Well, the lovely petal building has been squashed by budget and energy goals. We are left with a simple box, like what I started with back in April. Aesthetically I’m sad, but at the same time, it’s a good move in respect to reaching our project goals.
I’m not terribly excited by the redesign with its very ‘distribution-centre’ styling…
Some ideas are very ‘California,’ not ‘Edmonton’ and with our weather…
I need to see more of the interior plans to visualize where the program elements are going to be.
Is the atrium full of light and love?
Does this project work with the Fibonacci sequence?
What are you happy about?
What excites you in this version of the design?
Where would you really love to hang out in this building?
I asked these questions of the design team, but my questions were not met with much enthusiasm.
There were positives from today’s meeting such as the moment when the nerds were deep in Nerdville and I realized this really is a breakthrough project! It reminded me of working on the Riverdale NZE home with Peter Amerongen seven years ago. This is a keystone project that will show our local community that net zero energy can be done in Edmonton on a commercial project! It will do for the commercial sector what Riverdale did for the residential sector years ago. YEAH DUDE!
So my take-home lessons from the meeting including the following about how to meet a NZE project:
1. Start with most efficient shape: the box
2. Run energy simulations with occupant & programming needs
3. Run costing models with systems that meet energy goals
4. Develop an architectural aesthetic that works with ‘the box’
We put the cart before the horse a little bit with the petal design, and I personally fell in love with it, but we must go back to the box. I hope the architectural team can bring some of the excitement from the petal back to the box.