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.

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.



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.