Monday, March 16, 2009

Green Elevations Returns!

It's been a long while since anything was posted here on Green Elevations, those that have noticed, thanks for sticking with me and being patient. Last fall I bought a house in the Regis neighborhood of Denver and things in my life underwent a change, I'll call it "overwhelmed with home ownership for the first time". I found myself busy with many projects around the house and less time on the computer, good and bad for me. I was also developing a new strategy to cope with the economic crisis that was crashing in on the world and personally I had to refocus my efforts a little. One of the things I've started to pursue during the break was the field of home energy rating and since it fits with the ideals of green architecture, readers to the blog will find more articles related to home energy efficiency and building performance. I have a backlog of articles that I need to write up and those will be appearing postdated on the blog over the next several weeks hopefully with important new information as well.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Denver Architecture Firm of the Week 7/21/08 - EVstudio

Last week I sat down with Sean O'Hara, principle architect in the Denver office of EVstudio and we discussed his firm and it's commitment to sustainable design. I was also very interested in the EVstudio Blog that Sean started back in May. It has extensive information about the process of architecture and it is growing into an invaluable resource for architects and clients that are interested in hiring an architect. I highly recommend a visit and look forward to seeing the future progress of EVstudio. The following is a summary of the firm supplied by Sean O'Hara.

EVstudio is an architecture and planning firm with offices in Evergreen and Denver, Colorado. EVstudio was recognized with the People's Choice Award at the 2008 AIA Colorado Young Architect's Awards Gala. The firm was established in 2006 and has quickly grown to seven staff with a variety of backgrounds and interests. In that time the firm's work includes custom residential, multi family, commercial office buildings, master planning, mixed use, retail, educational and hospitality. EVstudio's projects are designed with sustainability in mind whether or not they are pursuing a green rating. The firm plans to continue to grow as a collection of offices so that it can provide a future for ambitious architects and allow both clients and staff to minimize their driving distances.

The image above is Evergreen Terraces, a project that we anticipate will be LEED Silver. It is an office building that combines a mountain vernacular with an urban sensibility. It bring under building parking and elevator service to the first Class A office building in downtown Evergreen. On of the most interesting things is that the building was not originally planned with LEED in mind. The owner decided that a LEED rating could be a selling point for the tenants and asked about it after the building was already dried in. Thanks to EVstudio's general philosophy of designing sustainable buildings they were able to make a few minor tweaks and have the points necessary for an anticipated LEED Silver rating.

In addition to great architecture, EVstudio works to give back to the community. EVstudio's staff has organized the EverGreenDrinks events and the Natural Talent Design Competition in Colorado. The firm has donated time to the Montessori School of Evergreen and Mercy Housing Colorado. Staff members are also active in the American Institute of Architects, The Congress for the New Urbanism, the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, the Stapleton Citizen's Advisory Board and have participated in many juries at the University of Colorado.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Poll - What Industry Are You In?

To get a better idea of our readership, I've added a poll to the right. What kind of industry do you work for? Suggest other industries in the comments to this post please. Thanks for visiting Green Elevations.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Denver Architect Receives Gold LEED Certification for Fitness Center

Denver-based Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative has received gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for its design of the Washtenaw Community College Health & Fitness Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The fitness center, which opened in September, includes:
• Lights that turn on only when there’s not enough daylight.
• Non-toxic and renewable materials for the floors and carpet.
• A reflective white roof to reduce heat and cooling requirements.
• Pavement in the parking lot that allows rainwater to soak back naturally into the soil.
• Landscaping with plants that require little or no irrigation.
• Interior pool water that recycles with the aid of appropriate filtering systems.
• Recaptured heat with a central boiler unit.
• Temperature control with room-monitoring sensors for automatic adjustments.

Previous blog entry on OLC

via Margaret Jackson's The Real Deal Blog

Monday, July 7, 2008

AIAS FORUM 2008 in Denver

FORUM is the annual meeting of the AIAS and the global gathering of the architecture and design students. The event provides students with the opportunity to learn about important issues facing architectural education and the profession, to meet students, educators, and professionals with common interests, and to interact with some of today's leading architects through keynote addresses, tours, workshops and seminars.

This year's theme is energy, imagine that. Denver green architecture for students, I like it. More information to come - also, this video may cause seizures.

FORUM 2008 will be held in Denver, CO on December 29, 2008-January 1, 2009.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Boettcher Concert Hall Architect Selected

The Boettcher Concert Hall Architect Selection Committee chose Toronto based, Diamond and Schmitt Architects and their local partner, Oz Architecture, to lead the design of the symphony hall renovation and expansion project. Plans call for essentially gutting the building's interior and building a new concert hall inside and adding a 35,000-square-foot expansion on the Speer Boulevard side of the building.

via Cherry Creek News

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Architecture Study Ranks Denver 8th

Denver ranked No. 8 on a list of top 10 U.S. cities for architecture and design based on citizen polls, according to a study by the RMJM Hillier architecture firm released Thursday, June 26th.

The winning markets, in order, were: Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Metro Denver's architectural highlights in recent years include the expansion of the Colorado Convention Center, architect Daniel Liebeskind's addition to the Denver Art Museum, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's LEED Gold regional headquarters in downtown Denver, and one of Colorado's first LEED Platinum buildings, the Signature Centre office building in Golden.

via Denver Business Journal

Friday, June 20, 2008

Unique Bell Tower Proposed to Stradle Cherry Creek at Larimer

Fentress Architects, designers of DIA and the Convention Center in Denver, has unveiled new designs for an architecturally significant and prominent addition to the lower Denver skyline. Kudos to the large open space proportioning of the site, almost %65 private and public open space + %23 creek = 12.2% building footprint. I like the idea presented here with the contrasting building styles, a traditional small office commercial building against the jutting balconies on the residential tower which will be sure to bring out some love and hate. The plaza layout is especially appealing to me with it's creek access and creek-side patio, it's another bright spot to add to the Cherry Creek bike trail downtown.

via Rocky Mountain News and see the slideshow of illustrations

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Public Farm Grows in Queens

PS1's summer Warm Up Series sprouts this Saturday, June 21st with an installation by young architecture firm Work Architecture Company.

"PF1 (Public Farm One) is an urban farm concept that evokes the look of a flying carpet landing in the P.S.1 courtyard. Constructed from large cardboard tubes, its top surface will be a working farm, blooming with a variety of vegetables and plants. The structure will create a textured, colorful, and constantly changing surface in contrast with P.S.1’s angular concrete and gravel courtyard. PF1 will work as an interactive bridge between outside and inside, creating multiple zones of activity including swings, fans, sound effects, innovative seating areas, and a refreshing pool at its center. The installation will be a living structure made from inexpensive and sustainable materials recyclable after its use at P.S.1."

Public Farm 1
Check out My Ninja, Please
and Treehugger has opening night reviews

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

LaN-IN-FLIGHT Will Depart from Denver July 11th

Book now, deadline is 6/11. Anyone wanna sponsor me?

Boulder locals Monika Wittig and Luis E. Fraguada with James Coleman and Shane Salisbury recently won the DIA/DOCA Emerging Artist Program competition with their entry [Wind]ow Seat. As a result of the commission, the group is setting up a traveling seminar called LaN-IN-FLIGHT which will depart from Denver to LA, then to NYC, Boston then back to Denver from July 9th-18th. The seminar will focus on digital fabrication and the output will be published and presented in August at the LaN's [Wind]ow Seat exhibition. 10 days of traveling to cutting edge design firms and industry leaders including Ball-Nogues Studio, Contour Crafting, SCI-ARC, Commonwealth, REX, and others, looks like a lot of Rhino sessions in airport lounges.

This is a great concept and I'm sure will help inform the final exhibition, but
why no seminars or visits in Denver itself?

From their site - "A Live Architecture Network is under the direction of 4 designers who landed in Barcelona to pursue postgraduate studies in Digital Tectonics at IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) and following have taken-off on the path of DIGITAL FABRICATION as a means to forwarding composite processes /collaborations driving architectural development. LaN recognizes the power of digital fabrication, not merely as a toolset of of a high technical caliber, but as the driver of particular groupings of resources–an organization of human, economic, and material assets–varying widely based on project circumstances. LaN’s mode of operation is parametric in nature, and seeks to with re-associate architecture with a flexible, non-authoritative, temporal, & data-rich practice of spatial design."

Photo Credit from
LaB ,the Live Architecture Network's Blogsite.