AIA LBSB Honors LPA with 2021 Design Awards

LPA’s design of the Environmental Nature Preschool in Newport Beach and its own studio in Irvine earned merit and Committee on the Environment (COTE) awards at AIA Long Beach/South Bay’s recent 2021 Design Awards. The projects were recognized for outstanding architecture and for successfully integrating design excellence with environmental performance, emphasizing the important role the built environment can play in mitigating the effects of climate change.

LPA’s LEED Platinum, WELL Health-Safety Rated Irvine studio is a designed as “living laboratory” for workplace and sustainable design. Efficiencies were found through lighting controls and fixtures; high-volume, low-velocity fans and water fixtures that operate 40 percent better than the LEED baseline. A rooftop 70-kilowatt photovoltaic system offsets 20 percent of the office’s energy use.

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“Sustainability is the backbone of what we do, and to have our own office win this award is especially meaningful,” said Rick D’Amato, Design Director at LPA.

The jury noted that LPA’s Irvine studio is a “very well-executed and detailed project that prioritized wellness and healthy environments.” Jurors also praised the designers for achieving the results within the framework of an older, existing core-and-shell office building. “The team should be commended for working with the building owner for the installation of photovoltaics as part of the tenant improvement,” the jurors wrote. “We admire the aspirations of this project and its execution.”

The Environmental Nature Preschool — recipient of a national AIA COTE Top Ten award, the industry’s highest award for sustainable design — is an LEED Platinum, net-zero facility in Newport Beach, California, that delivers nature-based education and serves as a sustainability teaching tool by seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor spaces. It incorporates a variety of active and passive approaches to minimize energy demands and make the use of a photovoltaic rooftop system affordable.

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“This project celebrates the intersection of early childhood development and sustainability,” one juror notes. “It provides spaces that stimulate multiple senses, including light and sound. The strong connection between inside and outside allows the kids to be immersed in nature as part of their daily learning fostering an awareness. Absolutely deserving of a COTE award, with clearly conveyed metrics to prove it.”

ENC Preschool has won 18 additional industry awards to-date, including AIA’s national Education Facility Design Award of Excellence.