Insights

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, […]

Mass Timber + Hospitality: The Architect Perspective

This is the second entry in our blog series exploring the development of a realistic, hypothetical mass timber hotel through the points of view of a developer, a design & construction team, an operator, and a guest. Check out our first entry: the Developer perspective. Golden panels of cross-laminated timber soar out toward a tree-tipped […]

Mass Timber + Hospitality: The Developer Perspective

The use of mass timber construction is gaining momentum in the US; however, its aesthetic, construction, and sustainability advantages remain largely unexplored for hotels. Our multi-disciplinary team has begun exploring the construction of hotels with mass timber by examining the potential advantages and challenges that would be encountered in envisioning and bringing to market a […]

Work Design Magazine Competition Success!

Back in June, two teams from the SERA workplace studio submitted for an international competition hosted by Work Design Magazine. We are proud to announce that both submissions made it to the finals — one receiving an honorable mention, and the other named WINNER!   With the ongoing pandemic, the competition posed a less idealistic question […]