Contract - September 2011 - (Page 42)

sustainable mission sustainable H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture designs a sustainable building for the Botanical Research Institute of Texas that is emblematic of its mission By Jean Nayar Photography by Chris Cooper For the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)—a 24-year-old organization that extensively researches and documents the diversity of plant life—having a building that is an example of sustainable design was a must. “We’re a conservation organization and everything we do is about sustainability,” says BRIT’s president and director Dr. S.H. Sohmer. Thanks to Sohmer’s leadership, a supportive community, generous city funding, and a committed team of designers, BRIT now has the eco-friendly building it sorely needed to exhibit its collections, expand its programs, and extend its educational outreach. BRIT’s facility, which received Platinum-level certification in the LEED® for New Construction category, is surrounded by 5.2 acres of restored prairie adjacent to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens—a natural partner in its quest to raise consciousness about the planet. Eight years ago, BRIT’s story was completely different. “We were three people in a 10,000square-foot warehouse space on the fringe of Fort Worth,” says Sohmer. “We had no climate control and no public access. Our organization is built around a collection of over a million specimens from all over the world. Our collection, along with our library, is the best in the country. There was no way BRIT could manifest its destiny in that space,” he says. Bigger house on the prairie Enter H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture from New York. “The whole thing starts with BRIT’s herbarium of seeds and plants that date back to the 18th century,” says H3 Principal Hugh Hardy. “Our past is recorded in these plants, which offer an amazing investigation of what life has been on the planet. BRIT’s scientific research is also of interest to drug companies and other producers of consumer products made from plants. So the building has to support all research fronts—educational, medical, and scientific.” 42 contract september 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - September 2011

Contract - September 2011
Industry News
Product Briefs: Sustainable
Product Focus: Here Comes the Sun
Product Focus: Cream of the Crop
Memory Museum
Triple Threat
Mission Sustainable
Model of Sustainability
Desert Oasis
LEED by Example
Cooking Light
Trends: The Resilient Workplace
Ideas: Chair History
Designers Select: Boardroom Furnishings
Ad Index
Perspectives: Steven M. Davis, Faia, Aedas

Contract - September 2011