Global sustainability, engineering and strategic consultant Buro Happold reinvents U.S. higher-education facilities for 21st century with leadership in sustainability and innovation

LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK, N.Y., April 13, 2020 – Reflecting its innovative, multidisciplinary, approach to sustainable campuses, buildings and places, the award- winning integrated engineering consultancy Buro Happold has announced a number of major new sustainability-driven higher education projects underway at colleges and universities across the United States that address the climate emergency the world is currently facing. The new work unfolds as many academic institutions strive to adopt more stringent sustainability guidelines for waste and energy and water use in order to reduce spending and provide a better experience for their students and faculty – also helping to attract students and retain faculty.

Developed in collaboration with leading architecture firms – including Grimshaw Architects, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), Moore Ruble Yudell, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), KieranTimberlake, Behnisch Architekten, Snøhetta, Henning Larsen and others – Buro Happold’s new university projects range in scale from standalone academic buildings to larger educational complexes to entire multiphase campus master plans. Buro Happold also leads campus sustainability plans, a critical new specialty. The firm also brings decades of experience with environmental modeling, strategic mobility planning, engineered systems design, and pioneering use of structural materials and construction methods for iconic, highly sustainable campus buildings.
Arizona State University, Thunderbird School of Global Management Buro Happold’s varied consultancy teams – specialized in topics like mobility, infrastructure, energy, materials, and city planning – work closely with institutional leaders to encourage discussion around the theme of sustainability as a whole, not just as it relates to the big three: energy, water and waste. “Our aim is to lead college and university development teams in creating integrated, long-range visions that address the urgency of climate change,” says David Herd, managing partner of Buro Happold. “We advise all stakeholders on what climate action means for their buildings and campuses in terms of reducing emissions footprint, the risks they face in a changing climate and the opportunities to unlock wider benefits through climate action.”

Buro Happold has more than four decades of experience working in the higher education sector, and draws on a wealth of experience in offering sustainability services to both private and municipal clients as well as higher education institutions. The firm’s sustainability and cities teams were recently engaged to lead large-scale green planning initiatives for entire city districts and regions like Los Angeles County, areas of New York City, and West Hollywood. Buro Happold partnered with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to create the first countywide sustainability plan for Los Angeles, and at the individual building scale, Buro Happold recently collaborated with the city of Santa Monica and a diverse design and construction team to deliver the Santa Monica City Services Building – the first municipal building in the world to meet the most rigorous green building standard known as the Living Building Challenge.

Engaged with a number of higher education clients, Buro Happold is helping to develop comprehensive sustainability plans, such as at the University of North Carolina, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of California, San Diego. The firm is also providing expertise on sustainability and wellbeing, outdoor thermal comfort, and pedestrian flow modeling for College of the Desert’s new Palm Springs campus.

As a result of the firm’s commitment to a net-zero carbon future and its focus on human wellbeing, Buro Happold has emerged as the leading provider of sustainability services for forward-looking colleges and universities throughout the country. The firm’s success in the higher education sector with a number of repeat clients is underscored by a multidisciplinary approach to planning and design coupled with demonstrated expertise managing complex project stakeholder relationships across all scales.
 Supported by today’s most advanced technical platforms – which allow the firm to use data and analytics to resolve complex sustainability opportunities – Buro Happold is uniquely suited to meet the complex and multiscale challenges in program, logistics and design faced by American universities. These works include upgrades to individual facilities and conversions of entire campuses into models of a green future. Notable recent university work includes:

– Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.: Buro Happold has provided integrated engineering services that incorporate the principles of sustainable design with attention to energy efficiency, low-impact materials, reuse and recycling, quality and durability, and health and wellness for nine structures across this campus.

Among these notable works, Buro Happold provided extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and egress modeling for the Olin Business School. Designed by Moore Ruble Yudell with Mackey Mitchell Architects, it is one of the first passively smoke-vented atriums in the United States. Most recently, Buro Happold’s scope of work on the 18-acre East End Campus included partnering again with Moore Ruble Yudell and Mackey Mitchell to design Jubel Hall as well as with architects KieranTimberlake on four structures including two glazed pavilions, Weil Hall, and an expansion of Kemper Art Museum.

– Arizona State University, Phoenix: Buro Happold is providing integrated engineering services including structures and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems along with energy modeling, lighting and daylighting design, and sustainability consulting for the 55,000-square-foot Thunderbird School of Global Management. Designed by Moore Ruble Yudell and Jones Studio, the building is in construction and expected to open in 2021, and represents just one of three projects at ASU involving Buro Happold’s full multidisciplinary services. Others include the Ennead-designed ASU Beus Center for Law & Society in downtown Phoenix, recently completed and pursuing LEED Gold, as well as Grimshaw’s new Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 7, which is scheduled to open in late 2021 and is pursuing LEED Gold.

– University of California, Los Angeles: With 30 projects on University of California campuses and 16 at UCLA alone, Buro Happold has provided integrated expertise on a wide range of facilities on campus including general classrooms, professional schools, state-of- the-art labs, and housing. Most recently, the firm delivered MEP and fire-protection engineering, IT services, lighting design, daylight modeling and energy modeling for the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science’s new laboratory complex, housing the 60,000-square-foot Western Institute of Nanotechnology on Green Engineering and the 90,000-square-foot Computer Science department. Along with significant energy cost savings, Buro Happold also specified solar renewable and water-recycling technologies to dramatically minimize energy and water consumption for the LEED Gold- certified complex.

– Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh: Working on the campus since 2012, Buro Happold has more than a half dozen projects at Carnegie Mellon, including its delivery of integrated engineering services for the new Tepper Quad project. Designed by Moore Ruble Yudell using BubbleDeck technology that requires 35% less concrete than traditional solid structural floor slabs, the five-story, 305,000-square-foot business school complex reduce embodied energy by about 30%. The project recently won the 2019 WAN (World Architecture News) Award for Materials innovation in concrete in architecture. The building was also cited by the 2019 AIA Los Angeles COTE jury for sustainable educational work.

– Harvard University, Allston, Mass.: Buro Happold has partnered with Behnisch Architekten on the new Science and Engineering Complex, bringing together two-thirds of the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) under one roof. Built over an existing substructure, the new 535,000-square-foot complex – due to open this year – provides state-of-the-art laboratory and teaching spaces across an eight-story building with two levels located underground.

– Cornell Tech, Roosevelt Island, N.Y.: Buro Happold provided feasibility studies, energy analysis and passive systems design as well as MEP and structural engineering and lighting design for The House at Cornell Tech, a 26-floor housing tower designed by Handel Architects, that is the world’s largest and tallest Passive House-certified residential building. The House is part of Cornell University’s larger urban island campus, which Buro Happold is also helping develop according to the university’s wider commitment to innovative sustainability. Buro Happold also recently partnered with international architecture firm Snøhetta to deliver the Verizon Executive Education Center – a conference center “suited for visionary thinkers” that blends high design and human-centered technology, expected to open this year.

As seen in these innovative works and in new long-range sustainability plans for higher education leaders, Buro Happold’s work for U.S. universities echoes the firm’s deep commitment to advanced outcomes and bold new ideas in sustainability. Improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions across many campuses, Buro Happold is helping lead the way addressing global climate change while making campuses more inviting, memorable and effective places to learn.

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