Daylighting Tips

Friday, 10 July 2015 by
Daylighting Design

Daylighting Tips If you wish to optimize daylighting for your building design but don’t wish (or have the time) to do a variety of simulations for different purposes such as illumination levels in the space, shading analyses, sizing windows/ skylights etc., are there some basic tips you can follow that will help you take advantage






Clothes drying in the open air

Natural Ventilation of Buildings and Spaces Many times when clients desire a “green” space or building that connects its occupants to the outdoors, they envision incorporating lots of daylighting and natural ventilation in the architectural design. Certainly, there can be many benefits to be had including lower energy bills, a connection to the outdoors, improved






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Chemical Hazards and the TSCA

Friday, 18 July 2014 by
TSCA Chemical Hazards

How safe are the man-made chemicals that surround us?   Chemical Hazards are a concern for everyone. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976 and is the country’s main chemical safety law. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for enforcing TSCA, but significant weaknesses in TSCA have left the EPA unable






Selecting a Sustainable Architect

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 by
BECx_Silicon Valley

An Insider’s Point of View Being an architect myself and having worked as an architectural project manager until 2012, I have an insider’s view into the profession. In the 18 years of practicing architecture, I worked across many different sectors including residential, commercial and higher education, getting a really good feel for how different sectors






LEED Midrise Certification

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 by
LEED Midrise Certification

Last year, I petitioned the USGBC Technical Committee on Homes and received the green signal to pursue LEED certification for a 32 story apartment tower in San Francisco’s Transbay neighborhood. Midrise V 2010 allows certification for residential buildings of 4 to 12+ stories with exceptions made for taller buildings on a case-by-case basis. Residential projects






MODERN COMMERCIAL OFFICE

Understanding LEED IAQ Testing Requirements LEED 2009 and LEEDv4 both have credits that require building flush-outs or building air quality testing prior to occupancy. The credit requires that after construction ends, the GC must install new filtration media and flush-out the building by supplying a total air volume of 14,000 cubic feet of outdoor air per square






Energy Efficient Windows - Insulated or Thermally Broken Frame

For folks building a new home, the job of selecting the Energy Efficient windows can be daunting. Based on the nature of the contract, the architect may or may not be involved in the window selection. Their contract may end with assisting the home owner with obtaining the permit. In such cases the homeowners may rely






What is Envelope Commissioning or Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx)? Most of us have heard of Commissioning (Cx) as it deals with HVAC equipment and digital controls. But what is “Enclosure Commissioning” or “Envelope Commissioning,” and what about LEED Envelope Commissioning? Its scope is vast and skills and knowledge required are pretty intensive as well. LEED v4






building a healthy home

When most people build or remodel their homes, they pay close attention to indoor air quality, comfort and aesthetics. The task of building to survive natural disasters like earthquakes (as the San Francisco Bay region is prone to) is left to building codes and local code enforcement. And the task of ensuring the home maintains livable






Energy Star now "Elder Star"

Energy Star now ‘Elder Star’ certified design I recently heard the term “Elder Star” compliant homes, just like the “Energy Star” appliances and lights that we have grown so familiar with. And I thought it was so apt! It’s high time we all spent a little more time thinking about meeting the needs of our






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