Chattanooga Nature Interpretive Center, hanrahan Meyers architects LLP
In the not-too-distant past green design was frowned upon by the upper echelon of architectural design as the provenance of unsophisticated and unhip 'designers in Birkenstocks'. Today, architects who fail to embrace Green design are missing the boat, as more and more clients demand and expect a full working knowledge of sustainable practices from their architects.
Since the founding of their firm, New York architects hanrahan Meyers - whose firm logo, 'hMa' embraces the values behind green design (hMa stands for the principals names, and also 'h = horizon line and Ma = space') - have placed a high priority on incorporating green design in the firm's projects. hMa is a logo that speaks about the principal's belief that a protective and sustainable attitude toward Nature is a first principal in the firm's body of work.
Chattanooga Nature Interpretive Center is hMa's first project that placed hanrahan Meyers in the national spotlight. Chattanooga Nature Interpretive Center was a ground-breaking building designed twenty years ago, which proposed that solar panels and wind turbines be not only incorporated into a public building, but that these elements become the major aspect of the buidling's overall aesthetic.
Entering the Interpretive Center, visitors walked under a large solar panel that acted as the Entrance roof panel. That large solar array gave visitors to the Center a direct connection to the building's interconnectedness to the Nature around it.
In the case of Green Design, the path to acceptance turned into a major fashion trend after the endorsement of forward-thinking politicians Al Gore and Barack Obama embraced Green Design as the wave of the future for construction in the United States. Today, federal policies not only embrace and encourage Green construction practices, they demand them. All GSA projects are built to a minimum LEED Silver standard of design. The Green practices of the GSA are an important step forward, with the Federal Government leading the way into the future of construction practices in the United States. hMa partner Victoria Meyers is a Peer with the General Services Administration.
hMa is proud to be a part of a movement toward the creation of a more rational and Green way of building in the United States, and the world at large. Starting this year, hMa is offering clients access to a new 'Green Design-Build' service, for clients who wish to incorporate a cutting-edge Green approach to their projects, using a holistic approach, where the entire design and build team is on board, supporting and embracing the principals of Green Design. Watch hMa's website for a formal announcement later this year. At this time, hMa is ready to support 'Green Design-Build' projects in the New York area with specialized Construction Partners, with experience in bringing Green projects together, on time and on budget.