News Article | May 12, 2017
Ten years after a two-mile-wide tornado devastated the town of Greensburg, Kansas, the rebuilt community is a model for what green building can do. More than just an environmentally sound choice, building green can also mean building for self-sufficiency and resiliency, qualities always embodied by residents of the plains states. On May 4, 2007, an EF-5 tornado flattened over 1,300 homes in Greensburg and caused nine deaths. As the town sought to recover from the destruction, Mayor Bob Dixson focused on sustainable construction and renewable energy as a way to build the community even stronger than before. Dixson’s plan for Greensburg included constructing all future city-owned buildings over 4,000 square feet to LEED Platinum standards; when it passed, it was the first resolution of its kind in the United States. Now, in 2017, the LEED-certified structures in Greensburg include such diverse projects as the city hall, arts center, John Deere dealership, county hospital and K–12 school. In addition to green buildings, Greensburg now boasts a walkable downtown, a net metering policy and investment in wind turbines. The town’s Sustainable Comprehensive Master Plan addresses residential density, park space, renewable energy and dozens of other aspects of sustainable city design. In 2013, Dixson was honored with USGBC’s Mayor Richard M. Daley Legacy Award for Global Leadership in Creating Sustainable Cities. At a resiliency workshop USGBC attended in 2012, Dixson commented, “We’re building back in a way that will ensure that this can never happen again.” An early partner in Dixson’s efforts to rebuild was architectural firm BNIM of Kansas City, Missouri. Having to recreate the town’s design from scratch provided an unexpected opportunity for more inclusivity and community direction in transforming what Greensburg would look like. Bob Berkebile, the project principal, commented in a BNIM article five years later, “If not for the outspoken input of the youth, the school would be an ordinary regional school located 10 miles from town on a site the school board purchased within a week of the storm. But because the next generation saw a need for change and had the desire to stand up for it, the school is now an anchor for the community sited along Main Street, both transforming education and adding vitality to the community.” Two years earlier, Berkebile had helped USGBC navigate its response to Katrina by participating in the charrette that ultimately led to The New Orleans Principles, a guidance document for addressing post-disaster reconstruction. Greensburg has gotten creative in planning for storm resistance. Projects like the Silo house and homes and apartments using insulated concrete forms and straw bales in the walls may have a greater chance of withstanding future tornadoes, in addition to incorporating green features. Visiting the town’s official website today, you can find its “5 Year Building Performance Report,” with details on the energy savings of its LEED buildings as compared to typical buildings, including 72 percent savings for the school and 59 percent for the hospital. According to this report, the LEED Platinum initiative “served as a major driving force in the effort to rebuild Greensburg as a model of sustainability.” LEED works for rural communities as effectively as it does for large cities, and Greensburg is the perfect example. For more on the town’s transformation, watch the Climate Reality Project’s video on “The Greening of Greensburg.”
News Article | May 23, 2017
SAN DIEGO, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ground breaking is about to begin on Block D of Makers Quarter, a six-block work/live/play district in San Diego's downtown East Village. The BNIM-designed Block D is a six-story collaborative office hub with retail and restaurant on the ground...
News Article | February 22, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In a design that honors the Bloch Collection, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the museum's focus on public engagement and user experience, the BNIM design team created a contemporary, high-performance gallery space within the historic...
Bowman S.,Johnston |
ASHRAE Journal | Year: 2014
The Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate (IOB/OCA) in Des Moines is an energy-efficient building and a symbol of the state's sustainable stewardship. Design decisions for the building have been driven by energy-efficiency and integrated design, ranging from the geothermal system to the height of the office furniture. The IUB/OCA uses the building to conduct its business and also as an education tool for energy-saving technologies and increased efficiency and health in the built environment. The integrated energy efficiency measures, which have contributed to the building's overall performance, include geothermal field tied to dual-stage heat pumps and the installation of total energy recovery unit .
Svec P.,BNIM |
Berkebile R.,BNIM |
Todd J.A.,Independent Consultant
Building Research and Information | Year: 2012
To facilitate the practice of regenerative design and development, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and a core team envisioned a forum, a repository of information and a framework that are capable of stimulating dialogue among a diversity of practitioners and decision-makers with different disciplinary backgrounds and viewpoints. The REGEN tool is a work in progress and intended to support any regenerative design and development process, particularly in the early planning and design stages, with new questions and new types of information organized into a web of interconnection. It is intentionally neither a rating system nor a universal definition of regenerative design. Instead, it is a systems-based model of making connections at and between systemic levels, issue level and strategic level, thereby allowing the discovery of synergies, and encouraging a dialogue about place and quality of life for all life. The conceptual development of the REGEN tool is presented along with thoughts for its realization. The regenerative design process has the potential to change worldviews in a constructive way when it brings together new types of information, examples of process, and a perspective that is systems based, place based and oriented on positive outcomes. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.
Hoxie C.,BNIM |
Berkebile R.,BNIM |
Todd J.A.,Independant Consultant
Building Research and Information | Year: 2012
Definitions of regenerative design, regenerative development and regenerative thinking differ, but community engagement is an integral component of these definitions. A critical aspect in regenerative approaches is the focus on the uniqueness of place and the creation of a story of the place, with the local community playing a crucial role in developing this story. Practitioners have found that engaging communities in these efforts requires a different approach, one that is designed to elicit and clarify aspirations and values and which enables the community to recognize and feel its connections to the natural systems of which they are a part. An approach to community engagement is presented that has been developed, tested and refined over the past two decades. Its basis is founded on establishing honest, deep and ongoing dialogue within the community and between the community and the project team. As the case studies presented in this paper indicate, one of the most important benefits of a process of dialogue is a community that has developed shared goals and leaders to ensure progress toward those goals over time. Wider implications for design and planning professionals include the potential to redefine their processes and services, examining responsibilities to the local community and working with the research community to develop a wider evidence base. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.