Saint Louis Zoo solar canopy 1

(St. Louis, MO, Sept. 4, 2019) KAI Design has created a unique solar canopy for the Saint Louis Zoo that provides much-needed shade for visitors, absorbs light and generates power.

The solar panel shade canopy, officially called Williams Family Solar Pavilion, provides shelter for a 2,200-square-foot dining area at a prominent location in the zoo. During the planning process for a retail renewal program in the heart of the zoological park, the project team recognized an opportunity to greatly expand the amount of sheltered outdoor dining area.

“The prominence of the location presented a unique opportunity and demanded ambitious aesthetic goals,” said Carl Karlen, Design Principal at KAI and Senior Designer on the project. “The canopy overlooking the central lagoon is highly visible to the millions of annual visitors, many of whom will sit in its shade enjoying their meals. It will also host important after-hours events as a source of additional revenue. The generosity of a sponsor elevated the possibilities for a distinctive architectural solution adding to the fabric of the historic and varied campus.”

Discussions on sustainability and LEED certification goals yielded the decision to include electrical power generated on-site from a solar power array. Design challenges included integration of technical requirements and aesthetics of the solar array itself (a steep 20-degree panel slope, exposed wiring and connections and an industrial appearance).

“The strategic location of the structure was selected to avoid disruption to seating and other uses,” said Karlen. “LEED requirements for power generation and lighting spillover, and harmonization of the new structure with the existing naturalistic context were also considered.”

The final architectural design allowed for inclusion of extensive custom artwork engraved into the Corten steel structure, which features aquatic life located throughout the park.

Power UP installed the panels and KAI Build was the general contractor on the project.


REPORT: Energy Efficiency Leads Calif. Job Growth, Nationwide Job Growth 

Industry now employs 318,500 Californians; grew 2.6% in 2018

  • 34% of Calif. energy workers are employed by energy efficiency businesses
  • Top 10 States for EE Jobs: Calif., Texas, N.Y., Fla., Ill., N.C., Mass., Mich., Ohio, Va. 
  • 41 states, including Calif., employ more workers in energy efficiency than fossil fuels 
  • 11% of Calif. energy efficiency workers are veterans

LOS ANGELES – Energy efficiency is the fastest-growing segment of U.S. energy-sector employment, now employing more than 2.3 million Americans—including 318,500 in California— according to a new analysisfrom E4TheFuture and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Energy efficiency workers now account for 34 percent of all energy workers in California, and 28 percent nationally.

The new report, Energy Efficiency Jobs in America, finds energy efficiency jobs grew 3.4 percent nationally in 2018 –more than double the rate of growth for overall jobs nationwide — with 7.8% growth projected for 2019. In California, employers added over 8,100 jobs for a 2.6% rate.

Among states, California led the nation in energy-efficiency employment with 318,500 jobs, followed by Texas (162,800), New York (123,300), Florida (118,400), and Illinois (89,400).  Thirteen states saw efficiency jobs increase by more than five percent in 2018, led by New Mexico (11.6%), Nevada (8.1%), Oklahoma (7.2%), Colorado (7.2%), and New Jersey (7.1%). Not a single state saw declines in energy efficiency employment in 2018.

The report, released at the annual meeting of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) in Manhattan Beach, California, highlights energy efficiency’s continued economic importance.

“While politicians argue over the direction of our energy transition, the economic benefits of improving energy efficiency continue to unite America’s business and environmental interests,” said Pat Stanton, Director of Policy at E4TheFuture. “Not only is expanding America’s energy efficiency key to solving multiple climate policy goals, it is now integral to businesses’ expansion plans – saving money and creating local jobs that cannot be outsourced.”

Efficiency businesses added 76,000 net new jobs in 2018, accounting for half of all net jobs added by America’s energy sector (151,700). The sector also employed twice the number of workers in 2018 as all fossil fuel industries combined (1.18 million) and in 41 states, including California, energy efficiency employs more workers than fossil fuels. There are now more than 360,000 energy efficiency businesses operating across the U.S., including 51,000 in California.

“We all know energy efficiency saves consumers and businesses money with every month’s power bill,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2. “We should also remember that energy efficiency is creating jobs and driving economic growth in every state – and doing so while also helping our environment, not hurting it.”

Energy efficiency jobs include positions in manufacturing, such as building ENERGY STAR® appliances, efficient windows and doors and LED lighting systems. They include jobs in construction – retrofitting buildings, offices and schools to make them more efficient. Efficiency careers are found in high-tech design and software and professional services, as well as at the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) companies that upgrade outdated inefficient HVAC systems, boilers, ductwork and other equipment.

Energy efficiency jobs aren’t limited by geography, geology or political persuasion. There are workers in energy efficiency in every state and in virtually every U.S. county, the report shows. California is home to 7,400 of the nation’s 317,000 rural energy efficiency jobs while the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego metro areas account for 188,000—more than every U.S. except California.

Looking at legislative districts, 46 of California’s 53 congressional districts are home to at least 3,000 energy efficiency jobs. In the state legislature, all 40 of the state’s senate districts along with 76 of 80 house districts had over 1,000 energy efficiency jobs.

“State energy officials understand that energy efficiency and the jobs that come with it is an integral and important part of the overall economy,” said David Terry, Executive Director at NASEO, which provides research support for the underlying data behind Energy Efficiency Jobs in America“Policymakers at the state and federal levels will hopefully keep the size and reach of energy efficiency employment in mind as they plan for the future.”

More detailed findings of energy efficiency jobs for California and all 50 states and the District of Columbia – including job totals for every congressional and legislative district, industry and technology breakdowns, and maps of every state’s top counties — are at A set of FAQs about the report is here.

Other key findings:

  • 11% of energy efficiency jobs are held by veterans — nearly double the national average of 6%
  • Construction and manufacturing make up more than 70% of US. energy efficiency jobs
  • Energy efficiency jobs account for 19% of all construction jobs in California and more than one out of every six construction jobs nationally (1.3 million workers total)
  • More than 31,700 California energy efficiency businesses are involved in construction or manufacturing
  • Nationwide, 321,000 energy efficiency jobs are in manufacturing
  • Efficient lighting technologies employ 370,000 workers nationwide 
  • Energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and cooling technologies employ more than 187,000 California workers and over 1.1 million nationwide
  • ENERGY STAR appliances and efficient lighting firms employ nearly 71,800 Californians 
  • Energy efficiency employers are projecting 7.8% job growth nationwide in 2019
  • Small businesses are driving America’s energy efficiency job boom, with 78% of California workers employed by businesses with fewer than 20 total workers

Ahead of Energy Efficiency Day 2019 on October 2, E2 and E4TheFuture will host an online panel discussion onEnergy Efficiency Jobs in America 2019 featuring Keefe, Stanton, and the authors of the report from BW Research Partnership. To register and attend the free event on October 1, click here.

Energy Efficiency Jobs in America follows E2’s Clean Jobs America analysis, which found that clean energy jobs account for nearly 3.3 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Both reports expand on data from the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with NASEO, using data collected and analyzed by BW Research Partnership. The report was released in March, and is available at E2 and E4TheFuture were both partners on the USEER, the fourth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016 and subsequently abandoned under the Trump administration.

To speak with business leaders around the country who support strong investments in energy efficiency and their impact on America’s economy, please contact Michael Timberlake (, Patrick Mitchell (

Additional Resources:

Jack of All Shades

Interiors resource available for custom lampshades:


“If we had done a simple white silk shade, the lamp would have felt more formal,” says Warner Rothblum.  “Because we did a fun pattern on the shade, it made the lamp feel more edgy and chic.  It is actually one of the client’s favorite things in the whole house.  They loved the shades in the dining room.”



Mixed Use Slated for 2019

Located on the crescent of The Palm in Dubai, a city famous for its luxury and opulence, The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences will bring forth a new generation of distinctive luxury as the first ‘super prime’ branded residences in the Dubai market when it opens next year. The luxe 43-story building will offer 231 residences with a hotel component in the west wing of the property providing a further 795 guest rooms and suites. The property offers over 90 swimming pools as well as several design ‘firsts.’




Derviş Zaim’s film is shown as part of the 17th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival


Emre Arolat’s Sancaklar Mosque


NEW YORK – May 1, 2018 – On April 7th, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts hosted a screening of the Turkish Film Dream, directed by respected Turkish director, producer, and novelist Derviş Zaim, as part of the 17th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival.  The screening was held at the museum’s Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium, and is the first time the film has been screened in the United States.


Dream, originally released in Turkey in 2016, follows architect Sine, who, dissatisfied with the current architectural landscape, designs an unconventional mosque inspired by the religious Seven Sleepers myth. The innovative Sancaklar Mosque, designed by internationally renowned architect Emre Arolat of EAA – Emre Arolat Architecture, was the mosque seen in the film.


“Sancaklar Mosque strips away design conventions and returns to the heart of Islamic philosophy.  With an original design focused on the essence of a place of worship as opposed to the aspects of a typical mosque,” said Arolat.  “I wanted to ensure that physical and emotional pleasure were at the forefront, and not form.  The mosque represents the purest forms of light and matter, to provide a space for worshipers to observe and be free from all outside burdens.”


Sancaklar Mosque is located in a prairie landscape.  The only visible elements of the mosque are the courtyard surrounded by horizontal walls and a vertical mass of stone serving as the mosque’s minaret.  The prayer hall reached down the cascading steps is a simple cave-like space meant to be an inspiring place for worshipers to be alone with God as they pray.  Additionally, the complex features a tea house, communal space, and library, encouraging social gatherings amongst visitors.

Emre Arolat: Scent of the Trace


On February 21st, The Architectural League of New York will feature , a lecture co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.  This is part of Current Work, a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

The lecture will be moderated by Adam Yarinsky, a partner at Architecture Research Office (ARO) and board member of Places Journal.  The lecture will take place at The Great Hall at Cooper Union, located at 7 East 7th Street, at 7 PM.

Arolat was born into a family of prominent Turkish architects. He joined his parents’ firm after graduating from Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan University. In 2004, he founded EAA – Emre Arolat Architecture with Gonca Pasolar. Today, the firm has offices in London and New York in addition to Istanbul. Its projects have received international recognition, including selected work with the Mies Van der Rohe Award and as winner with the Aga Khan Award.  Arolat has lectured at design schools around the world. He was the Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture in 2017. In 2012, he co-curated the first Istanbul Design Biennale. His work has been widely published and exhibited, including at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2012 and 2016.

Architectural League non-member tickets are $15 and are available for purchase through Eventbrite, beginning February 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., space-permitting. Please email with any questions.

2018 Donna H. Myers Award


Photo: Mark Nureddine 

Outdoor Kitchen Proponent Mark Nureddine to Receive 2018 Donna H. Myers Award
ARLINGTON, Va. (February 15, 2018) — The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) and Casual Living magazine are pleased to announce Mark Nureddine as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award.

Bull Outdoor Products, based in Rialto, California, is a leader in the manufacture of prefabricated outdoor kitchen appliances and equipment, providing products to 900 dealers and distributors in North America as well as in the UK, numerous European countries, Philippines, Costa Rica, and Panama.

“Mark championed and popularized the concept of outdoor kitchens with his development of sophisticated barbecue equipment and accessories,” said Jack Goldman, President & CEO of HPBA. “In doing so, it helped to widen the barbecue market, which other manufacturers have since followed.”

Nureddine launched his career in the spa industry where he gained valuable insights into the concept of outdoor living. His exploration led him to believe that homeowners would embrace broadened outdoor cooking experiences as well as equipment that exceeded the standard barbecue grill of the day. In 1993, he and his former business partner founded Bull Outdoor Products. Since then, Bull Outdoor has grown into an international corporation with its development and manufacture of an extensive inventory of innovative grills, islands, and accessories that are fully assembled and delivered to the consumer.

Nureddine and his wife, Barbara, also established the “Grill for Good” fund in 2014 in support of “For A Reason,” which coordinates a long-term effort to accompany Haitian students on their educational journey. More than simply providing tuition, “For a Reason” builds relationships with students and their families, for the duration of a student’s education–from elementary school to university. “The personal support and financial commitment that Mark and his wife are making into the lives of children is outstanding,” said Goldman.

The Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award will be presented on March 8th in Nashville, Tennessee, during the Big Green Egg Cook-off at HPBExpo 2018. Now in its seventh year, the award, sponsored by HPBA and Casual Living magazine, recognizes innovative leaders who have contributed to the growth of their companies and the overall industry. Recipients combine distinguished professional achievement and community service with problem solving skills and an unwavering commitment to the barbecue industry. Donna H. Myers was a leading barbecue industry advocate who died in January 2011.

Previous winners include: Dante Cantal, gas appliance innovator and founder of Twin Eagles, Inc., (2017), Stan Hays, champion pitmaster and co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief (2016), Ron LaRocca, 30-year marketing and sales veteran instrumental in growing the barbecue industry (2015), Ed Fisher, Founder and Chairman of Big Green Egg (2014) and George A. Stephen, founder of Weber-Stephen Products and creator of the Weber Kettle Grill (2013). The first award, in 2012, was given posthumously to Myers.


The building sector contributes up to 30% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions, thus it plays a vital role in mitigating climate change. Building with wood is a part of the solution, as wood is the only construction material that stores carbon. Wood products, like Kerto® LVL, have a surprisingly small carbon footprint during their lifecycle and can be used in practically all buildings to store carbon. 



One of the most important ways to mitigate climate change is to find new ways of capturing carbon from the atmosphere. The construction sector can support these positive developments by using wooden construction materials that capture carbon for their entire life span. For example, timber products lock approximately 1 ton of CO2 per 1 m3 of wood.

“The dry mass of wood is 50% carbon, and this carbon is taken away from the atmosphere and thus does not contribute to the greenhouse effect”, Matti Kuittinen, architect and researcher from Aalto University says.

“While planning any new building or renovating an existing one, we must look at the emissions created during the entire life cycle of the building”, Dr. Frank Werner from Frank Werner Environment & Development continues.

Wood products can be used in all buildings

Wood-based materials can be used in most parts of any building to capture carbon from the atmosphere. This allows designers and builders to reach ambitious CO2 reduction goals. The largest potential for storing carbon can be achieved in external walls, intermediate floors and roof structures. For example, a passive house was designed for a cold climate with two alternative construction material combinations: wood frame with wood-fibre insulation and an aircrete frame with EPS insulation.

“Both options gave the buildings’ shell the same level of energy efficiency. However, producing the wooden alternative caused approximately 40% less CO2 emissions. Also, the amount of atmospheric carbon stored in its wood frame was almost four times as much as in the alternative”, Kuittinen explains.

Wood is climate friendly over the whole life cycle – and beyond

As large amounts of carbon can be stored in the wooden parts of buildings, it is important to ensure that the carbon storage is as long-term as possible. Long service life requires good design, moisture safety during construction and good maintenance. And when the wooden parts are no longer used in buildings, they have the potential to be recycled into other products – so the atmospheric carbon stays locked away. After a cascade of recycling, wood material can be used for bioenergy production.

“If buildings were re-invented today, renewable materials would play a key role. A revolution of more climate friendly and sustainable building is possible with the help of well-developed, green building products. The rest is up to designers and constructors”, Werner concludes.


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