Blog

Recycling – Are we Doing It Wrong?

With a photo of a blue recycling bucket on it, a recent cover of Willamette Week tells us “You’re Doing It Wrong.” The story reiterates what we already know: Portlanders are very enthusiastic recyclers. Unfortunately, “a large percentage of what Portlanders throw in their bins is actually garbage.” And as a result, “the chief buyer […]

Our Top 10 Most Sustainable Actions.. Plus One

Every year at SERA, we have an internal event to celebrate the efforts we take to make a more sustainable world. And over the years, we have had some very ambitious projects deliver on their sustainability goals such as EGWW, the Erb Memorial Union, Savier Street Flats and many others. But in celebrating our sustainability efforts […]

Implementing Biophilic Design at Living Future unConference

Join SERA this May for Living Future’s unConference, where we’ll be presenting “Biophilia – from Theory to Culture to Action.” In an ongoing, grassroots effort at SERA, our staff is exploring biophilic design – simply put, how environments with natural characteristics impact health and wellbeing – and how it can enrich projects, support cultural values, […]

Resiliency: Our Sustainability Celebration + Design Week Portland events

In a first for SERA, we coupled our 2017 Sustainable Action Celebration with a Design Week Portland session in back-to-back events last week. Our celebration comes on the heels of the AIA’s recent report “The Habits of High-Performance Firms,” which highlights SERA’s four AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten project wins. The report attributes […]

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 […]