Quinn Evans Architects (QEA) has joined the Center for the Built Environment (CBE), a research collaborative by the University of California, Berkeley and industry partners that seeks to improve both the environmental sustainability and human comfort of the places we live, work, and play.
QEA is one of only 28 architecture, engineering, and construction firms who have committed to advancing CBE’s research.
CBE’s mission is to “improve the environmental quality and energy efficiency of buildings by providing timely, unbiased information on building technologies and design and operation techniques.” CBE furthers this mission by researching emerging technologies and providing guidance for their implementation in building projects, as well as by evaluating the performance of operational buildings to inform the design process. CBE maintains one of the country’s largest university laboratories dedicated to building research and works with the U.S Green Business Council and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers to inform LEED and ASHRAE standards.
We're excited to integrate CBE's rigorous evaluation of built outcomes into our design work and look forward to contributing our expertise in building revitalization to CBE’s collaborative resources.
Alyson Steele, QEA Principal and Director of Design
As a national leader in the reuse of existing buildings, QEA’s practice complements CBE’s research. For 35 years QEA has specialized in the stewardship of existing places–from world-class cultural and educational institutions to local schools, theaters, and community landmarks. Our processes of engagement and facilitation are accompanied by in-depth historic research and documentation along with detailed site measurement, conditions assessments, and forensics that leverage state-of-the-art tools and emerging technologies. Our work will only become stronger with access to CBE’s research, expertise, and specialized design and performance tools.
We are also excited to share our own research with CBE’s scientists and industry partners. QEA is at the forefront of Historic Building Information Management (HBIM), which leverages BIM technology to help guide clients in the expert management and stewardship of historic resources and existing buildings, and we are currently collaborating with the National Institute of Building Sciences to develop protocols for the documentation of existing and historic buildings in BIM–an area of standardization not yet addressed by our industry.
QEA’s first planned project the CBE is a post-occupancy evaluation of McKinley Middle School, which opened in 2015 and has been awarded LEED Platinum certification. While we have extensive data on the building’s performance in terms of energy use, a comprehensive post-occupancy evaluation will give us greater insight into the user experience of the space, which our team will leverage in the design of future high performance schools.