Blog

Let’s Be Clear: A Brief Guide to Material Transparency

Transparency is hot right now. And for good reason. Exciting new developments like the mindful MATERIALS Collaborative, which provide access to transparency information across a variety of manufacturers and products, are continuing to foster discussions between manufacturers and the design community. During this year’s Hospitality Design Expo, Alison Bane and I presented on Transparency as […]

Finding my Hygge at the Living Future Conference

I recently attended a Living Future Conference workshop in Seattle where we explored the Danish concept of Hygge. To the Danish, Hygge (pronounced ‘Hue-gah’) can mean many things, including a calming environment, comfort, warmth, friends, home and nourishment. We were first introduced to this concept by leaving the busy behind – our bags, phones and […]

SERA Cyclists Reach the Beach for the American Lung Association

Last Saturday, team SERA Velo participated in Oregon’s annual Reach the Beach event and raised $1,698 for the American Lung Association. Our riders’ cumulative miles exceeded 1,600. Early starters in Beaverton were greeted with the traditionally coolish air and moist skies that signify spring in the Portland area. A few more riders joined the team […]

Honoring our founder Bing Sheldon

By now, all of the city’s major publications have covered our founder’s passing with great deference. Portland City Hall even lowered their flag to the news of George “Bing” Sheldon’s passing on April 30. Mayor Charlie Hales called Bing “a man who foresaw, protected, and shaped the city we love.” His memorial is set for […]

How a design comes to be a building

Despite what Howard Roark and Ted Mosby imply, most buildings are not the product of a sole architect’s vision at the drawing board. Rather, a design is created by the architectural team and engineers, who hand over the permitted documents to the contractor to build. This is how it’s planned, but what really goes on? […]

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 […]

Celebrating Sustainability in 2016

Each year, we share the sustainability achievements of our projects and our office operations with the Sustainable Action Celebration. Clients and partners join SERA’s staff to celebrate that progress, and to take a look at our goals for the coming year. This year’s theme was Cross Pollination, where we explored our advancements studio-by-studio, from healthy […]

Waste audits: the dirty work of office sustainability

Each year a dedicated group of SERA employees perform a strange ritual, venturing into places most people try not to imagine, let alone touch. While their coworkers are heading home for the day, the group collects all of the office trash, tossing it on the floor to dig in. Waste audits can be dirty, disgusting […]

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 […]

A Picture is Only Worth a Thousand Words

Architects are accustomed to long distance relationships; Beginning as students we fall in love with images of buildings, we read what we can, study the floor plans, but only after a long courtship do we eventually meet in person.