McLennan, Integral Group team up on ASHRAE Zero Energy renovation

ASHRAE, Technology Park Atlanta, zero energy, net zero

It makes sense that one of the nation’s top proponents of efficient buildings would look to prominent green architects and engineers for a Zero Energy renovation of its new Atlanta headquarters.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, announced this week that it’s hired McLennan Design of Seattle, Houser Walker Architecture of Atlanta and the engineering firm Integral Group to design the project.

Energy is, of course, a major focus for ASHRAE, which sets design standards for mechanical equipment and building performance that form the basis for many building codes and green certification platforms.

In a press release, Houser Walker principal Greg Walker expressed his hope that the project would provide a model for market transformation.

We’re eager to show that great design can be accomplished for the typical market pricing. The ability for ASHRAE to lead by example is one our entire team has embraced. This project will help drive deep green renovations in the Atlanta market for the next decade.

McLennan Design CEO Jason F. McLennan is best known as the founder of the Living Building Challenge. He indicated in the ASHRAE press release that the project won’t stop at improving efficiency.

“Not only will the renovation serve as an important example of what’s possible in retrofitting for deep energy efficiency, it will also provide a healthy, biophilic, and productive work environment for ASHRAE’s employees and the wonderful volunteer committees that serve the industry,” McLennan said.

The Integral Group is a relatively new engineering firm that has quickly emerged as one of the most prolific designers of net zero energy buildings. The San Francisco-based company has a regional office in Atlanta.

ASHRAE is leaving its longtime headquarters just outside Atlanta in DeKalb County to make room for part of a new $1.3 billion campus for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The nonprofit is in the process of buying a 66,700-square-foot, three story 1970s-era building in Technology Park, a sprawling 500-acre office park in suburban Peachtree Corners that has been undergoing its own update, with an eye toward becoming more pedestrian friendly and less car-centric.

In a recent notice to its members, ASHRAE promised that “the new, renovated facility will become a showcase for the latest HVAC&R equipment and technology, providing a destination venue for industry visitors to experience state-of-the-art technology installed and “in action” in a built environment”:

Our goal is that the new renovated facility will incorporate high-quality, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable HVAC&R equipment which reflects an understanding of the high-performance building movement, and which achieves a superior efficiency while providing a healthy and comfortable environment. The retrofitted new headquarters building will represent the sustainability values which ASHRAE has long held, and will have a zero carbon footprint. The challenge is how best to undertake a retrofit process that will address the uniqueness of the new building and accomplish it in an economically justifiable manner using replicable technology. This is consistent with the fact that the needs of society and the workplace are shifting, and the existing building stock must be prepared to react.

According to the statement, the building will seek Zero Energy certification, will include features that encourage health and fitness, and will be designed to be resilient to weather events.

For more details, here’s a complete copy of ASHRAE’s press release:

The partnership of McLennan Design and Houser Walker Architecture, in collaboration with international engineering firm Integral Group, has been selected to lead design of a new world headquarters for ASHRAE, the professional association of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigerating engineers, based in Atlanta, Georgia. The design team is tasked with renovating a 69,000 sf 1970s office building to house ASHRAE’s employees to Net-Zero Energy performance levels.

Jason F. McLennan, author of the Living Building Challenge and founder and CEO of McLennan Design, will lead architectural design for the project, with Houser Walker Architecture’s Greg Walker leading interior architecture and also serving as the Architect of Record.

“It is a great honor to have been selected for the ASHRAE headquarters project,” said McLennan. “Not only will the renovation serve as an important example of what’s possible in retrofitting for deep energy efficiency, it will also provide a healthy, biophilic, and productive work environment for ASHRAE’s employees and the wonderful volunteer committees that serve the industry.”

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a not-for-profit global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. ASHRAE funds research projects, provides continuing education programs, and develops technical standards for the advancement of HVAC&R systems design and construction with over 56,000 members worldwide.

“Our Society is displaying industry leadership through our world headquarters renovation project by transforming existing building stock to the highest levels of efficiency and lowest levels of environmental impact,” said 2018-2019 ASHRAE President Sheila J. Hayter, P.E. “We’re thrilled to work with McLennan Design and Houser Walker Architecture as we take on this unique challenge, while helping others learn from our experience.”

“We’re eager to show that great design can be accomplished for the typical market pricing.” Adds Greg Walker, “The ability for ASHRAE to lead by example is one our entire team has embraced. This project will help drive deep green renovations in the Atlanta market for the next decade.”

McLennan Design is a regenerative architecture, planning, design, and product design practice focused on deep green sustainability, community, and education. MD was founded in 2013 as a new firm dedicated to the creation of Living Buildings, Net-Zero and Regenerative Projects. Founded by global sustainability leader and green design pioneer Jason F. McLennan, the firm brings institutional knowledge and expertise of the Living Building Challenge, and the host of related programs, unmatched in the A/E industry. Joined by partner Dale Duncan, AIA, McLennan Design works with many of the leading institutions, companies, and developers around the globe in reimagining and redesigning for positive environmental and social impact. Learn more at http://mclennan-design.com/.

Houser Walker Architecture is a boutique architecture studio dedicated to creating extraordinary value, supporting our clients’ missions through impactful design. Houser Walker Architecture gives shape to organizations, companies, and communities through an iterative, participatory, and collaborative process. The firm specialize in creative work environments, colleges and universities, arts and cultural spaces, and other spaces where creative communities and institutional innovation needs to be supported by great architecture and interior design.

Houser Walker Architecture’s process creates the greatest long-term benefits to our clients and our planet, primarily through reducing overall energy and resource consumption, creating long term adaptability and flexibility, and promoting self-sustainable ecologies. Learn more at http://www.houserwalker.com.

Integral Group is an interactive global network of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and energy engineers collaborating under a single deep green engineering umbrella. Integral Group provides a full range of building system design, sustainability consulting, and energy analysis services. With a staff of over 500 located in 16 offices across the United States, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, Integral Group is regarded as an innovative leader in building system design. As a member of the US, Australia and Canada Green Building Councils, the firm has 90 LEED Accredited Professionals with expertise that includes alternative energy sources, passive system design and green building systems.

An innovative leader in building systems design, Integral Group has designed many “firsts,” including: the first zero carbon, ZNE commercial building in the United States; the first laboratory with chilled beams; the first zero carbon and LEED Platinum laboratory; the first LEED Platinum certified laboratory in a historic building; and the first LEED Platinum certified office building in Canada. Learn more at https://www.integralgroup.com/.

Founded in 1894, ASHRAE is a global leader in the advancement of human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. As an industry leader in research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE and its members are committed to shaping tomorrow’s built environment today through strategic partnerships with organizations in the HVAC&R community and across related industries. For more information and to stay up-to-date on ASHRAE, visit ashrae.org and connect on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and YouTube.

PHOTO AT TOP OF ARTICLE: The entrance to Technology Park Atlanta, where ASHRAE’s new headquarters will be located. Photo by J. Putman via Wikimedia.

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