Two KRA events Wednesday, April 28: “After 5” and “Fair Housing Month”

Published April 20, 2010

*UPDATE: We had over 70 guests at last night's "After 5" event and want to thank everyone who helped make the night a success. Check out a few pictures from last night here.

Kuhn Riddle will host the next Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce “After 5” event on Wednesday, April 28 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

“After 5” is a great chance to get to know people, hear about what’s happening in the community, and enjoy some food and drink. As host, we are pleased to show people the space we designed for ourselves and how we have put sustainable design into practice in our office.

If you attended the previous “After 5” event at New England Environmental, Inc., you saw one of our recent projects. With its large solar array, renewable materials, and impressive thermal performance, the new building we designed for NEE is on-target for LEED certification.

The April 28 “After 5” is sponsored by Amherst Landscape & Design Associates, Knights of Columbus, and Teagno Construction, Inc. Tickets are $5 for Amherst Area Chamber members and $10 for nonmembers. Please RSVP to

Earlier that day, KRA's Erica Gees will be speaking as part of "Fair Housing Month," a program cosponsored by Amherst Housing Authority. and the Town of Amherst Housing Partnership/Fair Housing Committee. Erica will describe our Olympia Drive project and how affordable housing can include alternative energy strategies.

Join Erica at the Ann Whalen Apartments' community room, 33 Kellogg Avenue in Amherst, starting at 4:00 pm.

KRA to Lead Panel Discussion on Sustainability

Published April 9, 2010

Gardner, Mass. – On Thursday, April 15, KRA's Chuck Roberts, AIA, and Aelan Tierney, AIA, will lead a panel discussion on how the Northeast Veteran Training & Rehabilitation Center approaches sustainability from all angles. The presentation will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Wachusett Community College, Room 125.

In addition to the architects, the panel will include representatives from project developer Veteran Homestead, Inc., as well as engineers, contractors and sustainable design consultants involved with building the center, located on 10 acres of land on MWCC’s Gardner campus.

Veterans who have suffered loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress and/or disfiguring burns while serving the country in Iraq and Afghanistan will have access to housing, rehabilitation services and MWCC academic programs and campus amenities. Construction is nearing completion and will consist of 10 residential duplexes to accommodate veterans and their families, as well as a 6,000-square-foot therapy building with a therapy pool, physical therapy rooms and meeting spaces.

In addition to the social impact that this project will have, it has been designed to minimize its environmental impact. The buildings are being equipped with geothermal heating and cooling and photovoltaic panels for electricity and anticipate achieving LEED gold status certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information, contact Paul Wolff, director of sustainability and energy management at MWCC, (978) 630-9240 or

Rioux Gees Presents Strategies for Sustainable Spaces

Published April 8, 2010

On Thursday, April 15, KRA’s Erica Rioux Gees, AIA, will discuss the role architects and landscape architects can play in shaping our region. As part of the “Greening the Valley” lecture series, Rioux Gees will join Kim Ersley (Conway School of Landscape Architecture) and Patricia McGirr (Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, UMASS) for Sustainable Landscapes: The Greening of Our Suburban and Urban Spaces.

In an effort to expand awareness of sprawl issues challenging Western Massachusetts, Rioux Gees developed the “Sustainable – Equitable - Smart!” Ideas Competition for the Valley Development Council. The competition proposed three typical site conditions (Mill Building, Village Center, and Farmland abutting a big box store shopping mall) and asked for thoughtful, sustainable development strategies for these sites. During her presentation, Rioux Gees will present the competition goals and share the 27 entries.

Sustainable Landscapes: The Greening of Our Suburban and Urban Spaces begins at 7:00 p.m. at the University Gallery at UMASS Amherst.

For more information on the “Sustainable – Equitable – Smart!” Ideas Competition, visit the competition website.

KRA Projects Featured in Greening the Valley Exhibit

Published March 10, 2010

Five of Kuhn Riddle Architect's projects are featured in Greening the Valley: Sustainable Architecture in the Pioneer Valley, an exhibit that showcases examples of sustainable architecture in Western Massachusetts. The exhibit will run through May 9 at the University Gallery at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

On April 15, KRA’s Erica Rioux Gees will be part of a panel discussion titled “Sustainable Landscapes: The Greening of our Suburban and Urban Places” at the University Gallery.

A story from the Boston Globe covered the event.

MCLA Project Receives Honor Award for Accessibility

Published December 1, 2009

KRA received an Honor Award from the Boston Society of Architects and the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board for our project at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. The award recognizes design excellence in a building with a special approach to access for persons with disabilities. The MCLA Berkshire Towers project involved renovations and additions to a high-rise dormitory, built in 1973.

“Accessible design is a natural part of all of our work, so we are gratified that the MCLA Berkshire Towers addition has been recognized regionally in this way,” said Chris Riddle, KRA principal. “We feel that this project does much more than simply providing the minimums for access. We strived to make it easy and fun for everyone—disabled or able-bodied—to make convenient use of the new common spaces and the other existing above-grade levels of this college residential complex.”

Kuhn Riddle selected to design Affordable Low-Energy Housing Community

Published November 18, 2009

Olympia Drive is the operating name for a project, sponsored by Amherst, Massachusetts’ Department of Community Development, to build about 40 affordable, energy-efficient homes on a 13-acre, town-owned parcel convenient to the town center. Kuhn Riddle, with its consultants Scapes Builders and Doucet Associates, is conducting a feasibility study of this project, intended as ‘workforce housing’: homes for the thousands of people who work in Amherst but can’t afford the high price of housing in this relatively high-income community. The target is to design the residences to be affordable but also to be constructed to very high standards of energy efficiency, approaching net-zero.

Rioux Gees testifies before Congressional Subcommittee on Homeland Security

Published November 2, 2009

KRA's Erica Rioux Gees, AIA, testified before the Congressional Committee on Homeland Security in Washington D.C. on July 8, 2009 during a hearing entitled “FEMA Housing: An Examination of Current Problems and Innovative Solutions.” Rioux Gees joined a panel of experts from around the country to address how architects should play a larger role in disaster response.

In addition to her work with Kuhn Riddle, Rioux Gees is a board member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and has worked on sustainability and disaster preparedness projects throughout the country. In 2009, she led a group of experts to Hilo, Hawaii for a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) to develop a strategic plan for the historic downtown that balances the needs of preservation, disaster mitigation, and housing in challenging economic times. Her work with communities has also taken her to Florida, Louisiana, and Washington State. In 2005, she coordinated SDATs for Northampton, MA and Pittsfield, MA.

You can read a transcript of her testimony and watch the entire hearing at the committee's website.

Two more KRA architects become LEED accredited professionals

Published June 15, 2009

Ann Marshall, AIA, and Aelan Tierney, AIA, have recently been accredited by the United States Green Builidng Certification Institute as LEED Accredited Professionals. They join architect Carol Vincze and principals John Kuhn and Chris Riddle as part of KRA's LEED-accredited team. LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program of the non-profit United States Green Building Council that certifies buildings for their degree of sustainability, awarding credits in six categories and certifying them at Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. Kuhn Riddle Architects has three current projects enrolled in the LEED certification program.

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