LAZR NU 2 in 1

The dbHMS High Performance Studio uses well-grounded science to shape elegant and practical design solutions. We believe that the same process that creates compelling architecture can minimize the use of the Owner’s and the World’s resources.  To that end we use computational tools and innovative modeling to advance design beyond convention, blending old concepts with new technologies, seamlessly integrating architectural and engineering systems to combine occupant well-being with new economies of performance.

We have innovated with the use of such tools as ThermoActive Architecture and Desiccant Assisted Evaporative Cooling (DEVAP) to create a meaningful reduction in energy consumption and emissions while simultaneously increasing function and indoor quality. We strive to simulate in advance intelligent energy and water management systems and then precisely document them through our Design Studio. Each project requires a unique set of questions, a sharing of our knowledge, and creative thinking, always towards the end of cost-effective and harmonious solutions.


   Carbon Footprint Assessment
Climate Assessment


Nalanda University implements a Desiccant Assisted Evaporative Cooling (DEVAP) strategy to maintain comfort and indoor air quality in all conditioned spaces. The desiccant is regenerated using waste heat from an array of Stirling engines that generate 100% of the power for the HVAC fan systems.

Both the DVAP and the Sterling engine have a long history in HVAC application, with substantial precedent in India. The engineering and design innovation for Nalanda is the combination of these proven technologies into a cost-effective system; The premium on the HVAC equipment is dramatically less than the cost of reaching net-zero with an all-electric system. 

The remaining power for the campus comes from Photovoltaics and additional Stirling devices whose biogas fuel is sourced from anaerobic digestion of on-site and nearby biological and agricultural wastes.  This integrated approach provides a net-zero solution with the highest degree of resiliency possible.


A tailored high-performance façade is particularly critical to the supertall Wanda Vista skyscraper under design in Chicago. The luxury residential building must minimize overall energy usage by balancing lighting, heating, and cooling demands, ensuring thermal and visual comfort, and preserving expansive panoramas of the neighboring lakefront and cityscape.

Wanda Vista’s façade is designed for premium aesthetics, comfort, and energy performance over the building’s dramatically varying height and multiple orientations via a combination of daylight analysis and energy modeling. dbHMS started with acceptable minimum glazing percentages and calculated optimization of the windows’ visible light transmittance and reflectivity using analysis metrics of daylight autonomy and point-in-time illuminance. This ensures that glare is prevented, introduces vibrant light deep within residential spaces throughout the year, and allows residents to keep their shades open and fixtures off while enjoying the view. Window solar heat gain coefficients vary as the floor plates change to optimize energy usage for the lowest annual operating cost, independent of final HVAC design.