The latest February 2016 AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) newsletter features two articles by Payette – Reflecting on COP21 by Chris Mackey and Integrating Research into Practice by Jeff Abramson, Jenny Ratner and Lynn Petermann.
The Committee on the Environment (COTE) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate—to the profession, the building industry, the academy, and the public—design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. COTE serves as the community and voice on behalf of AIA architects regarding sustainable design.
Reflecting on COP21
For over two decades, the annual COP Sustainable Innovation Forum has gained notoriety as an event where activists and energy companies vie for attention from both policy-makers drafting new agreements and the media covering the event. However, the proximity of this conference to the recent tragedy in Paris created a unique situation that illustrated what happens when a third entity is more deeply involved – the military.
After arriving on the first day of the conference, I found many of the city’s big squares occupied by military troops and I observed many public parks to be closed. The troops directed everyone away from the squares in an attempt to avoid any gathering of climate activists or public protesters. Similarly, there were three rounds of security checks that I had to pass in order to get to the nearby advertising pavilions that included many fossil fuel companies. I later learned that several activists went through the same security checks and, once inside, gave tours to the other visitors, listing facts about the various companies who advertised there. After a few minutes, many of these activists were forcibly escorted out of the pavilion area.
Read the full article.
Integrating Research into Practice
Incorporating a scientific process into architectural practice leads to higher performing buildings that embody sustainable design. Using research to inform design decisions can have far-reaching impacts on the built environment. At Payette, our research not only serves as a useful PR tool, it also becomes part of our internal firm-wide education. The topics and methods we use in our research fundamentally shape the way in which the entire design staff thinks about and approaches architecture.
Payette’s in-house Building Science Group is at the heart of our research. In addition to conducting research on their own, they develop research projects to collaborate on with our design staff. Over half of the staff has worked on a research project in the past three years. Each designer spends a few hours per week focused on a research project, including regular meetings with their research team. These projects are typically completed in 6-9 months at which time we document and share our findings internally and externally via our website, blog, publications and conference presentations.
Read the full article.