Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and US Courthouse_Kevin Reeves_WestElevation_HEROLocations: Cleveland; Phoenix; Washington, D.C.; New York; Los Angeles
Principals: Paul E. Westlake, Jr., FAIA, managing principal; Ronald A. Reed, FAIA; Philip LiBassi, AIA; Jason T. Adolff; Roger Chang, Assoc. AIA; Thomas Gallagher, AIA; Monica Green, FAIA; Matthew A. Janiak, AIA; Jonathan Kurtz, AIA; Vince Leskosky, AIA; Rebecca C. Olson, AIA; Peter W. Rutti, AIA; and Paul Siemborski, AIA
Founded: 1905
Size: 140 employees
Little-known fact: Westlake Reed Leskosky was founded by Abram Garfield, son of U.S. President James A. Garfield.

What was the biggest lesson you learned from your COTE Top Ten winner, theWayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse?

Paul Westlake, Jr., FAIA: The miniaturization of technology and infrastructure enables historic structures to be adapted to be extremely energy efficient without material impact to the historic fabric.

What insights from this and other sustainable projects would you share with other professionals?

  • Provide for factors of contingency in calculation, design, and performance of equipment and systems if intending to achieve net-zero energy.
  • Include “behavioral commissioning” of occupants, who have a significant impact on energy performance.
  • Allow for a full year after construction completion to monitor, and calibrate systems to achieve optimal performance.

What is your firm’s philosophy on sustainable design?

Our firm’s philosophy is that sustainable design should be a universal covenant with the environment, and a responsibility of the architect/engineer to provide for the welfare of building owners and users.

What kinds of sustainable solutions are non-negotiable for your firm? What are the baseline standards your firm aims to meet with every project?

Providing healthy environments for occupants is non-negotiable. We design each building in an integrated approach, without boundaries between disciplines to explore and create the most effective sustainable solutions. Depending on client criteria, we may design to various levels of LEED certification, Green Globes, or other metrics. Westlake Reed Leskosky utilizes building simulation on all major projects, to develop concepts that align with the Architecture 2030 energy targets.

What are the top energy-saving features you put into your projects?

Demand control ventilation; occupancy controls; daylight controls for lighting; optimally insulated envelopes; maximum use of day-lighting; water conservation; and energy recovery.

How do you think these types of solutions and products might become standard?
We believe that education and publication/dissemination of information regarding solutions, systems, and products will be the means leading to more universal application. For this reason, we developed and maintain the website recool.com which is a tool to disseminate such information to the public.