The construction of Duffield Hall, a new state-of-the-art nanotechnology research and teaching facility for Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, is complete. The facility’s construction was accomplished through a joint venture between St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Cos. and Welliver McGuire of Montour Falls, NY. The newly completed facility is one of the country’s most sophisticated research and training facilities for nanotechnology and increased the university’s nanofabrication space by 50 percent. The McCarthy/Welliver McGuire team built four types of laboratories for the new facility, including wet; dry; specialty; and a 20,000-square-foot cleanroom. The architect for the Cornell University project was Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, Los Angeles. Boston-based BR&A Consulting Engineers served as the mechanical/electrical engineer.
Foundation Begins Photovoltaic Research Project
The Bethesda, MD-based Electrical Contract-ing Foundation is funding a study of the emerging photovoltaic (PV) market. The research project, led by University of Kansas Professor Thomas E. Glavinich, will estimate the size of the PV market and define best practices for installing PV systems.
PV systems convert sunlight into electrical energy, and have been used for years to supply small electrical loads in locations where it’s not practical to connect to the utility grid. However, a new generation of photosensitive roofing and glazing materials promises to transform and expand the use of PV by turning whole buildings into electrical generators – reducing peak demand on electric utility grids, and feeding power back into those grids.
“People have been talking about applying photovoltaics in residential and commercial buildings for years, but the technology wasn’t considered economically viable,” explains Glavinich. “Today’s advantages in photovoltaic technology and manufacturing techniques, as well as integrating PV into building materials, are reducing the initial installed cost … Higher photovoltaic system efficacy and rising fossil fuel prices are making the cost of PV-generated energy competitive with traditional power sources. Environmental issues, the movement toward green architecture, and concerns about energy security are also giving PV a boost. Federal and state governments, along with utilities, are offering building owners financial incentives to reduce their demand and energy use.”
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Bethesda, MD, plans to draw on the results of the foundation research to develop a National Electrical Installation Standard (NEIS) on photovoltaic systems.
Hospital CEOs who decide to invest more money to build better hospitals in the next few years will find these costs can be quickly repaid through operational savings and increased revenue: This is the strong position held by Concord, CA-based The Center for Health Design, a non-profit research and advocacy organization, and the author of an article in the Fall 2004 issue of Frontiers of Health Services Management.
Taking the position that “better buildings” are worth the investment, authors Leonard Berry, Russell Coile, D. Kirk Hamilton, Derek Parker, David O’Neill, and Blair Sadler use evidence from The Center for Health Design’s Pebble Project research to make the case that design and building costs can be quickly repaid through operational savings and increased revenue.
They create a “Fable Hospital” – a composite of recently built or redesigned healthcare facilities that have implemented facets of evidence-based design in their facilities. Using this data, the authors calculate that an array of design innovations – including oversized single patient rooms, variable acuity rooms, double-door bathroom access, decentralized nursing stations, additional hand-washing facilities, noise reduction measures, and staff support facilities – added almost $12 million to the $240-million project.
However, their conservative estimate is that in the first year alone, savings and revenue gains in the new facility were nearly $11.5 million. “The current healthcare building boom presents a rare opportunity to use the emerging science of evidence-based design to build better hospitals,” says Leonard Berry, lead author of the article, The Center for Health Design board member, and a distinguished professor of marketing at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, Concord, CA. “Better buildings can not only improve patient care, staff loyalty, medical outcomes, institutional productivity, and financial performance, but also decrease medical errors and waste.”
The Center for Health Design (www.healthdesign.org) is a non-profit research and advocacy organization whose mission is to transform healthcare settings into healing environments that improve outcomes through the creative use of evidence-based design.
Frontiers of Health Services Management is a quarterly journal published by the Health Administration Press, a division of the Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). ACHE is an international professional society of 30,000 healthcare executives who lead our nation’s hospitals, healthcare systems, and other healthcare organizations. To download a copy of the article, go to (www.healthdesign.org/aboutus/press/releases/frontiers_0904.pdf).
Design-Focused Exhibitions in Nation’s Capital
Put more than site-seeing and cherry blossom-viewing on your agenda, and factor in a trip to the National Building Museum if you visit Washington, D.C., this winter and spring. As building professionals, you won’t want to miss two early-2005 exhibitions.
The first, OPEN: new designs for public space, runs Jan. 15 through May 15, and examines how America defines, designs, and protects public space in an age of heightened security and increased electronic interaction. Produced by New York City’s Van Alen Institute, the exhibition features contemporary public spaces that represent the most innovative architecture, landscape, and urban design from cities across the globe by renowned design firms and extraordinary designers such as Will Alsop, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, Craig Dykers, Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid, Walter Hood, and Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi. More than 300 images, digital animations and videos, and models – many commissioned for this groundbreaking exhibition – illustrate a range of projects, from memorials to new types of urban plazas and parks, from Macon, GA, to Melbourne, Australia, to Johannesburg, South Africa.
The second exhibition, Tools of the Imagination, runs March 5 through Oct. 10. It explores the various devices that have revolutionized the way architects and designers imagine and create architecture. Spanning 250 years and multiple continents, the exhibition showcases design tools and technologies – from historic pencils, ink, and drafting equipment to the latest and most sophisticated software and hardware, simulations, models, and lasers – as well as a wide array of drawings, renderings, and sketches from well-known architects.
The National Building Museum is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. A donation of $5 per person is suggested.
Experts in sustainable design, building technology, and event management have joined forces to bring a comprehensive environmental systems conference/exhibition to facilities professionals throughout the United States.
Premiering June 20-23, 2005, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL, Ecobuild America is focused on the needs of the green building market. The event combines sustainable building techniques with the technology that supports the entire process – from concept through design, construction, and operation.
The exhibition portion will feature products serving the entire scope of design, construction, and operation; educational sessions will cover the newest innovations in green building materials, energy and technology, and environmental design.
A complete list of Ecobuild America’s offerings is available at (www.ecobuildamerica.com).
Recyclers Within Reach
A searchable national database of construction waste recyclers is now available online.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has recently updated its online Construction Waste Management Database to assist the building industry in reducing construction and demolition waste.
Created in 2002 by GSA’s Environmental Strategies and Safety Division, the Construction Waste Management Database is a free online service for those seeking information on companies that haul, collect, and process debris from construction projects. To assist end-users, the database has also been improved to allow searches by state and zip code and by over 15 commonly recycled construction waste materials.
The database is currently housed on the Whole Building Design Guide, a Web-based portal providing government and industry practitioners with one-stop access to information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria, and technology. Visit the Whole Building Design Guide at (www.wbdg.org) to learn more.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that, each year, 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste are generated in the United States. GSA’s Construction Waste Management program promotes the responsible disposal of this waste, including concrete, asphalt, masonry, wood, and other materials – much of which can be recycled or processed for reuse if handled properly.
Congress: Construction Tax Reform in Sight
The “American Jobs Creation Act,” agreed to by conference committee and set to be voted on by the House and Senate at press time, contains many provisions that will benefit general contractors, stimulate construction, and make whole the Highway Trust Fund. “This legislation increases job opportunities for contractors, while at the same time encouraging companies to invest in the people and equipment necessary to continue to grow the nation’s economy,” stated Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Washington, D.C.
AGC specifically lobbied on behalf of many of the business tax incentives, including the overall business tax cut, the small business expensing extension, shortening the recovery period for leasehold improvements, and the codification of the off-road mobile machinery provisions. Visit the AGC website (www.agc.org) for more information.
HUD Reference Guide Available
ICF Consulting and The Compass Group announce the publication of Managing Occupancy: A Companion Guide to HUD’s Occupancy Handbook. This comprehensive reference tool serves as a guidebook on occupancy requirements for the more than 2.5 million multifamily housing units operating under U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations. The handbook provides useful information such as:
Technical issues likely to be addressed by front-line management staff (including information on determining annual and adjusted income and calculating rent).
Policy issues of interest to senior-level management and property owners (i.e. admissions preferences and occupancy standards).
Tips and feedback from experienced managers.
Explanations and examples of real-world applications.
“The Companion Guide provides our property management professionals an innovative tool to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the 4350.3 Rev 1 HUD Handbook,” says Bill Wollinger, president, Winn Residential, Boston. Arranged in a question-and-answer format, the Companion Guide is very reader-friendly. To order a copy, visit (www.compassgroup.net/moc.htm).
Industry Teams to Determine Optimal EIFS Solution
Kicking off an historic, joint 3-year analysis to determine optimal Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) performance, Morrow, GA-based EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA) has teamed with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (USDOE’s) Office of Building Technology; Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); and the Charleston, SC, School District to establish a Natural Exposure Test (NET) Facility at the Baptist Hill High School in Hollywood, SC.
With the project carefully overseen by USDOE and ORNL engineers, the Baptist Hill High School facility was constructed utilizing a variety of EIFS on disparate walls, each of which was clad with a consistent EIFS finish to ensure that the structure remains aesthetically consistent on the exterior. The goal of the study is to investigate and monitor the thermal and moisture performance of walls with the new technology involving the fluid-applied air/moisture barriers and to factor the outside weather conditions into a hygrothermal computer-modeling program that will assist building professionals in the selection of wall assemblies appropriate for the geographic region. The emphasis will be on energy savings, the reduction of greenhouse gases, lowering the cost of utilities, and making structures more comfortable.
General Mills’ World Headquarters: Building Quality of Life
The expansion of the General Mills world headquarters in Golden Valley, MN, was driven by two circumstances. Due to its successful growth, General Mills was reaching maximizing capacity on its campus; secondly, the Pillsbury® merger in October 2001 meant the campus needed to integrate new business units, departments, and personnel that were joining the corporate family. Space allocation, organizational goals, and personnel requirements had to be met within a framework that supported the company’s mandate of being an employer of choice.
General Mills’ Chief Construction Officer Glenn Blake and the company’s architectural design partner – Minneapolis-based Hammel, Green and Abrahamson Inc. (HGA) – strove for architectural solutions that emitted a sense of unity and cohesiveness that would encourage synergy throughout the new and existing buildings. In concert with the architecture of the original buildings, HGA reinterpreted certain elements when designing the new 3-story, 140,000-square-foot Champions Center and 5-story, 365,000-square-foot West Wing. “For both the Champions Center and West Wing, we looked at functionality first and single elegance second,” explains Blake. “With that goal, we have dramatically enhanced the space – the new kitchens are front and center while meeting rooms for day-in/day-out meetings balance common, meeting, and business space.”
The purpose of the Champions Center was to create a sense of community in one location, effectively a town center that enhanced communication. HGA also designed the structure to create a physical connection from the existing front door of General Mills’ main building to the back of the campus, establishing a central circulation corridor for the entire grounds. Outfitted with the latest in wireless technology, the center includes a “Main Street” with retail, employee services, and impromptu meeting space; a conference center for small or large out-of-office group gatherings; and an informal, comfortable restaurant that can seat up to 720 people.
The West Wing’s top floor is dedicated to the company’s bakeries and food serv-ice divisions, as well as upper management. Unlike traditional corporate office settings, the executive offices were designed with a large floorplate, which is more conducive to open office work groups. To encourage communication, HGA designed interaction areas between the offices, as well as a large, circular-walled conference room with a skylight that offers natural indirect light.