Blog

Hospitality Designed for Longevity

A while back, I made a site visit to review two different guestroom prototypes for our client’s consideration. The temporary rooms were constructed with walls, ceilings and floors, and fully furnished. The prototypes were reviewed, one was selected, and just like that — everything in the two rooms became obsolete. Luckily, members of the design […]

Making Our ‘Sustainable Action Celebration’ An Online Success

Every year near Earth Day, SERA hosts a firm-wide celebration in honor of our sustainable workplace culture and project accomplishments. As Chair of the Sustainable Action Committee (SAC), my vision for the celebration this year included a physical timeline of SAC’s 15-year history, an unveiling of our 2020 Sustainability Action Plan, and collaborative break-out sessions to […]

SERA’s 2020 Sustainability Action Plan is Live!

Although nature doesn’t need an action plan to thrive, we’ve found that having a framework to articulate our vision and set a course of action, helps keep us vital. In 2011, SERA created its first Sustainability Action Plan, and we’re excited to announce the launch of our fourth update. Because sustainability plays such a central […]

Meet SERA’s New Net Zero Emerging Leaders Intern!

Last fall, the Energy Trust of Oregon awarded six area firms a “Net Zero Emerging Leaders” grant to support in-house energy savings reporting on their projects. SERA was one of those six! And while we’ve been meticulously tracking this data as part of the 2030 Commitment for more than 10 years now, staff saw an […]

Climate Restoration and Our Obligation to Act

Last week I had the pleasure of joining climate researchers and advocates across the country at the UN’s Global Climate Restoration Forum in New York City, where the question was asked, “What is our plan to ensure a vibrant future for future generations?” First, what exactly is “climate restoration?” Climate Restoration means removing a trillion tons […]

Highlights from the 2019 unConference

The Living Future’s unConference was held this year in Seattle, a beautiful, amazing place – thriving and struggling. It is the convergence of a gorgeous natural environment, urban topography, of tech giants and homelessness, food, culture, coffee and so much more. In many ways it was the perfect setting to explore the topics of the […]

Moving Forward with Nature at Living Future

For the past several years, SERA has undertaken a firm-wide initiative exploring what it means to create places that connect people with nature, known in our field as Biophilic Design. This year I had the opportunity to head up to Seattle for the Biophilic Design Summit, held by the International Living Future Institute. It was […]

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, […]