Editor's note: Following are this year's honorable mention projects, although in reality they're much more. The judging on submissions came down to the wire, and because of the worthiness of both, CSE will cover the projects in full next year. In the interim, here are project snapshots. Pier 1, San FranciscoUnorthodox.
Pier 1, San Francisco
Unorthodox. That's probably the best way to describe the Pier 1 project on San Francisco's east bayfront. The project involved converting a 1930s sugar-cane warehouse into multitenant office building. Additionally, at the directive of the architect, sustainable practices were applied where possible. The architect also desired to maintain much of the building's original industrial feel, and much of that was mandatory regardless, as the warehouse was on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Certain parts of the building could not be altered, including the prohibition of HVAC equipment on the rooftop or even insulating the concrete envelope.
As a result, mechanical engineer Flack + Kurtz, San Francisco, with the direct participation of the architect and contractor, devised an HVAC solution that relies on natural ventilation, radiant heating and a unique and custom-built heat exchanger that was literally submerged in the bay beneath the building.
The three, practically invisible, solutions allowed the architect to meet the design goals, maintain comfort and create a building that uses the least amount of energy.
Federal Courthouse, Islip, N.Y.
When it came to delivering the new U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Islip, N.Y, architecture and engineering were also married disciplines.
It was the architect's vision to break away from the oppressive, monolithic traditions of courthouse architecture and replace it with a modernist design that created a feeling of awe through size. Openess and natural light were major components of this scheme and the building's design featured a 600-ft.-long, 235-ft.-high glass curtainwall across its south facade that reveals large corridors and spacious waiting areas. While certainly pleasing from a visual standpoint, such spaces can lend themselves to becoming heat traps. This was one of the major challenges faced by M/E/P engineer Syska & Hennessy, New York.
The team produced an efficient and well designed HVAC plan that included a number of innovations—particularly a giant, grid-like sunshade to screen the south facade. Derived from extensive computer modeling, the shade curtails the associated heat buildup of such a high solar load while seamlessly meshing with the architect's aesthetic concept.