The AMS Nest Awarded LEED® Platinum
How to Design a LEED Platinum institutional building…
You design green in a way that is mutually beneficial to both the environment and to people.
This is DIALOG’s green manifesto. We strive for our sustainable designs to also be socially meaningful, rather than being mere sums of environmentally conscience parts.
Purposefully situated, The Alma Mater Society (AMS), University of British Columbia’s new Student Union Building (The Nest), is the pulsing heart of the campus’ new University Square Development. Designed for conversation; the function is a response to the continued evolution of socialization, physically and digitally.
The Nest was built for student life, by student life. The project was delivered from start to finish in over 5 years – through 5 different client groups, as the AMS council’s torch was passed, year to year. This kind of fluidity, and this client of 61,000 voices, required a design approach unlike any other.
The Nest’s final form was the result of fully involving and engaging student creativity. Their ambitions for ideals of empowerment, advocacy, accessibility, diversity, sustainability and above all, community, could not have been realized without daily collaboration…
So what did DIALOG and our partners B+ H Architecture do? We set up a satellite ‘Design Cube’ in the previous Student Union Building for the duration of The AMS Nest’s pre-design, where architects and engineers activated student participation. This ‘in-situ’design approach was coupled with an online conversation through social media. The final design is a response to the student’s direct needs, wants and visions a city curated as an emulation of the student body’s identity and ideals; a model community that sustainable promotes human contact and inspiration.
Environmentally conscience by nature, one of The AMS’ principal objectives was for UBC to be a beacon for sustainable architecture.
Elements of the design that may be environmental, but answered both ours’ and the student’s call to create a mutually beneficial environment are:
- Radiant heating and cooling in floors keep the building at a comfortable temperature, uncommon in large institutional buildings where temperatures are often difficult to control
- Constructed from locally sourced, certified wood products. This natural material simultaneously softens and warms the internal experience.
- Rooftop community garden
- Rooftop solar hot water panels
- Low-emitting materials used throughout the building
- In-vessel composting facility
- Stormwater management and retention
- Water efficient landscaping using grey water
Sustainability by very pleasing numbers are….
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