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Collaborative Design

The architecture profession is a collaborative one. Not often do you find an architect who designs a building all on his or her own anymore. From the owner to the structural engineer, the landscape designer to the lighting designer, everyone has a role they play in the creation of a building or project.

Collaboration is evident in every project featured on the pages of this magazine. It's also evident in the articles that highlight a part of the building and designing process.

In this month's Constructive Insights, Alan Scott of YR&G Sustainability in Portland, Ore., discusses building envelope commissioning. Part of designing high-performance building envelopes is working with the Building Envelope Commissioning Authority (BECxA) to help with the design, detailing, installation and maintenance of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The BECxA is involved in a project as early as the design phase, and helps to ensure all of the building systems are installed and working properly. To achieve this, the BECxA must work closely with the architect and other contractors involved in a project.

This month's Special Feature takes a look at controlling sounds and noises in metal buildings. I spoke at length with Benjamin Markham, LEED AP, director, architectural acoustics at Acentech, an acoustical consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass., who works with owners and architects to ensure the correct design choices are made during the building design and construction to achieve the proper sound isolation and noise control in a building.

Collaboration was also very important to the design of the new world headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., for architecture, engineering and construction firm Burns & McDonnell. The new building consolidates all employees from several remote sites into a single, centralized location, and has many amenities for its employees to enjoy and use. Being an employee-owned company, all design and budget decisions were made with the company's best interest in mind. This led to the inclusion of a café, barista bar, outdoor terrace, health and fitness centers, and even a fully licensed childcare facility that offers a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-based curriculum for employees' children.

We take a look at the new Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., and we see how the collaboration between the owner, architect, structural engineer and other team members, led to the selection of materials that gives the project its high level of sustainability. This collaboration and effort has led to the first indoor sports arena to achieve LEED Platinum certification, and ranks in the top 3 percent of all LEED-certified building with the highest LEED score achieved by a sports venue.

Collaboration is all around us. The benefits of working with other people and getting other's opinions is shown in all that we create. Working together provides immense benefits to stretching one's imagination and coming up with the best solutions to a problem. I, for one, am looking forward to see what else comes out of working together and collaborating on a common issue.

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