Sustainability Vision

Sustainability is a key goal in the planning and implementation of all of our buildings. The incorporation of sustainability should begin with the first discussion about Design and should be pursued until the completed building performs to the targeted design criteria. Sustainable practices are not just a checklist of items to win points. It is a philosophy and personal mind-set on how to protect and sustain a healthy approach to learning, living and encouraging responsibility. Our approach provides a healthy and productive environment, a more cost effective and maintainable solution, and an energy efficient solution that reduces the total costs of ownership.

We fully support the incorporation of a system of sustainable strategies into school buildings for efficiency and environmental stewardship.  In addition, we promote the idea of designing schools so that it is more than the building that respects the environment, but it is also each and every person who enters the building.  The learning environment itself becomes a powerful tool that encourages our students to become life-long stewards of our planet.

Our consistent goal is to state energy requirements through building orientation, efficient systems and controls, as well as an efficient shell. Use of renewable energy, such as solar water heating or photovoltaics, will be considered. Materials will be selected which are durable, require low maintenance and are environmentally friendly.

Where appropriate, we consider salvaged or recycled materials and attempt to maximize, local, ‘low embodied energy’ products.

Building systems are chosen for balancing air quality, comfort and energy conservation. We employ strategies such as natural lighting and ventilation. We specify mechanical systems that are ozone friendly and efficiently controlled. We work in concert with any commissioning agent the Client may employ. We design water dependent systems which have minimal impact on both water and sewer infrastructure. We will specify low flow and waterless fixtures as well as high efficiency irrigation. Reuse of rainwater and gray water will be investigated and value-engineered to maintain project budget.

 

Energy Efficient Design

During the initial design phase of a project, we consider how the team can best incorporate energy saving design elements into the project. This is initiated by using several programs:  LEED, CHPS Guidelines and Savings by Design systems. Based on these programs, tBP/Architecture can determine what elements would be most beneficial for the project. Building orientation, efficient mechanical systems and controls, lighting systems and controls, renewable energy, salvaged and recycled materials, new materials with low or no VOCA compounds, reclaimed water, low-flow fixtures, plant and landscaping materials with low water requirements, hardshiping and roofing materials that limit heat island effect and exterior lighting that is sensitive to the night sky are just some of the components that are incorporated into energy effecting and sensitive design.

The mechanical and electrical building systems chosen would then be coordinated with the Client’s commissioning agent to confirm and quantify that the basis of design (BOD) and Owner’s Program Requirements (OPR) have been met.

(The LEED certification system provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across a range of areas including: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources.)

Chabot College (LEED Platinum)

 

Santa Margarita Eagle Athletic Center (LEED Silver)

 

De Anza College Student and Community Services Building (LEED Certified)

 

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