Norfolk Architects Develop Tool Kit to Reopen Businesses

Virginia is starting to reopen, but this effort has some small business owners scratching their heads about the practical realities of navigating each phase of the governor’s plan. In an initiative called OpenNorfolk, Work Program Architects (WPA) is teaming with the City of Norfolk and the Downtown Norfolk Council, as well national tactical urbanism leaders at Team Better Block and Yard & Co. to develop a tool kit to help restaurants and small retail businesses reopen safely with increased outdoor space.

From Paris to Milan, from Lima to Seattle, cities are implementing “Stay Healthy Streets,” closed to through-traffic, pop-up bike lanes called “coronapistes,” “Gastro-Safe Zones” to separate walkers from diners, and even maze-like walking routes separated by three-foot hedges.

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Wellness and Design for Sea Level Rise

Wellness is a timely topic in the midst of a global health crisis. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, human and planetary health have been prominent in popular and scholarly publications. Faculty in several disciplines at the University of Virginia School of Architecture focus on wellness and the School’s Center for Design + Health showcases our diverse efforts. My scholarship at UVA and built work with Crisman+Petrus Architects develops sustainable design strategies for buildings, landscapes, and cities confronting climate change and sea level rise. While coastal Virginia experiences significant sea level rise that threatens human well-being, the creative and technical expertise of Virginia’s architects is needed to holistically imagine and integrate buildings, public spaces, and infrastructure in unprecedented ways.

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Building Science: Systems and Tools to Meet the 2030 Challenge

Contributor: Don Kranbuehl, FAIA

Architects are realizing the 2030 Challenge is no longer just about tracking predicted Energy Use Intensity (pEUI) and operational carbon (the carbon emitted from building mechanical systems). In the next 10 years, it will be critical to also make great strides in reducing embodied carbon (the carbon emitted from the interior and exterior materials that are used to construct buildings). Embodied carbon emissions make up a large amount of greenhouse emissions from the built environment and have greater potential to have an immediate impact on reducing the effects of climate change. Overall, building energy sources and their materials account for nearly 40% of all global emissions. However, over the next 10 years, approximately 72% of the carbon emitted from new construction will be from embodied carbon. Those metrics alone make it undeniable that as designers, we have a role and responsibility to mitigate environmental impacts by working with nature to develop resilient, sustainable, low carbon projects.

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Capturing the Architect’s Voice: An Oral History of Virginia Architects

Contributor: Bryan Clark Green, Ph. D.

Capturing the Architect’s Voice is an oral history project designed to address one common question: what is it like to be an architect in Virginia? By recording conversations with architects (and others in related professions) at various stages of their careers, this project proposes to assemble a collection of interviews with the community of Virginians who earn their livelihood by designing, constructing, and caring for buildings. Interviews are conducted with architects of different backgrounds and experience, ranging from students currently in architecture school, to those in the early stages of their practice, to mid-career architects, and those who have retired from the profession. When possible, engineers, developers, and preservationists are also interviewed. The result is an oral history archive that captures the myriad experiences of this unique community. With support from AIA Virginia, this project seeks to record the lives of architects who practice architecture in Virginia today. The Heritage Conservation Foundation, a 501 c (3) foundation was created to support this oral history project

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