Duke University’s Ocean Conservation Center Achieves LEED Platinum

The highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

Duke University Ocean Conservation Center
Duke’s Ocean Conservation Center in Beaufort, NC.

Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA, recently learned that the Ocean Conservation Center (OCC) his firm designed in Beaufort, NC, for Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment Marine Laboratory has achieved LEED Platinum certification.

Platinum is the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awards.

Located on Piver’s Island at the head of the Beaufort Inlet, the OCC provides state-of-the-art teaching facilities for the Duke Marine Lab while identifying and demonstrating innovative, environmentally sound design and construction technology.

Duke University Ocean Conservation Center
The OCC’s glass-enclosed common area.

The 5000-square-foot building’s angular design responds directly to the site along the edge of the island. The shape defers to prevailing southwest breezes blowing in from the channel and allows natural illumination to serve as primary task lighting in every interior space. It also creates a very natural open, inner courtyard for the campus.

The channel side of the building features a large, wooden porch just outside of a glass-enclosed common area, which provides panoramic views of the natural surroundings. The wood-shingled exterior complements the coastal context and the roof’s deep overhang protects the interior from the hot summer sun.

The building is designed and engineered to resist hurricane-force winds in excess of 125 mph — a very real threat in Beaufort, NC. Building materials include wood, wood shingles, glass, and cement panels. The fully designed wood frame is comprised of Atlantic white cedar, recycled wood, and Southern yellow pine. State-of-the-art green features include photovoltaic rooftop panels for converting sunlight into electricity, a solar hot water system, a vegetated roof and rain water collection cistern, and high-efficiency ground-coupled heat pumps. Recycled and local materials were used wherever possible.

Landscaping includes a large, new dune that directs the wind over the building, rather than directly at it, and protects other all-native landscaping features.

Earning LEED Platinum certification is a comprehensive process. A project must meet all requirements during a rigorous evaluation of building system efficiency, sustainability, water efficiency, materials used for construction, and environmental quality. Architect and client must be fully committed to sustainability and the process.

LEED certification is recognized across the globe as the premier mark of achievement in green building. For more information: www.usgbc.org/leed.

For more information on the OCC and Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit www.frankharmon.com.

About Frank Harmon, FAIA:

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is principal of the multi-award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, a Professor in Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, and the 2013 winner of AIA North Carolina’s F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honor presented by the Chapter to an AIA NC member to recognize a distinguished career and extraordinary accomplishments as an architect. In 2010 Harmon was included in Residential Architect’s inaugural “RA 50: The Short List of Architects We Love.” In 2013, his firm was ranked 21st among the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect Magazine. Frank Harmon is also the author and illustrator for NativePlaces.org, a series in which he uses hand-drawn sketches and mini-essays to examine the relationship between nature and built structures. For more information: www.frankharmon.com. Contact information: frank@frankharmon.com; 919.829.9464; 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604.




The Raleigh Architecture Co. Announces Addition To Its Design-Build Team

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) is pleased to announce that John Whitaker,

The Raleigh Architecture Co.
John Whitaker, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Associate AIA, LEED AP, has joined the downtown Raleigh design-build team as project manager.

Whitaker received his professional Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2007 from Drury University’s School of Architecture in Springfield, MO., where he minored in graphic art, global studies, and art history. In 2006 he studied abroad in Volos, Greece. In 2008 he obtained LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Whitaker’s specialties include concept development, project design, document production and graphic representation, 3D modeling, and rendering and presentation graphic design.

“John is a very motivated, enthusiastic designer with a wealth of knowledge in many design-related subjects,” said Craig Kerins, AIA, co-founder and principal at The Raleigh Architecture Co. “We are extremely pleased to have him on the RACo team.”

Before joining RACo, Whitaker initially relocated to North Carolina to work with Szostak Design in Chapel Hill. Before Szostak, he worked with MGA Architecture in Honolulu, Fitzsimmons Architects in Oklahoma City, and Dake Wells Architecture in Springfield, MO. His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the AIA’s Young Architects Forums in both Honolulu and Springfield.

In service to the community, John Whitaker has served as a team member for Hurricane Ike Relief in Galveston, TX; for Hurricane Katrina Relief in New Orleans, LA, Gautier, MS, and Slidell, LA.; and he has participated in AIA’s “AIA 150,” which supports local community schools by teaching interactive lessons on the architectural profession.

In his spare time, Whitaker enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking, and hoarding vintage modern furniture.

For more information on The Raleigh Architecture Co., visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

Raleigh Architecture
The Raleigh Architecture Co. logo

About The Raleigh Architecture Company:

The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design-build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture, and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers us to meet our clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. Our office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: info@raleigh-architecture.com.

Charleston Architect Serves On AIA/Tennessee Awards Jury

Whitney Powers, AIA
Whitney Powers, AIA

August 24, 2009 (MEMPHIS, TN) — South Carolina architect Whitney Powers, AIA, principal and president of the award-winning firm Studio A, Inc., in Charleston, was among the jurors who recently selected nine award winners out of 97 entries during the American Institute of Architects/Tennessee’s 2009 Design Awards program.

A LEED-certified practitioner, Powers brought her expertise in sustainable architecture to bear on the jury proceedings, as well as her experience in adaptive reuse of existing buildings and restoration/preservation of historic structures.

AIA/Tennessee includes over 1000 members from small to large architectural firms and working within university, government and industry settings. The annual design awards program recognizes Tennessee architects’ design contributions and promotes awareness of the value of architecture in the state.

Projects submitted represented new construction, renovation/restoration, and architectural interior design.

All of the judges for the 2009 program are based in Charleston, SC. Joining Powers on the jury were Ray Huff, Thompson Penney, FAIA, and Brian T. Hurst. The judging took place in Charleston.

For more information on the AIA/Tennessee award winners, go to www.aia/tn.org.

For more information on Whitney Powers, visit www.studioa-architecture.com.

About Studio A, Inc.

Founded by Whitney Powers, AIA, Studio A, Inc., is an award-winning, full-service architecture firm located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, specializing in sustainable, “green” architecture and historic preservation/adaptive re-use. From cutting-edge, contemporary architecture to the preservation and restoration of historic homes and sites, Studio A is committed to an interactive relationship between the natural and built environments. The firm includes Heritage Strategy Group, a planning initiative headed by Edwin Gardner that develops recreational areas and scenic byways so that local businesses prosper while the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the effected area are preserved and enhanced.

Bringing “Green” To Bear On Historic Structure

“The real challenge for LEED in the future, especially with regards to historic preservation, comes with recognition of the nuances that relate to regional differences in construction and the use of natural energies.” — Whitney Powers, AIA

June 19, 2008 (CHARLESTON, SC) – Whitney Powers, AIA, principal of Studio A Architecture in Charleston, Recently completed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Historic Structures Workshop held at the Charleston Maritime Center.

The workshop helped participants understand how they can implement the LEED® High Performance Rating System into historic preservation, restoration and adaptive re-use projects. It identified ways to apply “green” building practices to historic rehabilitation projects within the LEED® framework. It also addressed elements of sustainable design in historic preservation that are not identified by LEED® and may not be quantifiable.

Whitney Powers is a recognized leader in both sustainable design and historic preservation/adaptive re-use. Last year she was instrumental in bringing “green” elements to bear on the renovation of the historic Lance Hall at the Circular Congregational Church on Meeting Street, among other projects.

In fact, combining preservation and sustainability is a key mission for Powers, she said, since the sheer number of older, existing buildings represents a much larger opportunity to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions that contribute to global warming than the comparatively small number of new structures erected each year. (A recent New York Times report entitled “Green Buildings Don’t Have To Be New,” noted that new buildings “represent a small fraction of the nation’s estimated 4.5 million commercial properties, many of which were erected decades ago before sustainable, or green, designs became de rigueur.”)

Powers noted that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the organization behind LEED, has been slow to acknowledge the inherent sustainability in historic buildings. Only recently has the USGBC opened discussions with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to incorporate preservation goals into the LEED ratings system — a fact she learned when she participated in the seminar “The Sustainability Initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation” at GreenBuild 2007 in Chicago.

An outgrowth of this dialogue includes workshops like the one in Charleston where actual case studies illustrated how the existing LEED system can apply to renovations and adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

“The real challenge for LEED in the future, especially with regards to historic preservation, comes with recognition of the nuances that relate to regional differences in construction and the use of natural energies,” Powers said. “Knowledge of these differences in energy demands, materials and durability will spell the maturing of the LEED system with regards to historic preservation.”

The USGBC has opened the comment period for LEED 3.0, “and this is a real opportunity for architects and engineers working in the preservation field, particularly in the South, to help underscore the regional differences so that the USGBC can effectively address in the new rating system due to be released in 2009,”  she said.
Whitney Power’s work in sustainable design and historic preservation/restoration at Studio A Architecture has received numerous design awards and has been featured in local, regional and national design magazines and journals. For more information, visit http://www.studioa-architecture.com.