Page C1.2 . 06 May 2009                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
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Solid Green Practice


This collection of all-green architecture practices exemplifies the leadership necessary to move the design professions and building culture toward true sustainability, meeting and at times exceeding the criteria of the ArchitectureWeek Planet Earth Partners.

The Kubala Washatko Architects

Location: Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Firm Leaders: Tom Kubala, Allen Washatko
Size: 29 employees

"Our studio uses what we call a wholeness-based philosophy," says Wayne Reckard, director of business development for The Kubala Washatko Architects. "Sustainability is a natural extension of that. As a result, we try to integrate sustainability into everything we do."

The firm has earned recognition for projects such as the LEED Platinum-certified Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin, which held the title of highest number of LEED points to date when it was certified in late 2007. The Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee is one of the firm's non-LEED-certified green buildings.

"We embrace the LEED system," Reckard says, "but we recognize it's not the only measure of sustainability, and we don't use it in every case. It imposes rigor into the system, into process. But we're also very interested in ideas like the Living Building Challenge [from the Cascadia Region Green Building Council] pushing the envelope."

GBD Architects

Location: Portland, Oregon
Firm Leaders: Phillip Beyl, Gene Callan, Stephen Domreis, Craig Davis, Alan Beard, Bruce Brown, Craig Norman, Kevin Johnson, Jody Pene, Kent Pottebaum
Size: 91 employees

GBD Architects can claim numerous green-building milestones, most for buildings located in Portland.

The Casey, which opened in 2008, was the nation's first condo to receive a LEED Platinum rating. The Gerding Theater at the Armory was the first project on the National Register of Historic Places to earn Platinum; it also received an honorable mention in the 2007 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects. GBD's Center for Health and Healing at Oregon Health Sciences University earned the Platinum mark and also achieved energy efficiency 45 better than energy code stipulations (ASHRAE 90.1-2004).

GBD also designed the Brewery Blocks in Portland, a five-block area of sustainable mixed-use shops and offices that has helped make the Pearl District the new heart of the city.

LPA, Inc.

Locations: Irvine and Roseville, California
Firm Leaders: Bob Kupper, Charles Pruitt, Dan Heinfeld, James Kelly
Size: 225 employees

About green building, LPA, Inc. president Dan Heinfeld says, "It's part of our DNA and how we design. We don't even think about not doing it. It's part of everything we do, whether it's a LEED project or not."

A direct result of LPA's integrated-design process, Heinfeld says, is that the 44-year-old firm has introduced engineering and other services to a practice that traditionally delivered only architecture. "We wouldn't have considered that ten years ago, but now we've got structural, mechanical, plumbing, landscape engineering," he continues. "It makes both the architects and the engineers better because they're looking at different problems collaboratively. That's really how you create affordable sustainable projects, through that integration."

"It's a really exciting time to be a designer, the economy notwithstanding," adds Heinfeld. "I don't think we've ever been more valuable."

LPA has designed numerous corporate and education projects, among others, and the firm's upcoming book, The Green School Primer, is set for release later in 2009.

Lake/Flato Architects

Location: San Antonio, Texas
Firm Leaders: David Lake, Ted Flato, Karla Greer, Robert Harris, Andrew Herdeg, Matt Morris, Kim Monroe, Greg Papay
Size: 57 employees

Since Lake/Flato's inception 25 years ago, environmental issues have been integral to its design approach. Although Lake/Flato does not use LEED as its only measure of sustainability, the firm has designed projects that achieved Platinum and Gold ratings, and currently has nine LEED-registered projects underway in six states.

The firm just received its fourth listing on the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Green Projects list, for the LEED Platinum-certified Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas, following the 2007 listing of the Government Canyon Visitor Center in Helotes, Texas, and two 2006 honorees: the University of Texas School of Nursing and Student Center in Houston, designed with BNIM Architects, and the World Birding Center Headquarters in Mission, Texas.

Robert Harris, the firm's sustainability leader, is also the South Central Regional Director on the national U.S. Green Building Council board.   >>>

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Oregon Health Sciences University's LEED Platinum-certified Center for Health and Healing in Portland, Oregon, was designed by GBD Architects with Interface Engineering.
Photo: David Owen/ Artifice Images Extra Large Image

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Located in Portland's Pearl District, the Casey condominiums by GBD Architects received a LEED Platinum certification.
Photo: David Owen/ Artifice Images Extra Large Image

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GBD Architects designed a mixed-use project, which earned several high LEED ratings, for a five-block site previously occupied by the Blitz-Weinhard brewery in Portland, Oregon.
Photo: David Owen/ Artifice Images Extra Large Image

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LPA Architects designed the LEED Platinum-certified Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, California.
Photo: Courtesy LPA Extra Large Image

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LPA's 625,000-square-foot (58,000-square-meter) Toyota Headquarters expansion in Torrance, California, received LEED Gold.
Photo: Courtesy LPA Extra Large Image

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The new academic complex on the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University (ASU) was designed by Lake/Flato Architects and RSP Architects.
Photo: Bill Timmerman Photography Extra Large Image

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The World Birding Center Headquarters in Mission, Texas, designed by Lake/Flato Architects, was named one of the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects for 2006.
Photo: © Paul Hester

ArchWeek Image

Storage tanks at Lake/Flato's Government Canyon Visitor Center in Helotes, Texas, provide gravity-fed water for drip irrigation and wastewater conveyance.
Photo: Chris Cooper


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