Archives

  1. Madison Municipal Building

    Constructed in 1929 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Madison Municipal Building originally functioned as a United States Postal Service facility and federal courthouse. The multi-phased renovation and reorganization uncovers and preserves the building’s historic character, while adapting it to serve 21st-century government functions. The project brings together various local government agencies, previously scattered across two buildings, to improve customer service and inter-agency communication. Certified LEED-NC v. 3 Platinum, the building transformation supports the health and well-being of staff, visitors, and the entire community.

  2. Fortune 100 Company Facilities ESG Metrics & Recommendations

    MSR Design helped a Fortune 100 company achieve its next phase of corporate sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. We analyzed and documented the embodied carbon content in the corporation’s typical facility designs and used the results of this assessment to develop a prioritized set of recommendations for improving their buildings’ structures, envelopes, and sites, tailored to their specific climates and locations. MSR Design also reviewed the composition and estimated the embodied carbon of currently specified interior assemblies and finishes. We reviewed transparency documentation and other manufacturer data and used our expertise in sustainable materials to identify harmful materials that should be replaced to create healthier environments for employees and visitors.

    Collaborating with the organization’s internal team, we developed category-specific recommendations and created a concept for a net zero carbon facility. These results will serve as a guide for the company as it advances its vision to cocreate an equitable and regenerative future together with partners and communities.

  3. Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative Lydia Apartments

    This expansion and renovation to a 3-story affordable housing building adds 40 new dwelling units in a 6-story addition. The existing 40 dwelling units were remodeled as well as all the common spaces including a new integrated front entrance, reception desk, elevator, and bike storage area, as well as a larger, upgraded community kitchen. New staff office space and office space for the support services and property management providers were also added. Programs provided to residents living at Lydia support formerly homeless residents in finding work, building life skills, learning job skills, and managing substance use disorders and mental health issues.

    The 6-story addition builds on the building’s mid-century quality by composing a strongly vertical addition that compliments the horizontality of the original building. The addition was pushed back away from the street to provide a more gracious front yard buffer along a busy street. The ground floor contains a glass pavilion that allows visual transparency through the building. The parking court behind the building was sized to meet the needs of the staff, residents, and visitors by successfully appealing to the city to lower the required parking count to match real needs since almost all residents walk, bicycle or use public transit. The apartments come completely furnished with linens and personal care products, since many residents are transitioning from homelessness.

  4. Project for Pride in Living & Clare Housing Bloom Lake Flats

    Bloom Lake Flats is an affordable housing complex with 50% of the apartments dedicated to people living with HIV/AIDS. The project was developed through a partnership between Project for Pride in Living (PPL) and Clare Housing. Bloom Lake Flats provides 42 efficiency dwelling units for residents who earn 15% of the area median income and 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments for residents earning 30% of the area median income. The complex features spaces for supportive services, including a community room, a yoga room, onsite management and case worker office, and a nurse’s office. Also includes an outdoor green space and a play area.

  5. Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative Aster Commons

    Developed by Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, this new supportive housing complex contains 39 dwelling units designed to help young adults find calm and respite. It features a variety of flexible-use rooms scattered throughout the building that accommodate meetings between residents and care staff and counseling sessions, as well as providing safe, calming spaces for residents outside their individual apartments. The design employs biophilic elements (e.g., color, light control, organic shapes, interior plants, and views to the outdoor gardens) to bring the outdoors inside, create a calm and soothing environment, and provide spaces that are visually easy to navigate. A completely enclosed backyard will provide a safe, secure area for residents to engage in outdoor activities, separated by a paver patio from small outdoor rooms for contemplative activities and garden plots to be tended by the residents.

     

  6. GAP School Page Street Houses

    This project is a collaboration with GAP School, a skills training program that teaches young adults construction trades by having them build actual construction projects. The structures are designed to accommodate the program by using simple construction techniques, modest roof slopes, and moderate framing spans, while creating homes that meet the highest design standards. These four new single-family homes for low-income families are designed to accommodate multiple generations living under the same roof. The homes have bedrooms, bathrooms, and commons spaces on the ground floor for elderly or disabled family members. The homes are oriented on the lot to accommodate two parked cars in the driveway, leaving the adjacent public sidewalk clear for pedestrians.

    Referencing Passive House design standards, passive systems include a solar chimney, window placement to promote cross ventilation, concrete mass flooring, and large south-facing windows. Since the homes themselves serve as teaching tools, the design prioritizes more labor-intensive processes over expensive materials to achieve performance efficiencies. For example, the exterior walls are a double wall with rigid insulation to illustrate construction technique, rather than using more expensive insulation materials. Simple, time-honored passive design strategies enable homeowners to easily and sustainably maintain their homes. The client is pursuing LEED v4.1 Residential Single Family Homes Platinum certification for the first home.