Jesse Hunt, CPHC, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP oversees Sustainability as a practice here at Powers Brown Architecture. Wearing many hats, he guides project teams through certifications, advises clients in new regulatory environments, and is a general advocate for positive change. He’s a building science nerd, a climate enthusiast, and takes a pragmatic approach to help clients meet their goals. While Jesse is based in our Houston office, he travels to all our markets for meetings and job site visits as needed.
At Powers Brown Architecture we strive to improve the dynamic between good design and environmental challenges. Sustainable design simply means having consideration for the future. We seek to improve our practice through material research, the use of daylight and energy simulation, and the implementation of optimized active systems in conjunction with passive architectural elements. Promoting indoor environmental quality, resource stewardship, and resilience to acute health and weather events is a challenge that motivates our practice moving forward.
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POST Houston is an exercise in connecting past and present. The task was to transform a two story 530,000 SF windowless mail sorting facility built in the 1960’s to an activated and engaging space. To help a building of suburban scale, but located in downtown Houston, become a more integral component of its’ urban context.
Life cycle assessments (LCAs) are an analysis technique to help design professionals assess the comparative environmental impacts associated with different building components and design options.
Powers Brown Architecture comes to the AIA 2030 Challenge in the middle of a journey started some 22 years ago. At our inception in 1999 on the cusp of a new millennium, we made a decision to not get too caught up the “new” sustainability game. At least it was somewhat new to Houston where we began. It was a choice. A choice to not defer or to abstain so much as it was a choice to not get caught up in a “trend”.
Powers Brown Architecture has always supported the concept of “sustainability” in design. The thought process is such that “green building” is an extension of a good economic design. If you start with a good economic design, you will be on your way toward a product that is now being labeled “green” as your end product.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating is a new evidence-based, third-party verified rating developed in direct response to COVID-19 by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). For the past 6 years WELL programs have been at the forefront of incorporating scientific literature on human health in the indoor environment to outcomes that can be measured and monitored.
Beginning in 2017, the City of Denver took the first major step in decreasing the energy use of its largest buildings. This came in the form of an energy benchmarking ordinance requiring all owners of buildings 25,000+ SF to annually assess and report their energy performance.
The Passive House Building Standard is based upon climate-specific comfort and energy use criteria and, unlike LEED, requires onsite testing for certification; a guarantee for an assets actual performance. The value created by raising NOI on these projects greatly exceeds their upfront costs.