Monday, February 14, 2011

Greening Our Office

Over the remainder of 2011, we're reviewing sustainable practices in our office.  Although accustomed to many "green" habits, we've never evaluated our office's process and progress.  

Many of you have also adopted some of these first steps of greening:  turning off equipment and lights not in use, recycling, printing on both sides of paper, and using teleconferencing whenever possible.  What are areas for improvement?

Using Harvard’s green office program as a basis, we’re using checklists in nine impact categories to discover how we can grow greener.  You’re invited to join us in this year of discovery.  Please post and share your experience too!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Charged Up About Photovoltaic

We’ve been busy in the office with a few government projects, as well as some additional design opportunities.  Two of our projects are focused on energy production in the form of photovoltaic covered parking.  Both are funded through the Department of Energy, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).   We're optimistic that President Obama's new Better Buildings Initiative for energy efficiency will bring new opportunities in the commercial sector.  Energy efficiency combined with energy production is an ideal mix for retrofits.

Clark County Development Services' Russell Road Campus is home to a newly constructed steel parking canopy made up of photovoltaic panels covering 17 employee parking spaces.  An interactive, public kiosk is provided in the main lobby to demonstrate the renewable energy production process.   

Starting construction this spring, Clark County Government Center will be home to a newly constructed, unique canopy made up of bi-facial photovoltaic panels and structural steel that covers 20 visitor parking spaces.  Electric vehicle charging stations are available to a majority of the parking spaces.  The project also includes an accessible, public, interactive kiosk in the main lobby rotunda.

The canopy is designed to assimilate with the architecturally significant Clark County Government Center building and also reflect the advanced technology of solar energy production. 

A light footprint minimizes visual disruption of the existing building and colors complement the existing design palette.  Four tilted columns reflect the bold sundial element at the top of Government Center’s rotunda and cantilevered beams mimic “Viga” elements in Southwestern architecture. 

Semi-transparent, bi-facial photovoltaic modules create dappled shade and enable visitors to see the technology of photovoltaic production.  Signage invites them to visit the monitoring kiosk in the Lobby to learn more.  At night, columns are highlighted with up/down LED lighting and additional under-canopy LED lighting enhances safety.

Knowing that these projects will give people the chance to research the amount of energy produced by the PV panels, perhaps inspiring them to start their own photovoltaic project, is truly gratifying.

Our design team includes Wright Engineers and KJE Consulting Engineers.  Contractor for Development Services is Martin Harris Construction.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Changing the Way We Eat" Webcast February 12

Green Drinks Las Vegas is hosting a viewing party for TEDxManhattan's “Changing the Way We Eat” on Saturday, February 12.

Sustainable agriculture goes hand in hand with sustainable design as it also embraces the triad concepts of environmental, social and economic viability.  Just like design requires careful choices, understanding where our food comes from, and the impact of its production, allows us to make food choices that support the health of the planet and its inhabitants.  Supermarkets and farmer's markets aren't our only options in the Las Vegas valley.  Perhaps you'll be inspired to give urban farming a try in your own backyard.

From the Green Drinks website:
This is a one-day event in NYC highlighting the sustainable food movement and the work being done to shift our food system from industrially-based agriculture to one in which healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all.

Attendees are invited to bring healthy recipes and local produce to share, trade, and donate. Leftover food will be donated. Don’t miss LIVE Vegan Cooking Demo and Tasting with Chef Mayra. Learn and meet others concerned about sustainable and local food options in Las Vegas.

S P A C E Studios | 8 E. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89104
Join us on February 12th for a session or the whole day.

Session 1 – What Happened? 7:30 am
Session 2 – Where are we? 10:30am
Lunch – Chef Mayra Vegan Cooking Demo & Tasting 12:15pm
Session 3 – Where are we going? 1pm

For more information contact Tara at 702.556.8619 or

TEDxManhattan's webcast will be live and viewable anywhere in the world. Visit the link now to see a video about past TEDx's around the globe.