As a design firm for some of the world’s largest entities, KlingStubbins recognizes the global reach and ultimate impact we possess to change the circumstances of our environment. We fulfill this obligation by encouraging clients to view sustainability as an inherent and pervasive component of the design process. This philosophy is realized through our integrated approach to sustainable design; as an A/E/I firm, leaders from each discipline collaborate to resolve high performance building issues, addressing the interrelationships between building siting, exterior envelope, system design, and energy and resource consumption. KlingStubbins has instituted several levels of action to promote, advance, and achieve a comprehensive understanding of sustainable design practice throughout the firm:
- Education — A corporate member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), KlingStubbins established our own High Performance Green Building Council in 1997. The committee meets monthly to share and advise colleagues on project-specific “green” criteria. This offers a forum for cross-fertilization of ideas and concepts between sustainable projects under way in each of the firm’s offices. Resources such as USGBC’s LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) checklists, reference guides, and application calculation sheets are available for download on KlingStubbins’ Intranet. In addition, periodic in-house training sessions are held to inform and prepare designers and management for the US Green Building Council’s LEED® Accredited Professional exams.
- Exploration — Modeling studies are actively performed to simulate energy conditions and analyze design alternatives for ongoing projects. Strategies such as daylighting and envelope optimization are modeled for energy and lighting quality impacts for different design options. In addition, the firm has implemented several ongoing research projects intended to expand our understanding of new technologies, new design integration possibilities, and new modeling software applications to facilitate future needs. These projects include a study of what strategies will be needed to achieve the goals of the Architecture 2030 challenge to reduce carbon emissions, studies of integration of energy modeling and Building Information Modeling (BIM), and fundamental project delivery methods to facilitate earlier and better interdisciplinary cooperation.
- Implementation — At KlingStubbins, sustainable design efforts are coordinated by assigning a LEED® Accredited Professional to every project team. Regardless of whether the project will be registered and certified by the USGBC, each project is reviewed in each design phase for sustainability strategies that are appropriate to the project. The LEED® Accredited Professional oversees project sustainable design and LEED® issues, working to ensure that all systems and designs are energy- and cost-efficient and that reusable / recycled materials are used where appropriate. He or she works with the entire team to develop sustainable design / LEED® criteria, and help ensure that these criteria are met during the entire project process.
As practitioners of sustainable principles, our commitment is not limited by project type. Our current “green” endeavors enhance the productivity, well-being, and performance of lab buildings, corporate headquarters, university medical centers, computer science facilities, residence halls, Federal government facilities, and hotels, as well as their occupants. It is our great hope that our sustainable efforts today will positively impact and improve the lives of generations to come.