Insights

Collaborative Climate Solutions Start with Carbon Benchmarking

The West Coast has experienced an astonishing number of climate-related catastrophes in recent years. Wildfires created widespread devastation and smoke-choked air, atmospheric rivers resulted in extensive flooding, and a heat dome shattered records and resulted in a significant number of deaths. As architects, we know our work has a significant impact on the climate, and […]

Back to the Future: How We Chose a Longtime Project as Our New Portland HQ

How does a design firm choose a new building? It’s the same challenge that faces any company, with the added wrinkle that, whereas another business might hire a project manager or designer to help them weed through the possibilities, understand their own needs clearly, and identify their best option, we’re our own consultant for that […]

Combating Climate Change: A Study of Embodied Carbon

The design and construction industry has spent two decades promoting net-zero energy buildings by combining operational energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy generation, but now the goalposts are shifting.  There is a growing awareness that buildings generate massive amounts of carbon through “embodied carbon” emissions during construction, creating huge spikes in carbon emissions and undercutting […]

Tackling the Low-Rise LA Design Competition

The American Dream of single-family homeownership is growing increasingly inaccessible. To explore new paths to affordable homeownership, the City of Los Angeles’ Chief Design Officer and the Mayor’s Office created the Low-Rise LA design competition to promote housing affordability, paths to homeownership and innovative models of sustainable residential architecture. With a growing housing portfolio in […]

Our Greatest Rooftop Decks — Ranked!

Inspired by Archinect’s recent list, “10 Green Rooftop Spaces We Liked This Week,” for which one of our projects claimed a spot, we looked back at some of our own favorite rooftop spaces from projects past. And what better timing? Summer is here and the spotlight — err, sunlight! — is on all the great […]

#12: The Sweet, Sweet Conference Suite

Welcome back to the SERA Workplace series Silver Linings. We took a few months off to fully soak in the new year. And now that 2020 is officially in the record books and vaccines are available, we have nothing but a glorious, sunny, post-pandemic future to look forward to. Right? (gulp.) Rest assured, we will […]

Mass Timber + Hospitality: What’s New?

Last summer, SERA Principal in the Hospitality Studio Gary Golla convened a research group to look at mass timber construction in the hotel industry. Mass timber buildings tend to be thought of as beautiful, with warm, welcoming spaces and distinct sustainability advantages, but that doesn’t mean they’re a perfect fit for every use or building […]

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 […]