March 9 2017

Pro-Bono Modular Building to be Showcased at AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit

Each year the American Institute of Architects Center for Emerging Professionals sponsors "an annual exhibit of architectural work, design, and art from the rising generation of architecture and design professionals." The exhibit is showcased on and in an in-person exhibit at AIA National HQ in Washington, DC.

This year's theme "Citizen Design" resonated with the pro-bono work Ziger/Snead led by Keith Peiffer has been doing for the Parks & People Foundation for the Green Education Center.

To be showcased as a part of this year's exhibit, the project exemplifies Ziger/Snead’s commitment to “Citizen Design” - working with a local, community-focused non-profit to restore an underutilized site in Baltimore, providing access to environmental education to an underserved population, and demonstrating the power of sustainable design throughout.

Ziger/Snead provided pro-bono services in collaboration with Building Design + Construction Magazine, students from the School of Architecture + Planning at Morgan State University, and multiple industry sponsors to design a 14x43-foot prefabricated modular facility. Designed to LEED standards, the Green Education Center provides flexible educational space for workshops, training programs, and community activities that further the mission of the non-profit, Parks & People Foundation (PPF). The modular building was designed to be transported to be exhibited at the USGBC’s Greenbuild conference in Washington, DC as the BD+C GreenZone demonstration project before being permanently sited on the non-profit’s 9-acre urban campus in a City park.

At Greenbuild, the structure was set up to allow guests to learn more about the installed products and systems, many of which were donated by the project’s 10 sponsor manufacturers.
Following the show, the structure was trucked to its final destination in Baltimore on the site of the new headquarters for the Parks & People Foundation. There, it is sited in harmony with the existing buildings to form a cohesive urban campus for Parks & People. The modular structure’s massing and exterior complement the new Michel Center while providing a contemporary counterpoint to the historic structures on site.

A collaborative process involved coordination of a diverse team to meet the needs for the project’s multiple “clients”: PPF, BD+C, and the product manufacturers. The design solution successfully fulfilled program and logistic needs for the project’s two deployments as temporary exhibit at Greenbuild and permanent meeting space on the campus. Students from Morgan State University contributed through a design charrette, seminar course, scholarship and internship, and an independent study.

Through the unique partnership, what would be a temporary, disposable structure for Greenbuild becomes a permanent asset for a local non-profit. The building itself showcases new and innovative green products first to the attendees from the design and construction industries and as a didactic tool for use in environmental education programs for children and youth. The design incorporates the following additional sustainable design strategies: a high albedo roof surface, low-flow fixtures, daylighting, mechanized solar shading, energy-efficient appliances, natural ventilation, and an energy-efficient VRF system. A rainwater collection system featuring a gutter and storage tank serves as a teaching tool that is used to irrigate a nearby vegetable garden.

Learn more about the AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit:

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