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June 22, 2009

BAR Architects Announces Firm-Wide Sustainable Design Initiative

BAR Architects announced a firm-wide goal to design all projects to meet as a minimum standard the standards required for LEED Silver certification or equivalent sustainability criteria.

"Sustainable design encompasses a range of planning, design and building practices from siting to reduce a project's footprint, to preserving open space and daylight harvesting for the health and well being of building occupants and users, to more technical aspects of commissioning and mechanical systems," says Principal Susan McComb. "The standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council are a great benchmark for overall sustainability, and we want all of our clients' projects to meet a baseline equivalency to the LEED Silver standard regardless of whether formal certification is pursued."

In addition to utilizing the standards defined by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for LEED Silver certification, the firm implemented a multi-tiered approach to incorporate sustainable design into all projects. To accomplish this BAR implemented a set of baseline sustainability practices including: a sustainability checklist, "green" specifications, and internal review process for each project by BAR's in-house Green Assistance Team to assure proper, economical and efficient integration of sustainability strategies to obtain LEED Silver or equivalent.

"There are so many ways to increase a project's sustainability without adding cost and we want to help our clients understand the full-range of possibilities and assist them in meeting their project goals while achieving the highest level of sustainable design appropriate for the project," said Senior Associate and Green Assistance Team Leader Mark Kelly. "It’s just another way to bring added-value to our clients."

Adding to a growing list of sustainability efforts, more than 85 percent of the firm's technical staff are LEED accredited professionals and BAR was recognized as a Green Business by the City of San Francisco. The firm's San Francisco offices were recently LEED-certified by the USGBC and many BAR-designed projects have received recognition for sustainable design including, CSU Chico Student Services Center, UC Merced's Valley Terraces and the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation which was featured at Greenbuild 2008 in a panel presentation given by Principal Earl Wilson and as the March 2009 GreenSource "Solution of the Month." BAR is currently working on numerous projects targeting LEED Gold or Platinum certification.