Eliminating the “Red List” of harmful building materials is just the beginning. We use materials fed by the sun, free of toxins, naturally pure. We create homes and workspaces that are quiet, thermally comfortable, full of fresh air and daylight. We work to eradicate the use of materials that produce toxic emissions during production and that off-gas during their lifetime.
Heath and Happiness
We believe that living closely together in cities demands considerate design to encourage positive social interaction. We consider the influence buildings have on behavior to be deliberate—the choices we make in design can increase the likelihood of creating community and overcoming isolation.
We can create environments that optimize physical and psychological health and wellbeing. This is influenced by environmental conditions such air quality, thermal control, and visual comfort.
Biophilia: Connect with Nature
We design our projects to include elements that celebrate and encourage a love of nature and harness the inherent biological health benefits of the natural world. We grow food in the sky, provide views of lush natural beauty, and maximize access to natural elements from each building. We believe that all inhabitants of buildings are entitled to a direct connection to nature. Connection to nature offers tremendous health and wellness benefits to all people.
Resilient cities and buildings are those that are shock resistant, healthy, adaptable, and regenerative through a combination of diversity, foresight and the capacity for self-organization and learning. We believe resilient buildings help future proof our communities by offering socially cohesive, thermally comfortable, and healthy living environments.
Carbon emissions/operational vs. embodied carbon
To evaluate building related emissions in a meaningful way, all sources should be considered, from the energy required to construct buildings, to the energy required to operate them. As we succeed in driving operating emissions down to very low levels, the significance of embodied carbon becomes more pronounced.
We choose to use energy that comes from sources other than fossil fuels. While all energy sources have consequences, prioritizing carbon-free energy addresses the most urgent problems we face related to emissions and climate change.
We need to use energy responsibly. We can do so by first designing buildings that demand less, second by using efficient systems, and third by integrating renewable systems.
Water is fundamental to our existence—an immediate and persistent need for humankind. The costs and consequences of managing potable and wastewater is an enormous burden on public funds. We habitually design water systems for wasteful behaviour and peaks of use that are inefficient. Through conservation, the benefits are reduced costs and emissions, and less disruption to the biosphere. We need to eliminate sources of waste and use potable water carefully.
We choose to use materials and products that are harvested and manufactured in environmentally and socially responsible ways. We believe that the choices we make around the products and materials used in buildings should acknowledge the full consequences of their creation and use.
We choose to use products and materials that have been created with a sensitivity to this desire, to limit the negative impacts of every selection we make.
We prioritize and choose to avoid materials and products that emit harmful substances into our indoor and outdoor environments and have adverse health consequences for inhabitants. Buildings must not be harmful to the people they support.
We are in the midst of a renaissance of wood in construction. A wide range of engineered wood products provide designers with great flexibility. As the only structural building material that is created by the sun, wood is a unique material that brings us nearer to a building culture that works with natural systems.
Wood offers a renewable, low carbon, highly durable, and naturally beautiful building material that has fewer environmental consequences of any other material and has the ability to sequester and store carbon.