Engineers like those at Transsolar understand performance is a consequence of comprehensive and holistically considered design decisions.
Read more ›
A.UD Lecture Series 2017-18: Thomas Auer, Nov 6, 2017
Transsolar is a pioneering engineering firm with offices in Stuttgart, Munich, New York and Paris. The firm believes that design is the primary activity for transforming the environmental qualities and performance of buildings and cities and for minimizing the impact and intensity of climate change. Rather than relying on machines and energy to produce building environments, Transsolar looks to design ingenuity, site specific responses, and thoughtful material and formal choices to develop optional performance. They believe that environmental considerations enrich rather than limit architectural innovation.
Why invite Thomas to share his work with us? As evidence of climate change migrates from white papers and distant island communities to California’s central valley, local water use restrictions and America’s coastlines, energy performance is under increasing professional and political scrutiny. Those of us here who practice recognize this in the codes that regulate our work and in the ever increasing pressures these codes place on our design proposals.
The students in the audience may not have heard of deep energy retrofits, energy audits, or benchmarking. The image here visualizes data collected by the city of New York for buildings above 50 thousand square feet and soon over 25K sf. This data is collected to establish standards for future bldg. renovations and alterations. The nyc energy conservation code will require all renovations (of even modest scale) to buildings of this scale or larger to include retro-commissioning of the energy and water use performance of the structure.
Increasingly, architects will need higher levels of expertise to tackle these changing standards. Engineers like those at Transsolar understand performance is a consequence of comprehensive and holistically considered design decisions.
They, and many of us gathered here, will not only shape our collective environmental futures with the design of new buildings but with the retrofitting of existing buildings under evolving environmental standards. Thomas Auer looks at this project with optimism and in this era of Trump and his administration’s official stance on climate change, we all need much more of that. Please join me in welcoming Thomas. ‹