Integrating design quality and systems thinking
Our services are customized to the specific needs of our clients—from building and community designs to project frameworks—all embodying the Cradle to Cradle® philosophy. We engage in diverse designs across a wide range of scales, types and locations. However, all our work shares a common purpose: to create places where people and nature can thrive together.
We provide services in three general areas: Architecture, Community Design, and Consulting.
In the design of buildings, we see a world of opportunity: to support human and ecological health and well-being, to participate positively in our communities and ecosystems, and to sustain economic, social and ecological value over time. We believe that design really can make the world a better place.
We are inspired by the effectiveness and beauty of natural systems, from which we have derived a simple set of principles that guide our work. We celebrate the unique cultural and natural context of each place, seeking design solutions that are both fitting and timeless. The practical solutions we develop enhance human productivity and enjoyment: they focus on abundant daylight, plentiful fresh air, connectivity to the outdoors, and places of privacy and community.
We know that good architecture comes from an open, collaborative, and enjoyable engagement with our clients and project teams. Within the realities of project schedules and costs, we deliver solutions that meet our clients’ fundamental needs while giving form to their highest aspirations and dreams.
A truly sustainable community is one that is loved and enjoyed. Our designs embrace each location and culture, support local and regional environmental health, and create compelling places for the people who use them. Our innovative, high-performance communities create new models of sustainable urbanism by adapting the successful approaches of green building design to the level of community planning. We integrate site infrastructure systems in the earliest stages of our process, resulting in communities that function like living organisms – harvesting energy from the sun, sequestering carbon, making oxygen, creating habitats, building soil, distilling water and creating beneficial microclimates. Through community design we are able to enhance the environmental potential of buildings long before they are designed. Our designs promote efficient and effective approaches to energy, water and transportation, and they seek to eliminate the concept of waste at all scales. These strategies not only support resident well-being and regenerate local and regional ecological health; they also provide the next generation of leadership to address the global challenges of climate change, carbon emission reduction and resource recovery.
We approach our consulting assignments with the belief that, using the right frame conditions, the built environment can restore ecological health, increase productivity, reduce operating expenses and enhance customer and community well-being, all while balancing the realities of capital investment and operating costs.
Combining our unique capacity for systems thinking with the latest research, we work with designers and owners to develop specific, holistic and practical solutions to challenges faced at all stages of project development, from pre-design to post-occupancy. We help focus resources on the things that matter most and ensure that every action is socially, ecologically and economically beneficial.
Our consulting services are tailored to individual clients but have included:
- Performance Analysis and Peer Review: With a network of close collaborators, we provide a range of performance studies with an emphasis on clearly communicating design implications—what to do to with the data to make designs more effective in reaching project goals.
- Project Benchmarking and Design Frameworks: Our detailed frameworks help designers evaluate their work against project goals, sustainability benchmarks and green standards such as LEED®, BREEAM and the Living Building Challenge.
- Existing Facility Auditing: We provide reviews of existing facilities and identify opportunities for energy, water and materials optimization, increased occupant health and well-being, and ecosystem regeneration.
- Pre-Design Research + Feasibility Studies: We help identify the right technologies and approaches given a specific program and location, enabling teams to progress quickly with high-performance designs once financing and approvals are in place.
- Materials Assessments: We analyze the environmental impacts of material choices at the earliest stages of design, assist designers in selecting the right products during design development, and help evaluate products submitted as alternates or substitutions during construction, all through a Cradle to Cradle® lens.
- Guidelines: We provide guidelines that put Cradle to Cradle principles into action, over time and across typologies, within the framework of client values.
- Education and Workshops: We offer workshops that educate clients on Cradle to Cradle concepts in the built environment and help them to define sustainability as it relates to their own corporate, institutional or individual values.