Our design approach is client based driven. Each project starts with the establishment of our client’s values which are then diligently pursued and improved upon as the project progresses. We like to think of ourselves as a guide for the client, always striving to keep the project on course for the client’s sensibilities. We like to think that the project is truly client driven, where as design decisions are not dictated, but rather they are made on behalf of the client. For our commercial architecture and for much of our work, we strike a balance between functionality, affordability, durability and aesthetics. Usually all four of these are needed or at least carefully considered or weighed in order of importance to answer the client’s needs for their particular project.
Energy Consciousness and Low Maintenance Design Experience
Aubertine and Currier applies LEED design concepts to nearly every large municipal and corporate design which is undertaken. In reality, they have been applying Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles to client's projects for a number of years. Green building is really thinking about energy conservation as a choice over energy consumption. It is choosing to use technology cautiously. Recent U.S. economic situations have brought about an enhanced awareness and desire by facility owners and operators to pursue LEED certification for new facilities currently under design. Prior to this, LEED certification was often not obtained by facility owners. LEED projects are overseen by Aubertine and Currier Partner, Brian A. Jones, AIA, LEED AP BD+C. Mr. Jones is considered a leading proponent for green building design in the northern New York area. He teaches classes at the local community college on green building design. Additionally, several Aubertine and Currier staff and Partners have been studying and attending LEED training courses in preparation of testing and LEED certification.
The Design Team members believe that the concepts of sustainable design should be a part of every project, even when not attempting to obtain formal certification. Several construction elements are critical for the successful construction of every building and site related construction project. Simple sustainable design principles that are a part of every project include; stormwater prevention plans, erosion and sedimentation plans, and low VOC materials. Team Designers are able to effectively specify the use of recycled materials for both new and existing construction.
Some simple building design and construction elements include:
- Use of Natural & Recycled Materials + use of climate specific building design and materials
- Architectural features to promote Passive Solar Heating/Cooling
- Efficient Insulation Systems
- Reflective Roof Materials
- Factory Built Components to reduce jobsite waste
- Efficient Equipment
Our philosophy is to use common sense approaches and techniques. We discourage “green washing” or buying green points for our projects. Basic keys as to why we promote green building include:
- Design to save or limit energy resources
- Design to save costs either with lower maintenance, durable materials or energy costs
- Design to improve human comfort (improvement of indoor air quality)
- Design to improve the occupant’s health
- Design to improve resale value
Aubertine and Currier has worked on multiple projects with various levels of LEED certification. Examples of some projects designed by Aubertine and Currier that have or are utilizing LEED principles are:
- Land Port of Entry via Cannon Corners, LEED Silver Certification
- Hospice of Jefferson County
- Waste Management, Fort Edward Maintenance Shop
- Town of Sandy Creek Office Building
- MacSherry Parish Center at Trinity Episcopal Church
- Otis Technologies – Training Center
- Several residential projects
Regardless of whether LEED Certification is a project goal, our architectural and engineering designers utilize existing materials and equipment in renovation projects whenever possible, either by reuse in place or removal and re-installation. As a standard design practice, the A&C team utilizes the following elements on any design program:
- Site selection practices that use the natural topography of a site, building orientation, prevailing winds, management of stormwater, and minimal impacts to the surrounding ecology
- Use of natural lighting to minimize need for additional interior lighting
- Ceiling materials that promote a high degree of light reflectance
- Low-flow plumbing fixtures
- Use of native plantings to reduce the need for irrigation
- Include physical areas for storage and collection of recyclable materials
- Material specifications that promote a high degree of recycled content, low embodied energy and VOCs
- Selection of HVAC systems that have low CO2 emissions and reduce energy consumption
- USGBC certified systems
- Review of mechanical system options including cost/benefit analysis and anticipated return on investment (ROI) for each
Maintenance and energy costs for the life of our buildings are also carefully considered through our integrated design approach. The integrated design process enables project team members to work together from the project outset to develop solutions that have multiple benefits, i.e. lower maintenance or energy costs, energy conservation, practical construction techniques, or added occupant comfort to name a few. This integrated design process or “Whole Building Design” is vital for the LEED process.
The firm's quality control consists of qualified staff, written process, documented communication, review at each design stage, and state-of-the- art equipment and facilities. For the A&C team, quality control is the assigned responsibility of the lead designer in each discipline, who oversees the work of all assigned personnel. Overall coordination is assigned to the Project Manager who is actively involved in the project. The design team has a clearly defined process for each phase of services, insuring a logical systematic development of designs. We emphasize communication both with our “external” clients and “internal” team customers. Written minutes of all meetings and conversations ensure the complete understanding by all involved parties and identify action items to assure timely progress. All design components are carefully reviewed at each design stage for compliance with project scope and intent. Customer involvement in value-based decisions is solicited continuously to insure a complete understanding of the project scope.