Architectural Design and Sustainability: A Perfect Partnership

Before we all take off for a restful Memorial Day Weekend, we wanted to take a minute to reflect on the exciting happenings of the past week. Saturday, May 21, LPA was recognized as a 2011 Visionary of the Year by the Coastline Community College Foundation in Costa Mesa, Calif. LPA Principal Glenn Carels, was on hand to accept the honor, for which we, as a firm, are truly grateful.

Coastline Visionary of the Year 2011“The advantage of architects and engineers working so closely is that it brings together immediately, both the pragmatic and the poetic – you’re resolving both thought processes simultaneously, instead of a group of people creating something and figuring out later how to make it a reality,” explains Carels, when asked about the process used to create Coastline’s upcoming project. “It’s called Integrated Sustainable Design – and it happens in real time, together, and results in these remarkable, very sustainable built solutions.”

In Northern California, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Central Valley chapter honored LPA for its architectural design excellence on the Recreation and Wellness Center at California State University, East Bay. The judges noted LPA’s “clear and well-integrated sustainable strategies.” Simple building forms, cost-effective tilt-up concrete construction and modest materials made the most of the project’s limited budget.

“Without complicated detailing, every element follows a tectonic and programmatic logic,” said one of the judges. The center’s interiors are solid and well organized typifying active architecture, well-suited to the purpose of the space.

Palomar College Energy Efficient Architecture DesignIn San Marcos, Calif., Palomar College was busy celebrating a $129,300 check they received, for the energy-efficient design LPA provided for their Multidisciplinary Building which opened in spring, 2011. The check was given by the San Diego Gas & Electric Company as part of their Savings by Design program. The Multidisciplinary Building exceeds Title 24 by 31.2%, and the check has already been deposited to the College’s conservation fund.

And lastly, we finish with another piece of exciting news – the higher education design experts at LPA took home an additional AIA award. This time, from the Inland California chapter, for our work on the College of Education at California State University, San Bernardino. Although located in an arid region, most of the campus is covered in water intensive lawns and shrubs. The College of Education carves out five acres of the campus green for a “demonstration desert garden,” which reduces irrigation requirements by 78%.

“I think when history looks back at this time and what we are doing, they might look at it as a modern renaissance,” finishes Carels. “From LPA’s perspective, solving our client’s problems with good design is something we feel strongly about, and we’re very capable of doing. Sustainable design is our passion; it’s looking at problem-solving with a holistic point of view and these awards reflect the success of this dynamic.”

Rochelle Veturis Coles is the Media and Public Relations Director for California-based LPA Inc.