KPI Has Long History of Earth-Friendly Work

At Tulsa-based KPI Architects Inc., you don’t have to dig out old files or call someone who has moved to another firm to revisit the challenges of installing a geothermal HVAC system in a school built nearly 20 years earlier.
The architects who designed the job are still there, right down the hall.
“We have a 52-year legacy of being ‘Earth friendly’ in the design of our projects,” said David A. Kindred Sr., KPI chief executive officer.
And a longevity that exceeds an average of 20 years with the firm among the 58 employees at KPI keeps that knowledge close at hand.
Kindred’s list of notable examples of the firm’s early environmental work includes:
? Safeway Grocery Stores — As early as 1972 when the firm was known as McCune McCune and Associates, we were using heat and cooling recovery systems for our Safeway clients in all of their stores.
? Hennessey Office complex ?≠— During this same period, we were commissioned to design an office facility in Hennessey, Okla. This design utilized earth brought up to a 5-foot level onto the exterior of the building for the significant insulation factor with strip windows at the top for natural light.
? McFarlin Library (University of Tulsa) — At the University of Tulsa in 1973, the McFarlin Library two-story expansion was not only put underground to create a beautiful plaza and preserve the historical significance of the existing architecture, it created an opportunity to take advantage of the energy efficiency of having the facility more than 30 feet underground. A courtyard was developed in the center for natural light and exterior environment.
? Keplinger Hall, School of Engineering (University of Tulsa) — In the ‘80s, we were commissioned to design the new University of Tulsa School of Engineering. Because of site constraints, it was necessary for us to position the facility in a north/south direction. This left the exterior glazing exposed to the east and west sun. To combat this exposure, the design team at our firm (then called MPI) designed large horizontal tubes across the exterior of the building as sun screens for the windows. An interesting side note: if you look real hard, you can see we had piano wires tensioned just above and between the tubes to prevent pigeon droppings from being the new paint scheme for the tubes.
? Telex Corp. (Cherokee Industrial Park) — Design included use of “Kalwall “ panels. Panels provided natural light transfer with little to no solar heat gain. Panels lighted over 300,000 SF of building, dramatically cutting energy consumption and waste from overhead lighting.
? Telex Corp. (Now Bank of Oklahoma Technology Center at 41st Street and Sheridan Ave.) — The facility has a “state of the art” – at the time – Hitachi heat recovery system that used a jet engine to provide heat and air for the majority of the facility. This provided a substantial energy savings and utility savings for the office complex compared to conventional HVAC systems.
? Union Sixth and Seventh Grade Center — Use of geothermal heat pumps to condition environment provides a utility and energy savings over conventional HVAC systems. An Energy Wheel was use at the natatorium to provide heat to the pool and to eliminate humidity in the air. These units were installed when the school was built nearly 20 years ago.
Kindred said the firm’s work allowed it to expand into the California market in the late ‘80s, while keeping its base office in Tulsa. KPI has offices in the Los Angeles, Sacramento and Monterrey areas.
“Our unique design concepts and awareness of being ‘Earth friendly’ in our designs has enabled us to become one of the leading architectural firms in California for the past 22 years,” he said.

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