EcoChallenge 2017

For the fourth year in a row, Hennebery Eddy is embarking on the two-week EcoChallenge. We participate as a way of encouraging each other to take personal action and ownership in areas such as health, energy, waste, transportation and food. Many of us find that being mindful of our personal decisions, and making lower-impact choices, connects to how we practice at work. By centering personal and design decisions around our values, we’re working to build a community that is healthy and sustainable for the long term.

Hennebery Eddy employees share their 2017 EcoChallenge Commitments
Aly and Ashley share their 2017 #EcoChallenge commitments!

So how does this impact the world around us? In addition to the collective impact small changes can have, we hope our participation will encourage others to shift behaviors. According to recent research at Stanford University, if people believe that societal norms are changing, they are more likely to change as well:

 

People standing in line at a Stanford campus café read statements describing how some people “limit how much meat they eat” (static) or “are starting to limit how much meat they eat” (dynamic). Lunch goers who read the dynamic statement were twice as likely to order a meatless meal than those in the static group (34 percent compared to 17 percent).

An important aspect of these studies, the researchers said, is that participants were never asked to change their behavior, or even told the benefits of doing so.

“We didn’t ask people to not eat meat or eat less meat,” Walton said. “They’re just given information about change.”

 

Participating in the EcoChallenge is a way to demonstrate our individual and firm-wide commitment to continually make better, more sustainable changes. This encourages others to follow suit.

It might seem overwhelming to commit to a full two weeks of behavior change, but after that period, we have a feeling small changes may be habits. Instead of getting overwhelmed, pick one or two smaller challenges, like turning off the water while you brush your teeth, or drinking from reusable mugs and water bottles instead of disposables. Once these new actions become routine, consider adding more lower-impact changes to your daily life.

One of the best ways to succeed is to share your success and hurdles with those around you. Consider joining our 2017 EcoChallenge team – just create your profile, choose your challenges and let us know what your 2017 #EcoChallenge is!

Read about our participation in the 2016 EcoChallenge and learn more about the EcoChallenge and the Northwest Earth Institute.

From LEED to Living

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Can Certifications make Better Buildings?

Over the last decade LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has become perhaps the most widely known environmental third-party certification for buildings, helping to bridge the technical barrier of sustainable design between owners and architects. While LEED promotes many positive things within the built environment, it is limited to a prescriptive manner of certification, which can result in theoretically “better” buildings that may not actually perform better than a typical baseline building.

A little less than a decade ago, the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) unveiled a new building certification – The Living Building Challenge (LBC) which focuses on a standard of performance.  Branded as “a philosophy, advocacy platform and certification tool” it has established itself as perhaps the most advanced and inspirational environmental third-party certification for buildings. Organized around seven petals – Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty – the LBC pushes projects towards regenerative solutions. These efforts are then proven through a 12-month post occupancy verification period required for certification. Less than 10 projects worldwide have achieved full Living Building certification while dozens of others are in various stages, perhaps most notably the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington (which hasn’t yet completed its 12-month verification). As a firm we have not yet completed a Living Building, however, we recently proposed LBC certification for the early concept of a project. Time will tell if the project ends up pursuing and achieving the LBC, but we thought we’d share a bit of what we learned in the initial process.

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Award Winning Sustainable Design

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AIA

Hennebery Eddy project Ash+Ash, a home that integrates contemporary architecture and high performance sustainable design, received the 2030 Challenge Award for Single Family Residential Excellence from the Portland Chapter AIA.

Cascades Academy of Central Oregon

Since its completion in fall 2013, Cascades Academy of Central Oregon has been recognized with local and national design awards.  Watch this video to learn more about this preK-12 school located just outside of Bend, Oregon and how we worked with them to develop their new campus.

Resolving Design Dilemmas

The work of most architects is known only by the end result. Whether brick and mortar or steel and glass, designers don’t typically stand at the main entry explaining to passersby the concept, diagram, or the many painful decisions that were involved. However, most buildings have a story to tell, of last minute changes and dozens of tough decisions. For this post we decided to look at a recently completed project and highlight a few of these critical crossroads, the final decisions, and our take away lessons.

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