Join us for our panel discussion during DesignColumbus 2014!

by on March 25, 2014 - Leave A Comment

DesignColumbus is Columbus’s premier annual Sustainable Building Education Day and its right around the corner on April 28th!  M+A is both honored and excited to be presenting our recently completed Bob Evans Farms Corporate Headquarters project for Session 201’s panel discussion - Simplifying LEED for a Corporate Campus. The owner, engineers, the builder, LEED Administrator and our design team will be discussing and answering questions regarding the recently completed project in New Albany.  Topics will include: integrating corporate sustainability into a brand, corporate headquarters design, efficient LEED documentation on a corporate campus, how to optimize energy performance with an integrated building shell and building system design and construction efficiency on a campus project.

office pic

The 40-acre headquarters campus is composed of the main building, a training facility and a shipping building. Over 201,000 SF of building space is in pursuit of LEED certification via the new LEED Campus certification system which streamlines the process of certifying multiple buildings that share a site and multiple credit requirements.

We want to answer your questions!!
Join in the discussion, ask questions, tell us what you want to know prior to and during the event with live tweeting using #DesignColumbusBE. 

April 28, 2014
Session 201 at 9:30am
333 W Broad St.
Columbus, OH 

To register and for more information regarding Design Columbus visit


Posted in: Community, Design, Design Trends, Expertise, LEED, M+A News, Projects, Sustainability, Uncategorized

The Ordinary Can Be Extraordinary

by on March 13, 2014 - Leave A Comment

There are 100 different decorative fixtures for every 2×4 Parabolic or Recessed Can Light, which is ironic considering that on the typical project there are 100 of the later for every one of the former.  Like many, as a young lighting designer I ignored standard lighting to focus my attention on finding the extraordinary fixtures that would provide the punch I so desperately wanted. As I grew as a designer I came to realize a few things about the so called “ordinary” fixtures that populated our projects:

       1. Less extraordinary doesn’t have to mean something is less extraordinary.

      2. By embracing the vernacular I could do more with less

      3. Ignoring the vernacular is the same as ignoring an opportunity.

Examining the ideas behind these points,
I like to think of the first point as “less is more.”  Eliminate special fixtures from every part of the project that doesn’t benefit from it being there. Overdoing it is a common mistake. A designer finds a fixture they love and proceeds to populate a project with the fixture as much as possible.  The result however, is the fixture stops being special and becomes ordinary. If you accept the vernacular you can cull the herd, and the extraordinary fixtures that remain can benefit from the emphasis. Some of my favorite projects with which we “pruned”  include the Shops at Worthington Place in Worthington, Ohio and the Bob Evans Farms Corporate Headquarters in New Albany, Ohio.

Worthington PlaceAt Shops at Worthington Place, it would have been easy to overpopulate the project with the large custom chandeliers we selected.  Instead, we cut the number of decorative chandeliers and added cove lighting. The fewer fixtures combined with the cove lighting emphasized the importance of the decorative fixtures without diminishing their uniqueness.

In the Café at the Bob Evans Corporate Headquarters, we embraced simple vernacular lighting and then created special places using decorative light fixtures to define seating groups. Unlike the first project where the vernacular fixtures disappeared, the fixtures were used to reinforce the concept of the space and the chandeliers at the seating groups were allowed to shine.

Point two is about achieving “more with less,” which may seem contrary to my first point, but is one of my favorite things about a project that successfully embraces the vernacular. It costs less, but appears to be worth more.   The lighting design for the Shops at Worthington Place was less than 6% of the project budget.

Bobs Kitchen

With regards to my third point, simply put, the vernacular is vernacular because it is common and when something is common the assumption is that no effort is required.  Unfortunately it often shows, as alignments are ignored or the wrong fixture type is selected. All parts of a design, even the  ordinary require attention. Using standard fixtures to create alignments or architectural emphasis is an inexpensive way of improving upon what is already extraordinary about a project.

The main lobby space of the Bob Evan’s Corporate Headquarters with its wood ceiling, large back lit letters and double height space already had a lot going on architecturally. We could have easily added another layer of extraordinary with decorative chandeliers or  used can lights in the wood ceiling. Instead a track was located on one side of the space and a variety of track heads used to provide either general illumination or emphasize certain aspects of the space.  Another fixture was used above the track to graze the ceiling. The end result is a lighting design that is both present, but also not.

13 11 Bob Evans_0377


Posted in: Design, Design Trends, Lighting Design, Projects

Imagining the Future of Outpatient Healthcare

by on March 6, 2014 - One Comment

Next generation healthcare in the United States is about wellness. As creators of healthcare environments, we’re reimagining the kind of environments that support wellness – making places people want to be, and creating opportunities for healthy, vigorous, integrated care in environments that tie into and support the social fabric of our lives.

The Affordable Care Act implements changes to reimbursement models that encourage providers to find ways to keep their care populations healthy.  We think our team has something special to offer our healthcare clients as they think about how to do that.

Coming on two years ago, K|M+A and M+A embarked on a journey of collaboration – one that we think will be a huge benefit to our healthcare clients in today’s changing healthcare marketplace.

What creative new paradigms might come of pairing experienced healthcare architects with the creative energy behind Easton Town Center?  How can we use retail, hospitality and restaurant environments to inform us about places people look upon as desirable destinations?  Places where social connections are nurtured and built around healthy, vigorous life habits?  How do we help people integrate care for their health into their everyday lives AND have those experiences be enjoyable?

Easton and BE

More recently, what can the health-conscious workplace environment that is the new Bob Evans Farms Corporate Campus teach us about how to make better healthcare workplaces?  Hospital campuses may be places patients come for care, but they are also where physicians, nurses, administrators and a myriad of other providers and support staff come to work. Shouldn’t healthcare workplace environments be the healthiest of all workplaces? MA Logos Combined

Recognizing how much our collaboration has to offer our healthcare clients going forward, in 2014 we are going for simplicity. K|M+A Healthcare Studio staff will remain a specialty studio within M+A, but in recognition of the strength of our combined resources, we are moving forward together under a single name – M+A Architects.

Let us share with you our vision for the next generation of healthcare architecture.

Posted in: Design Trends, Expertise, Healthcare Design, M+A News, Press Release

Ohio Schools’ Energy Stats Challenge LEED Debate

by on February 18, 2014 - Leave A Comment

M+A was recently recognized for our work on Columbus City School’s Georgian Heights Elementary School at a celebration for Ohio’s first 100 LEED certified schools. We are thrilled to be a part of this progressive time for Ohio as it is recognized to be a front runner for designing schools that are, on average, are 35% more energy efficient, use 37% less potable water, and have diverted over 188,000 tons of construction waste from landfills. These are not general statistics from USGBC, these are hard numbers gathered from these real projects. We’ve all experienced how determined school districts are in raising money to maintain their facilities, which is necessary in order to provide an education that prepares students for success in our global community. Its a great service to have these facts gathered and exciting to see they validate how our tax dollars are responsibly being used for facilities construction and maintenance. What will be even more exciting (and no doubt more difficult to gather) is, as these buildings are occupied for education purposes, metrics on the quality of education a student receives in a better lit and healthier building compared to buildings designed under no such standard.


Recently our industry has been actively participating in conversations regarding the validity of LEED, and with perspectives from both sides of the argument. One positive characteristic of LEED is it provides us a framework for metrics to study the effectiveness of our designs. Without a rating system identifying design baselines, it is increasingly challenging to study the effectiveness. LEED certified schools in Ohio have provided us with a respectfully large data set to be studied and analyzed in determining whether LEED is worth the effort and expense. The regional USGBC chapters are currently in the process of gathering this information now.

Today, LEED’s validity as a system for improving a building’s bottom line is under refute in the State Senate. There is a resolution being considered in our Ohio government, literally as I write this, that could impact the future LEED certifications of taxpayer funded school projects. It’s fascinating there is not more opposition to this resolution given the current trends toward government spending transparency. The rating system is not perfect of course, but that is why it is constantly under scrutiny to evolve and be updated – as we would expect from our basic building codes.  It appears this is the underlying cause for the discussion in the Senate, and it is my hope Senators come to a realization and move the conversation outside of the proposed resolution. This would help against compromising the requirement to use the most comprehensive building rating system to holding our educators accountable for our tax dollars, and the health and education of future generations.

If you are interested in learning more and following along, there are  countless posts (a few are following) online regarding the progress of Senate Concurrent Resolution 25 (SCR25). A quick Google search should get you going as well.

Posted in: Design, Design Trends, LEED, M+A News, Sustainability

Miller Valentine Group Continues Ohio Development

by on February 14, 2014 - Leave A Comment

M+A Architects, in collaboration with Miller Valentine Group out of Cincinnati, Ohio has been selected as the Architect for 6 different housing developments across Ohio. These project are all being submitted to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) to compete for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funds.  The projects range in size and scope and include new-construction, adaptive reuse, and rehabilitation of existing housing units.

We are excited to continue our partnership working with Miller Valentine Group and hope that you enjoy some of the information about each of the projects.

Roosevelt Homes II

Roosevelt Homes II is the second phase of a single-family home scattered site infill project in Dayton, OH.  The first phase of the project has been very instrumental in transforming a Dayton neighborhood in need and residents are excited about the quality of their new homes.  The second phase will further support the neighborhood transformation.

For more information on Roosevelt Homes II, visit the facebook site at:

Roosevelt Homes II

Whitehouse Square Townhomes

Located in the Village of Whitehouse which is southwest of Toledo, OH, this development will provide 54 units of affordable living to the community.  Each unit contains an attached garage and there are 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and 4 bedroom units included in the design.

For more information on Whitehouse Square Townhomes, visit the facebook site at:

South Court Village Apartments

South Court Village is located in Medina, OH and is a senior development that like Whitehouse Square will also contain attached garages.  As with all projects that go through LIHTC funding, this project will contain green / sustainability features as well as universal design features.  Incorporating these into the design allows for housing that will stand the test of time.

For more information on South Court Village Apartments, visit the facebook site at:

Delaware Place II

Just like Roosevelt Homes, Delaware Place II is the second phase of a development that was recently completed this past year.  Serving as the gateway to downtown Delaware, OH, the project sits at the previous site of the Delaware Hotel.  This second phase includes 26 senior units and will continue to serve more area residents just as the first phase has been successful in provide affordable housing.

For more information on Delaware Place II, visit the facebook site at:

Delaware Place

Residences at Eagle’s Point

Eagle’s Point is one of those projects that is truly a labor of love and will transform an existing historic school into a shining beacon for the community.  Until recently the building served as the High School for Eaton, OH.  The project will take the existing structure and through an adaptive reuse will create new affordable units to support the community.

For more information on the Residences at Eagle’s Point, visit the facebook site at:

Apartments at Deer Creek

The Apartments at Deer Creek is an existing development located in Delphos, OH which is near Lima in northwestern Ohio.  This development will be transformed to provide enhanced amenities for each apartment.  This includes: a master bedroom suite, new kitchens, and laundry hookups at each unit.

For more information on the Apartments at Deer Creek, visit the facebook site at:

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