flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

For its new office, a farm in California considers four sustainable design options, driven by data

Sustainable Design and Construction

For its new office, a farm in California considers four sustainable design options, driven by data

The architect used cove.tool’s performance measurement software to make its case.


By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | June 14, 2022
A rendering of the new offices at Terranova Ranch in California. Images: Paul Halajian Architects
Architects for Terranova Ranch's new office presented their client with multiple design options, each with different cost and energy performance targets. Images: Paul Halajian Architects, courtesy of cove.tool

Terranova Ranch in Fresno, Calif., grows more than 25 different crops on 6,000 acres. The company, which started in 1981, has focused its attention lately on methods that keep its soil, water, and air quality as healthy and sustainable as possible.

The design for Terranova Ranch’s new office pavilion is the first net-zero carbon and net positive energy project by Paul Halajian Architects (PHA), and the client’s design choices were informed by the use of cove.tool’s web-based building performance app.

Terranova Ranch’s aimed for a 100 percent reduction in operational carbon emissions, and the architect provided several options toward meeting or exceeding that goal. (Cove.tool shared some of the details of this case study with BD+C.)

GOING BEYOND CODE MINIMUMS

Initially, the energy model for the 5,800-sf office building was designed to follow code minimum baseline assumptions from California’s Title 24, version 2019, which offered a carbon reduction of 12 percent. PHA’s project architect conducted several analyses on possible improvements to reduce the overall Energy Use Intensity (EUI), which in this model was 42.52 kBtu/sf/year.

These analyses measured the impacts of the building’s HVAC, lighting, equipment, hot water, fans, and pumps. The first proposed design change was an envelope upgrade, from the mandatory minimum of R-19 to R-30 by adding two inches of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam board to the exterior walls; and three inches of foam board insulation to the roof, which increased its R-value from 30 to 41. These changes would increase the building’s overall carbon reduction in base design to 20 percent and reduce the EUI to 38.

GLAZING’S BENEFITS DIDN’T PENCIL

The second option the architect investigated for Terranova Ranch combined the proposed envelope upgrade with improved glazing using Solarban 72 Acuity glass or Starphire glass with a u-value of 0.28 and solar heat coefficient of 0.28. (The baseline requirement is Solarban 60.) However, using cove.tool analysis tool, the architect determined that the whole-building EUI would have only reduced to 37, and only increased the carbon reduction by 2 percent from the first option. There were also cost considerations that made the glazing option less favorable.

The third upgrade option explored introduced 2,200 sf of monocrystalline solar panels, angled at a 15-degree incline atop a shaded parking structure. This option would reduce the building’s carbon emissions by 84 percent (from option No. 2’s 22 percent) and decrease the EUI to 7 form 37. Terranova Ranch was enthusiastic about this option.

 

Option four included heat recovery
The fourth design option explored included heat recovery and got the building closest to net-zero.
 

A fourth alternative explored introducing heat recovery by adding an energy recovery ventilator in the ceiling. This option allowed for a carbon reduction of 103 percent and an EUI score of negative 1.5. The client agreed to move forward in the building’s design with each option except the glazing upgrade.

SUNLIGHT EXPOSURE WILL REDUCE BUILDING’S LIGHTING NEEDS

Along with the energy study, the architect conducted other analyses. Using cove.tool software, the architect observed that 85 percent of  the office building’s interior would have access to “quality exterior views,” which in turn would earn the product LEED Views Credit. A daylight analysis of the architect’s design also showed that the building would be exposed to up to 12 hours of sunlight per day, reducing the design’s artificial lighting requirement.

Outdoor exposure map for new office
Paul Halajian Architects used cove.tool software to determine how much of the office's interior space offered “quality exterior views” (top) and how long the building would be exposed to daylight each day (bottom).
 

Daylight mapping for new office

While most clients might not be as sustainably inclined as Terranova Ranch, conducting data-driven analyses can be fruitful as a common practice that allows the design team and client to delve into different design scenarios to achieve an intended performance goal.

Construction on the office pavilion was scheduled to begin in late spring. The architect and client did not disclose construction costs.

 

Related Stories

Daylighting | Aug 18, 2022

Lisa Heschong on 'Thermal and Visual Delight in Architecture'

Lisa Heschong, FIES, discusses her books, "Thermal Delight in Architecture" and "Visual Delight in Architecture," with BD+C's Rob Cassidy. 

Sponsored | | Aug 4, 2022

Brighter vistas: Next-gen tools drive sustainability toward net zero line

New technologies, innovations, and tools are opening doors for building teams interested in better and more socially responsible design. 

Green | Jul 26, 2022

Climate tech startup BlocPower looks to electrify, decarbonize the nation's buildings

The New York-based climate technology company electrifies and decarbonizes buildings—more than 1,200 of them so far.

Sustainable Development | Jul 14, 2022

Designing for climate change and inclusion, with CBT Architects' Kishore Varanasi and Devanshi Purohit

Climate change is having a dramatic impact on urban design, in terms of planning, materials, occupant use, location, and the long-term effect of buildings on the environment. Joining BD+C's John Caulfield to discuss this topic are two experts from the Boston-based CBT Architects: Kishore Varanasi, a Principal and director of urban design; and Devanshi Purohit, an Associate Principal.

Green | Jun 22, 2022

The business case for passive house multifamily

A trio of Passive House experts talk about the true costs and benefits of passive house design and construction for multifamily projects. 

Green Specifications | May 12, 2022

MG2’s Sustainable Materials Evaluation System

Learn how MG2’s Sustainable Materials Evaluation System helps clients, prospects, and staff choose the most environmentally feasible materials for their building projects. Candon Murphy, LEED GA, Assoc. IIDA, Design Lab Manager and Materials & Sustainability Specialist with MG2, speaks with BD+C Executive Editor     Rob Cassidy.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | May 10, 2022

Design guide for parapets: Safety, continuity, and the building code

This course covers design considerations for parapets. The modern parapet must provide fire protection, serve as a fall-protective guard, transition and protect the roof/facade interface, conceal rooftop equipment, and contribute to the aesthetic character of the building. 

Codes and Standards | May 2, 2022

Developer Hines, engineer MKA develop free embodied carbon reduction guide

Real estate management and investment firm Hines has released the Hines Embodied Carbon Reduction Guide. The free guide, produced with Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), is the result of a two-year effort, relying on MKA’s industry-leading knowledge of carbon accounting and involvement in programs such as the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) Tool.

Codes and Standards | Apr 28, 2022

Architecture firm Perkins & Will to deliver ‘carbon forecasts’ for clients

Global architecture firm Perkins&Will says it will issue its clients a “carbon forecast” for their projects.

Architects | Apr 22, 2022

Top 10 green building projects for 2022

The American Institute of Architects' Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced its COTE Top Ten Awards for significant achievements in advancing climate action.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




Sustainable Development

Designing for climate change and inclusion, with CBT Architects' Kishore Varanasi and Devanshi Purohit

Climate change is having a dramatic impact on urban design, in terms of planning, materials, occupant use, location, and the long-term effect of buildings on the environment. Joining BD+C's John Caulfield to discuss this topic are two experts from the Boston-based CBT Architects: Kishore Varanasi, a Principal and director of urban design; and Devanshi Purohit, an Associate Principal.

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 



Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: