Posts Tagged ‘green’

HOK Is Designing Porsche’s New U.S. Headquarters and Customer Experience Center

HOK is designing Porsche Cars North America’s new headquarters in Atlanta. The project includes a contemporary workplace for up to 400 people, a Technical Service and Training Center, and a Customer and Driver Experience Center with an integrated road handling track. The team is targeting a Silver or higher LEED rating.

“Our design goal was to capture the essence of the Porsche brand and performance,” said Todd Bertsch, director of design at HOK in Atlanta. “We have designed a movement-filled building with the same high-energy feel and performance as Porsche automobiles.”

“Our vision for our new U.S. corporate home is to create a bold and energizing environment where the physical elements are as memorable …

HOK’s Paul Woolford Presents the San Francisco Mint Project at TEDx-Presidio


On Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, Paul Woolford, the design director at HOK San Francisco, presented one of most striking projects of this office – the restoration and greening of the San Francisco Mint, at the TED-x Presidio event. Paul spoke about the need for preserving national historic treasures, and discussed the importance of creating the most environmentally innovative National Historic Landmark in the United States, The Old San Francisco Mint, and the sustainable lessons learned that can be applied to all existing buildings.

Watch Paul’s presentation:

Guest blog post from HOK San Francisco’s Justin Kelly:

Leaders, visionaries, artists, and thinkers gathered on April 2nd at the Palace of Fine Arts …

20 Green Questions for Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Mayoral Candidates

As Mayor Daley begins the end of his career in Chicago, some in the city feel that there is unfinished sustainable business that the incoming mayor should reinvigorate. Recently, multiple environmental groups throughout Chicago had a unique opportunity to ask the Chicago Mayoral candidates about their green views and the programs that they would implement.

WHAT WOULD YOU ASK? The questions can be found in the link below. (Personally, I would want to know if the new candidate would enforce the recycling ordinance, which I know my landlords are blatantly disregarding. It would be nice to see them hit with a $1000 fine for once.)

The Bobblehead Cometh…

London have been the delighted hosts of the much-celebrated Bobblehead Bill (BB) over the past month. BB, as our guest has been affectionately known to us over the past few weeks, has been engaging, witty and full of energy, demanding (in a civilised manner of course…) that his time in our great city should be used wisely and well, so that he gets to see everything it has to offer.

BB particularly bonded with our own sustainability guru Shashi Narayanan, so much so that they did most of their sightseeing together. A selection of his sightseeing tours can be seen in the photographs below.

3D Express Coach

Following up on Kimberly’s post on HOK Net Positive Challenge, this could be one option to realize idea #27 for highways.

3D Express Coach on YouTube

A new solution to transit woes that literally puts the bus above the automobile developed by Shenzhen Huashi Future Car-Parking Equipment. The idea is to make use of the space between regular-size cars and bridges, thus saving construction costs as well as minimizing congestion impact by allowing cars to drive underneath these jumbo buses.When completed, the straddling buses will run on “relay charges” of electricity and solar power. The road-straddling buses will use only 860 tons of fuel per year, Shenzhen Huashi predicts, which could reduce yearly carbon …

Best of Work+Place (Episode VIII)


Still hell hot in DC…still a good time to curl up somewhere cool and surf great posts on Work+Place.  This week’s “best of” includes:  

  • Vision for the Workplace.  A colleague asked me a funny question about vision sessions – essentially, who wants a crappy office?  Sadly…some people do
  • TelecommutingCatherine Haley exhaults the US government for encouraging employees to work from home (and wishes they’d do it more often for the sake of her commute among other reasons).
  • Fonts?  Susan Baerwald explains how Gothic can save the environment.
  • Etiquitte.  Sometimes you just need to tell people how to be considerate in the office – some snarky ideas via the New York subway system!

Check …

On the (Sustainable) Road | An Update from Singapore

GreenTeam Singapore

Hello, Hola, 嗨!

Welcome to GREEN TEAM Asia Pacific!  We are a small but diverse group hailing from Spain, the United States, and Singapore!   Paula, Jennifer, Larissa, and Joyce comprise our dedicated team working to educate, encourage, and implement sustainable practices throughout HOK. We’re participating in the firm-wide sustainable road map by incorporating “green” into our daily routines.

We have recently commenced weekly LEED study sessions to help our colleagues prepare for the LEED Green Associate exam. We’ve equipped our office with all of the proper resources including LEED reference guides and practice exams to maximize our learning potential!

We’ve also made an effort to stock our kitchen with recycled paper and corn products as well as eliminating all …

Cutting Through the Haze at the Shanghai World Expo


Stan 2On-the-ground at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, HOK Global Director of Climate Action Stan Wrzeski is gearing up for the Monday workshop he will lead: Global Voice, Local Choices: Creating Low-Carbon Communities, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Here is an onsite report:

It’s my third day here, and my body is just starting to adjust to the time zone and high summer humidity. You wouldn’t think so, but the long lines of people entering the Shanghai Expo grounds are actually cooled by a water spray beneath the metal canopy. I suggested to Paul Woolford and Kelly

On the (Sustainable Road) | An Update from Chicago

HOK Chicago

We’ve all seen the graphs, charts, PowerPoint’s, etc…, regarding how much power is consumed by buildings in the United States, and the numbers are really staggering.  On an annual basis, buildings in the United States (Source: The National Institute of Building Sciences):

  • Consume 39% of America’s energy
  • Consume 68% of its electricity
  • Emit 38% of the carbon dioxide
  • Emit 49% of the sulfur dioxide
  • Emit 25% of the nitrogen oxides

Pretty sobering, and currently the vast majority of our energy is produced from nonrenewable, fossil fuel resources.  Makes you wonder what you could possibly do to put a dent in those kinds of numbers.  Well, it turns out there’s quite a …

Honoring Mother(s) Earth


It turns out the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day intersects with the 30th service anniversary of our very own Earth Mother: Mary Ann Lazarus.

We celebrated this sweet synergy with some delicious green and white cupcakes. Sharing guest-of-honor duties was the incomparable Joyce Saunders (MAL’s right-hand gal), who recently marked her own milestone (25-year) HOK anniversary.


This greened-at-the-hip duo has worked together to advance sustainability within HOK – guiding it from an intriguing idea, to a fringe movement, to a specialty group, to an integral part of our entire practice.

During a brief tribute, Vice …

Today I Am A Telemarketer


You might remember a few months back when you heard that sometimes people mistake me and my Advance Strategies colleagues for telemarketers.  Well, today, they would be spot-on!

A while back, I signed up as a member of the communications committee for the U.S. Green Building Council’s National Capital Region (USGBC-NCR).  I haven’t done too much besides go to a couple of meetings and sit in on some conference calls.  All that changed last week when the new chair contacted me and got me involved in marketing the RealGreen conference.

RealGreen is the chapter’s conference that fouses on “real progress and solutions to environmental concerns” and highlights “the region’s unique …

Plastic Is Truly Pervasive


This is my first time posting to HOK Life – hello to all!

I thought I’d dive in (ha) by sharing an update on the condition of our oceans in just the century since the invention of plastic (the history of plastic can be found here)…

The picture above shows an actual sample of the ocean near an area of the ocean affectionally called “The Garbage Patch.”  Many think that this is like a floating garbage pile – a physical location of trash. Instead, it’s more like a rich depository, a sample of the incredible concentrations of plastic that now pervade our entire planet. Natural waste has collected here since there was a here …

Passivhaus vs. LEED

I found this article/slide show very interesting and wanted to share.

I’m not saying I agree with the statement that a “passivhaus is the real standard for a real green house”, BUT there are some great solutions.

What do you think?


MIT Media Lab’s Sourcemap

I found this website this morning about Sourcemap, a framework developed by the MIT Media Lab for individuals to share information about the locations of sourced product components and where their assemblies take place. I think this is a fantastic idea considering that individuals can start to take control of where their company’s source products. In 5-10 years, there will be no excuse for “not knowing” what went into that new bed, or that computer you just bought.

Sourcemap is an opensource project that, like Wikipedia, relies on volunteers to grow and fine-tune the database. The hope is to develop a sourcemap for every product and service out there. It is supply chain

State-of-the-Air in Indy

If your holiday travel plans will take you through the city of Indianapolis, you’re in for an uncharacteristically uplifting experience. The Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal at Indianapolis International Airport (the first from-the-ground-up terminal constructed in the U.S. since 9/11) is light, airy, dramatic, fun – and a showcase of sustainability.

During a recent visit to Indy, I brought along my camcorder and recorded some perspectives of the building and its occupants.

If this is the future of air travel, I’m encouraged.

Ciannat Howett at TEDx Atlanta

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When I wrote about Eric Lewis my prior TEDx post, I was supposed to continually update you with video’s from the conference/gathering here in Atlanta. However, I’ve been waiting to write about the lecturer’s so that I could include video footage which was taken by Unboundary.

Ciannat Howett is the director of Sustainability for Emory University and has done quite a bit for the development of the way Emory operates everything from buildings, to courses, to social events. She is a wonderful speaker and you should definately check out this video.

I love it when she talks about the expectations of the students and reveals that it’s much less about Emory marketing, and more about Emory Education and defining …

All Puffed Up + Plenty of Places to Go


It’s been a banner week for sustainable accolades. First, ENR dubbed us the top green design firm, and now a Design Intelligence survey anointed our firm as the #1 sustainable role model.

Kudos all around.

But before allowing it to swell our heads completely, let’s not forget how much more work remains to be done

Who’s the Greenest of Them All???


It may not be easy being green, but it sure as heck beats the alternative.

For the second consecutive year, HOK nabbed the top spot on ENR‘s “2009 Top Green Design Firms” survey.

Published in the magazine’s July 6 issue, the ranking is based on 2008 revenue from projects seeking LEED, BREEAM or other environmental certification.

In the sector rankings, HOK emerged first in the “Education” sector; second in “Commercial Offices;” second in “Sports, Entertainment & Civic” and third in “Government Offices.”

Regrettably omitted from the magazine’s coverage were rankings of the most innovative, creative and downright zany

Green Onion

You know, we probably take this green thing a little too seriously sometimes.  Leave it to the onion to decompress us.  Enjoy!


Make Me Greener, Please – NYT

Great article on home and lifestyle consulting boom for the Eco-Savvy.

Article Here


Inside the Designer’s Studio 28:
Mary Ann Lazarus, HOK
Sustainable Design Director

“Right now is a great time to be entering the design profession because we are going through another revolution,” says HOK Sustainable Design Director Mary Ann Lazarus, AIA. “We need to include young voices in the mix…we need to have our assumptions challenged.”

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Greening a building is hard. Greening an entire organization is even harder. At last count, HOK had more than 900 LEED accredited professionals and 39 LEED certified projects (with 150+ pending). Those results don’t come from spreading magical green pixie dust across the firm. They come from blood, sweat, tears and an unwavering commitment to sustainable design. One of HOK’s earliest and hardest-working green pioneers has been Mary Ann Lazarus, who literally, along with Bill Odell and Sandra Mendler, wrote the book …

Cycling Fervor

Alright! We’re 8 days into the Bike to Work Challenge and HOK is showing it’s pedaling power. I knew we had a healthy competitive spirit, but check out these stats. With 90 riders across the firm, we are ranked 16 of 557 organizations in terms of number of miles ridden. That’s the top 3% of participating organizations. Additionally, we are ranked 1st in out-biking all participating architecture firms.


Within HOK, the DC office (24 riders) is carrying the lead with 796 logged miles, followed closely by the St. Louis Office (8 riders). The Chicago Office (9 riders) is leading a near five-way tie for 3rd.

HOK vs. Copenhagen

HOK Bike to Work Month is Shaping Up

Thank you, Jim Rice, for pointing us to this video. 

With the Bike to Work Month Commute Challenge kicking off Friday May 1st HOK has already shown great enthusiasm with teams from across the firm and around the globe stepping up to meet the challenge. Leading the way is the Washington DC office with three teams signed up so far, including our very own Bill Hellmuth. Way to go DC! As of this morning we have 8 offices and 11 teams participating, with several other teams still forming. If you would like to join the fun it’s not too late. Teams can still form well into the month. For more information see the previous …

Mickey3D – Respire

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I thought this video would be a great closing message for Go Barefoot Week (we do a week vs. a day here in Chicago). I saw it when I was in college and have never forgotten it.

TeleThunder is Here!

Certain HOK-ers (ahem, John Gilmore ) have been bragging about HOK’s very cool new collaboration technology: the Advanced Collaboration Room, which combines Cisco Telepresence Technology and Polyvision Thunder Express.  Well, John, you are no longer the only cool kid in town!  The WDC office became the fourth HOK office to open it’s ACR for business.  St. Louis, San Francisco, and Toronto already had them…next on the list are Houston, Los Angeles, and London.

ACR under construction

Demolition (and caution tape) in the hallway between my desk and the new ACR

After a few solid weeks of construction, the ACR was ready for …

Calling all HOK’ers

May is Bike to Work Month
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Boring commutes got you down? Well then add some fun and excitement by putting your green pedal power to work during May’s Bike to Work month and the Group Health Commute Challenge. This event is sponsored by the nation’s largest bike club, the Cascade Bicycle Club based in Seattle, and has grown tremendously in the last 5 years with over a thousand teams participating in 2008 – check out the stats. This is a terrific event that promotes sustainability and good health. If you are interested in joining a team or being a team captain it is quick and FREE to set up. So far several HOK teams have formed and are ready to

5 Questions for Cris Fromboluti

Cris Fromboluti not only has a really fun name, he’s one of the DC office’s premiere project managers and a fun guy to boot. I sat down with Cris for about an hour to run through our five questions. I knew Cris had a lot of great stories, but was not at all prepared for what was in store. You’ll notice there are only four questions, but I think Cris’s story comes through without the fifth.

Cris in India during his world tour.

Q: How did you come to HOK?
A: When I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, I originally went to work for S.O.M. in Chicago. After …

Chairish the Future – Atlanta

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HOK recently entered a contest for the Atlanta Furniture Bank called Chairish the Future. Local architecture and design firms around Atlanta participated in remaking an IKEA kids table and chairs into an auction item to raise funds for the Furniture Bank.

Our concept for the table was a fun and uplifting environment where kids could not only play, but also learn. We received the resin tabletop from 3Form’s reclaim program, in which some guys at Southern Model then cut into, which created a ‘toy box’ inside the tabletop. Inside this toy box was ‘Go Green’ coloring book and crayons created by Ping Wong in the Interiors group here in Atlanta. Also in the box were various …

Going Green | The Loom | Discover Magazine

Going Green | The Loom | Discover Magazine

NYC Nightclub LEEDs the Way to Green Partying – Core77

NYC Nightclub LEEDs the Way to Green Partying – Core77