Blog

RSVP for our #DWPDX Discussion on Resilience

The term ‘resilience’ is increasingly being used in architecture and urban planning to describe the durability, adaptability and flexibility of our built environment. With the increasing threat of volatile weather due to climate change, the high probability of a large-magnitude earthquake striking the region, and the slower moving but equally transformative effects of economic changes […]

SERA commits to carbon offsets for 2015

SERA signed an agreement with Bonneville Environmental Fund to offset 450 metric tons of carbon emissions through Redwood conservation and waste heat energy projects. That number represents just over 100% of SERA’s 2015 footprint, including everything from air travel and employee commuting to office energy use and even the embedded energy in office supplies like […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

(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.

Saving the planet takes guts – billions of them

Over the past few years two seemingly unrelated issues have been eating away at me: How can we as a species do more to address climate change, and why is my digestive system feeling out of whack? At first I thought I was just stressing out over the fate of the planet. But the more […]

Avoiding the Disposable Notion: My Waste-Free Month

How do you feel about the Starbucks holiday cup? Being a holiday season enthusiast, I used to be tickled as the barista handed over that red cup, because it meant the most wonderful time of the year was right around the corner. A paper cup filled with hot liquid makes me feel happy, content. But […]

Sustainability Outside of Here

Working here at SERA, sustainability is a word that gets used a lot. We talk about it for our projects. We discuss in the products we specify. We use it in our personal lives outside the office. It is so ingrained with the current culture of architecture and design, especially here in Portland, that I […]