NOVEMBER 2016                                                     Like us on Facebook View our profile on LinkedIn



Lance Kirk and Jason Jorjorian have officially become shareholders with LGA.

A project manager for the firm, Kirk has always had a passion for sustainable and environmental design and believes holistic systems are key to sustaining the built environment and designing better buildings. He has worked on many of LGA's most significant projects. 

"I am thrilled to become a shareholder and build upon a legacy of engaging design, collaborative processes and meaningful relationships that LGA has been creating for the last 30 years," Kirk said.

Kirk joined LGA in 1995 after graduating from UNLV's School of Architecture program. In 2001, he received his Master of Architecture degree from UNLV. Soon after graduating, Kirk founded the AIA Las Vegas Committee on the Environment (COTE) and served as the founding Chairman. This experience lead him to participate with a small group of grassroots activists, which aided Kirk in co-founding the Nevada Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council where he served as the founding President. Kirk is currently a Board Member of AIA Las Vegas and is the Board Chairman for the Nevada Conservation League.

Also a project manager for the company, Jorjorian joined LGA in 1999 and has worked on many of LGA's most significant projects. Bringing a passion for architecture, community, sustainability and creativity to every project in which he engages, Jorjorian's strengths lie in his capacity to balance both creative and analytical thinking when working on a design solution.

His abilities to continuously think about the big picture and uniquely integrate technology into the design process make him a valuable team leader. A native Las Vegan, Jorjorian has leveraged his passion and innovative design capabilities toward projects that have meaning in the emerging downtown community and are respectful of the local environment. 

"LGA exists to create meaningful places and to better our community," Jorjorian said. "I believe in this purpose, and I am excited to continue this direction as an integral part of LGA's team. I look forward to many years of service and making us the best we can be."  


As indicated in the conclusion of part 1 of this article, green design uses green strategies to attain a project that is more energy and water efficient and provides a healthy environment for the occupants. The next part of this article will concern sustainable design.

As discussed in Part 1, sustainable design must provide a project that is able to maintain itself (conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources).

In order to maintain itself the final project would have to be carbon neutral, net zero energy use, net zero water use and maintain a comfortable and healthy environment.

Net zero energy use would mean that the designed project would have to generate all of the project's energy requirements on site. This could be attained by using solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy or geothermal energy. In order to mitigate the high initial cost of these methods of onsite energy generation, project and occupant energy use should be lowered by using green strategies that lower energy use. Some of these strategies include the following:

  • Daylighting to lower artificial lighting use.
  • Well sealed and insulated building envelope to lower heating and air conditioning requirements.
  • Use natural ventilation.
  • Use higher reflectance materials on the exterior to prevent absorption of solar energy and heating interior spaces.
  • Provide buffers such as vestibules between the exterior and interior spaces at access locations.
  • Provide landscape shading of the building.
  • Provide operable shutters, window shading that prevent direct sunlight entering the building but allow daylight and views during months that require interior cooling.
  • Use thermal mass to slow the movement of exterior extreme temperatures to the interior.
  • Use solar energy for heating in the cold months of the year (trombe wall).
  • Use of solar heating for hot water.
Net zero water use is more difficult to attain. In order to attain net zero water use, the project must recycle and collect water. Water use should be minimized by using strategies that lower the amount of water used. Many of these strategies will require life cycle changes by occupants. Some water use strategies may include the following:
  • Use of low flow faucets and shower heads.
  • Use of water closets that use less water to flush or better yet the use of composting toilets.
  • Recycle all water including gray and black water by using an onsite constructed wetlands or living machine.
  • Provide a water filtering process that allows recycled water to be sterilized for human consumption.
  • Collect rainwater and storm water from the site to replace water lost to evaporation in the recycling process.
  • Take shorter showers less often.
  • Use hydroponics for food growth as it uses 90 to 95 percent less water than gardens.
These and other water strategies could cut water use to that being naturally collected.
Finally, a sustainable design should provide a comfortable and safe environment for its occupants. This can be attained by using products that do not contain chemicals that are harmful and cause health problems. Some of these harmful chemicals include:
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Perfluorinated compounds
  • Flame retardants
  • Phthalate plasticizers
  • Isocyanate-base polyurethane
  • Urea-formaldehyde
  • Carbon monoxide
No product that contains these chemicals should be used in a sustainable design.
In order for the design to be comfortable for the occupants the interior environment must provide comfortable levels of ventilation, temperature and humidity.
Now that I am at the end of Part 2, have you noted that I have not said a word about being carbon neutral. I have decided that a sustainable design would not necessarily need to be carbon neutral but a regenerative design would. We will get into that in Part 3.

Originally from Canada, John Lansdell is a true architectural technologist with over 40 years of experience in the design and construction industry. John joined LGA in 2006 to fulfill his desire to work on specific projects of high integrity and sustainability and has since received his Master of Science in Green Building at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture.


Amanda Schlecht joined LGA as Administrative Manager. She grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada where she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration.  Her professional experience was developed in the Multi-Housing Industry focusing on bookkeeping, managing social media and advertising in addition to office management.  She is an active member of the Delta Mu Delta Honors Society.

Jacob Leyrer is an Architectural Intern with LGA and is also working towards his architect's license. He began his architecture degree at the University of San Diego where he was one of the school's first graduates of the major. He is currently pursuing his Masters degree in Architecture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Jacob has a range of experience in daylighting, product design, and facilities management.


Xavier Zhagui is currently and Architectural Intern at LGA. He had a passion for architecture at a young age and decided to pursue an architectural degree at UNLV.  Xavier appreciates learning from a diverse range of people and expanding his creativity.  He successfully designed and built the West Quad Art Installation this year. 



As a designer, trying to walk the line between community and medical environments in one space can be tricky. While one is warm and inviting, the other is typically sterile and, well, medical.

Iora Health came to LGA with this challenge - to help create a community senior center with doctors. For the primary care aspect of each practice, the company provides a team-based care system, including a dedicated advocate for each patient, whether he/she is sick or well. When patients are feeling healthy, they have access to a community of wellness classes and workshops, coaching and screenings.

LGA was brought in to work with the client to merge these two distinct ideals and styles at three new 6,000 sp. ft. practices in Seattle, Phoenix and Littleton, Colorado. The projects were completed September in time to start enrollment in October.

Although LGA has a long-standing relationship with Iora Health, these projects were different for the firm because of the nature of the model as well as the actual spaces where each clinic was located.

Alexia Chen, designer, and Jason Jorjorian, project manager, visited each of the locations in the beginning, during construction and at completion. They got a feel for the space and worked with the client to tie in Iora Health's national branding - including the signature yellow - through a warm, inviting interior.

"We're with them the whole way - from the initial site observation to completion," Jorjorian said. "We've become trusted advisors. For us, it's full service. We don't stop at the design documents."

Finishes and lighting designs denote which areas are meant for medical use and which are specifically for reflection or community. Each sitting room, exam room and community room was individually treated to finishes and lighting that carried through to the furnishings, Jorjorian added.

"You want to be in a different state of mind in the community rooms than in the exam rooms," Chen said. "We went for less utilitarian and more hospitable."

Created especially for seniors, the clinics hold a special place in the community, and Jorjorian and Chen aimed to convey that message.

"The idea was to break down barriers for seniors. It was really about their comfort," Jorjorian said. "Sometimes they just go to see their friends and attend a class together. We went as far as coordinating the artwork plan. There is a lot of art instead of empty walls."

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