News - Sustainability

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Category: Sustainability

Residences at La Cantera Featured in Urban Land Magazine

Urban Land - The LRK-designed project, Residences at La Cantera, was recently featured in Urban Land magazine in the article, “The Worth of Water: Becoming Water Wise in an Era of Scarcity.” With water scarcity, population growth, and water quality issues greatly affecting real estate markets and affordability, developers and land use professionals have an increasingly significant role to play in promoting water conservation, efficiency, and reuse. The Residences at La Cantera in San Antonio features a drought-tolerant landscaping strategy centered around the community’s 1.5-acre park. Native and drought-tolerant plants were installed and mulched landscape beds at least four inches deep help retain moisture. Roof runoff and air conditioning condensate are collected in a 10,000-gallon cistern and the accumulated water is used to irrigate the park and renew pond water. The owner estimates this approach provides an annual savings of $8,840 in water costs and $500,000 added asset value in addition to helping protect future water supplies.

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FedExFamilyHouse Featured by USGBC for Homelike Design

USGBC – Creating a space that felt like home for families of children receiving treatment at Methodist Lebonheur Hospital was the driving vision of FedExFamilyHouse. "We had to balance operational efficiency with the need for it to be really comfortable and feel like a place you would want to stay," said LRK Principal Tony Pellicciotti. "The average visit is maybe two days, but we've had families stay for over a year. If you're living out of a hotel for that long, it's not a comfortable situation. You need to have a home."

Additionally, FedExFamilyHouse received LEED Gold certification for its sustainable building process and features, including significant reductions in energy use (23%) and water use (46%), access to various forms of public transportation, and recycling stations in common areas. "The commitment by ownership, design team and contractors together to this holistic sustainability approach is what really sets the project apart," said LRK Associate and 2020 LEED Fellow Krissy Flickinger.

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LRK’s Krissy Buck Flickinger One of 25 Worldwide Selected as LEED Fellow

LRK Associate Krissy Buck Flickinger has been named a 2020 LEED Fellow by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Flickinger is among 25 professionals who represent exceptional practitioners and leaders within the green building community and have demonstrated mastery of the technical application of LEED, the world's most widely used green building rating system.

Flickinger has practiced architecture for more than 13 years and serves as LRK's Director of Sustainability. She has built a reputation for her belief that good design is about celebrating a community's history and working within the existing fabric to create the perfect blend of old and new. Because of this passion for preservation, adaptive reuse, and sustainability, Flickinger’s own scorecard includes more than 28 projects certified to various green building rating systems, meanwhile encouraging all of LRK's designs to strive for environmental excellence. Krissy is also the chair of USGBC's Memphis Branch, where she has spearheaded the yearly "Paper Power" event geared toward empowering area youth to practice sustainability. She was awarded USGBC TN's Green Volunteer of the Year award in 2018.

"I am thrilled and humbled to be named as one of 2020’s LEED Fellows," says Flickinger, "It has been a dream of mine since the program started ten years ago. Through this fellowship, I hope to further advance the sustainability conversation happening in Memphis and the Mid-South region.”

"Krissy is an exceptional individual who puts the wellbeing of others first," says LRK Principal Tony Pellicciotti. "She sees sustainability and wellness as keystones in both personal and community wellbeing and tirelessly pursues these goals. Her efforts and actions encourage everyone she interacts with to be better and achieve more. Her character, knowledge, and passion serve USGBC’s mission well. Krissy is an untiring advocate for USGBC, sustainable design, and education. Her leadership comes from her heart and imbues everything she does.”

"Krissy's passion for sustainability and the betterment of the health and wellbeing of each building tenant she works with and the community at large has already made a positive impact on our local community and will continue to do so for generations,” says LRK Principal and Director of Human Resources Amy Smith. “We are honored and fortunate to have her on the LRK team as she inspires each of her colleagues to pursue their passions and advances sustainability practices firm-wide."

LEED Fellows are nominated by their peers and must have made at least ten years' worth of exceptional impact on LEED and hold an active LEED AP with specialty credential, among other requirements. The evaluation process includes extensive portfolio review and is carried out by the LEED Fellow Evaluation Committee and supported by GBCI. The LEED Fellow program was established in 2011 to recognize outstanding LEED APs who have demonstrated exceptional impacts with LEED in key mastery elements related to technical knowledge and skill; a history of exemplary leadership in LEED; significant contributions in teaching, mentoring, or research with proven outcomes; and a history of highly impactful commitment, service, and advocacy for LEED.

 "The green building industry plays a critical role as we look toward rebuilding our economy and our communities in the months and years ahead," said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of GBCI and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). "Our LEED Fellows are on the frontlines of that work helping to ensure our buildings and spaces are healthy, resilient and sustainable places for us all to enjoy. LEED Fellows have made substantial contributions to the green building community and their commitment to LEED will continue to help us shape a better living standard for all."

The 2020 LEED Fellows will be recognized at this year's Greenbuild Virtual conference during the USGBC 2020 Leadership Awards on Thursday, November 12 at 5 p.m. EST. Visit to register for the conference and for more information on professional credentialing opportunities.

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Healthy Building, Healthy People

The Conveyor – This week’s Crosstown Concourse newsletter takes a look at the ways the building promotes physical and mental wellness and the unseen network of environmentally friendly infrastructure that promotes the health and vitality of our planet.

“Crosstown has the infrastructure and the outdoor spaces, the shared mission of getting people to move within the space and congregate, coupled with cultural, educational, and health programming,” said LRK’s Rogean Cadieux-Smith who led the efforts for Crosstown’s Fitwel certification. Read more.

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Crosstown Serves as Working Example of Trane’s “Connected Building” Concept

Trane Technologies – With HVAC demand expected to triple by 2050, Trane explains that connected buildings that utilize digital controls will play a crucial role in ongoing efficient energy management and sustainable building operations.

Crosstown Concourse includes more than 1,200 pieces of connected equipment and about 100 energy meters installed throughout the building. All were utilized to optimize daily operations, track and bill tenant energy use, troubleshoot issues, establish scheduling and make setpoint changes.

To date, Crosstown Concourse’s energy costs and carbon emissions – driven by advanced, real-time analytics – have reduced 3 percent year-over-year since the building’s 2017 re-opening. The facility is on track to save $760,000 in annual utility costs and 8,400 tons of carbon emissions per year compared to the LEED baseline. These savings and efficiencies will help power community growth for generations to come.

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Bruner Foundation's In-depth Case Study on Crosstown Concourse Published

In 2019, Crosstown Concourse was honored to receive the prestigious Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (Gold Medal). The Bruner Foundation's in-depth case study on the Concourse project was recently released to the public. Read the full study here: Crosstown Concourse Case Study.

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LRK's Krissy Buck Flickinger Becomes Memphis' First NGBS Green Verifier

LRK Associate Krissy Buck Flickinger recently became the Memphis area’s only NGBS Green Verifier. NGBS Green Verifiers serve as independent, in-field representatives of Home Innovation Research Lab's National Green Building Standard, a green building certification program. Verifiers work with builder/developer/remodeler/architect clients to guide them through the certification process and perform rough and final inspections of the projects seeking certification.

Since her certification, Krissy’s qualifications resulted in her being hired as the third-party Green Verifier for the construction of a prominent midrise residential development in Memphis.

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LRK Tops List of Memphis-Area LEED Professionals

Memphis Business Journal – LRK ranks highest on the MBJ’s list of LEED accredited professionals with 16 local employees, highlighting our commitment and responsibility to serve our communities and our clients by delivering quality designs that meet both environmental and budgetary goals, but also create a sense of place and meaning for those who experience them. It is because of this responsibility that we continue to take a broader look at what sustainability means - a holistic view. We take pride in over 30 years of environmental stewardship and expertise, with sustainable services ranging from design and consultation for various sustainability rating programs (LEED, Energy Star, WELL, Fitwel, NGBS, Passive House, Net Zero, Green Globes), to on-site verification and maintaining accountability of construction practices, sustainable neighborhood development planning, and life cycle/ROI studies. The work we do builds upon the same principles we established in 1983: we are always conscious of and always striving for environmental excellence.

LRK's Green Group has continued to promote sustainable initiatives while away from the office. Our eight offices observed Earth Day by sharing images of how they and their families are practicing sustainability at home. Pictured is the photo contest winner, Associate Sophorn Olsen and her son composting this spring.

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A Vertical Urban Village in Memphis

ForbesCrosstown Concourse was recently featured in Forbes as “the most interesting adapted use project in America.” The article detailed the extensive process of turning the dilapidated Sears center into a vertical urban village. With inspiration from Todd Richardson and Christopher Miner, the creators of Crosstown Arts, and cooperation from the building owner Stanley Cates, the plan for a contemporary arts center emerged. Extensive funding was required to pull off this innovative design idea, but Crosstown now boasts a large community of artists, medical practitioners, students, and teachers. Crosstown Concourse is home to multiple restaurants, Crosstown Arts, Church Health, CBU, Memphis Teacher Residency, and many other community-based organizations. The upper floors also include 265 apartments with over 500 residents including St. Jude families receiving treatment, Ph.D. residents, teachers in training, and artist fellows. The open atriums with cascading staircases bring together the community in a place of adapted reuse to work, learn, exercise, eat, and enjoy the arts.

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Crosstown Concourse Achieves Highest Fitwel Certification

Storyboard MemphisCrosstown Concourse, an LRK designed project, achieved the highest level of Fitwel certification of three stars. LRK’s Rogean Cadieux-Smith, a Fitwel ambassador, stated, “This program has not only proven but also promoted the broader vision of Crosstown Concourse, which is community wellness.” Consisting of education, medical, and exercise facilities, Crosstown Concourse has become a gathering place for the greater Memphis community. As the first architect in Memphis to be a certified Fitwel ambassador, Cadieux-Smith is leading programs to train her fellow LRK coworkers to focus on active design and Fitwel for their current and future projects.

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