Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable Design’

LEED Lessons Learned at Healthcare Design Conference

Kim Shinn and I presented a session on lessons learned from the first three years of LEED for Healthcare at Greenbuild 2013. The session and the research we conducted before and after it was extremely valuable for everyone involved.  We’ve been accumulating lessons learned based on “war stories” from people in our networks and from our own projects. This presentation opened up a big can of worms that we’ve decided not to shut — we’re currently preparing a “deep dive” workshop at Healthcare Design Conference in November 2014 and a LEEDuser webcast for winter 2015.

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The Hospital Replacement Wing at Ventura County Medical Center is targeting LEED for Healthcare Silver

The Next Generation Sustainable Design Leader

I have always taken my role as a mentor pretty seriously, but this rose to new heights last month when I brought my five month old daughter to the annual summit of the Architecture + Design Sustainable Design Leader network.  Held on Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle, the summit brought together a group of 50 people who serve as sustainable design directors at mid- to large-sized firms.

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I had special help with my presentation on energy efficiency at the Oregon State Hospital at Salem.  Photo by Alex Wilson

This is my sixth year attending the summit, and I have come to count many …

HOK Partners with USGBC on Building Health Initiative

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Yesterday the US Green Building Council Northern California Chapter announced its Building Health Initiative, in partnership with HOK and 26 other organizations. This program kicks off with a two year “Building Health Challenge” intended to put the spotlight on health and wellness as key aspects of green building. The challenge will require HOK and other participants to implement key actions and programs in support of human health that are intended to help transform the market.

We are excited to be participating in this groundbreaking initiative, which will focus on goals such as peer and client education, health and wellbeing research, and material ingredient transparency tools such as …

Paul Woolford on How Biomimicry Inspired the Design of the San Francisco Museum at the Mint

Thanks to Paul Woolford, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, design director in HOK’s San Francisco office, for this post describing the vision for the San Francisco Museum at the Mint adaptive reuse project, which will be one of the country’s most environmentally innovative museums.

This once was a working metal factory that produced gold and silver bars and coins. There also was a public function where people exchanged gold or silver dust for coins and bars.

To organize the building program, we swept away all the unfortunate interventions that had altered the building since the federal government stopped using it as a mint in the 1930s. To understand how the renovated building …

Q+A: Kenneth Drucker, Design Director for HOK in New York

Like a proud father, Kenneth Drucker, FAIA, notes that two of his New York team’s projects that began more than half a decade ago have opened in recent months: Harlem Hospital’s new Mural Pavilion and a replacement hospital for the University Medical Center at Princeton.

While keeping an eye on all of the projects coming out of HOK’s New York studio, Ken is also designing a headquarters for Korean energy company Samchully in Seoul and the Singapore Chancery infill building in Manhattan. He recently began design of a new ambulatory care center for New York-Presbyterian Hospital on a prominent Upper East Side site. Finally, he just returned …

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 …

HOK’s Steven Danielpour on Specifying Sustainable Design

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:

HOK’s Bill Valentine on What’s Next for Sustainable Design

As we look forward to 2012, we recently came across a video from Greenbuild 2011 in Toronto focused on what’s next for sustainable design. In this Greenbuild interview, HOK Chairman Bill Valentine talks about partnering with the USGBC for Project Haiti, designing affordable net zero carbon buildings and bringing new life to existing buildings.

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Sustainable Design Goes Global

Hard at Work with Students Danau

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 …

Reimagining Toronto



















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 …

Katerva Nomination for Process Zero


Every year, innovators across the world develop new solutions to address issues revolving around climate change.  While many of these ideas are developed in a bubble, there is a strong need to push innovation further and enable individuals and large organizations alike to take the next evolutionary step in sustainabilty.  The Katerva Challenge arose out of such need and “serves to identify, award and accelerate ingenious ideas that will enable the global community to live sustainably with the planet.”  It looks for breakthrough ideas across multiple industries and practices, and beyond putting a temporary spotlight on them, attempts to connect innovators with a larger network of businesses that may enable them to refine, thrive, …

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 …

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 …

Designer Profile: HOK Asia-Pacific Managing Director Riccardo Mascia

Roof & Façade Asia (December 2010) published a Q&A with HOK Asia-Pacific Managing Director Riccardo Mascia, AIA, LEED AP. Riccardo leads HOK’s offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.

“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 International Airport, Credit Suisse, Greenland, Government …

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 …

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.

What I did on my summer vacation…

…otherwise known as why I have been quieter than usual on Life@HOK!

I’m sure you are expecting to hear about fascinating travels, tours of historic sites, sustainable design news, becoming world famous, or other similarly fabulous vacation plans.  If nothing short of that will satisfy you, STOP READING NOW! 

So what did I do?  Mostly I worked, played soccer, went to the beach a couple of times (MD and DE beaches…not the “shore”), and, oh yeah, I bought a new house.  And tried to sell my old one. 

I’ve lived in and around Alexandria, VA for my entire “adult life.”  I landed here because my college roommate got a job in Alexandria and …

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 …

Tinker for Lunch

Last week Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino from Tinker London gave a lunch lecture at HOK London about digital data and the city.

I had met Alexandra at liftconference this spring, where she was giving a short talk on her firm’s work (here a link to her talk). And immediately I thought: that’s a great topic for a lunch talk at HOK.

We provided Alex with a good audience – in spite of the sunny weather outside the boardroom was packed with people.

Tinker London

Alex is the founder of Tinker London, a digital and interactive design firm. She specializes in an area called “the internet of things” – a way of linking objects to the internet and get usable data out of them. …

Diversity of Species in the Rainforest…

I doodle in my spare time...

The World’s First High-Performance BOBBLEHEAD

Nothing symbolizes professional success quite like the creation of a bobblehead likeness.

Obama’s got one. The Beatles have a set. LeBron even inspired one as a Cavalier and another to chart his migration to Miami.

It was only a matter of time before our own Chairman and resident “less-is-more” pioneer — Bill Valentine — inspired a similar tribute.

Bill’s bobble is actually a new award to recognize exceptional examples of sustainability in action. It will show up at HOK offices worldwide, honoring individuals and teams for tangibly advancing the HOK Sustainable Roadmap. Introduced in early 2010, the roadmap is a framework to take sustainability …

AIS Goes Major League

As a final hurrah for our Architecture in Schools Students, we took a “green tour” of the Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium.  It was a fantastic way to get the kids excited about design, and about green.  The tour focused on the history of “green,” green design of the stadium, green operations at the stadium, and also included a few fun bits for the kids: a visit to the press box, the Nats Clubhouse (aka locker room), and the dugout.  Check out some pix from the event:

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A few notes on the show:

  • Upside down sticker on the dual flush toilet – oops!
  • The final picture in this set shows me (black shirt & jeans) with the girl who

Best of Work+Place (Episode I)


Now that we’ve whetted your appetite regarding our workplace expertise, it’s time to share some more of our favorite posts from Work+Place.  Enjoy!

Go Barefoot WEEK and Earth Day

Every year HOK holds an event (pending copyright, so it’s super official) to celebrate Earth Day. We call it “Go Barefoot Day” and it all revolves around decreasing your environmental footprint. I’m not going to spoil the update from corporate, BUT I will share the cool events that we have planned for “Go Barefoot WEEK” in Chicago. I would like to highlight the effort that we are having on Friday with other design firms in Chicago (Gensler, OWPP / Cannon, Goettsch Partners and Perkins and Will). Competitors on paper, but allies when it comes to the sustainable design movement around Chicago and the world.

Thanks to all the wonderful members of the HOK Chicago sustainable design group that made this upcoming …

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 …

Check out the new Jean Canfield video!

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The Jean Canfield Government of Canada Building, designed by HOK in joint venture with Bergmark Guimond Hammarlund Jones in PEI, delivers on the federal government’s pledge to embrace new technologies, methodologies, partners, and means of delivering service to Canadians. Thoughtfully planned, the JC building has revitalized an underused neighbourhood, uses design to reflect the local flavour of the community, encourages employees and residents alike to use the space and sets the standard for environmentally-progressive government buildings.

The following video explores how the design team successfully met the federal government’s objectives of sustainability, supportive work environments, and connectivity, and highlights HOK’s integrated design approach to the project.

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Women Across HOK | Anica Landreneau

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When Anica is not doing the New York Times crossword, blogging on here, or teaching at Roger Williams University she is HOK’s very own globe-trotting ‘greenest greenie’ (as he Life@HOK biog says!). I say the first activity in jest, as although based in HOK’s DC office, this girl is so in demand and is so committed to our work that she is hard to pin down to being in one country for more than 24 hours!  We love her dearly, her incredible passion for our work and how we can incrementally improve our world.

HOK Announces New Green Building Rating System: CGGH

GingerbreadAlways a leader in sustainable design, today HOK announced development of a new green building rating system (look out USGBC!): Checklist for Gingerbread Green Homes (CGGH).

Developed by an interdisciplinary team of HOK’s finest (John Cantrell, Weronika Cichosz, JoAnn Brookes, Lori Selcer, and Julian Tablada), CGGH helps gingerbread artists create the greenest ginger-person homes. This effort was inspired by Toronto’s LEED Platinum house developed for Habitat for Humanity last year (featured on Treehugger, Inhabitat, and Notcot).

Toronto’s delicious creation followed green building principles found in the USGBC’s LEED rating system. HOK’s new CGGH takes green ginger construction a step further, examining the total process from ingredient …

Women Across HOK | Barb Ciesla

Here’s another chapter in our ongoing 5 questions series with the women of HOK.  Meet Barb Ciesla, Sustainable Design Leader and Vice President in Toronto.  Barb has been with HOK almost six years now and we are glad to have her.   She is a Scorpio and true to her zodiacal sign, she is “one intense little creature.”  Barb is as smart as they come and won’t back down, especially when it comes to sustainability.  Read more and you’ll see why.

Barb Ciesla

Q:  Why is sustainable design so important to you? – I got to a point in my design career where, although I was loving what I was doing, I didn’t …

Greenbuild Aha!

HOK is turning the tables at Greenbuild ’09. Instead of adorning our booth with OUR story, we’re creating a platform for telling YOURS. That’s right, it’s Open Mic Night at next week’s big conference and expo in Phoenix.

During the show, we will be inviting individuals to share their Green Aha!, the moment they first realized the importance of living and/or working “green.”
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We will broadcast those inspiring tales at our booth, as well as uploading them to a YouTube Channel so others can share the experience. The most profound Aha! moments will win a free signed copy of The Green Workplace.

See you at Booth #3442. I’ll be the guy …