We’re committed to our role in securing a bright future for the next generation and stand alongside our industry partners to advocate for the urgent change needed to get there. This change requires constant and intentional learning by all parties involved–and transparency of lessons learned and impact achieved to help us get to smarter and more sustainable solutions faster. Our High-Performance Hot List leverages market research and project expertise for a holistic overview of the major high-performance strategies driving our collective response to climate change in hopes that today’s firsts become tomorrow’s standard. So read up, meet up, and let’s do this–together!

Stay tuned for latest info and efforts changing the way we work for the health of our people and planet. Want to learn more? Connect with us today.

Passive House is a thorough and comprehensive certification process designed to reduce a building’s energy consumption by an average of 40-60% over its lifetime. Contrary to what the name suggests, Passive House isn’t just for single-family homes and offers a greater potential for energy reduction in large multifamily and commercial projects. Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC®) Kate Braswell addresses the certification’s biggest misconceptions and what developers interested in leveraging its principles should consider instead.

READ: PASSIVE HOUSE MYTHS, DEBUNKED

Spoiler Alert: Recent data shows the overall cost increase to pursue Passive House certification in multifamily is only 0-3% over a building built to Energy Star baseline.

Having seen its potential for the environment and our client’s bottom line, we’re eager to mainstream mass timber in the building industry. Senior Designers Tom Corrado and John Lang describe what’s next for this sustainable material and why local government is crucial to securing its future.

READ: WHAT’S NEXT FOR MASS TIMBER?

Tour 80 M Street with Senior Designer Tom Corrado for insight into the project’s design and development process. Watch as Tom describes the deciding factor that ultimately led to creating Washington, DC’s first mass timber office renovation.

WATCH: THE CASE FOR TIMBER

Jason Wright and Tom Corrado talk all things mass timber with ThinkWood, including tips for navigating code approvals, and why they chose to sacrifice density for design at 80 M Street.
Learn about the benefits of differentiating with mass timber at 80 M Street SE–the District’s first mass timber construction, scheduled to complete this May.

A net zero energy (NZE) building maximizes energy efficiency, consuming only as much as energy as it produces through renewable sources. To deliver the first net zero energy renovation in the District, Senior Designer and Director of Sustainability and High-Performance Design Gui Almeida worked with the American Geophysical Union project team to test dozens of sustainable strategies before landing on a custom mix, ideal for the headquarter’s urban environment.

READ: AGU’S PATH TO ZERO

A 117-panel solar array generates energy and provides shading for a rooftop amenity and event space with lush landscaping and sweeping city views.
A new connecting stair encourages activity while hydroponic phytoremediation (HyPhy) walls provide natural air filtration. Read all about it in Interior Design.

Embodied carbon accounts for a significant portion of the building industry’s greenhouse gas emissions yet remains an afterthought in most climate action discussions. As building policy and code evolve to include more stringent sustainability requirements, our partners share what the industry can do to move the needle towards carbon neutrality and net zero carbon projects today.

READ: CARBON IS IN YOUR COURT

It’s generally assumed low carbon materials, including alternatives to steel and concrete, come at a premium–but we weren’t convinced. Design Director Elba Morales and Senior Project Architect Kerron Miller set out to test the true cost of embodied carbon on a real project site in Washington, DC. What they discovered has challenged their approach to material selection entirely.

READ: THE REAL COST OF MATERIALS

INTERESTED IN APPLYING ONE OF THESE HIGH-PERFORMANCE STRATEGIES TO YOUR NEXT PROJECT? CONNECT WITH DIRECTOR OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE DESIGN GUI ALMEIDA TO LEARN MORE.