KieranTimberlake is committed to reducing carbon footprints both in our own projects and across the architecture industry. We help our clients understand and reduce their buildings' total greenhouse gas contributions, including contributions from both operational carbon emissions and embodied carbon.
Understanding embodied carbon—the emissions associated with materials and construction processes throughout the whole life cycle of a building—requires Life Cycle Assessment, a practice that until recently has been new and confounding for most building professionals. KieranTimberlake has been a forerunner in the movement to quantify embodied carbon early in the design process when adjustments can be made to reduce embodied carbon in a building. In 2013, KieranTimberlake's affiliate company KT Innovations released Tally, a Revit plugin that makes LCA practices accessible to building professionals.
On February 14, 2020, KieranTimberlake Partner Jason E. Smith was named Fellow of the American Institute of Architects by the College of Fellows jury. This distinction is the AIA's highest honor, awarded to those who have made significant contributions to the profession and society.
In more than two decades leading architectural projects across the country, Jason has evolved a wide-ranging and inclusive design process, resulting in a body of work that is collegial, artful, and spontaneous. As a partner at KieranTimberlake, Jason has led the design and construction of several award-winning projects, including Brockman Hall for Physics at Rice University and Pound Ridge House.
A new training center for government officials that we designed in Blackstone, Virginia, was recently featured in Wired magazine. The Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) is a project of the US State Department that provides an extensive campus of simulated learning environments alongside high-speed driving tracks and classroom buildings.
Wired praises FASTC's “centerpiece”: the military operations in urban terrain simulator (MOUT). This simulated city is designed to help foreign affairs agents develop hard skills for situations they may encounter in the real world.
Consolidating several existing training centers, FASTC will train thousands of government professionals on a daily basis as the “largest and most comprehensive of any US law-enforcement training resource.”
Metropolis recently featured our work at Washington University in St. Louis to transform the East End of campus, bringing a unified, contemporary identity, creating a welcoming gateway to the university, and restoring the original intentions for a park-like setting. The story highlights our response to the existing Olmsted-designed campus, including the early 20th Century neogothic work of Cope & Stewardson and two 2005 buildings by Fumihiko Maki—modern limestone structures—that influenced our additions.
Our work here included five elements: the new Weil Hall for the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts; Sumers Welcome Center and Schnuck Pavilion, which form a pair of glass pavilions that frame the towers of Brookings Hall beyond; the renovation and expansion of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; and below-grade parking to replace surface lots with new green spaces in keeping with early aspirations for a campus composed of “outdoor rooms.”
Associate Fátima Olivieri-Martinez was presented with the 2019 Young Architect Award from AIA Philadelphia last night. Each year, the award recognizes a registered architect between the ages of 25 and 39 for remarkable contributions in leadership, practice, and service.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Fátima credits time spent in different regions of the US with sparking her interest in the built environment—and its cultural and climatic context. She pursued this interest at the University of Puerto Rico School of Architecture and the University of Virginia before coming to KieranTimberlake in 2011.
On September 23, 2019, the Carbon Leadership Forum announced the release of a visionary new tool to evaluate the carbon emissions of building materials during the design process. As the impact of embodied carbon has become more widely recognized, the tool was developed in partnership with more than 30 industry leaders with the objective of reducing the carbon footprint of building materials.
Embodied carbon refers to the emissions associated with building material manufacturing and construction. The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (called EC3) is an open-source tool for architects, engineers, building owners, construction companies, material suppliers, et al that allows them to compare the embodied carbon of different construction materials and make selections that reduce those emissions. As new construction continues to accelerate across the country and around the world, empowering the industry to make positive change to reduce harmful emissions is extremely important.
KieranTimberlake acted as an EC3 tool methodology partner in this effort, with KT Innovation's Tally® functioning as a technology partner. Tally was created in 2013 as a software tool to allow designers and other users to evaluate the environmental impacts of their building material selections and design options. The developers of Tally and EC3 worked together to enable a bill of materials generated in Tally to be imported directly into EC3, where the imported materials are matched to manufacturer-specific products and associated embodied carbon figures based on Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).
The assignment of a specific manufacturer product or procurement spec in EC3 ensures the intent of the Tally Life Cycle Analysis is carried through to the completed project, resulting in reduction of embodied carbon and bringing carbon accountability to the building material supply chain. We are looking forward to adding this powerful tool to our practice—in combination with Tally—to further lower the embodied carbon of our projects.
We are thrilled to announce the publication of our new monograph, titled KieranTimberlake: Fullness, on November 19, 2019. This two-volume set focuses on our work over the past decade--including a range of projects, from the new US Embassy in London, to the renovation of Dilworth Park at Philadelphia's City Hall, and the recyclable dwelling known as Cellophane House™. The book's title reflects its foregrounding of the fully resolved work of architecture, in contrast to the design fragments that came to the fore in earlier monographs. The first volume features sweeping views of each project, showcasing the visual integrity of the work, while the second volume reveals the sum of its parts--through drawings, diagrams, and stories. Together, they capture the communicative, collaborative nature of our process and the alchemy of art and science that gives rise to final form.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, how can Puerto Rico become more resilient and serve as an example and an inspiration to other communities?
This is the question that prompted Puerto Rico native and KieranTimberlake Associate Fátima Olivieri to travel to the island in June of 2018. Thanks in large part to her efforts, this query also set the framework for KieranTimberlake's initiatives on the island for the past year and a half.
After the devastation of Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm that catastrophically impacted the island in September 2017, it was imperative that communities in Puerto Rico think about long-term resilience strategies in addition to disaster relief and recovery efforts. The University of Puerto Rico's National Institute of Energy and Island Sustainability (INESI) invited KieranTimberlake to participate in a three-day workshop along with 42 other local and international universities, private organizations, NGOs, community partners, and government agencies. The goal of the workshop was to organize on-the-ground efforts and match local community groups with partner organizations through a RISE (Resilience through Innovation in Sustainable Energy) network for both immediate and long-term resilience initiatives.
Can architecture improve patient care? That's the question that led to the collaboration between KieranTimberlake Research and Dr. Bon Ku, an emergency department physician and Director of Jefferson University's Health Design Lab. Faced with few precedents for how layout affects communication between doctors, nurses, and patients, our team embarked on a two-year study to quantify the relationship between quality of care and emergency room design. Though still in analysis, our work has already begun to influence the Emergency Department layout at Jefferson University Hospital and was recently featured in a video on Wired. While the study's immediate impacts are exciting, Research Director Billie Faircloth is more interested in its larger implications. “The idea that you're giving people a way to study their space, thinking through some of the interventions they want to make, that's what's actually really important about the study.”
KieranTimberlake's innovative, energy efficient studio was recently cited by Penelope Green in The New York Times article, “Do Americans Need Air-Conditioning?” Green's story comments on the paradox of overcooled spaces during the summer months, and highlights our passive cooling experiment in which we eschewed air-conditioning for the entire summer of 2015. Instead, we relied on fans, open windows, dehumidifiers, and a nighttime flushing system that exhausted hotter air that accumulated during the day and replaced it with cooler evening air. While we ultimately installed an air-conditioner the following summer, as Green notes, our studio is as “a model of energy efficiency” thanks to our mixed mode operation.
Also mentioned in the article is Roast, a comfort survey app developed by our affiliate company KT Innovations. As its name implies, Roast was born from our building manager's efforts to keep the office comfortable during our 2015 summer experiment. The first iterations ultimately led to a relaxed dress code, flexible work hours that avoided the afternoon heat, and additional fans. Over time, the survey evolved to collect feedback not only on temperature and humidity, but also brightness, noise levels, smells, cleanliness, productivity, and more.