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AIM Associates is the High Performance/Green consultant for the City of Petaluma for the new Mary Isaak Center multi-service facility. The facility will be run by COTS, the Committee On The Shelterless, who offers hope and help to homeless persons in Southern Sonoma County by providing them safe shelter and helping them toward their goal of getting a home of their own.

We started our input at the very beginning by advising the city in the selection the architect by participation in the architect interviews. AIM Associates asked questions and provided evaluation of the team’s Green experience and approach for this project.

AIM Associates helped the city establish appropriate Green goals. We reviewed the architect’s design submittals. We provided computer energy simulations and analysis. We also provided examples of “best practice”, high performance, and Green improvements that would benefit the owner, users and community.

The Green features include:

  • Orientation on the site to take advantage of sunlight and cross ventilation to make it a healthier building for the occupants and staff.
  • Conscious attention to “daylighting” from windows and skylights to reduce the need for artificial lights.
  • Photometric sensors that gradually change lighting levels in public areas to save electricity use and reduce the heat output during hot weather.
  • Motion sensors to turn out lights when no one is in the room.
  • A high efficiency water heater.
  • Waterless urinals in the men’s rooms.
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems combined with natural ventilation/passive cooling to make it a healthier building for the occupants and staff while being energy efficient.
  • Overhanging roofs that provide shade in the summer but allow winter solar heat gain.
  • High performance glass that minimized heat gain from summer sun.

Indoor air quality material choices:

  • Very little use of materials that emit toxic gasses
  • Carpet not used in lobbies, corridors or major spaces
  • First floor ihas painted concrete floors
  • Linoleum (a natural cork product) as the flooring material on the second floor.
  • Outdoor lighting that directs light downward, thereby reducing unnecessary light pollution.
  • Access to public transportation. Once the Caulfield extension crosses the railroad tracks, it will be a short walk to the nearest bus stop.
  • Amenities for bicycles: racks of course, but also a designated bike repair area.
  • Modest parking lot; COTS worked hard with the city planning to prevent acres and acres of asphalt.
  • Water efficient landscaping.

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