Tag Archives: research

High-Performance Hot List: What to Know and Where to Begin

We’re committed to our role in securing a bright future for the next generation and stand alongside our industry partners to advocate for the urgent change needed to get there. This change requires constant and intentional learning by all parties involved–and transparency of lessons learned and impact achieved to help us get to smarter and more sustainable solutions faster. Our High-Performance Hot List leverages market research and project expertise for a holistic overview of the major high-performance strategies driving our collective response to climate change in hopes that today’s firsts become tomorrow’s standard. So read up, meet up, and let’s do this–together!

Stay tuned for latest info and efforts changing the way we work for the health of our people and planet. Want to learn more? Connect with us today.

Passive House is a thorough and comprehensive certification process designed to reduce a building’s energy consumption by an average of 40-60% over its lifetime. Contrary to what the name suggests, Passive House isn’t just for single-family homes and offers a greater potential for energy reduction in large multifamily and commercial projects. Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC®) Kate Braswell addresses the certification’s biggest misconceptions and what developers interested in leveraging its principles should consider instead.

READ: PASSIVE HOUSE MYTHS, DEBUNKED

Spoiler Alert: Recent data shows the overall cost increase to pursue Passive House certification in multifamily is only 0-3% over a building built to Energy Star baseline.

Having seen its potential for the environment and our client’s bottom line, we’re eager to mainstream mass timber in the building industry. Senior Designers Tom Corrado and John Lang describe what’s next for this sustainable material and why local government is crucial to securing its future.

READ: WHAT’S NEXT FOR MASS TIMBER?

Tour 80 M Street with Senior Designer Tom Corrado for insight into the project’s design and development process. Watch as Tom describes the deciding factor that ultimately led to creating Washington, DC’s first mass timber office renovation.

WATCH: THE CASE FOR TIMBER

Jason Wright and Tom Corrado talk all things mass timber with ThinkWood, including tips for navigating code approvals, and why they chose to sacrifice density for design at 80 M Street.
Learn about the benefits of differentiating with mass timber at 80 M Street SE–the District’s first mass timber construction, scheduled to complete this May.

A net zero energy (NZE) building maximizes energy efficiency, consuming only as much as energy as it produces through renewable sources. To deliver the first net zero energy renovation in the District, Senior Designer and Director of Sustainability and High-Performance Design Gui Almeida worked with the American Geophysical Union project team to test dozens of sustainable strategies before landing on a custom mix, ideal for the headquarter’s urban environment.

READ: AGU’S PATH TO ZERO

A 117-panel solar array generates energy and provides shading for a rooftop amenity and event space with lush landscaping and sweeping city views.
A new connecting stair encourages activity while hydroponic phytoremediation (HyPhy) walls provide natural air filtration. Read all about it in Interior Design.

Embodied carbon accounts for a significant portion of the building industry’s greenhouse gas emissions yet remains an afterthought in most climate action discussions. As building policy and code evolve to include more stringent sustainability requirements, our partners share what the industry can do to move the needle towards carbon neutrality and net zero carbon projects today.

READ: CARBON IS IN YOUR COURT

It’s generally assumed low carbon materials, including alternatives to steel and concrete, come at a premium–but we weren’t convinced. Design Director Elba Morales and Senior Project Architect Kerron Miller set out to test the true cost of embodied carbon on a real project site in Washington, DC. What they discovered has challenged their approach to material selection entirely.

READ: THE REAL COST OF MATERIALS

INTERESTED IN APPLYING ONE OF THESE HIGH-PERFORMANCE STRATEGIES TO YOUR NEXT PROJECT? CONNECT WITH DIRECTOR OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE DESIGN GUI ALMEIDA TO LEARN MORE.

Introducing Our 2022 iLAB Winners

Our iLAB microgrant program exists to promote research and innovation by investing in our team’s passion and curiosity to inform our Design for What’s Next culture. More a creative outlet beyond project work, iLAB explorations have served as the spark behind some of our most forward-focused work, including the net zero energy renovation of American Geophysical Union’s headquarters and the mass timber addition at 80 M Street—both major milestones for us and our region.

After a short hiatus (thanks, COVID), we’re proud to say that iLAB is back and better than ever. This year’s applicants inspired us with renewed energy and a shared focus on work that matters across a variety of scales. And after our traditional all-staff vote, the people have spoken and selected two winning topics with the potential to change the way we look at what goes into our projects when it comes to materials and uses. Without further ado, we are thrilled to announce this year’s iLAB winners. We invite you to learn more about their research in their own words and follow along with us all year as they make progress towards their goals.

Ethical Manufacturing

In her iLAB, Emily Everhope will explore manufacturing standards in the interior design marketplace, with a particular focus on ethical and Fair Trade practices to uncover the standards and stories behind the products we use. Emily’s goal is to establish a methodology that empowers the design community to discern and uphold best practices in material manufacturing and selection.

We forget that people are part of the natural environment and the more that we can connect with that, the mores sustainable everything will be.

Emily Everhope, Interior Designer

Vertical Opportunities

Leveraging their research on building types, zoning, and program adjacencies, iLab teammates Katherine Dorsey and Jack Lynch seek to define the future of vertical mixed-use developments. Katherine and Jack plan to create two market-specific prototypes that apply strategies designed to consider all stakeholders and support adaptation and building resiliency as needs evolve.

It’s valuable to do this kind of work because it gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to pushing the firm forward and to feel a sense of ownership.

Katherine Dorsey, Project Architect

Want to learn more or get involved? Connect with our team of experts today.  

WASHINGTON DC – In March 2019 Hickok Cole officially joined a research consortium headquartered at the University of Oregon called the Institute for Health in the Built Environment. Members come from various backgrounds including architecture, engineering, academia, consumer goods and technology.

The Institute’s mission is to: develop new design concepts for the realization of healthy and sustainable inhabited space. We do this by forming unconventional collaborations that conduct research where architecture, biology, medicine, chemistry and engineering intersect and translate it into design practice through a consortium of invested industry partners with applied impact. This aligns perfectly with Hickok Cole’s own vision of doing work that matters.

Institute for Health in the Built Environment org diagram

The types of research this Institute undertakes is broad, it covers such varied topics as daylighting and sunlight’s effects on indoor microbiomes, circadian lighting and healthy aging, priobiotics and mechanical building systems and mass timber’s effect on human wellbeing, both physical and mental. For a full breakdown of the consortium’s work, as well as an overview on Hickok Cole’s research philosophy, please see a pdf of the 2018-2019 Build Health_Q3 Report.

The Institute’s yearly conference, Build Health, will be held in a few weeks in Portland, Oregon and we look forward to presenting the latest on both our mass timber projects and ongoing grant work for the DC’s Department of Energy and the Environment and the US Forest Service through the Wood Innovations grant program.

Previously, we wrote an ASID Transform grant to study the effect of plants versus free standing air filtration systems on carbon dioxide levels in a standard office building with the Institute. While this particular grant came very close to receiving funding, it did not move forward in 2018, we hope to revisit this experiment in future to increase the number of options for tenants inhabiting buildings with aging mechanical systems.

About Hickok Cole

Hickok Cole is a forward-focused design practice connecting bold ideas, diverse expertise, and partners with vision to do work that matters. Informed by research and fueled by creative rigor, we look beyond today’s trends to help our clients embrace tomorrow’s opportunities.

About the Institute for Health in the Built Environment

The Institute for Health in the Built Environment was founded by three research laboratories at the University of Oregon; Energy Studies in Buildings LaboratoryBiology and the Built Environment Center, and Baker Lighting Lab. Formed in the spirit of this collaborative strategy, the Institute for Health in the Built Environment seeks to broaden the network of researchers and practitioners such that issues concerning health, comfort, and sustainability in the human ecosystem are addressed in a way that benefits our work, our community, and our planet.

For more information about this partnership please contact Melanie De Cola.