Hennebery Eddy’s First Community Service Scholarship

In 2018, Hennebery Eddy awarded its first Community Service Scholarship to associate Nick Byers, AIA, supporting his proposal to provide design services to a school with limited access to volunteer design professionals. The community service scholarship is part of the firm’s larger philanthropic effort, Hennebery Eddy Gives, which provides a framework for volunteering, financial contributions, and pro bono work to support community development where we work, live, and play. Here, Nick shares the process, successes, and lessons learned from his project.

Hennebery Eddy community development service project - Newly constructed raised planters at Clackamas River Elementary School
Newly constructed raised planters at Clackamas River Elementary School.

Please describe your service project. How did you conceive of it? 

In the summer of 2014, I volunteered with a group at an elementary school in Portland, where we assisted in improving a tired courtyard into a vibrant open space, complete with new landscaping, raised planters, and trees. The effort was led by a local construction company, and the final product was a beautiful new courtyard that gave the school a greater sense of pride and provided the opportunity to add gardening and healthy eating to its curriculum.  My fond memories of this project inspired my service project proposal for Hennebery Eddy’s community service scholarship.

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Here Lies Hunger: Hennebery Eddy’s Award-Winning ‘Canstruction’ Partnership with INLINE Construction

Two design-build partners. One Revit model. Six hours to build. And 3,515 cans.

“Here Lies Hunger” brought home two awards from this year’s Canstruction Portland volunteer competition benefitting the Oregon Food Bank: Best Use of Labels and People’s Choice. Hennebery Eddy teamed with INLINE Commercial Construction to dream up this design-build canstructure paying homage to the original Oregon Trail educational computer game ubiquitous in 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s classrooms.

Team Leader Jacob Simonson: “We realized that if we wanted to have a really successful structure, it needed to be something that someone could relate to and already had some sort of connection to.”

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Portland Art Museum Expansion Enhances Accessibility and Connection to City

Portland firm Hennebery Eddy Architects draws on local urban design, regulatory and historic preservation experience, collaborates with Chicago-based Vinci Hamp Architects for design of Rothko Pavilion

Sketch of one conceptual option for the Rothko Pavilion. The design supports the museum’s goals of new and enhanced art, program and public space.
Sketch of one conceptual option for the Rothko Pavilion.

The Portland Art Museum and its acclaimed collections will become more accessible to both visitors and passersby through the design of its new Rothko Pavilion. The pavilion, an addition announced in 2016, will connect the Museum’s existing Main and Mark buildings and add 30,000 square feet of community and exhibition space. The updated expansion design concept incorporates the existing Madison Street passageway between 10th and Park Avenues into a sheltered, public passageway with views into the community commons and Museum gallery spaces. Portland architecture firm Hennebery Eddy Architects is collaborating with Chicago-based Vinci Hamp Architects on the design; their work evolves the original 2015 concept to advance the museum’s goals of new and enhanced art, program and public space, and increased accessibility within and through the museum, as well as support Portland’s urban landscape.

“This expansion is an exciting opportunity to add and improve spaces for art and education as well as increase access to the renowned cultural treasures and programs of the Portland Art Museum,” said Brian Ferriso, The Marilyn H. and Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Director and Chief Curator of the Museum.

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What the Architects Architect and What Interior Designers Design: Hennebery Eddy and afo’s Architects in Schools

This spring, architect Monica Mader and interior designer Elyse Iverson volunteered as co-teachers for the Architecture Foundation of Oregon’s (afo) Architects in Schools (AIS) program. For six weeks, architectural design and engineering professionals visit elementary schools on a weekly basis, teaching a series of lessons that introduce students to various aspects of the industry and profession. Below, Monica summarizes their six-week residency at KairosPDX, a public charter school in NE Portland focused on serving low-income students and students of color.

What was your goal for the students in your AIS program?

By​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​the program, we wanted the students to ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​demonstrate​ ​an​ ​understanding​ ​of​ ​their​ ​own community​ ​and​ recognize​ ​valuable​ ​components of a​ ​​neighborhood​ ​in​ ​relation​ ​to​ architecture.

Students completed a self-assessment at the beginning of the program, sharing their knowledge and learning goals.

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Earth Day: Sharing Our Net-Positive Impact Stories

How can you be a positive force in the world? What can you do to improve your community, your project, your planet, or your life? This was the topic for Hennebery Eddy’s Earth Day celebration, a festive pin-up sharing our net-positive impact stories.

In our office work, we aspire to design net-positive spaces that reflect and respond to the natural environment and the people who use them. The result is a healthy, efficient, and adaptive net-positive outcome for clients, users, and the planet. In our pin-up, we reflected on that mission — and took it a step further, by looking at our personal net-positive experiences, too.

This topic has been on our minds as we wrap up participation in another inspiring EcoChallenge with the Northwest Earth Institute and Project Drawdown. From lessons learned on our design projects, to reflections on our connection to the natural world and tips we picked up from Drawdown’s research or our own, here’s what we shared.

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Social Responsibility: Promoting Equity Through ‘Just’ Transparency Label

When you buy packaged food at the grocery store, you can check the nutrition label to see what’s inside. Similarly, Hennebery Eddy design staff research Environmental and Health Product Declaration (EPD and HPD) labels to evaluate the life-cycle environmental impacts of the building materials and finishes we specify on our projects.

And now, anyone can see “what’s inside” the business of Hennebery Eddy through our JUST label.

Hennebery Eddy received a JUST label from the International Living Future Institute; see a full-size label here

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Community Service: Volunteering with Portland’s ReBuilding Center

Portland’s ReBuilding Center is a community development resource that uses building and remodeling materials to create positive outcomes in the Portland area.

As part of their DeConstruction program, crews glean reusable materials from demolition sites, salvaging about 85% of a building’s parts. These materials are taken to a re-processing lot, where volunteers remove nails, screws, staples, and the like.

The ReBuilding Center then uses this lumber in the construction of tiny homes for the houseless, as instruction material for their award-winning ReFind Education Program, or for re-sale in the ReBuilding Center’s public store at 40-90% off market value. It’s the triple bottom line of sustainability in action — environmental, economic, and social — and that’s the kind of community service we get behind.

As part of the firm’s annual Day of Service participation on Martin Luther King Day, our in-house Sustainability Committee organized a group volunteer shift at the processing lot. We liked it so much, we’re headed back on President’s Day for a second shift.

Hennebery Eddy pays for staff to volunteer up to 8 workday hours on MLK Day (or President’s Day) with an organization of their choice. Beyond our group activity, our staff also helped plant trees, weatherized homes for seniors, and lent a hand at local schools. These efforts are part of our net-positive philosophy in creating a better community around our business.

Restoring Community, Livability and Equity: Albina Vision

Throughout Portland’s history, the area now known as the Rose Quarter has seen significant transformation. These drastic changes, while beneficial to specific uses and groups, have often carried significant consequences, including decades of displacement – the uprooting of thousands of residents and small business owners, many of them Black or other minorities. Today, the Rose Quarter serves as an efficient events district, absorbing and releasing large surges of visitors. However, during non-event days and times, the district is vacant — an uninhabitable island within the city.

When Hennebery Eddy was invited to help develop a physical and economic vision for the district, we recognized the opportunity to use design to reflect the needs, goals and aspirations of a community, convey possibilities for integrating the district into the city, and incorporate the relationships and connections to nearby sites, prompting community conversation and input.

Rendering of plaza concept for Albina Vision urban planning effort in Portland, Oregon. Couple walking along open space with building on horizon.

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Hennebery Eddy renews Sustainability at Work Gold certification

When you visit our studio, there are a few things you likely won’t find around our workspace or conference rooms – items such as plastic water bottles, paper plates, or disposable cutlery. The absence of these single-use items is intentional. As a business committed to sustainability, we strive to make the most environmentally aware choices when it comes to our design work, material selection, and our day-to-day operations.

Wood plaque showing Sustainability at Work Gold certification for Hennebery Eddy Architects

As we know from the EcoChallenge, the cumulative effect of many small choices is powerful and impactful, and for Hennebery Eddy, they’ve resulted in our Gold certification as a Sustainability at Work business, a designation awarded by the City of Portland. We first applied for the three-year certification in 2014 and successfully completed the re-certification process in October. The Sustainability at Work program awards points for 50 different criteria in the categories of Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, Employee Engagement, Transportation, Energy, Water, and Community Engagement, as well as additional “actions” organizations can self-report. Bronze, Silver, and Gold designations are made based on the total points accrued from all categories.

Beyond the criteria outlined by the City of Portland Sustainability at Work program, at Hennebery Eddy we embrace the following business practices that contribute to a healthier environment:

  • An organized “net positive committee” of employees facilitates and implements on-going sustainability efforts and education within the firm
  • 100% of our design staff are LEED accredited
  • Became a JUST™ organization through the International Living Future Institute
  • A net-positive design approach is one of our core areas of expertise
  • Participate in NWEI’s EcoChallenge; for the last four years, we have finished in the top 10 teams out of more than 600
  • Offer employees a secure, sheltered bike storage room with shower
  • Our vendor food policy prohibits “box lunches” and encourages family-style meals without the use of paper plates and other disposable serving items
  • Offer a robust in-office composting program in addition to recycling
  • Transitioning much of our technology hardware to energy-efficient models

We are proud to be a Gold Sustainability at Work company and hope that our certification will inspire other organizations to participate in the program.

 

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:

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