around it, resulting in resource conservation and promoting occupant wellbeing. The building breaths! What really made this project stand out is that the design addresses operational and embodied carbon, demonstrating the importance of each as we shift towards a carbon-free future.

 

Judges Jennifer Preston, Greg Mella, and Shawn Hesse

Photo Credit: Goody Clancy

Project Team: Architect: Goody Clancy; MEP/FP Engineer: van Zelm Engineers; Structural Engineer: LeMessurier; Civil Engineer: Engineering Ventures; Exterior Envelope: 3iVE; Sustainability: TransSolar; LEED: Steven Winter Associates; Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh; Lighting: HLB Lighting Design; Acoustic/AV/Vibration: Acentech; Code: Jensen Hughes; Cost Estimator: Faithful + Gould

This 51,000 GSF project, scheduled for completion in 2021, will be the first permanent home for the Irving Institute for Energy and Society. Its design

 

demonstrates and expresses the building’s high performance while creating a space for interdisciplinary research that focuses on advancing an affordable, sustainable, and reliable energy future for the benefit of society.

The institute is a hub of collaboration that brings together multiple different users: institute researchers, the Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business, the Campus Sustainability Office, the Feldberg Library, and students moving to and from Murdough Center. Program spaces include project and research labs, classrooms, a café, offices and workspaces, and collaboration spaces ranging from small conference rooms to large gathering spaces.

This project epitomizes the celebration of energy performance through design. From the exterior, the major focal element of the main façade is the large glass pavilion that anchors the building at the end of the Tuck Mall axis. The pavilion houses two major collaboration spaces for the Institute, and is wrapped in the double-skin glass façade, encapsulating all of the building’s passive and active strategies to minimize energy consumption, including automated windows, exterior automated shades, radiant ceiling panels, ceiling fans, dynamic lighting to display performance, glass cavity for ventilation exhaust with stack effect, and culminating in the thermal exhaust vent at the roof. From the interior, the building is organized around a central atrium that acts as a public living room for users to formally and informally coalesce; provides daylight to all the surrounding spaces through its skylight; serves as the natural ventilation exhaust path; and is heated and cooled with radiant floors. The design and client team have worked closely together to create a space that makes the invisible visible, fostering crucial research about humankind and energy.

RESILIENCE – MARKET LEADER

Boston Coastal Flood Resilience
Design Guidelines & Zoning Overlay District

Submitted by Utile

The Boston Coastal Flood Resilience Design Guidelines and  Zoning Overlay District was selected because it is far more than a resource for Boston; it is, hands-down, the most useful and broadly applicable resource on how to adapt coastal communities and buildings to flooding and rising sea levels that has been produced to date. The Guidelines are clearly a replicable tool for other cities. They are already being referred to in Washington, DC, and we expect many other coastal communities in the U.S. and worldwide will soon be benefiting from this material.

 

Judges Betsy del Monte, Alex Wilson, and Greg Mella

Photo Credit: Utile with the City of Boston and the Boston Planning and Development Agency

Project Team: Utile, Noble, Wickersham & Heart LLP, Kleinfelder, HDR, Offshoots

Utile led the development of the City of Boston’s first ever citywide zoning overlay district and design guidelines to promote resilience from coastal flood risk for existing buildings and new construction. The zoning overlay district extends over areas with a 1% chance of flooding in 207 at 40” of sea level rise and is a critical step in advancing the City of Boston’s Climate Ready Initiative.

Working with a team of experts, this multi-faceted project integrates a study in national

best practices, existing regulations, analysis of Boston’s built form, community input, and expertise in cutting-edge building technology to identify effective, consensus-driven revisions to the zoning code.

This project makes Boston one of the first few communities nationally to take a proactive approach toward promoting coastal flood resilience. It sets a higher standard for protection and compliance compared to existing federal regulations by choosing to adopt future projections as the new threshold for risk. The zoning overlay will not only require all new construction be resilient, it will also ensure that renovations to existing buildings are performed in compliance with these guidelines. Together the guidelines and zoning overlay create a robust armature to promote preparedness across a range of neighborhoods, building conditions, and communities. 

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – MARKET LEADER

New Science Center – Amherst College
Submitted by Payette

Photo Credit: Chuck Choi Photography

Project Team: Design Architect: PAYETTE;  Structural Engineer: LeMessurier Consultants; MEP Engineer: van Zelm Engineers; Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering; Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

The Amherst College New Science Center is a high intensity laboratory with one of the lowest energy footprints of its typology. The building employs several strategies contributing to energy efficiency including a high performance envelope, abundant natural light, low-energy HVAC chilled beams, fan-coil distribution systems, optimized fume hood control strategies,

demand control ventilation including laboratory spaces, high performance heat recovery with indirect evaporative cooling, and freezer heat recovery for domestic hot water. Indirect-direct evaporative cooling reduces the heating and cooling needed for the ventilation system to reduce peak loads in the laboratories. High performance triple-pane glazing, curtainwall and façade systems implement thermal breaks. Opaque, natural ventilation panels were used in the faculty offices to provide natural ventilation while maintaining thermal integrity of the triple-pane windows. The Commons’ roof monitors integrate architectural and mechanical elements that provide an overall comfort conditioning solution: chilled beams, radiant slabs, acoustic baffles and a photovoltaic array to generate onsite power.

Eversource/National Grid Energy Optimization Award

Boston University, Center for Computing and Data Science

Submitted by BR+A

We are proud to choose Boston University’s Center for Computing & Data Sciences as the recipient of the 2019 Eversource/National Grid Energy Optimization Award. This award goes to a project that has participated in the Mass Save New Construction Program, is designed to achieve significant energy reductions, is replicable, and shows leadership and innovation in whole building energy efficiency. Boston University’s Center for Computing & Data Sciences meets these criteria and more. BU’s talented design team created a low Energy Use Intensity (EUI), 19 story zero net emissions design in a dense urban environment, which used geothermal as a cornerstone of the design and took a holistic approach to driving down site energy across each end-use. Congratulations!

 

Eversource and National Grid

Photo Credit: BR+A

Project Team: KPMB Architects, BR+A, Haley & Aldrich, Richard Burck, Dot Dash, Transsolar, The Green Engineer, Nitsch Engineering, Soberman Engineering, Jensen Hughes, Entuitive + LeMessurier, Suffolk Construction 

The BU Center for Computing and Data Science will be a 345,000 square foot, 19 story building that will achieve Class D Zero Net Energy. The building has an anticipated EUI of approximately 40 kBtu/sf*yr and will rely on 100% renewable electricity, eliminating fossil fuel consumption. The building will include triple glazed windows, exterior shading, active chilled beams

supplied by fan powered boxes, dual-wheel DOAS, and a central heat pump chiller plant connected to thirty-one 1,500 foot deep closed-loop geothermal wells. Renewable energy will be sourced from on-campus solar and off-campus wind. This was achieved at a cost premium well below 1% of construction cost, compared to the business as usual case. Utility incentives and grants further reduce this premium. The payback period is estimated to be less than two years.