Minneapolis Armory Renovation
Theory and Practice. Our design practice includes a full building performance design practice in acoustics, AV, Lighting, Daylighting, Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality, in order to provide perceptual comfort for the user, and these standards may be for the normal user of working age, or can be for the perceptually ore cognitively disabled user. This includes those living with aging, dementia, autism, mental illness, PTSD, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, blindness and deafness.
Some of these specialties have been included in architectural engineering, but the ME and EE fields are becoming more focused on energy and sustainability, to the detriment of user comfort.
Our work can include technical design, computer modeling, calculation and instrumentation measurement. In the case of the Minneapolis Armory, our work included acoustic testing, computer modeling and development of auralizations so that the client could hear what the space would sound like with different sources and occupancy levels.
Mariucci Hockey Arena, U of Minnesota
Specialties. In the architectural field, we offer the only multi-disciplinary building performance consulting package in the country, and we have the only set of measurement tools to measure and confirm each area of design. We were the first consulting firm in the U.S. to employ many of these measurement systems, and we are the only firm equipped to provide measurement in all fields.
On the Mariucci Arena project, which opened in 1993, we were retained to provide acoustical, AV and lighting consulting, and our new Acoustic Simulation Lab was used to demonstrate to the design team and the coach that the acoustic spray we had specified on the building deck would not reduce crowd noise detectably (only about 3 dBA), but it would dramatically clarify the audio systems.
Think Bank (IBM Credit Union) Rochester, MN
Philosophy . Schematic Design is often completed without any definitions that are clear enough to measure successful outcomes. We have been very focused on having quantitative definitions for perceptual comfort on all projects before SD is complete.
In the case of Think Bank, there were no building performance standards in place when we intersected the project at groundbreaking, and we therefore put standards in place for daylighting, lighting, acoustics, thermal comfort and indoor air quality, and we executed most of this new design as the building went up.
Daylight Computer Model, Harley Davidson, Milwaukee, WI
Summary. Most clients would like predictable design processes that provide known results. Without the science of building performance, there is no ability to predict or to confirm success in providing comfortable environments for our users.
On the Harley Davidson office renovation in Milwaukee, we provided pre and post occupancy studies, and building performance standards and design for acoustics, daylighting, lighting, thermal comfort and indoor air quality. When one part of the building was achieving complaints, it was quickly found that the standards were not met there and changes were made at the outset, which may have never been detected without this comprehensive process.