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passion for sustainability

Heather Gayle Holdridge
I participated in a panel discussion hosted by ARCHITECT Magazine's ARCHITECT Live.
I participated in a panel discussion hosted by ARCHITECT Magazine's ARCHITECT Live.

A group of Lake|Flatonians traveled to Orlando, Florida recently to participate in this year’s AIA Conference on Architecture. This year’s theme was “Anticipate” – what it means to anticipate need and change in architecture and design. The profession has encountered challenges around climate change, diversity, and social consciousness in recent history, so it was interesting to overlay those discussions with the conference theme. Perhaps the most anticipated conference event was Michelle Obama in her first public appearance since leaving the White House in January. Her keynote speech was delayed by several minutes due to a postponed flight, and you could sense an almost electric fervor in the audience as everyone eagerly waited for her arrival. Click to Read More

Adam Heisserer

Quality Views Calculator

Posted by on 3/16/17 at 10:07pm
acl render 3 small

For all of our LEED projects, we calculate the percentage of regularly occupied spaces that have exterior views. By developing this quality views tool in Grasshopper, we can now automate this calculation process and make it possible to analyze large projects that would be difficult to calculate manually. We can also get a better idea of the quality of exterior views in each space in addition to the pass/fail criteria used for LEED. Click to Read More

Corey Squire

The 2030 End Game

Posted by on 2/22/17 at 05:54pm
2030 future cover

With the 7th year of reporting for the 2030 commitment underway, it’s worthwhile to pause and think about how the next 13 years might play out. Reporting for the commitment started back in 2011 with a goal of achieving an across the board net-zero energy portfolio by 2030. Initially, the energy reduction target was set at 60% and every five years, the target shifts down 10% until 100% energy reduction is achieved in year 2030. Click to Read More

Corey Squire

Instantly Actionable

Posted by on 1/30/17 at 04:53pm
patterson printout

How can a simulation report (energy model report, daylight model report, etc.) be most useful? This is a question we’ve been focusing on as we revamp and streamline the way we perform in-house simulations. The guiding principle for developing a new report format is ” instantly actionable”. Project teams should see a report and know which parts of the project are doing well and what improvements can be made. With this goal in mind, we identified a few characteristics of a new energy model report: Click to Read More

Adam Heisserer

2016 Energy Calendars

Posted by on 1/20/17 at 08:37pm
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These six radial calendars show the energy-use patterns of six Lake Flato projects in 2016. The hourly data we collect from our eMonitors can be plotted into a single graphic with a Grasshopper script and reviewed to understand energy patterns and anomalies that wouldn’t be apparent through numerical data alone.   Click to Read More

Corey Squire

The State of Simulation

Posted by on 1/11/17 at 10:05am
gr daylight

It’s generally agreed that building performance simulation is the best method for realizing a building’s sustainability potential. In theory, a project team will run an energy or daylight simulation to study the hypothetical performance of a design and then use the simulation outcomes to make targeted improvements. This process promises to improve the efficiency, comfort, and all-around performance of a design. In the architecture community, building performance simulation is such a significant component of sustainable design that for 2030 reporting, the metric “percent of floor area modeled” is almost as important as “total energy reduction”. Despite this, building performance simulation has not yet lived up to its promise. The majority of questions that designers might have do not result in a simulation and the majority of simulations do not result in positive changes to the design. This leaves a huge amount of building performance potential on the table. The reason that simulations have failed to deliver widespread improvements is that the state of simulation today is slow and ugly. Most often, Information generated by simulations doesn’t get to the design team in time to be part of design process, and when it does the output is often graphically uninteresting or meaningless to Click to Read More Click to Read More

Heather Gayle Holdridge
2016_JoseyPav_photocourtesyofJoseyPav_7

We are excited to announce that the Dixon Water Foundation Josey Pavilion has achieved Living Building Challenge certification, making it the first Living Building in the State of Texas and 9th Living Building in the world. The Josey Pavilion physically embodies and reinforces the Dixon Water Foundation’s mission as a fully restorative Living Building and demonstration tool. This case study reveals how the meeting and education center achieves the standards required for certification. Click to Read More

Rebecca Bruce
clark1

Goat Mountain Ranch, a ranch house overlooking the Nueces River, recently earned LEED certification. The project is sited on an intermediate bluff overlooking the expansive Nueces River Valley to the southwest and upward towards views of Goat Mountain and a bowl-shaped ridge encircling the site’s northern half. Click to Read More

Adam Heisserer

Liftfund Daylight Testing

Posted by on 2/4/16 at 04:10pm
accion daylight plan

Last year, we went to the new LiftFund Headquarters in San Antonio to collect daylighting measurements. Collecting real data tells us how accurate our daylighting simulation was, and gives us invaluable information about which strategies are working and which are not. Click to Read More

Adam Heisserer

Energy Monitoring at the Prow

Posted by on 12/17/15 at 03:00pm
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Last month we installed an eMonitor on the Prow, a porch house in the Davis Mountains. This is our first time monitoring an off-the-grid project, and our most remote installation so far. eMonitors track the energy use of individual electric circuits, and transmit the data in real time to an online account where it can be observed and analyzed. Owners can use this feedback to make informed decisions about energy use and save significantly on their energy bills, and we can improve future design decisions based on real data. Click to Read More