In Impact by Design 2018, Gensler’s third annual assessment of the performance and
resilience of its own work, the firm introduced six strategies it believes have the greatest
potential to improve the resilience of cities and the environment overall in the coming years.
The report examines the environmental, social, and economic impact of Gensler’s work,
making examples of specific projects that exemplify each of the six directives. Among
them is the Associated Students (AS) Sustainability Center at California State University,
Northridge (CSUN) in Northridge, California. This 8,000-square-foot, LEED Platinum-certified sustainability and recycling center is the first completed zero net energy building
in the CSU system and uses its large rooftop and a 25 kw rooftop photovoltaic system,
coupled with a glazed overhead window, to offset the building’s entire energy needs.
It also meets 100 percent of its hot water needs via solar thermal and a hybrid hot-water
heat pump, saving 43,000 gallons of water per year in the process.
In highlighting the six topics, Gensler aims to demystify complex concepts and to expand
the discussion of resilience beyond energy efficiency. Overall, Gensler’s 1.25 billion square
feet of work in 2017 was designed to save 11 million metric tons of CO2 from being
emitted each year.
Source: Adapted from Impact by Design 2018, Gensler
FORM Affecting performance through design
itself—from decisions on location and orientation
to questions of size, proportion, and light.
ADAPTATION Reusing buildings, spaces,
and materials that already exist, adapting them to
meet new needs instead of building new.
WATER Mitigating water risks, like flooding
and sea level rise, through design strategies with
a long-term perspective.
MATERIALS Focusing on materials with
a lower carbon impact and the reuse of recycling
materials whenever possible.
ENERGY Minimizing energy usage, and
therefore operational carbon impacts, as well as
offsetting energy needs with renewable sources.
INTELLIGENCE Designing intelligent
spaces, buildings, and cities that leverage real-time
data to dynamically optimize performance
Six Strategies for Resilience