Schematic Design has wrapped up, and classes are coming to their hectic close. We now look forward to the start of “summer” while we enjoy all that spring in Upstate New York has to offer. The Nuthatch team, designers, faculty and students now dive headlong into the next phase of the project, Design Development. This is where all those ideas developed during the concept and schematic phases get turned into reality, something that is buildable and meets Living Building Challenge (LBC) requirements. Some key areas of focus in the near term include the following:

  • Further developing the building itself, especially details of the wall and roof assemblies. These assemblies need to be highly insulated, requiring careful consideration of building science and constructability.
  • Development of the mechanical and power systems. Between this and the detailed design of the wall and roof assemblies we will be aiming to continue to reduce the energy consumption of the building. The energy modeling and daylight modeling that we described in previous blog posts will continue in support of this goal.
  • Ongoing analysis of the carbon footprint of the building.
  • Development of the Urban Agriculture component of the LBC. Based on LBC requirements a significant amount of our site will need to be involved in food production. This is a very unusual design consideration and should make for a fascinating exploration.
  • Continued incorporation of principles of Biophilia into the design.
  • Much more materials research. There will be several students working over the summer to continue the excellent research work they conducted this spring.

It’s going to be a busy summer. The design team looks forward to presenting an update to the university community in September. In the meantime, we’ll provide regular updates on the blog.