Posts Tagged ‘Mary Ann Lazarus’

Leadership in Sustainability

For the third year in a row, the Design Futures Council and DesignIntelligence have ranked HOK as the most-admired firm in the world for its leadership in sustainable and high-performance design.  This is indeed an honor and a privilege.

“HOK is a firm often cited for making a difference. … HOK is recognized for breaking new ground with clear, practical and inspirational leadership.  HOK staff is admired for its compelling case studies, engaging thought leadership, and insights that lead to making wise decisions to benefit the planet’s future condition.”
James Cramer
Co-Chair, Design Futures Council
Founding Editor, DesignIntelligence

We owe much of our leadership status to our clients. It is our clients who bring their vision …

A Baseline for Sustainability: the New International Green Construction Code

Thanks to HOK Director of Sustainable Design Mary Ann Lazarus, co-chair of the AIA IgCC Task Force, for this guest post.

Did you all feel the earth shake last Wednesday, March 28? Why? Because that’s when the International Code Council issued the new International Green Construction Code (IgGC). So what? Code language usually isn’t that exciting, and typically sets the low bar for design. Well the IgCC is different in so many ways.

The IgCC is the result of many years labor by the ICC, AIA, USGBC, IESNA and others to define a new baseline of sustainability that will apply to all commercial construction. It incorporates as an option …

The Power of Eleven

Last week, hundreds of attendees gathered at the Millenium Hotel in St. Louis for the 2011 YWCA Leaders of Distinction Leader Lunch celebration. The YWCA honored 11 phenomenal women who play important roles in corporate management, entrepreneurship, the arts, government, race relations and the future leadership. Included in this cast was HOK’s Mary Ann Lazarus.  As we (Marsha Littell, Valerie Greer, Sarah Weissman, David Chassin and I) sat there listening to the outstanding achievements of these women, we were all so proud to see our own Mary Ann on the stage. Take a few moments and watch the video as Mary Ann talks about her many passions. 
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Michele …

Happy Birthday, Mary Ann!

It’s fitting that the start of Greenbuild 2011 is taking place on the birthday of Mary Ann Lazarus, HOK’s director of sustainable design and very own Mother Earth. If you’re in Toronto, stop by HOK’s booth (#1430N) to sign her giant card and learn about the current pro bono effort she is championing: Project Haiti. Mary Ann just arrived in Toronto from Japan, where she was serving as a delegate for the AIA at UIA 2011. Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., she will be part of a panel (RD12) presenting on market-rate net zero emissions design. Happy birthday, Mary Ann…and get some rest!

Thanks to our

Hats from Hostas

Last week I attended, quite possibly, my favorite of HOK customs… supporting the Forest Park Forever Women’s Committee by attending the Hiram W Leffingwell Hat Luncheon.  Do you want to see the who’s who of top female execs in St. Louis?  Wearing amazing and sometimes silly hats?  And supporting one of the country’s foremost urban parks?  I do…. and will and will and will!

Each year, the women of HOK attempt to contrive a “theme” for the table… this year, we went green, baby.  I do believe we were the only ones there with completely compostable head …

Pomp, Circumstance and Wisdom: Inspiration for Architecture Grads

HOK Sustainable Design Director Mary Ann Lazarus presented the commencement address for Washington University’s College of Architecture on May 20. Mary Ann shared five (well, six) tidbits of wisdom that are useful for recent graduates and, well, anyone! Enjoy:

What the dean didn’t realize when he asked me to speak to you today is that I actually never attended my own graduation from Washington University back in 1978. So, if you all don’t mind, I’d like to consider this event to be my graduation as well, 32½ years late. This gives me the unique opportunity to give the closing speech at my own graduation, and to …

Guest Post: Heading to New Orleans to Talk Net Zero at the AIA Convention

Posted for guest blogger Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, LEED® AP BD+C, HOK’s director of sustainable design and all around rock star.

There’s an awful lot to do at this week’s AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in New Orleans. In addition to the programs, parties, expo and general meet and greet, I’m looking forward to participating on a panel on Net Zero Energy buildings that is being hosted by Building Design and Construction.


I’ll be talking about HOK’s experience on our Net Zero emissions  prototype commercial office building along with our teammate David Eijadi from The Weidt Group. Other panelists include representatives …

A White Paper and an Award for HOK’s Net Zero Emissions Building Prototype

How feasible is it to expect new buildings to reach net-zero emissions? Building Design + Construction features the zero carbon prototype office building designed by HOK and the Weidt Group in its new white paper exploring that topic. Visit the white paper home or go the the HOK “Lessons from a Zero Carbon Prototype” paper directly. Thanks to BD&C Editor-in-Chief Rob Cassidy for his excellent work on the NZEB White Paper!

More exciting news about Net Zero Court: The HOK-Weidt Group design just won an Innovator Award in the Growing Green Awards sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council’s …

Women Across HOK | Mary Ann Lazarus

For this installment of Women Across HOK, we have to go back to Michelle’s inaugural post where she so eloquently describes our intent – “to bring forth some dialog as to these women’s motivation, their life stories, and the way that they have carved a very deep and enduring path for others in our formerly male-dominated professions.” That pretty much sums it up for Mary Ann Lazarus, new FAIA, firmwide director of sustainable design, co-author of The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design and so much more …this series was made to tell her story. 

We know her as Mary Ann, or MAL, but …

Introducing Net Zero Court!

Is it possible to design a market-rate, zero carbon emissions office building in St. Louis? A dedicated team led by HOK and our friends at The Weidt Group decided to find out. The exciting news is that though a variety of conditions — from the climate to the cheap electricity — made St. Louis a challenging location, the answer is YES! And the design process will transfer to most North American cities. 

Net Zero Court

Net Zero Court entry forest

Link from parking

We’ll share details about the design and process

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 …

Focus on the Building Design: September 17 Zero Emissions Charrette

This is a report on the zero emissions building design charrette that took place on September 17. HOK and The Weidt Group participants in San Francisco, Toronto, St. Louis, Berkeley, Calif., and Minneapolis saved carbon emissions from air travel by using Cisco Telepresence Technology, Polyvision THUNDER ExpressWebEx and HOK’s Advanced Collaboration Rooms to meet virtually.


The team designing the a zero carbon emissions office building has made lots of progress since my last ZEB post. With the final meeting fast-approaching and an affordable carbon-free solution on the horizon, it’s time to crank out some posts to catch you up on what they’ve been up to.

Finally, a Focus on the Building

Suited Up for Greenbuild ’09

“Mary Ann and the Green Aha! Moments”

Armed with a low-carbon camcorder, two director’s chairs and a boatload of salsa mix, this quirky band of environmentalists is heading to the Great Southwest.

Our plans include rubbing elbows with Al Gore, Sheryl Crow, Anica Landreneau and dozens of other celebrity performers/speakers at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Phoenix. We’re also on a mission to gather Green Aha! moments on video (not since An Inconvenient Truth has there been such raw anticipation for an environmental production).

Here’s a short video preview of our approach:
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If you’re planning to be …

Sustainable Design at HOK

HOK has come a long way since making sustainability a core value in 1993. As Chairman Bill Valentine says in this new video (see if you can spot the Life at HOK bloggers): “We are not there but we are making giant strides.”

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Zero Emissions Charrette: Reviewing the Energy Design Strategy Report

This is a report on the zero emissions building virtual design charrette that took place on August 26, 2009. HOK and The Weidt Group participants in San Francisco, Toronto, St. Louis and Minneapolis used Cisco Telepresence Technology, Polyvision THUNDER ExpressWebEx and HOK’s Advanced Collaboration Rooms to communicate.

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In this meeting The Weidt Group’s Chris Baker and Vinay Ghatti pushed the team closer to a zero emissions office building design by talking the group through a whopping 89-page Strategy Report describing the potential energy use, carbon emissions and cost implications of hundreds of specific energy conservation strategies.

The report documented the results of DOE-2 building simulations for each strategy compared …

ZEB Charrette: Challenging the Frontier of Carbon Neutrality

This is a report on the zero emissions building virtual design charrette that took place in HOK’s Advanced Collaboration Rooms in San Francisco, Toronto and St. Louis on 31 July 2009. Lots of video clips at the end!


This meeting began with a restating of the goal of designing a zero emissions building design that will reduce the energy requirements for a traditional St. Louis office building of 150,000-200,000 square feet by 70-80 percent. They will use on-site renewable energy sources to get the rest of the way to zero emissions.

Because energy conservation typically costs less than energy generation, the team is using off-the-shelf technologies to design a building that consumes 17-18 KTBUs …

Mary Ann at the Marathon Metamorphoses

Before there were audiobooks or books on tape — before there was even a printing press — there were storytellers who helped us understand the world.

Our friends at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts (hi Rachel Craft!) want to make sure that Life at HOK’s St. Louis readers know about their “Marathon Metamorphoses,” a two-day reading of Ovid’s Metamorphoses sponsored by Pulitzer along with the St. Louis Poetry Center and River Styx. Seventy people, including HOK Sustainable Design Director Mary Ann Lazarus, will read passages of this epic narrative poem in 15-minute time slots. The readings will take place in the Pulitzer’s Main Gallery on August 29-30, from 10:00 a.m. to (roughly) 7:00 p.m….

Zero Emissions Building Charrette #2 – The Paradigm Shift

The second zero emissions building design charrette took place July 23 in The Weidt Group’s naturally daylit offices in a Minneapolis suburb. The brainstorm team included five designers from each firm, with combined expertise in energy and daylighting modeling, architecture, engineering and integrated design. Click here to see the agenda.


The team began by restating its goal: To design a 150,000-200,000-square-foot, high-end speculative office building in St. Louis that is a zero emissions building (ZEB). The group also wants to document a process that could potentially change the way they design buildings.

HOK Sustainable Design Director Mary Ann Lazarus clarified the team’s definition of a zero emissions building: …

Onward to Zero (Emissions)!


What does it take to design a net zero emissions office building? Because few of our clients are currently considering carbon neutrality in their projects, an HOK team — with help from some wonderful friends — is designing one through a series of virtual charrettes.

In response to Architecture 2030’s challenge to the global architecture and building community, HOK has committed to designing all buildings to be 100 percent carbon neutral by 2030.

The idea for the charrette is the brainchild of HOK Chairman Bill Valentine, who wants the firm’s people to gain the knowledge and experience required to design zero emissions buildings. This vision is being turned into reality …

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 …

My lie about Greenbuild

I know. I promised to try and frequently blog and post pictures from Greenbuild. I failed. Not for lack of effort. More like lack of time. Maybe next year.

As I look back on this trip, the most amazing thing about this event is the people – a people inspired by change. Everyone is cordial, welcoming and friendly. Everyone’s looking for answers to the growing questions surrounding sustainable design. Many answers are provided.

With my first trip to Greenbuild in the books, I’d like to walk you through it from my perspective as an exhibitor and not an attendee.

Monday, November 17, 2008
6:20 am – Flight leaves for Boston via DC. Much coffee needed.
11:15 am – Flight lands in Boston. Tim Gaidis and …

Heroes (not the show)…

If you’ve worked at HOK for awhile or for a little, you are probably aware of our focus on sustainability in both our projects and practices. On Thursday, October 23, the outside world recognized our achievements as a firm once again. Several HOKers were present at the St. Louis Business Journal’s Heroes of the Planet Awards ceremony, where we were declared the winner in the Sustainable Employee Programs category. Here’s a link to a brief snippet about it (sorry, have to be a subsciber for the whole thing). Mary Ann Lazarus, firmwide Sustainable Design Director, and Tim Gaidis, Sustainable Champion in St. Louis, were on hand to receive the award. …