Category Archives: Green Building

The 2030 Challenge Ratchets Up

The 2030 Challenge Ratchets Up

Originally published on February 6, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. In the new year, project teams committed to the 2030 Challenge are being asked to kick their performance goals up a notch. As of January 1, 2015, the energy performance target for new buildings, including major renovations, has increased from 60% below the regional average to 70% below the regional average. For project teams looking to possibly commit to 2030 Challenge for the first time,….

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The Truth About Spray-Foam

The Truth About Spray-Foam

Originally published on January 26, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Spray-foam has a reputation of providing superior insulating qualities compared to fiberglass batt, mineral wool, cellulose, and other insulation alternatives. The truth is that spray-foam does not necessarily perform better than other types of insulation when it comes to conductive heat transfer. Think about the insulation products you’ve seen at your local home-improvement store. Remember that big number on the label that started with an….

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When Will LEED v2.2 and 2009 Expire?

When Will LEED v2.2 and 2009 Expire?

This column was updated on November 19, 2014 (it was first published on October 13th, 2013). Out with the old, in with the new. With the rollout of LEED v4 currently underway, LEED project teams should be mindful of the LEED-NC v2.2 and 2009 sunset dates. As every new version of LEED launches, USGBC initiates a process to phase out the previous version of the rating system. This process begins by establishing a date for closing registration. After the registration closure date,….

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2014 Monumental Awards Architecture Honor Award – Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

2014 Monumental Awards Architecture Honor Award – Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects welcomed the Indianapolis Zoo’s invitation to create a state-of-the art exhibit for orangutans with a tremendous sense of pride and responsibility. Our goal was simple – give the orangutans spaces that function as trees to allow them to express their normal behaviors for optimal physical, physiological, and intellectual health. The design team went back to the primates’ native habitat for inspiration. From material selection to the layout of the exhibit, we successfully mimicked the environment….

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Every Energy Model Is Wrong – And Here Is Why They Are Indispensable

Every Energy Model Is Wrong – And Here Is Why They Are Indispensable

LEED has taken some heat for buildings that do not perform as they were modeled, yet energy modeling is an essential tool for any high-performance building project. Originally published in the August 2014 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine. Recently, LEED has come under fire for accounts of certified buildings not performing as well as their energy models predicted. Frequently mentioned amongst the antagonistic “gotcha” coverage is an out-of-context 2007 quote by the USGBC Research Committee acknowledging: “Buildings….

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Community Connection

Community Connection

Photograph property of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects Case Study: Lincoln Heritage Public Library Chrisney Branch Originally published in the Summer 2014 issue of High Performance Buildings (HPB) magazine, a publication of ASHRAE. By Daniel J. Overbey, AIA; and William M. Brown, AIA For the people of Chrisney, Ind., opportunity for social and economic investment has not been knocking. This community of fewer than 500 has been in a gradual economic decline over the past several decades. Having already lost….

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Using Renewable Energy in LEED v4

Using Renewable Energy in LEED v4

Energy efficiency is the starting point for any high-performance building. After reducing overall energy needs through building-related energy conservation measures, the next step is to invest in passive systems and high-efficiency HVAC systems. Smart controls can help a building operate even more efficiently. But in the end, there will always be a need to purchase or create energy for the building. On-site generation of renewable energy or the purchase of green power allows buildings to source the remaining energy needs without….

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Visualizing “Seasonal Lag” Effect

Visualizing “Seasonal Lag” Effect

  I recently completed teaching a unit on the topic of solar geometry. Among the various facets of the subject matter, I talked to the class at length about the Earth’s orbit around the Sun (which, evidently, is a revelation to 1/4 of American population), the northern hemisphere’s 23.5° tilt toward and away from the Sun during the summer and winter, respectively, and how the distribution of radiant flux is affected by the relative tilt of the Earth’s surface at a….

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Higher Education on a Global Scale

Higher Education on a Global Scale

Sustainability was a driving force behind the ultimate design solution. Throughout the design process, the architects paid particular attention to the solar and topographical considerations of the site, as well as use of local materials, and LEED certification benchmarks. The final solution incorporates a comprehensive network of systems and technologies in line with the overall sustainable strategy. Currently under construction, the 158,000 square-foot building is a mix of office and classroom areas along with 10 conference rooms and a 150-seat auditorium. The building….

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Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

  Four years ago, I co-authored a white paper with my colleague Nick Worden at Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf (BDMD) Architects and William Brown, currently the Director of Sustainability at Indiana University. The white paper was published at 2010 International High Performance Buildings Conference at Purdue University and it presented a full-year of energy consumption and on-site renewable energy production data for the Chrisney Library (a branch of the Lincoln Heritage Public Library), verifying the project as the first non-residential net-zero (site) energy facility in Indiana….

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