INHABITAT: “Micropolis custom net-zero home generates all its own energy”

 

2.EXTERIOR LEFT

By Lucy Wang

When Cheryl and Ken Serdar saw one of the homes belonging to Micropolis®, a collection of sustainable and contemporary house plans designed by architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, they knew they wanted a custom home based on the original 950-square-foot “Happy Family” plan. Taking into account the couple’s needs for extra space, Schechter designed a 2,222-square-foot dwelling that also offered all of the sustainable and modern design features defined in her Micropolis® line. Located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the custom net-zero home is the most energy-efficient residence that the architect has designed to date. READ MORE…

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On The Boards: pod architecture + design partners reveal plans for their modern house on a hillside.

modern, custom-design house NC
Scale model of Carrboro House by pod architecture + design

Eager to plant their roots more deeply into their new hometown, experiential graphics designer Youn Choi and award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, partners in life and founding partners of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro, have designed a modern house for their family of four that they’re about to build on a site that poses a host of challenges

According to the design, this modern, sustainable house will be a composition of sleek, rectilinear forms, at once soaring and grounded.

“No one has purchased the lot for a long time because it’s so hard to build on,” said Pierson, referring to the 1.2-acre swatch he and Choi purchased within a 12-acre preserved wooded area. “It has severe limitations: a year-round 100-foot creek setback, an oddly shaped buildable area, a steep hillside, dense forest coverage, and it’s adjacent to a floodplain.”

Yet Pierson and Choi didn’t see those issues as limiting. They saw them as inspirational.

modern custom-designed house
Rendering by pod architecture + design

From their design studio in the historic train depot in downtown Carrboro, Pierson explained how the land informed the custom design of the future 2500-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath modern house that he and Choi will share with their two young children.

“We’ve chosen to honor the unique site by letting it suggest the form of the house,” he said. “So we’ve partially embedded it into the wooded hillside and opened it up to the natural meadow and creek at the lower elevations. We’ve used the strict construction limitations to establish a design that follows the usable land contours, reflects the climb in elevation by ‘hopping’ up to the higher elevation, then anchors itself back to the top. The form evolved wholly from the site limitations and our desire to maintain the meadow undisturbed.” He paused and smiled. “On a different site, it would be a different house. So we’re very happy that we found this particular site.”

Pierson, whose family hails from North Carolina, and Choi, a native of South Korea, are excited about reusing the Southern yellow pine trees that have to be felled to make room for the house. They’re having all of them milled locally then returned to the site to be repurposed as cabinetry and architectural woodwork.

According to the design, this modern, sustainable house will be a composition of sleek, rectilinear forms, at once soaring and grounded. Huge expanses of glass will frame views of the meadow, forest, and creek and allow natural light to fill the interior. The foundation and retaining walls will be polished concrete block. A terrace on the upper level will have glass overlook guardrails.

They haven’t decided on the exterior material yet. If the past is precedent, it will be corrugated metal. But Choi is still searching for a new cladding material that can be continuously wrapped around the house’s form and respond to the site and the climate.

Inside, their modern house will feature exposed structural steel, polished concrete floors over radiant heating, quartz countertops, and the repurposed southern yellow pine for custom cabinetry.

Committed to Local

Pierson pointed out that he and Choi have hired green home builder Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building in Chapel Hill, and an all-local roster of consultants and suppliers including: structural engineer Rob Munach of Excel Engineering in Carrboro; Fitch Lumber & Hardware in Carrboro; Stonehenge Masonry and Adams/Oldcastle Products, both in Youngsville; Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp. in Mocksville; and radiant flooring expert Mike Torville of Carrboro.

The Choi-Pierson house should be completed by August of 2019.

For more information on pod a+d, go to www.podand.com and visit the blog, pod news & media. The firm is also on Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

AECCafe.com/ArchShowcase: “The Professor’s House in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by Arielle Condoret Schechter”

by Sanjay Gangal

This small, modern house was designed for an eminent author and professor of Native American studies. A widow now, she wanted to downsize from her 3200-square-foot house and live in a new, age-in-place home in a quiet, wooded neighborhood in Chapel Hill, NC, with her dog, Calamity Jane.

  • Architects: Arielle Condoret Schechter
  • Project: The Professor’s House
  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina USA
  • Photography: Keith Isaacs, Raleigh, NC (except kitchen images – by ACS)
  • Structural Engineer: Brian Moskow, Red Engineering and Design, Apex, NC
  • Contractor: Ted Sanford, Immaculate Construction, Graham, NC
  • Construction cost: $250/square foot  READ MORE….

Re-imagining The Neighborhood Grocery: The Raleigh Architecture Co. Completes Standard Foods

The Raleigh Architecture Co.
Standard Foods’ restaurant section designed by The Raleigh Architecture Co.

When Standard Foods opened in downtown Raleigh’s Person Street Plaza this fall, owners John Holmes and Scott Crawford finally revealed their vision for an all-locally sourced, farm-to-table grocery store and restaurant, both of which celebrate “the food, farmers, and artisanal production methods of our region,” according to the website.

Stand.Foods1 low_resWithin the Plaza, a redevelopment project that includes Raleigh City Farm, Yellow Dog Bakery, and other locally owned businesses, something else happened. Standard Foods’ physical space revealed The Raleigh Architecture Company’s interpretation of a shopping and dining experience that is at-once modern, urban, and artisanal.

A few months earlier, while the project was still under construction, John Holmes told the Independent Weekly, “We want the design to reflect what we’re trying to do with the food.” With that in mind, he and Crawford turned to Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnston, AIA, of The Raleigh Architecture Co (RACo), a local firm well known for custom retail designs and quality craftsmanship.

“The challenge,” Kerins said, “was to create a design concept for the StandFoods3 low_resrestaurant and bar that is reinforced by our selection of authentic and natural materials and honest detailing.”

Ted Van Dyke of New City Design served as architect of record for the project with RACo as design architect for the front-of-the-house (areas open to the public) and the exterior.

Standard Foods is a 3000-square-foot grocery store, butcher shop, and 80-seat restaurant. The restaurant side features a 26-seat communal table and a 16-seat bar.

Outside, weathered steel slats trace the upper edge of the one-story, matte-charcoal exterior and provide shading for large windows that frame views of the Raleigh City Farm 20 yards away. Eventually the slats will also support plantings to add more shade and elements of the farm to the façade.

StandFoods4 low_resInside, market and restaurant spaces flow into each other and the matte-charcoal reappears on background walls that enhance natural sapele wood and slate wall panels in the market, and heart pine tables and chairs in the restaurant. Metal refrigeration cases gleam under energy-efficient lighting, and accents of marble and leather add upscale elements to the simple, natural materials.

Part handcrafted, part sophisticated, the total design creates a distinctive identity for Standard Foods. Yet the colors and textures of the food – in the market or served on the tables – are the main attractions.

To ensure a community-oriented shopping experience, the aisles in the grocery store area are tight, reminiscent of an urban bodega. The spacing creates an intimate experience with the products. Benches between aisles encourage shoppers to linger.

“Most of us view grocery shopping as a chore,” observed architect Robby Johnston. “Our goal was to make this grocery store an experience – to give shoppers a feeling that’s fresh and friendly with an immediate perception of value.”

Standard Foods is a joint venture between Holmes, the president of real estate firm Hobby Properties, and Crawford, the former chef of Herons at The Umstead in Cary and twice a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef in the Southeast. The men call their partnership The Nash Hospitality Group. For more information, go to standard-foods.com.

The Raleigh Architecture Co. is frequently commissioned for urban up-fits in existing buildings in downtown Raleigh. A few of the partners’ completed projects include Arrow Haircuts and NuvoNivo on Hargett Street, Runologie and State of Beer on Hillsborough Street, Trophy Brewing Company on Maywood Avenue and Crank Arm Brewing Company on West Davie Street. For more information, visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

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 the firm to meet clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. The firm’s 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.

 

North Carolina “Starchitect” Frank Harmon, FAIA, Celebrates Career, Retirement Nov. 19

Frank Harmon, FAIA. (photo by William Morgan)
Frank Harmon, FAIA. (photo by William Morgan)

On Thursday evening, November 19, from 6-8 p.m., multi-award-winning architect, professor, author, and artist Frank Harmon, FAIA, will thank friends, colleagues, and clients for a 50-year career that saw him rise to the top of his profession when he officially announces his retirement during an oyster roast and champagne toast.

Harmon’s retirement party will be held at the thoroughly “green” Modern building he designed and where his office has been located for the past three years: the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, 14 East Peace Street, in downtown Raleigh. Free and open to the public, the event is part of North Carolina Modernist Houses‘ “Thirst4Architecture” series. Anyone who wishes to attend should email RSVP@frankharmon.com.

Since founding his firm in 1985, Frank Harmon has received dozens of local, regional, and national design awards and other professional honors, including the 2013 F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honor the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects presents.


 

See AIA NC’s 2013 Gold Medal presentation,which includes a history of Frank Harmon and his work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUclN7GWgZM


 

An AIA Fellow and Professor in Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, Harmon has built his illustrious reputation on designing modern, innovative, sustainable, and regionally appropriate buildings of all types, especially environmental education facilities. As another AIA Fellow, Jeffrey Lee, once wrote of his friend and colleague:

“Across the architectural profession, Frank Harmon, FAIA, is the face of North Carolina architecture. Through his words, his deeds, and the work of his firm, he has brought to a national audience a glimpse of the unique character and architectural culture of his home state [and his work] is an architectural presence so deeply rooted to the influence of place that one can hardly imagine it existing elsewhere.”

When asked why he’s decided to retire now, Harmon grinned. “I don’t think one ever retires. You simply do other things. But one of our goals in life is to be happy, right? I’ve decided to pay attention to that. I realize now that a visit from my daughter, a trip to London to see my son, a simple dinner with friends, or the shape of a flower in my garden gives me more happiness than designing another building.”

Yet he admits he’ll miss his practice:

“Of course this is bittersweet. I’ll miss coming to the office each day to work with bright young people and to work with craftsmen and builders I respect. But they will continue to do new and better things, which I will enjoy. The future of architecture is good in their hands.”

For the past few years, Harmon has acquired a devoted following for his blog “Native Places,” a collection of thoughts and hand-drawn sketches that illustrate the value of looking closely at buildings and places. (Custom Home Magazine features Native Place on its website.) More recently, he began writing a similar monthly piece for Midtown Magazine that he calls “Everyday Places.”

Perhaps both columns were foreshadowing: After a rewarding 50-year career as a practicing architect, Harmon is now ready to express his thoughts and values through those endeavors, rather than design and construction:

“I think that what I want to say in architecture can be done with a pen and watercolor brush,” he said recently. “I don’t need an office to do that.”

For more information on Frank Harmon’s life and work:

Architect Robby Johnston Joins GTSD Awards Jury

Recognizing sustainable development in the Triangle region.

The Raleigh Architecture Co.
Robby Johnston, AIA

 

Raleigh architect Robby Johnston, AIA, partner and founding principal of The Raleigh Architecture Company, will serve on the Judges’ Panel for the 2015 Greater Triangle Stewardship Development (GTSD) Awards program honoring sustainable developments in the Triangle region.

Johnston’s expertise in sustainable design and construction and his experience in managing LEED projects were noted as the reasons for inviting him to join the Judges Panel.

The GTSD Awards program recognizes residential, commercial, and public land developments that demonstrate outstanding environmental stewardship through protection, conservation, improvement, and appreciation of the region’s natural resources.

The Judges Panel includes professionals in engineering, natural resources sciences, planning, architecture, landscaping, and others. Johnston’s fellow jurors are: Katherine Baer, Triangle Land Conservancy; Becky Smith, HydroStructures; Megan Bolejack, Pittsboro Parks & Recreation Board; Robert Patterson, Town of Morrisville; Mitch Woodward, NC Cooperative Extension; Scott Pohlman, NC Natural Heritage Program; Nancy Guthrie, Clean Water Management Trust Fund; and Roger Henderson, Moffatt & Nichol.

Projects considered for a GTSD award must be located in Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Orange, or Wake counties. The Judges Panel will conduct site visits on February 4 and the awards will be presented during a banquet on April 29.

For more information on the GTSD Awards, go to trianglestewardship.org.

For more information on Johnston and The Raleigh Architecture Company, visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

Raleigh Architecture

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.

East of Edenton: Two Homes Tours Highlight Young Firm’s Pioneering Project in Downtown Raleigh

E. Edenton St. houses

AIA Triangle and NC Modernist Houses tour-goers discovered Raleigh Architecture Co.’s innovative urban infill houses in an old neighborhood.

“Hungry Neck,” an old, established neighborhood just east of Downtown Raleigh, is not an expected destination for homes tours. A mixed-use neighborhood, most of the houses there were built between 1900 and 1940 and many of those are in disrepair.

However, two recent homes tours – the Triangle section of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA Triangle) Residential Tour on October 11th and North Carolina Modernist Houses’ (NCMH) annual “ModaPalooza Tour” of strictly Modernist houses on October 17 – brought hundreds of surprised participants to the 500 block of East Edenton Street. There they discovered two Modernist urban-infill houses designed and built by Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnston, AIA, of the Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo).

At 554 and 556 East Edenton Street, these houses are actually two of five RACo-designed Modernist houses that will soon grace the Hungry Neck neighborhood within a block of each other. One across the street, the Hungry Neck house at 562 New Bern Avenue, is under construction. (The NCMH group got a sneak-peak inside.) Next door to the Hungry Neck house, the Floyd house at 558 New Bern is just a foundation at the moment, as is the fifth project, the Powers house at 567 New Bern.

“We’re very committed to downtown Raleigh,” said architect Robby Johnston, AIA, who owns the two-year-old design/build firm with his partner, architect Craig Kerins, AIA. “The name of our firm reflects that and we maintain both our office and shop under one roof in the Warehouse District. We’re very interested in building community in this neighborhood, which is really a delightful place where people on porches and walking down the sidewalk interact all the time.”

Johnston and Kerins also live in or near the downtown district. In fact, 554 Edenton is Johnston’s private residence, which he shares with his wife and two young daughters. Nabarun Dasgupta and Roxanne Saucier own the house next door with son Ishan.

How did RACo manage to get all five commissions? “We created the first two, the Edenton homes, by purchasing both properties and preparing a development proforma to court prospective clients,” Johnston explained. “Once these took shape the phone began ringing with interest not only in the area but also in the kind of architecture we were offering. Then we began to create relationships between our clients and prospective landowners and served as purchase advisors/consultants based on our institutional knowledge of the actual value of building in this area.”

Johnston calls the two completed houses on the recent tours “paternal twins.” Architecturally, they share certain similarities, he explained, including North Carolina cypress siding, window style, thin shed roofs, and a narrow footprint – yet maintain individual identities through variations in form and materials. They also share a green space/courtyard since the compact lots didn’t allow for individual side yards, as well as upper-level outdoor spaces: Johnston’s 1800-square-foot house features a second-floor terrace while the 2100-square-foot Dasgupta-Saucier house features a third-story terrace.

The houses differ in additional exterior materials. Gray slate from a demolished house in nearby Historic Brooklyn neighborhood became siding for 554 Edenton. The Corten steel which wraps around 556’s upper level is transforming from a raw steel finish to a uniform, intentional patina as it acclimates to is downtown Raleigh surroundings.

Since Kerins and Johnston knew they were introducing Modernist, sustainable residential design to this old urban neighborhood, they made a concerted effort to recall architectural elements from the existing structures. Front porches, created and shaded by cantilevered upper forms, “pay tribute to the importance of ‘public’ outdoor space in these and all historic Southern homes,” Kerins noted. The houses address the sidewalk at the same distance as neighboring houses and floor-to-ceiling windows on the lower levels engage the neighborhood while high windows on the upper levels provide privacy for the personal spaces there.

To ensure an abundance of natural light in these slim houses, RACo designed open floor plans for both with double-height cores capped by large skylights. RACo fabricated open steel staircases in each to accommodate vertical circulation. At 556 Edenton, the staircase is a bold element within the space.

The NCMH “ModaPalooze” group also visited RACo’s renovation of the Larry Wheeler-Don Doskey house in Chapel Hill.

For more information on the Raleigh Architecture Company, visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

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.

 

Uber-Green House in Chatham County Is Finalist For USGBC Award

Happy Meadows Courtyard House Rendering

Recognizing systematic integration of sustainability and LEED standards.

The Happy Meadows Courtyard House, a thoroughly sustainable Modern residence designed by Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA is a finalist for the 2014 Green Gala Sustainable Business Awards in the Residential category. The US Green Building Council / North Carolina chapter selects and presents the annual awards.

The Sustainable Business Awards recognize the best designed or built projects that demonstrate the systematic integration of sustainability and LEED standards.

Built by Chapel Hill Contractor Kevin Murphy of NewPhire Building for Phil and Velma Helfaer, the 2567-square-foot Chatham County residence is located on a five-acre property and built at the highest point of the site, leaving the existing large meadow and remainder of the site, including mature trees, undisturbed. Architect Schechter, an animal advocate, included a wildlife pond as part of the design concept.

All main rooms in the house face south for passive solar gain and deep roof overhangs shade the interior all summer yet lets the sun penetrate all the way inside in the winter. The house maintains an intimate relationship with the outdoors via a large south-facing terrace, a small interior courtyard, and glass exterior doors in all main rooms.

Other sustainable features are: operable windows for cross ventilation and to take advantage of the prevailing breezes; abundant daylight so that electric lights (all LED) should not be needed by day; thick 5500 psi prefabricated concrete exterior walls that incorporate reclaimed fly-ash and help the interior stay cool in the summer; no-VOC finishes and Air Renew Essential sheetrock that converts any VOC within it into an inert compound; 100% rainwater capture from the white EPDM “cool roof” that allows for the cleanest rainwater capture; 5.4KW photovoltaic array, which will produce 98% of the house’s energy; a Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator that pre-dehumidifies incoming fresh air in summer; and the use of scrap materials for many interior finishes.

Still under construction, Happy Meadows has already been certified to PHIUS PLUS (Passive House Institute US) standards, one of the strictest building sustainability standards in the world. It has also achieved NET-Zero, meaning that the house produces all of the energy it used. Happy Meadows is projected to be LEED Platinum.

“Could this house be any greener?” asked Schechter. “Maybe, but I don’t know how!”

The 2014 winners will be announced during the Green Gala, which will be held at the LEED Gold Ritz-Carlton hotel in Uptown Charlotte on Friday, September 26.

For more information on all categories in the 2014 the Sustainable Business Awards, go to http://www.usgbcnc.org/?page=PacketRequest.

For more information on Arielle Schechter and “Happy Meadows Courtyard,” visit www.acsarchitect.com

About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings of all types and sizes, especially houses. She admits that she is “obsessed with light,” which drives her designs more than any other single element. Her firm also offers landscape design, interior and lighting design, and custom furniture and fixtures. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Julliard School of Music, and NC State University’s College of Design. She lives with her husband, Arnie Schechter, and an assortment of foster animals in a Modern, energy-efficient house she designed. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com.

 

 

Frank Harmon Architect PA Welcomes New Team Member

Project manager Tika Hicks joins the award-winning firm.

Project manager/designer Tika Hicks joins Harmon's award-winning team.

March 15, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, NC, has announced that project manager/designer Tika Hicks of Raleigh has joined the firm’s award-winning team.

Hicks brings 12 years of experience in architectural project management, design and production services to the firm, which includes educational/institutional, commercial and residential projects, as well as historic preservation. Among other notable projects, she was instrumental in the restoration of the modernist Henry Kamphoefner residence and in its subsequent renovation/addition in conjunction with the late North Carolina State University’s College of Design Professor Robert Burns, FAIA.

Born in Chicago, Hicks grew up in Ithaca, New York, and moved to Raleigh in 1989. She attended Pennsylvania State University, where she concentrated in architecture, design and sculpture. She then studied abroad in Florence, Italy, before entering the N.C. State University College of Design, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Design in Architecture.

Hicks’ previous work experience includes stints with Raleigh firms Kurt Eichenberger, AIA, Richard Hall Associates, Clearscapes, and Cannon Architects, and with the Chapel Hill firm Lucy Carol Davis Architects.

Harmon’s firm’s reputation for innovative, sustainable and regionally appropriate design led Hicks to his office.

“I want to be part of a great team that creates excellent and exciting projects that contribute to the sustainability of the built environment,” she said recently. “A huge part of why I’m here is because I want to work on projects that change and improve the built environment. Frank was ‘green’ before ‘green’ was ‘green.’ I couldn’t be happier to be a part of his team.”

Hicks has already been assigned to work on several of Harmon’s projects that are in design development or construction, including the Shellfish Research Hatchery at UNC-Wilmington, the site plan and new facilities for the Audubon Sanctuary on Pine Island, NC, the United Therapeutics Field House in Durham, and Riverworks in Jacksonville where a former wastewater treatment plant is being converted into an Environmental and Education Center.

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

 

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

 

Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, is also a Professor in Practice at NC State University and a frequent speaker at AIA and other design conventions and conferences throughout the US and Canada. In 2010, his firm was ranked 13th out of the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect magazine and Harmon was included in Residential Architect’s recent “RA 50: The short list of architects we love.” His firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines, journals and online magazines on architecture, including ArchDaily.com, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.

Construction Begins On AIA NC’s New, “Green” Headquarters

Future LEED- Platinum building breaks ground in downtown Raleigh.

 

December 8, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) – After two years of planning and waiting for financing, the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects will finally hold its official, public groundbreaking ceremony for its new headquarters building and design center on Thursday, December 9, at 11:30 a.m. The building will be constructed on an oddly shaped, previously unused lot on Peace and Wilmington streets between Peace College and the NC Government Complex.

 

Designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA after the firm won a professional competition for the project in 2008, the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design will be “a modern building with a green heart,” as Frank Harmon, FAIA, likes to call it.

 

The building has been designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards at the highest Platinum level, and AIA Committee On The Environment (COTE) goals, which include regional appropriateness and the use of regionally available materials, land use and site ecology, sustainable materials and methods of construction, reduced water usage, and increased energy efficiency.

 

“As we come out of the recession, we won’t be building in the same wasteful ways,” Harmon said. “With new emphasis on alternative energy and sustainable design, the AIA NC Center will show us a new way to build.”

 

Harmon also believes the Center will be a compelling example for responsible revitalization of the cores of towns and cities across the state, including Raleigh.

 

“It will demonstrate sustainable urban development and put Raleigh ‘on the map’ as a leader in this endeavor,” he noted, “from re-using every shovel of earth removed for the footprint, to the porously paved parking garden and state-of-the-art ‘green’ technology.”

 

Deferring to the natural topography, the new building will be situated along the edge of the property and porously paved so that the majority of the site will be park-like – a public park in an area of the city that doesn’t have one. This will provide an outdoor gathering space for AIA NC and community events and effectively expand AIA NC’s outreach program.

 

“One of AIA NC’s goals is to contribute to the vitality of that section of downtown by transforming an awkward, unused piece of property into a ‘people center’ that will, in turn, impact the businesses around it,” Harmon said.

 

Architecturally, the overriding objective of the building’s concept is “to demonstrate and encourage aesthetic and ecological integrity – to create a flagship for green architecture in North Carolina that is architecturally, environmentally, socially, and aesthetically inspiring,” Harmon said.

 

Construction should be completed in 10-12 months.

 

For more information on the building’s design, visit www.frankharmon.com/current/3/. For more information on AIA NC, visit www.aianc.org.