First Takes: Sustainable Momentum

Twenty-two years after founding his Rancho Mirage firm, architect Narendra Patel continues his vision of creating “sustainable, humanistic architecture and the stewardship of our environment.”

The Henderson Community Building in Palm Desert “is a part of our campaign toward ecologically progressive architecture,” Patel says. Its thermally insulated walls with glass structures will work with the climate and location. Patel calls the style “eco-tech.”

The 5,726-square-foot building, next to the Visitor Center on Highway 111, is the second Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certifiable structure for the City of Palm Desert. (LEED is a voluntary rating system for a building’s environmental friendliness.) The center is slated for fall completion.

Also to be LEED certified is the 27,852-square-foot MSGBN Riverview Office Building in Rancho Mirage. Scheduled to be ready in summer 2008, the building will cement Patel’s ideals. “During the initial design process, we made a bold decision to attempt a forward-thinking exercise in climactic controls that would allow this modern building to make use of, rather than ignore, the arid climate,” he says. The floors, for example, will be ventilated, and sunshades will help minimize energy consumption. Open public corridors take advantage of natural light and air circulation to cut down on mechanical air conditioning during winter months.
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