Insights

Post-Covid Possibilities: Exploring Hotel-to-Housing Conversions

The pandemic has disrupted the typical supply-and-demand dynamic in many industries. In the short term, this is especially true for Hospitality. Thus, the topic of converting “distressed properties” to other uses is receiving a great deal of attention lately. While speculation around opportunities for distressed hotels will likely diminish with economic recovery, there will continue […]

SAP Podcast, Ep. 6: What’s Next? Putting Our Plan to Action

In this final chapter of our series exploring our Sustainability Action Plan, we address the question, “So how does SERA actually use the plan in the real world?” Remember our Project Compass? SERA’s Project Compass is a tool we designed to note and understand the many aspects of sustainability in our work. We’ve used it […]

SAP Podcast, Ep. 5: Social Sustainability & Equity

Energy efficiency, good water management, daylighting, and all the other sustainability strategies we champion are meaningless if they’re not available to everybody. Social sustainability and equity, as explored in this week’s podcast, must be at the core of our work. At SERA, social sustainability has roots in our founders Bing Sheldon and Don Eggleston’s dedication […]

SAP Podcast, Ep. 4: Sustainable Placemaking

Sustainability, when you scale it up beyond buildings to think about neighborhoods, campuses, or regions, isn’t just about stormwater and mini-power grids. Sustainable strategies have to be rooted in the character and identity of their location, and add to its richness—this is what we mean by sustainable placemaking. History, past development patterns, and ongoing community […]

SAP Podcast, Ep. 3: Why Embodied Carbon Counts—and How to Count It

As sustainable construction has evolved and our whole industry has made dramatic improvements around energy use and water management, we’ve learned to look more broadly—this is one of the biggest ideas behind SERA’s Sustainability Action Plan and in this latest podcast it extends to embodied carbon—at all the impacts involved with erecting a building, sourcing […]

#11: Welcome Back, Workers

Recently, a crack squad of designers and architects in SERA’s Workplace studio took part in an international design competition that asked competitors to envision different aspects of the return to work in an office building environment. (Spoiler alert: we won.) The specific area that we chose to investigate deeply is the first-floor lobby and shared […]

SAP Podcast, Ep. 2: Health, Happiness and Biophilia

A connection to nature allows humans to feel safe, healthy, and productive. We design for human experience and take responsibility for making the people who eventually move through our spaces feel those same things. So the topic of biophilia gets a lot of attention at SERA, whether we’re talking about a new building or interior […]

#10: Go Ahead — Rethink Everything!

May you live in interesting times.  — Dubious blessing of apocryphal Chinese origin As I write this, the US has surpassed 260,000 Covid-19 deaths, Oregon continues to hit grim milestones for new daily records for both cases and active hospitalizations, and new closures and lockdowns, necessary to contain the spread of the virus, are again […]

New Video Podcast: ‘What’s a Sustainability Action Plan?’

At SERA, we published our first Sustainability Action Plan (PDF) in 2011, with multiple updates since then. Earlier this year, we published our most recent—and extensive—version, which includes some new topics and a great deal of information about both the latest thinking in the industry, and some of the recent work we’ve done which explores […]

Q&A with SERA Designer and 2020 SEED Award Winner Lindsey Naganuma

For her capstone university project, SERA designer Lindsey Naganuma collaborated on a library concept for Portland’s Cully neighborhood — one that builds community, celebrates diverse identities, and challenges how residents learn and share information. Her conceptual design is now a 2020 SEED Award winner, recognized by the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), the NAACP, […]