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16.03.2015
Cambridgeshire-based artist Chris Wood creates sparkling installations with pieces of colored glass and light reflections.
A curtain wall was inserted in various places around the Health Care REIT building to let in natural light, and the entry plaza is paved with permeable pavers to reduce runoff. In 1992 Duket Architects Planners partnered with Centerbrook Architects on a project for the University of Toledo in Ohio. Large fins and louvered wood walls diffuse the light coming in through the building’s south-facing, insulated skylights placed above each atrium. You were basically transforming an incredibly outdated structure into a cutting-edge facility. Gary Ashford: We were fortunate to work with a sophisticated client who values good design and understands the effect the work environment has on employee performance. Duket: Because of the desire for enhanced natural light and views, the manipulation of the facade was an important focus of the design process. An outdoor space with vegetated roof trays was created above the one-story portion of the existing building. Ashford: Prior to being developed into a corporate campus in 1972, it was vacant farmland that was relatively undisturbed from pre-European settlement in the area.
Duket: Health Care REIT owns and manages health-care facilities all over the country, and a commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency is part of its business model. The barrel-vaulted great room uses FSC-certified wood throughout, including in the ceiling and the walls, which are a wood veneer panel system with concealed doors, shades, and media equipment.
Duket: Because of our ability to work as part of a team of dedicated professionals, including the owner’s representatives, CM, and contractors, one gains a remarkable sense of accomplishment working with a group of people from different disciplines creating something great.


Ashford: We approach each project considering its physical setting, budget, and client needs—and this was no different. When you look back at the process from its beginning to its end, what was the most unique aspect of this project? Ashford: I’m not aware of any other renovation projects that have achieved certification at this level. The glass she uses in these glittering installations is dichroic, meaning that it has an optical coating with two colors.
The Health Care REIT headquarters is an ultra-contemporary workspace and the first LEED Platinum building in northwest Ohio. The project was successful and the partnership amiable, so the two firms decided to join forces again in 2008 for the renovation of a 1970s office building for Health Care REIT, a leading real-estate investment trust in Toledo.
The owner required occupancy within 18 months from beginning of design through move-in, which was extremely aggressive.
They also wanted to create a model for sustainable development, a “living laboratory,” to demonstrate how a corporate sustainability mission can be accomplished in the marketplace.
The green roof elements, combined with high SRI asphalt shingles and membrane roofing, diminish heat island effect. Historically, the site is part of the Oak Openings Region, which is a natural habitat for many unique biological species. Initially, the intent was to design the building and manage the property to be as energy efficient as possible.
Instead, Health Care REIT created a very special place for the community that is open for events and special activities.


The material was developed in the late fifties by NASA to protect astronauts and their equipment from the potentially harmful effects of direct sunlight and cosmic radiation, as this glass reflects certain wavelengths of light. According to Michael Duket, principal at Duket Architects, Centerbrook has a great reverence for history, and when necessary, it also has the skills to infuse historic structures with a modern attitude. As a practical measure, the LEED boundary area was defined within the project construction limits, but the owner is managing the entire site as a protected open space resource.
Everything on the building interior was removed, so there was an opportunity to provide an energy-efficient building envelope and MEP systems. Once Health Care REIT committed to the LEED process, we were on a quest to achieve as many points as possible to gain certification. The team outfitted the structure with glass walls to bring in natural light and added a pond to manage storm water. Once everyone was truly engaged, the owner accepted the challenge to pursue Platinum certification, so what began as an offhand proposal became the expectation.
We asked Duket and the firm’s LEED administrator, Gary Ashford, who developed the project’s sustainable strategy, about the specifics of the renovation.



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