Design for performance, informed by research.
Our Building Science Group is integrated throughout the design process, bringing their expertise in energy, thermal comfort, high performance envelopes, daylighting, natural ventilation, material health, embodied carbon and water to every project. With rigor and precision, we bring a deep technical background on building physics, exploring design solutions with state-of-the-art tools, such as early-stage energy modeling and comfort modeling, to challenge our hypotheses and develop solutions that might otherwise be unattainable.
Having our diversified talent under one roof allows us to continually develop and refine the tools we use to create elegant designs.
building science group
Led by Principal Andrea Love, AIA, LEED Fellow, our Building Science Group works side-by-side with our designers to ensure we are consistently forging new ground on issues of technical performance, sustainability and responsible design. Strategies implemented for recent nationally recognized projects like the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, the Biosciences Research Building at National University of Ireland, Galway and the Science and Engineering Complex at Tufts University are a direct outgrowth of the integration of Building Science research in the design process.
We look for performance short comings and unrecognized opportunities, and we devise ways to address them. We undertake data-driven investigation of building systems, materials, envelopes and operational energy usage. Our research encompasses both analysis of existing circumstances and modeling of proposed configurations of space, systems and materials.
We don’t just try to beat established benchmarks. We set our own. Doing so often puts us ahead of the pack, as we have been on sustainability, which has been an integral concern of the practice for well over thirty years. We were aggressive advocates of heat recovery, demand-based ventilation and reduced lighting and plug loads long before the advent of LEED. Our firm was one of the first adopters of chilled beams in North America. Though we look beyond current standards, we value engagement in industry-wide initiatives. Since 2010, 75% of our projects have pursued LEED certification — three have been certified LEED Platinum — and we signed the AIA 2030 Commitment in 2011. We have been actively engaged in it since, carefully tracking and reporting the predicted energy use of our buildings. Participating in the 2030 Commitment has not only helped drive down the energy intensity of our buildings, it has also strengthened our firm-wide “energy literacy.”
MATERIAL RESEARCH TEAM
We care about the impact our buildings have on the environment, occupants and community. The materials we choose for our projects have a direct impact on environmental and human health. We believe in taking a holistic view of material selection, incorporating their life cycle impact as part of our decision-making process. Because there are chemicals used in the production of materials that are now known to have wide-reaching health impacts, our Material Research Team is focused on eliminating four classes of chemicals that are prevalent in many building products. These four classes of chemicals have health impacts from extraction to use to disposal. Included in our efforts, we have sent letters to product manufacturers requesting transparency and notifying them of our policy. Read our Payette Material Policy here.
high performing buildings
Our buildings perform at a high level technically, programmatically and environmentally. At the same time, they foster rich social relationships, and they’re a delight to experience. We’re confident of their performance, because we model it throughout the design process, and we measure it in the field. We cherish facts, and numbers are our friends.
Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
Grainger Hall: Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
Sherman Fairchild Renovation, Harvard University
Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex, Northeastern University
Kilachand Center, Boston University
Kimball Hall Renovation, Cornell University
Science and Engineering Complex, Tufts University
Get an in-depth look at some of our recent buildings that integrated our Building Science Group into the design process and are true examples of the fusion of design and performance.
TUFTS UNIVERSITY, SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING COMPLEX
The project’s sustainable solutions are integral to its architectural solution, thoughtfully demonstrating the interdependence between sustainability and scientific research. The SEC employs ambitious low energy strategies across all building systems by establishing an aggressive total energy use intensity (EUI) target representing a 77% reduction in energy over a typical laboratory building.
BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MEDICAL CENTER, new INPATIENT BUILDING
Multiple analyses conducted during the design process throughout the conceptual and schematic design phases directly shaped the patient room design. Factors explored include the optimal angle of façade serration, type and size of glazing, elimination of perimeter heating system, capacity and limitations of chilled beams, validation of E+ against TRANE Trace, and family zone lay-out and comfort. Close collaboration between architects and engineers allowed for a well-informed early HVAC design for the patient rooms resulting in a total energy usage reduction while maintaining a compelling aesthetic strategy.
DUKE UNIVERSITY, Grainger HALL, Nicholas school of the environment
Using a simple “shoebox” energy model, our design team was able to understand what the energy drivers were for different orientations, such as the glazing U-value on the north and the solar heat gain coefficient on the south, and the most effective strategies at minimizing energy usage.
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND GALWAY, BIOSCIENCES RESEARCH BUILDING
The design of the Biosciences Research Building (BRB) embraces the moderate climate of Ireland. By locating low-load spaces along the perimeter of the building, the project takes advantage of natural ventilation as the sole conditioning strategy and is supplemented with radiant heating 9% of the year. This means 45% of this intensive research building is able to function without mechanical ventilation. This is an extremely simple, yet radical approach, rarely implemented to even a modest extent in similar laboratories in comparable U.S. climates.