Sustainable Building Design. Solutions.
As our society’s environmental awareness increases, the impacts of human activity are now better understood and can be more accurately quantified. Particularly in the construction industry, it is important to consider the effects that new buildings, roadways, and other improvement projects have on their surrounding habitats and natural environments.
The Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, LEED® Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary, concensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Buildings that meet or exceed the standards outlined in the LEED Rating System can pursue LEED certification ranging from “Certified” through “Platinum” depending on the amount of energy and environmental credits achieved.
The team at Harris Architects is experienced in the LEED process and our in-house LEED Accredited Professional (AP) staff can provide customized LEED services for your project. Whether you’re looking to investigate environmentally responsible building design ideas or desire full LEED AP services for registration and certification of a facility, the team at Harris Architects will work with you to implement the program of LEED criteria to achieve your facility’s energy and environmental goals.
There are many benefits to pursuing LEED certification for a project:
Environmental Impact – Reduce adverse impact to the project site and surrounding habitats both during construction and throughout the life of the building.
Indoor Air Quality – Create a safer, healthier, and more productive environment for employees, clients, and visitors.
Life Cycle Costs – Dramatically reduce energy usage and, therefore, energy costs over the life span of the facility.
Industry Leadership – Lead your industry by setting an example for environmentally responsible facility design and construction.
Marketing/Advertising – Send the right message to potential clients, tenants, employees, and peer companies, through your facilities status as a LEED certified building.
Grants & Reimbursements – Earn provisions for grants, tax incentives, etc. from many state and local governments for implementing green design initiatives.
BIM. Interactive Building Design.
BIM means so many different things to different people in and out of the design industry. It is important to establish what is Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM is a flexible, single source, three-dimensional visual design and information management software used as an alternative to the
traditional two-dimensional CAD drafting.
Using BIM, the representation and use of our traditional drawings has shifted to a stronger interactive visual tool to bridge the gap between purposeful “working drawings” and powerful “presentation graphics”. BIM contains a library of object-based elements, the smallest components of a model, using simple lines, texts, and other two dimensional graphical data to fill in the gaps and to compliment and complete an architectural model. When looking at a CAD floor plan you see a two-dimensional idea of one floor in a forced perspective. However, when viewed in BIM that single floor plan is linked to every other floor plan, perspective, and schedule for the building, and contains actual objects – walls, floors, windows, doors, etc. that have depth, composition, and could even have a UPC code for materials pricing. BIM takes all of the raw data for a project and turns it into information accessible to the user no matter their knowledge base.
The extraction and use of the new information is much more important than the information itself. It doesn’t matter how much detail you place into BIM – you can easily add as much detail into a traditional CAD project. What matters is the kind of information you include, and how you use it to benefit your firm and your client. The outcome is a project integration that is far more informative, and creates greater coordination among disciplines. In implementing BIM you speed up communication and eliminate wasteful redrawing by working in a single format, enacts changes to a specific section in every other related part of the model and is is accessible to everyone on the project team.