7-01-2013 Virtuoso Design + Build & GreenLancer Team Up Integrated Designs
Virtuoso Design + Build (VD+B) and GreenLancer are two of Detroit’s most up-and-coming AEC businesses and are also some of the first companies to pioneer the recently re-opened David Stott building where they both reside on their newly renovated 27th floor. Separately both businesses are continuing to grow at a healthy rate, but they also are beginning to see the opportunities that may exist if they were to collaborate and combine both their strengths. Together, their newest focus for integrated design is instilling clean technology, that is both sustainable and visually appealing. Currently, the Midwest is in the process of catching up in the implementation of clean technology designs and lacks energy experts. That is where GreenLancer comes in. And the idea is to not just nail solar panels to a roof and call it quits. VD+B creates architecture that supports this technology in a unique and beautiful way.
That’s the trick with clean technology- sustainability and creativity. In simple terms, Virtuoso Design + Build and GreenLancer’s goal is to transform structure and ingenuity into something sublime. However, let’s not be simple.
Virtuoso Design + Build’s motto is “Specializing in the Unfamiliar,” as they continue to question conventional design by proposing unique and fresh ideas. The Virtuoso Design + Build team has been proposing clean technology in order to improve on the typical model. The vision is to help transform Detroit and the surrounding areas with long term goals and investment in mind while promoting a patriotic feel towards a regional, vernacular and crafted type of development.
Similarly, GreenLancer’s main goal is to accelerate the adoption of renewable resources by enabling contactors with project development and engineering services and support. Interestingly, they use the same concept as Henry Ford’s 100-year old assembly line, but the assembly line is in the “cloud.” The “cloud” refers to the web based platform and the distributed network of “GreenLancers” (Green Energy Freelancers).
GreenLancer takes their customer through a Feasibility Study which allows the company to assess the location’s geographic area, potential renewable energy systems, energy production and consumption, and overall frames the potential for clean energy. From there, blueprints are drawn, costs are assessed, and the project is well on its way to being created. This platform disrupts the clean energy value chain by making professional services accessible, affordable, and quicker than traditional engineering firms.
The architects and engineers of Virtuoso Design + Build and GreenLancer recently teamed together to enter the old Hudson site competition with their “Hud[Sun] Towers” submission which is located on Woodward Avenue in Downtown Detroit (See image above). The two towers start aligned with the street grid and are twisted upwards to face south with maximized surface area to provide 2 MW of solar power. Not only is the form efficient, it is also eye catching, create a one-of-a-kind design. The design also included business and retail space, a bike sharing area, and an EV taxi hook-up. Importantly, the technology would also be able to calculate how much energy is produced and consumed, which would be a proactive attempt for the future of Detroit. Other clean technology designs that VD+B/GL have been working on includes a solar pavilion for Wala Cafe on Lafayette, which would extend over an outside seating area. This design includes 10 KW of solar and a rain wall with a garden.These aren’t the first clean tech integrated projects VD+B has worked on. Previous projects include an atrium and garden renovations for Highland Park High School that would encompass a large aquaponic system to help supply the cafeteria and a hoop house with an outside teaching area.
It is without a doubt that Detroit is full of opportunity. As the rebuilding process starts to accelerate one of the biggest opportunities will be to proceed in a fashion with sustainability and long term investment in mind. The city is a playground for companies like Virtuoso Design + Build and GreenLancer, as they continue to search for clean technology possibilities that are both technical and creative. Check out Virtuoso Design + Build and GreenLancer’s websites for more information on clean technology.