Green Education at the Courthouse

The Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, Maine, designed by PDT Architects, opened in March. The 4-story 120,000-sf courthouse combines superior and district courts with other court functions on a steeply sloping site adjacent to the historic Kennebec County Courthouse, to which it is linked by a second-floor bridge. The design observes ideal courthouse planning principles,…

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Passive House Not Only For Homes

On March 16th, Günter Lang, Austrian passivhaus expert, gave a presentation on the Passive House building standard. The term Passive House refers to a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building. A project that follows Passive House principles results in an ultra-low energy building that requires little energy for space heating or cooling. Thermal…

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Healthy Materials

Pam Anderson, Joan Klein, Suzanne Morin, and Allison Zuchman of PDT attended the Healthy Materials Summit in Boston in November. The Healthy Materials Summit, the first to be held in New England, was a giant leap in broadening the dialogue about making a greater positive impact when choosing building materials and products. By requiring full…

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Hybrid Operating Room

Design was recently completed for a new 1,250-sf hybrid operating room and adjoining control room. A hybrid OR merges the surgical capability of a large-scale OR with the imaging advantages of a catheterization lab. It allows for less invasive, safer procedures, leading to an increase in positive outcomes and faster patient recovery. The hybrid operating…

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Passive House: Keeping it Simple

The North American Passive House Networks’ 2014 Conference and Expo was in Portland, Maine on September 22nd and 23rd. Brian Curley, Bob Curtis, Marilyn Leivian and Chelsea Lipham attended from PDT Architects. To say the least, this was a cool conference to have in Portland, Maine. A few highlights from the conference can be found…

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Design and Health Initiative

The AIA (American Institute of Architects) recently released two resources around their design and health initiative: the AIA Design and Health Research Consortium initiative and the document Design & Health Topics. AIA Design and Health Research Consortium The AIA Foundation, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is establishing…

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Backpacker or Urban Condo-Dweller?

At the end of July, I attended the Sustainable Design Leaders’ Summit in Seattle with 50 sustainability directors from architecture firms across the country. The discussions varied from specific project tasks such as material choices, building performance analysis, and post-occupancy evaluations to overall firm sustainability strategies and the role of the architect in advocating for…

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Getting Down to Business on Climate

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) and the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted “Getting Down to Business on Climate: A panel discussion with Senator Angus King” on Friday, June 6 in Portland. Senator King could not predict the outcome of what he expected to be “a helluva fight” in the Senate over new…

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