Blog

Product transparency: mindful MATERIALS

Many designers, and their clients, want to know the contents and potential hazards of the products we put into use every day. With today’s nationwide launch of mindful MATERIALS, what we put into our homes, schools and workplaces can be more transparent than ever. mindful MATERIALS is an initiative developed by the design industry to […]

2016 AIA COTE Top Ten Plus winner

Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt receives AIA National’s highest sustainability honor

This Earth Day, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognizes the Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt Federal Building with this year’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Plus Award for reaching impressive resource efficiency following its 2009-2013 sustainable modernization. Extensive aftercare studies show that the building at 1220 SW 3rd Ave. boasts 55% energy […]

peak of roof against blue sky

Small home, big lessons: What I learned from my ADU

If you’re like me and don’t know the difference between a fun hobby and just more hard work, then you might be interested in building yourself what is called an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). An ADU is essentially a small home in your backyard that is just small enough to seem like a project any […]

(Dis)Connect

In order to maintain healthy connections in a complex and evolving world, we sometimes have to seek places with characteristics that resemble those of our ancestors from millennia ago. At SERA, we’re currently exploring what those conditions are, and how to integrate the natural and built environments to the benefit of human health and well-being.

Woodshedding to Spark Inspiration

Recently, a large group of us at SERA sat down for lunch together and discussed what it takes to create valuable and innovative design. Two main threads emerged. First, thoughtful design takes time where true mindfulness can be engaged at a deep level; time where all of our knowledge and skills can be carefully applied […]

The 2015 Sustainable Action Celebration: Transformation

Every year around Earth Day, SERA invites staff, clients and partners to explore our commitment to sustainability over the last year, and to see how we can make advances in our industry. The Sustainable Action Celebration is a SERA tradition in its ninth year, spurred by an extensive backcasting of the firm that underscored sustainability as a chief tenet behind our business policies, practices […]

CLSB Named 2015 AIA COTE Top Ten Project

Portland, Ore. – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) recognized the Collaborative Life Sciences Building and Skourtes Tower (CLSB) for its sustainable architecture and ecological design that serve to protect and enhance the environment. CLSB is one of only ten projects in the nation to receive this honor […]

a photo of the CLSB atrium with a LEED Platinum logo

Rethinking LEED with the Collaborative Life Sciences Building

When California-based CO Architects paired with SERA on the OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building and OHSU Skourtes Tower, they sought the sustainable design expertise and project management behind a growing portfolio of built LEED projects. Fast forward to last October and the U.S. Green Building Council certifies CLSB as LEED-NC 2009 Platinum. As one of only […]

Competition Drives SERA to Net Positive

Last month, a team at SERA finished the design of an apartment building that produces more energy than it requires. By using existing technology in an innovative way, they’ve created a model for future development they call Flourish. With all the hallmarks of a big firm project, Flourish is actually a submission for Architecture at Zero, an […]

Ecodistricts: Developing sustainable systems at scales that makes sense

Have you ever wondered how (and when) the energy, waste and water systems in our cities were built? Like the growth of cities, the systems that support our urban lives have evolved incrementally over time. Together they make up a patchwork of infrastructure that is sometimes arbitrary and can be quite inefficient. Applying the principles […]