The following is an excerpt from The Boston Globe’s Bold Types column, read the full article here.
Arrowstreet chief takes on global warming
Can architecture fight global warming?
It’s a question that Amy Korté is determined to answer as the new president of Arrowstreet, the 100-person architectural firm in downtown Boston. Korté , one of the firm’s principals, succeeds Jim Batchelor as president.
Arrowstreet, named after the street in Cambridge where the firm began, has had a number of high-profile projects lately. Among them: the Congress Square complex at the former Fidelity headquarters, and the Massport-owned “Parcel K” on the waterfront, where an apartment building and hotel are going up.
There’s at least one school project that speaks to Korté ’s focus on energy efficiency: the King Open/Cambridge Street Upper school complex in Cambridge, described as the first net-zero emissions school in the state. The building, slated to open in the fall, is designed to use 43 percent less energy than a typical Massachusetts school and will feature nearly 3,600 solar panels.
Korté says the biggest shift underway in the industry is how it deals with climate change. She believes architecture can make a big difference by designing structures that require less energy to power and heat, thus producing fewer emissions.
The King Open school turned out to be a useful laboratory. “We used different [virtual reality] experiences to help the students, teachers, and administrators understand how they could improve the energy usage in the building,” Korté says. — JON CHESTO