Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2015 - (Page 38)

exploring career options Green Architect Interview by Amy Entwisle Andrew Thompson, NOMA AIA LEED AP BD+C After earning his bachelor's degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute and a master's in architecture and urban design from Columbia, Andrew Thompson served as a facilities planner and architectural designer with the Port Authority of New york and New Jersey. He then spent 10 years as chief architect at memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Today, as County Architect for Passaic County, New Jersey, Thompson integrates elements of green design into his work-a trend that he says is growing by leaps and bounds. How did you become interested in architecture? I liked to draw when I was young. My mom bought me sketchbooks, and I would draw characters and vehicles. I got into a space exploration phase, so I was drawing landscapes for colonizing the moon. In high school, I was in an industrial design program, and we built a wood frame house at one-quarter scale. My house was featured in a contest and was displayed in the local shopping mall. That was how my interest in architecture began. When did you become interested in green building in particular? In 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) created standardized testing for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Architects could learn about environmentally sound practices, take the exam, and become LEED certified. In studying for the exam, I learned a lot about energy as it relates to design and building. It really piqued my interest. Today, the number one driver of green building initiatives is that there are LEED-certified professionals in the industry. The movement is growing by leaps and bounds. Buildings can earn certifications ranging from bronze to platinum, with platinum buildings employing all of the possible energy-saving/clean energy concepts of LEED, from low-VOC paint, LED lighting, and low-energy 38 imagine elevators to carpet that was manufactured within a certain radius of the area and lights that shut off when you leave the room. Generally, the more LEED strategies you use, the higher your building and design costs, so a job's budget may determine which level of certification you're aiming for. A LEED-certified professional completes a checklist for review by USGBC and GBCI, who determine whether the building meets the criteria for a LEED certification. From a marketing standpoint, a LEED platinum building is a good thing to have. How have you integrated green technology into your designs? It was when I worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that we really began using materials to maximize energy efficiency, including LED lighting, which had just come out. It saved energy, patients benefitted from the softer lighting, and facility personnel didn't have to change bulbs and ballasts as often, which saves time and money in a big institution. We also started using paint with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This was a hospital, and we wanted to restrict off-gassing paints. What are you working on now? One project involves implementing energy-saving ideas in infrastructure upgrades in older buildings in Passaic County. We're installing new high-efficiency water heaters that heat water in a quarter of the time the old ones did and use much less energy getting hot water to the building's occupants. This is something people don't see, but it's really important because we have a lot of these old, inefficient systems. I'm also working with a consulting architect on the design of a building for the Department of Public Works that uses energy-saving features such as LED lighting. I'm working on a swimming pool and spray park at the county-run camp and also doing a major HVAC infrastructure upgrade at the county jail. That project is a challenge, because correctional facilities are built so people can't get out, so there's four times more construction than in a typical building. I'm also working with an historic preservation architect on a restoration and rehab project for one of George Washington's headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey. May/June 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2015

Big Picture
In My Own Words Daniel Kammen, Professor of Energy, UC Berkeley
A Solar-Powered Solution to the Water Crisis Using the sun to purify water
The PolluCell Generating electricity using waste and pollution
More than a Race The Solar Car Challenge
Energy Agenda The power of teen research
Energized! A crash course in fuels of the future
Grease Is Good Helping the environment and the community with biofuel
Fueled by Algae Sara Volz and the powerful potential of pond scum
The Future of Energy Five careers in green power
My Sanskrit Yaatra Connecting with my culture through language
Devoted Awareness My internship with Until There’s a Cure
Selected Opportunities and Resources
Off the Shelf Review of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options Interview with green architect Andrew Thompson
One Step Ahead Six things incoming college students should know
Planning Ahead for College Developing your passions
Students Review: University of Pennsylvania
Creative Minds Imagine
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2015