HMFH Architects

HMFH Presents at the 2020 ABX Virtual Experience

HMFHers Suni Dillard, Gary Brock and Alexandra Gadawski shared their real-world passion and expertise in sustainable, resilient design as panelists at the ArchitectureBoston Expo Virtual Experience.

Water Use Reduction? Low Priority, Too Complex? Think Again!

Through a pre-recorded presentation, Suni Dillard and Gary Brock spoke alongside fellow panelists, illustrating how different water conservation methods have been successfully implemented in HMFH projects including Bristol County Agricultural High School and Saugus Middle/High School.

Bristol County Agricultural High School

Along with reducing the school’s overall water consumption, preserving the quality of the nearby Taunton River was a top priority when designing the water conservation systems at Bristol County Agricultural High School. Working closely with landscape architecture firm Halvorson Tighe & Bond Studio and civil engineering firm Samiotes Consultants, the team developed solutions to limit landscape water use by collecting precipitation via rain gutters on the building roofs and filtering excess stormwater on the site through bioswales containing specific soils and plantings to purify the water. The captured water flows to an underground cistern where it is stored before being used for irrigation in the campus plaza. Within the buildings, all existing fixtures were replaced by low-flow counterparts and the new Center for Science and the Environment will have compostable toilets.

Despite the addition of three new buildings on campus and a 40% increase in the student population, the introduction of water conservation methods resulted in a 40% reduction in overall water usage. The campus itself functions as a teaching tool for sustainable practices, deliberately leaving systems such as bioswales and green roofs exposed and highly visible to students, encouraging their involvement in water conservation technologies and incorporating sustainable design into their daily experience at Bristol Aggie.

Saugus Middle/High School

At the new Saugus Middle/High School, HMFH’s strategy for limiting potable water use can be divided into three main components: reuse, conservation, and stormwater management. Catchment systems installed on the roof collect and filter rainwater into three large underground cisterns that supply the water for use within the building and irrigation on site. Bioretention areas throughout the site also collect rainwater and runoff, utilizing natural plantings to filter out harmful petrochemicals. Saugus Middle/High School uses all low-flow fixtures and features a vegetated green roof adjacent to an outdoor classroom where students can tend to their own experimental plantings. By introducing these systems, the school is expected to save over 1.5 million gallons of water and to reduce water consumption by 45% annually. Learn more about sustainability measures at Saugus here.

Demystifying Lighting from Specification to Installation 

Alexandra Gadawski presented as a part of a panel that provided both emerging and seasoned professionals with a greater understanding of the lighting design process from the beginning of a project through completion. The group used their expertise in the field to break down the complexities of scheduling, coordinating, and maintaining design intent throughout, and highlighted the importance of establishing clear communication among all parties to ensure a successful final product. With key takeaways such as understanding the team and their roles, the significance of project delivery method, and prioritizing quality of specifications, the presentation gave specific insight into exceptional lighting design and aims to instill confidence in the process.