Friday, September 30, 2011

Exploring Albuquerque's Past

A fascinating new website called What Was There reveals the historical side of locations around the world. The user-powered site allows visitors to link archival photographs with their modern counterparts via Google Maps, and an integrated Street View feature lets you fade between past and present.

We’re proud to see our own award-winning renovation project at Fourth and Gold currently listed for Albuquerque. Once a post office built in the early 1900’s, the building is now Amy Biehl Charter High School.

Friday, September 2, 2011

50% in Energy Savings

The Design Group Headquarters is estimated to be saving over 50%, or 42,446 kWh, in energy use annually when compared to the same building built to conventional code.  That’s enough energy to run a 100 W conventional light bulb for 24 hours a day for 50 years. (Assuming any light bulb could last that long!)  This energy savings comes from a variety of strategies Design Group has employed:  

-Building envelope upgrades have included efficient glazing in all the windows, additional roof insulation, and furring out the interior of the exterior walls with more insulation.  

-A more efficient lighting plan, using LEDs instead of incandescent lights saved over 60% alone.  

-Operable windows allow for the HVAC system to be turned off during shoulder seasons, and cross ventilation to cool the building.

-Solar Panels producing energy onsite contribute significantly to the overall energy savings.  In the month of April, they met almost 80% of the building’s total energy needs.

Of course, 50% is the projected energy savings.  In an effort to track real life performance Design Group has registered the building with Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager and is tracking its electricity, gas and water use based on its actual bills.  This real life data will not only be important in evaluating the performance of the DGHQ, but will be key to strategizing what works and what doesn’t in all of Design Group’s projects.