Responding with environmentally appropriate designs

At ELS sustainability is not singled out as a “specialty item”, it is fully integrated into every aspect of the project’s development. We take special delight in responding with our designs as is environmentally most appropriate, such as with active or passive energy efficient roofs and cladding systems, precisely because we are uninhibited by a preconceived architectural style that may dictate roof profile, fenestration or historical references.

Some of our recent LEED projects include:

Morgan Hill Aquatics Center, LEED Silver Certified

YMCA Downtown Berkeley, LEED Gold Certified

East Oakland Sports Center, LEED Silver Certified

University of California, Berkeley – Indoor Intercollegiate Athletic Training Center, targeted LEED Silver

University of California, Berkeley – Witter Rugby Field Facility, targeted LEED Silver

Calistoga Junior and Senior High School, Arts and Athletics Center, targeted LEED Gold

Ward Village Shops, Honolulu, HI, LEED Certified

Mueller Town Center - part of the Mueller Development, targeted LEED ND Silver

Sustainability process

Our approach to architecture is based on a dialogue, and we engage our clients in all aspects sustainabilityof design by inviting them to assist us in developing and refining a range of options. Part of this process involves an integrated design LEED workshop or charrette, which includes outlining programmatic, budgetary and sustainability objectives, ranging from simply saving utility costs to considering the feasibility of a “zero net energy” approach. The discussion expands and the design evolves as a result of understanding the needs and interests of each stakeholder group, and knitting the fabric of program, culture, operations and technology into a final form. ELS is recognized as an Alameda Country Green Business, is a participant of the AIA’s 2030 Commitment to reduce the operational energy use of our buildings, and is an adopter of the Architecture 2030 Challenge. In establishing a path for integrated sustainable design, the ELS staff gets together regularly for Green Committee meetings, to review the latest innovations in sustainable technology, and in “green screens”, where project teams present to each other, sharing information that enriches all our projects. Among the LEED strategies we typically explore: energy reduction, efficient water use strategies, waste reduction both during and after construction, locally sourced and rapidly renewable resources for construction material. The resultant architecture is rich in program development, efficient in land and material resource use, durable in maintenance and sustainable in design and construction.