The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Chapter has awarded Farr Associates its highest honor. The Firm of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding collective achievements by a firm and overall excellence in its body of work. It honors outstanding contributions made in the areas of design, research, planning, technology, and architectural practice. The award also acknowledges the distinctive characteristics or personality of the firm and its operations, this year, citing Farr Associates' culture of connecting architecture with urban planning.Farr Associates was selected based on the "firm's committment to sustainability far surpassing industry norms and an impressive optimism of the future of our cities. Seven LEED Platinum projects, two net-zero projects, and numerous publications on the subject of Sustainable Urbanism clearly show that Farr Associates is advancing the profession."
Doug Farr, founding principal, responded, "We are honored by this recognition of our firm’s integration of planning and architecture, our leadership in advancing sustainable design at all scales, and our dedication to promoting Sustainable Urbanism around the world. We sincerely thank our client and collaborator partners who help us realize our dream of making future-minded places and buildings increasingly routine."
Net-Zero No-Kill Cat Shelter Earns LEED Platinum
Farr Associates' design for Harmony House for Cats is the Midwest's most sustainable cageless, no-kill animal shelter, earning LEED-NC v3.0 Platinum this month. Located in Chicago, the 7,100 square foot project is the City's first design for a net-zero energy commercial building and features a 30KW photovoltaic system, and 20 solar hot water panels that not only provide hot water for the shelter's cleaning needs, but also augment the 14-well geothermal system by charging the ground with excess heat during summer months. The courtyard design creates a beautiful daylit solution, reducing energy bills, and gives shelter inhabitants (150 cats) and volunteers (numerous humans) a gorgeous view to the landscaping--and passersby an immediate view of adoptable cats and kittens.
Harper Court Achieves LEED-ND Gold
Harper Court, a new mixed-use development initiated to replace an urban-renewal-era shopping center in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, has earned a LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) Gold rating from the USGBC, an Illinois first. Farr Associates led the project's LEED-ND certification and served as the project's master plan and urban design consultant in collaboration with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture. The master plan described a vibrant urban place with mixed used-buildings defining a first-of-its-kind multi-purpose street. Developed through a partnership among Harper Court Partners, LLC, the City of Chicago and the University of Chicago, at full buildout Harper Court will provide 1.1 million square feet of new mixed-use space on ±3.96 acres, including 250,000 square feet of commercial uses, a new hotel, and up to 425 residential units. The LEED-ND certification recognizes the inherent sustainability of mixed-use transit-served urban development, enhanced with green infrastructure and buildings.
Municipalities Adopt Sustainable Codes
Increasingly municipalities are implementing sustainability plans by adopting sustainable subdivision, zoning and building codes. Here are three recently adopted codes prepared by Farr:
Dublin, Ohio adopted the Bridge Street Corridor Development Code. An outcome of a larger master planning process for the area, this form-based code was developed with the goal of creating a vibrant, walkable environment with a dynamic mix of land uses and housing types within the 800-acre district. Billings, Montana adopted the East Billings Urban Revitalization District Code. This form-based code will guide the sustainable redevelopment of the area into a walkable, flexible light industrial and mixed-use area. Aurora, Illinois adopted an alternative energy ordinance that establishes requirements and streamlines the process for property owners installing solar and wind energy systems within the city.