Time for a few words on sustainability.

In 1970, Barry Commoner, one of the founders of the modern environmental movement, came up with four laws of ecology: 1. Everything is connected to everything else. 2. Everything must go somewhere. 3. Nature knows best. 4. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

At about the same time, the cover of The Whole Earth Catalog featured that iconic photograph of the Earth taken by the crew of Apollo 17. Something changed in the culture. The abstract idea of our planet as a fragile ecosystem with its gossamer thin atmosphere suddenly became very real. We awoke to how intricately connected we are with one another. It was the dawn of ecological consciousness.

Sustainability, defined by the United Nations as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, underpins our design approach. We strive to site our buildings to minimize their impact, to design and detail energy efficient building envelopes, to specify low-embodied-carbon and non-toxic materials, and to select high-performance systems.

On a deeper level, we believe that “design sustains sustainability”. Environmentally responsive architecture in harmony with nature is essential. We take care of the things we cherish. We need to love our built environment in order to save our natural environment.

The image on this page is a high definition NASA photograph taken in 2012, forty years after the original Apollo 17 photograph.