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Home / 2022 Newsmakers of the Year / Bray at forefront of design innovation

Bray at forefront of design innovation

Innovator of the Year –
Bray Architects

For nearly 60 years, Bray Architects has been an innovator in educational and civic design. The firm has seen significant growth in recent years and is a leader in green building.

Two notable projects that highlight Bray’s commitment to sustainability are Forest Edge Elementary School in Fitchburg and the Village of McFarland Public Safety Building.

In September 2021, Forest Edge Elementary School became a net-zero verified building, the first educational building to reach this milestone in the state and the largest in the country.

“Forest Edge Elementary uses a host of innovative green technologies, and they all connect into the learning environment,” said Matt Wolfert, president and principal at Bray. “Our design approach turned the entire building into a teaching tool, making it meaningful to the community for more than its energy usage,”

The Village of McFarland Public Safety Building is scheduled to be complete in early 2023. It’s expected to be the first net-zero facility of its kind in the region.

The shared-use building, which will house the village’s fire, police and EMS departments, will produce as much energy on site as it consumes with the help of 51 geothermal wells and solar panels that are capable of producing 420kW of photovoltaic energy.

“Our Public Safety Center for the Village of McFarland is designed to be a net zero building. It responds to the clients’ desire for safety, efficiency and longevity — concepts that come through in everything from energy efficiency to equipment storage,” Wolfert said.

The majority of Bray’s work is with public entities, which means the company must always be designing buildings that will last for decades.

“While we believe in innovating, we prefer to be on the leading edge, not the bleeding edge. This helps us find creative solutions while also being good stewards of our clients’ investment,” Wolfert said.

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