The iOps (Integrated Operations) Center at Emerson‘s Austin Offices is moving along. The slab was poured starting at 3am shortly before Thanksgiving. Poor Bob had to fly down and be on site at 2am to verify things were ready to go.
Click to view slab finishing video.
Steel erection began last week. You can now see the relatively simple pavilion enclosure taking shape, setting the stage for the complex geometry of the center within.
Steel erection begun
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at this falls Data Center User Group conference in Orlando Florida. I was part of a presentation with Jim Schrader of TechSite Planners, Columbus Ohio. Our presentation was titled “LEED® vs Data Center Best Practices”. The presentation was divided into 3 sections
1. Is the data center industry inherently green (or not?)
2. How can LEED improved the design and construction process of your data center
3. What conflicts arise from LEED’s prescriptive nature that don’t quite fit into the data center environment.
For a long time now I’ve had a “love-hate” relationship with LEED (mostly “love”, I’ll admit) The part of LEED that annoys me most for data center design is Sustainable Sites Credits 2 – Development Density and Community Connectivity and 4.1 – Public Transportation Access. There are 11 credits wrapped up in these two credits, both of which are in conflict with best practice for data center design. Data center’s aren’t typically the best neighbor for urban, pedestrian oriented areas, which is what these credits are advocating.
There were several other great presentations, from the likes of Digital Realty, Emerson Network Power, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and QTS.
I had the pleasure of visiting an old project this past weekend, at the “Wine and Wheels” event at the Museum of Transportation. It was held in the Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center. There’s a story behind every project, and the one behind the Automobile Center mostly revolved around doing a lot with very few resources. The building provided a nice setting for this event, using the main gallery, mezzanine and old “Creation Station” space (soon to be a new gallery?) for the tasting. There was a large crowd, and many great Missouri Wineries, including Noboleis Vineyards, Blumenhof, Yellow Farm House and Robbler Vineyard among others.
Thanks to Museum Director Mollie Butterworth and a large contingent of Museum staff and volunteers for pulling together a fun event that brought a lot of new faces to the Museum.
Wine and Wheels 2012
Sometimes it seems like the world is one big mash up of architecture, design and popular culture. Recently I was listening to an interview with Ken Jennings, the brainaic “Jeopardy” champion. He has just published a book called “Maphead“. In it, he discusses his love of all things map related – from ancient treasure maps to Google Maps to geocacheing.
In many ways, architects are map makers. Floorplans and sections are one kind of map. Anyone who’s ever measured an old building knows that its a form of discovery – searching out and understanding the way something fits together – finding the odd spaces that seem to be hidden in plain sight.
We also use “mapping” software, like Grasshopper. Each year when I sit in on the AIA St. Louis Scholarship interviews, I’m amazed at the student’s use of new mapping technology and its application in the design process. We do interviews and surveys to “map out” the culture of a client.
Mapping Process from Contour Maps to Analysis to Google Maps
… to the east side.
Well, just a few blocks east that is.
After 20 years at our current location, Fox Architects are please to announce we will be moving to a new location in January. Our new office will be in the Gateway Tower building located at 1 Memorial Drive. This 18th floor space has breathtaking panoramic views of downtown St. Louis and the riverfront.
Earlier this month, we began designing our office with the intention of being functional, open, and consistent with our brand. The result will be an inspiring work place with strong visual connections to the surrounding urban landscape.
The facility is being design with the intentions of achieving a LEED Gold rating. Some sustainable design features include:
- Open office plan for optimized daylighting and preserving views
- Energy efficient L.E.D fixtures with light dimming sensors
- Energy star appliances and low-flow fixtures
- Low VOC rated surfaces and finishes that are of high recycled content
Other noteworthy design features include:
- Multiple pin-up areas and teams rooms
- Expanded materials library
- Open studio space
- Kitchen gathering area
- Exposed concrete ceiling
This exciting news from our office confirms our commitments to the city of St. Louis and Sustianability efforts. We look forward to sharing updates. Check back soon for updates!
Time moves quickly. It seems like yesterday when we started working on the design for Emerson Regulator’s new headquarters in McKinney Texas. Actually, it was a year and a half ago. It’s great to see construction underway. These images are courtesy of our General Contractor, Tribble and Stephens, and our Project Manager, Larry Leonard of LML Group.
excavating for the Lab
Birdseye view of construction
Site looking south
Our Emerson Global Data Center project made news recently: From Yahoo Finance – Emerson Global Data Center Exceeds Industry Efficiency Rates By 39 Percent
It’s great when your project actually exceeds the projections set back during design. This is due to the hard work of Emerson Corporate & IT, Emerson Network Power and the whole design and construction team.
This morning I got an email from our intern Marina Miers – she’s now at Washington University School of Architecture working towards her Masters degree. Marina sent me an drawing she’s been working on, analyzing the decay of a plant. Pretty cool: Seeing this drawing made me think about the benefit sketching on Fridays had for Marina and all of us who gather and draw. Below are some images from the gang this summer:
Marina's plant analysis drawing
Sketching at Blondie's
The gang outside Rue Lafayette
Hartford Coffee Sketches
Fox has been selected by Saint Louis University as the architect for their new Center for Global Citizenship. We are working with McCarthy, SLU, SSC (Structural) and Farnsworth (Civil).
The project renovated the existing West Pine Gym, previously the home of Billiken Basketball and scene of memorable events, including student registration and lectures, including a visit from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses students in West Pine Gym
Students registering for fall classes
Our design draws on the history of the building while inserting a 21st century program. A bridge connects the east and west sides of the bowl, and provides form for student commons and a new auditorium. There will be places for small and large group meeting areas, departmental offices, a cafe and 1,000 seat auditorium.
The completion date is spring 2013
It took a bit longer than expected, but Stinson Morrison Hecker’s new Clayton offices made LEED Silver. Some of the highlights of their LEED strategy include selecting a LEED certified site (the Centene Building), water use reduction, “Green Power“, recycled and regional material use, low emitting material specification and use of rapidly renewable materials.
It took a bit longer than expected – we held up submitting the application till the Centene Building finished their LEED Core and Shell application. After that was finished earlier this summer, we made our construction submission. Its an example of the timeline lag for the typical LEED application – design submissions are typically completed after the building starts construction, and construction applications happen after the building is finished.
Congratulations to Stinson and the rest of the design team, including Burns and McDonnell Engineers and Clayco Construction!