Imagine a world in which buildings and communities clearly and definitively help to prevent some of our most widespread illnesses, improve our mental health, and strengthen our overall wellbeing. We are now one step closer to this place after last week’s Summit on Green Buildings & Human Health, hosted by the US Green Building Council.
If there’s one thing that I took away, it’s the enormous potential of public health professionals joining forces with the green building community to significantly improve human health and wellbeing. We’ve always cared about the basics, of …
HOK recently participated in an important research initiative with CoreNet Global, a corporate real estate research and networking organization. We were one of a few service providers that had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of corporate real estate executives about global trends and their predictions for the years leading up to 2020.
This nine-month “CRE 2020″ study enabled us to discuss and truly understand the critical issues our corporate clients are wrestling with – and what they are doing to prepare for the future.
While HOK’s team provided guidance for all eight work streams, three experts from HOK’s consulting practice led teams of industry peers to author individual reports:
Thirty-four-year architectural veteran Russ Drinker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, joined the leadership team in HOK’s San Francisco office on Sept 4. as a new senior vice president and management principal.
As a pre-teen growing up in a 150-year-old Victorian farmhouse surrounded by an apple orchard in Saratoga, California, Russ built tree houses and forts. By the time he began studying architecture at the University of California in Berkeley in 1976, he had graduated to designing and constructing 2,000-square-foot solar homes.
“I had no business doing this, but I designed and built a custom house while an undergraduate at Berkeley,” said Russ. “It taught me about designing buildings from the inside-out and about sustainability. And I …
Greenbuild is finally making its way to San Francisco this November – and those of us in the Bay Area are pretty excited. The conference theme is aptly “@ Greenbuild,” referencing the astounding array of Internet, social media and technology companies headquartered here in the Bay Area. We also have our host of gaming companies, many of whom tap into social networks; gamejobhunter lists over 120 companies nearby, from tiny start-ups to titans like EA and Zynga.
“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 …
Why should we be concerned about sustainable design? Steven Danielpour, the director of specifications for our New York office, discusses what vehicles are available for implementing sustainable design and how to implement sustainable design in specifications documents. The presentation is from the 2012 ArchiSpec Summit in Henderson, Nevada. Enjoy:
Bill Valentine has retired after half a century with HOK. Bill joined HOK in 1962, straight from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and, thankfully, never left. In 1970, at the request of HOK Founding Partner Gyo Obata, Bill headed west from St. Louis to California to open HOK’s San Francisco office. Bill, who championed the firm’s early adoption of sustainability as a core value in the 1990s, served as president of HOK from 2000-2007 and chairman from 2007-2012.
Here is a video celebrating Bill’s first 50 years of design at HOK:
San Francisco has long been one of the world’s great tourist attractions, and this year it will have a great new set of offerings: 20+ tours developed for the Greenbuild Conference and Expo, plus many more that the USGBC Northern California Chapter will be able to offer in the future. The Greenbuild Host Committee recently put out a call for tour proposals – the outpouring of responses showed the embarrassment of riches that San Francisco has to offer for green building …
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 …
Greenbuild, the international green building conference and expo hosted annually by the US Green Building Council, will finally make its way to San Francisco this November. Greenbuild has been drawing 20,000-30,000 people for the last few years, and we expect that San Francisco will be the largest ever – depending on who you listen to, there may be upwards of 45,000 people. (Yikes!)
The conference theme this year is “@Greenbuild”, making reference to the mindboggling array of internet and technology companies headquartered in the Bay Area. The …
The future of composting food and other biodegradable “waste” in large multi-tenant office buildings is unfolding in a pilot program orchestrated by HOK in its St. Louis headquarters at the One Metropolitan Square (Met Square) downtown.
HOK’s Terri Muckensturm and Mary Ostafi separate and discard food leftovers
A team in HOK’s St. Louis office is managing an $18,000 grant engaging eight Met Square tenants in the pilot program that began on October 26, 2011. Through December 12, 2011, the tenants have recycled 11.33 tons of food waste for composting, averaging more than 1.5 tons of food each week. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans discard more than 96 billion pounds of …
Sarah and a young boy at Fondation Enfant Jesus in Port au Prince (photo was taken by one of the children who discovered a new love for playing with Sarah’s camera)
When HOK was asked to partner with the USGBC on Project Haiti, a children’s center in Port au Prince, we decided immediately that the most appropriate approach to the project would require an integrated, multi-disciplinary team. So we assembled …
The world of sustainable design has truly gone global. I spent part of last week teaching at the University of the Donau in their International Master’s Program for Sustainable Building Design. The program is taught in English and attracts people from all over the world. Students spend a week in Austria, then return home for 3-4 weeks and then return for another intense week. There were no two people from the same country in the program this week. The class included architects and engineers from Russia, Denmark, Germany, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Spain among other locations. The diversity of homelands of the class brought a wonderful diversity …
Alright, alright, this was not a full scale blockbuster style alien invasion. Even better, it was the USGBC’s Greenbuild Conference 2011. And those little green people? They were 25,000 representatives of the sustainable community from around the world, including over two dozen of our own HOKers. Now, you might be asking yourselves, “But Brett, how can the UNITED STATES Green Building Council hold its national annual conference outside the US?” Well, it’s simple, the USGBC has embraced the notion that the sustainable revolution is not just here in the US, but a global movement. This international event, from October 3-7, was a showcase of avant-guard industry thinking, innovative new sustainable products …
HOK is the USGBC’s official design partner for Project Haiti, a pro bono effort to build a LEED-certified orphanage and children’s center in Port au Prince. Sustainable Design Director Mary Ann Lazarus and a team from HOK recently returned from Toronto, where they shared the Project Haiti story at Greenbuild 2011. Read on for Mary Ann’s guest post and an amazing video from the USGBC:
“Imagine it: 15,000 people in the Air Canada Hockey arena, lights flashing, music playing, Jumbotrons running. Cue USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi for the introduction of the new Project Haiti video. The video features the recent site visit by the USGBC and HOK team members and meeting with the terrific clients, Gina and Lucien Duncan from the children’s center.
When it comes time for Greenbuild each fall, host cities go at great lengths to showcase their most recent, cutting edge, and sustainably designed buildings sprouting up around the city. In the case of Toronto, you would be mistaken to look for “new” buildings to highlight the city’s green buildings stock. Here, sustainable design begins by looking backwards.
Over the past decade, the city of Toronto has worked tirelessly to repurpose its abandoned building stock. Settled along Lake Ontario, Toronto had long been criticized for disconnecting the city’s residents from the water front, giving priority to shipping and industry. As the level of productivity for those services reduced at the end of …
At the opening charrette for Project Haiti, we asked a few of the designers about the challenges they anticipated for this unique project. Their responses covered everything from technology to materials to cultural considerations. See more:
HOK is the USGBC’s official design partner for Project Haiti, a pro bono effort to build a LEED-certified orphanage and children’s center in Port au Prince. The original structure was severely damaged in the January 2010 earthquake that caused mass destruction throughout the country. (Read the first post in this series here.)
When you’re used to seeing colleagues in work attire, it’s strange to see them on a weekend. But there we were – a conference room full of people in shorts and jeans, spending a summer Saturday volunteering for an extraordinary project: rebuilding an orphanage and children’s center in Haiti.
The design process began on June 25, when 14 HOK designers and one USGBC representative met in St. Louis, …
Mara Baum, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, came to HOK’s St. Louis office in 1999 as a young college graduate wary about joining a large architectural firm. After three years working on lab projects as an original member of HOK’s Science + Technology group and contributing to the first edition of The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design, her perception changed.
“I learned that you can’t put labels on an organization as large and diverse as HOK,” she says. “When you are working on projects, you are working with individuals and small teams. It wasn’t the ‘studio-industrial complex’ I had imagined. The resources and opportunities here are phenomenal.”
What may sound like a symphony of seals at the aquarium is just coincidental alliteration – but the title above is arccurate, er, accurate. Check out Los Angeles designer Arnold Lee’s thoughts on designing ARTIC, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. This online publication, ArchitypeReview, asks design professionals throughout the community to discuss a certain topic each month. This month’s topic: trains. We’re proud to see Arnold and ARTIC gracing this web page, in the company of some great designers and projects.
It is with great excitement that METROPOLIS Magazine has announced our HOK / Vanderweil team as winners of the 2011 Next Generation Design Competition: “Get the Feds to Zero.” Our project team consisted of 11 designers from HOK and 4 engineers from Vanderweil, all with less than 10 years of professional experience. Our team addressed a 1965 Los Angeles federal office building, and proposed modernization strategies to achieve a Zero Environmental Footprint.
Achieving a Zero Environmental Footprint requires deep reductions in building energy and water loads, changes in occupant behavior, integrated building systems and onsite renewable energy generation. Successful realization is the result of a fully integrated design and multi-disciplinary collaboration.
Wanted to share this video done by Julie Maggos, HOK’s own talented young graphic designer and frequent commenter here on HOK Life. Thank you Julie and everyone else who helped out with this…it is such a gift of inspiration to our firm and our profession!
It’s May and we’re amped! Why, you ask? It’s yet again Bike to Work month. Before we get into the details, check out this video for some immediate inspiration as you contemplate pulling that bike out of storage.
This week we begin our 3rd year of participation in the 2011 Group Health Commute Challenge hosted by the Cascade Bicycle Club and Group Health. HOK has made this event global with participation from over ten HOK offices around the world. In fact, the last two years HOK has placed in the top 20 out of more than 1000 participating organizations. Bicycle commuting is a lot …
This year, HOK offices worldwide brought their own flavors to the table in celebration of Earth Day - below are highlights from the many and varied events! (For more pics, check out our Flickr set.)
In Los Angeles, a week-long poster and email campaign posed thoughtful questions and delivered expert answers, inspiring some lively discussions around the office!
The HOK Houston office sponsored the City of Houston Mayor’s Earth Day Breakfast and presented their commitment to sustainability along with the Dean of Architecture from the University of Houston and clients from Chevron.
Last week in Seattle I had the pleasure of attending the “Next Eco-City” symposium hosted by the University of Washington. The symposium, which took place downtown in Rem Koolhaus’ Seattle Public Library, was a daylong event broken into three sessions – Emergent Ecologies, Emergent Cities, and Emergent Tactics – and was kicked off the evening before with three presentations and a panel discussion centered on the ecological implications of urbanization. Each of the symposium speakers maintains a sturdy balance between academia and practice and each are using their unique positions in this regard to invoke change in the built environment across the realms of academia, policy, and …
“My contribution to HOK has been to use my skills as a designer and entrepreneur to transform parts of our business,” says Riccardo. “I see my job as designing HOK for the next 25 years and there is no place more influential for that project than Asia.”
The story begins with an overview of HOK and its major clients in Asia, who according to Riccardo include “China Construction Bank, Banglalore …
Barb Ciesla, vice president and leader of HOK’s Sustainable Design Consulting practice in Canada, talks about the Occupant Engagement Program™ offering that she and her team have developed in Toronto.
“We’re starting to work on the people end, which really came out of LEED for Existing Buildings. We were working on operations but we saw this gap and this group of people who wanted to be engaged but no mechanism to do that. So we have developed a program and it’s based on tools around psychology and sociology principles and community-based social marketing which have been shown to actually affect behavior change.”
With more than $290 billion in assets and approximately 55,000 employees, PNC is one of the largest financial services companies in the country. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, PNC also has more LEED certified buildings than any other company on Earth. When it opened in 2001, PNC’s Firstside Center in downtown Pittsburgh was the nation’s largest corporate green building at 650,000 square feet. And with the recent opening of PNC Place in Washington, D.C., PNC currently has over 100 LEED certified projects in its real estate portfolio. Gary Saulson, Director of Corporate Real Estate for the PNC Financial Services Group, is