Category Archives: LEED ®

Starting a New Year – a time to reflect

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Kicking off a new year is always exciting; a fresh start, new hopes, new aspirations, getting out the black-eyed peas, remembering to put the correct new year on dated documents and making New Year’s resolutions.

“Set goals this New Year. Reflect on those things that will make a difference. Goals give your life direction. fcs”

For the Chickasaw Visitor Center the New Year was a milestone that signaled we were moving forward into another year of progress on the project. The first new year’s milestone in 2012 signaled the transition from schematic design (preliminary design) to design development (final design). The second New Year’s milestone in 2013 signaled construction was well on its way. Continue reading

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Happy Holidays – the seasons schedule

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What a scene to wake up to in this special and festive time of year; fresh unexpected snow on the ground for my visit to family in Greeley, Colorado. Wishing all of you a wonderful Holiday Season with your family and friends. With some reflective opportunity, let’s look at the events that shaped the Chickasaw Visitor during this time of year. Continue reading


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Mapping the Course – what’s next

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While we continue to close the project out, there are a number of upcoming events.

Current Events

The facility has had its ribbon cutting and is open to visitors. However, we are still creating lists of incomplete items and/or items to be corrected (punch lists). The most recent visits have been to review the landscaping and landscape irrigation systems, gray water system and HVAC systems operation. There are new items to be corrected and a list of previous items that are still being corrected. The contractor still has a full-time superintendent on the job site overseeing this aspect of the work. Continue reading

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Stumps and Stools

Plant Materials

In addition to the architectural concentration of courses, the architecture curriculum also touches on related disciplines of engineering, interiors and landscape. I had a combined landscape/interiors course that taught us enough to be dangerous. We all referred to that class as “stumps and stools.” It did give us an appreciation for those design disciplines and a vocabulary that let us communicate in their vernacular language.

But when we need the real thing designed, we engage those professionals that are fully trained and versed in the discipline. So for landscape we retained Howard Fairbairn Site Design and worked with Scott Howard/Landscape Architect to achieve the landscape design and construction documents. I debriefed with Scott to get a rundown on the landscape solution and documents. Continue reading

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Getting to Know the Players – Take Nine

Scott Howard, LA

Interview by Fred Schmidt

Scott Howard is a Landscape Architect and partner at Howard-Fairbairn Site Design located in Oklahoma City. FSB retained Scott to be the landscape architect for the Chickasaw Visitor Center project.

Scott, tell us about your role on the project.

Scott: Well basically we are the project landscape architects that were brought in as soon at the project became a real project. We worked with Jason Holuby and some of the other design team members and kind of got a feel for what you all were looking to accomplish from an architectural standpoint and how the building related to the site. Continue reading

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That Moment of Relief

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Restrooms; they come by many names.

  • Bathroom is interchangeable with restroom
  • Public toilet or public lavatory
  • Public loo (less formal Aussie version)
  • Comfort room (C.R.)
  • There are single compartment restrooms
  • Multiple fixture restrooms
  • And coming on to the market are gender-neutral or unisex restrooms. These were introduced as the single compartment variety, but are now showing up as multiple fixture restrooms that are not gender specific in terms of signage or usage; more so in Europe than state side. You no longer have to worry that you accidentally walked into the wrong restroom. Continue reading


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Getting to Know the Players – Take Eight

Lowe Runkle -  Project Architect-Construction Administrator

interview by Fred Schmidt

Lowe Runkle is a licensed architect at FSB and has been directly involved in the Chickasaw Visitor Center project in two key roles; one as Project Architect and the other as Construction Administrator.

Let’s reflect back on the project to the point when you found out you would be working on the Chickasaw Visitor Center. What were your thoughts at that time? Continue reading

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Stone Cold – masons at work

Stone Veneer

A significant portion of the building will be clad with stone veneer. I estimate that it is equivalent to about 40% of the exterior of the Visitor Center. The stone provides an esthetic quality to the building, contributes to the overall thermal value of the wall assembly and functions as a component of the rain wall system although not the most efficient material in this application. Continue reading


Filed under Construction, LEED ®, Materials

LEEDing to the Finish Line

Think Tank

The Think Tank

We are around 2 months away from substantial completion of the project. I will talk more about substantial completion in the coming weeks, but technically it is the point in the project when the Owner (i.e. Client) can take beneficial occupancy of the facility. We are down to the time of doting “I’s” and crossing “T’s.”

So, some of the I’s and T’s we need to check are where the Contractor is in their LEED due diligence for getting all the needed certification points that fall into their court. So we had a team meeting at FSB’s office to see where we all stood. The Think Tank assembled around the table is: Continue reading

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Light Pollution – LEEDing concerns

Light Pollution from Space

Can you pick out the various continents in the images above? The difference between the night skies visible in the country versus within the city was our early clue of the excessive night-light being generated by urban environments. You could actually see the glow of the city on the horizon from the countryside. The greatest realization came with space travel when we could see the dramatic effects of light pollution in our urban environments from outer space.

Sustainability and LEED certification address this growing issue of light pollution Continue reading

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