HMFH Sustainability Leaders Take the Floor at Architecture Boston Expo and Greenbuild

Two of HMFH’s Sustainability Leaders presented at Architecture Boston Expo (ABX) and GreenBuild to share their expertise on designing energy-efficient, comfortable spaces through daylighting—and empower student-driven sustainable progress through mentoring and metrics.

Daylight Your Building to Net-Zero Energy

Natural light is a critical facet in the design of well-lit spaces. Daylighting contributes not only to the energy savings of a building, but to the wellbeing of its occupants. At this year’s ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX), Alexandra Gadawski is co-leading a workshop on designing comfortable, energy-efficient spaces through daylighting with Lam Partners and Compass Project Management. Alexandra and her fellow presenters will examine how the eye perceives brightness and impart strategies for planning and designing these environments—from selecting colors and finishes to utilizing metrics and tools to analyze and model daylight, including digital and heliodon modeling using classrooms in the new Arlington High School as a base to explore daylighting possibilities.

As Vice President of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America’s Boston Section, and HMFH’s own sustainability leader in building science, Alexandra’s contributions to lighting design through daylight and energy modeling support student health and reduce energy. Her recent project experience includes the Roeper School Learning Commons in Birmingham, MI, the Hastings Early Childhood Center, and the Florida Ruffin Ridley School—each honored for their exceptional lighting design by the IES.

Sustainability Beyond the Textbook: Partnerships with Green Mentors to Bring Schools to Life for Students

Student action is vital to the sustainable efforts of any school. The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Schools as Teaching Tools program connects schools with its network of professionals to equip students to lead and drive sustainable changes. As a Green Building Professional Mentor with the USGBC, Stephanie MacNeil partnered with Boston Latin School, a renovation and expansion project completed by HMFH in 2001. At this year’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Stephanie, fellow mentors, and student mentees will share lessons and strategies learned throughout the process.

The BLS chapter of YouthCAN gathered feedback from the student body for the previous year; using Arc, a digital sustainability performance platform affiliated with the USGBC, they were also able to collect data on the building’s energy, waste, transportation, and human experience. Working with the information they had gathered, Stephanie led student charrettes to help them determine tangible changes to adopt as well as ideas for new, healthy environments at the school based on the desires of their peers: an on-campus “calm room” and greenspace. As a result, the students crafted and submitted a detailed proposal for their renovation ideas to Boston Public Schools.

“Schools as Teaching Tools was a great resource, not only for the students, but for architects, too.”

Stephanie MacNeil | Associate and Sustainability Leader, HMFH Architects