Blog

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 […]

(Dis)Connect

In order to maintain healthy connections in a complex and evolving world, we sometimes have to seek places with characteristics that resemble those of our ancestors from millennia ago. At SERA, we’re currently exploring what those conditions are, and how to integrate the natural and built environments to the benefit of human health and well-being.

Saving the planet takes guts – billions of them

Over the past few years two seemingly unrelated issues have been eating away at me: How can we as a species do more to address climate change, and why is my digestive system feeling out of whack? At first I thought I was just stressing out over the fate of the planet. But the more […]

Avoiding the Disposable Notion: My Waste-Free Month

How do you feel about the Starbucks holiday cup? Being a holiday season enthusiast, I used to be tickled as the barista handed over that red cup, because it meant the most wonderful time of the year was right around the corner. A paper cup filled with hot liquid makes me feel happy, content. But […]

Sustainability Outside of Here

Working here at SERA, sustainability is a word that gets used a lot. We talk about it for our projects. We discuss in the products we specify. We use it in our personal lives outside the office. It is so ingrained with the current culture of architecture and design, especially here in Portland, that I […]

The 2015 Sustainable Action Celebration: Transformation

Every year around Earth Day, SERA invites staff, clients and partners to explore our commitment to sustainability over the last year, and to see how we can make advances in our industry. The Sustainable Action Celebration is a SERA tradition in its ninth year, spurred by an extensive backcasting of the firm that underscored sustainability as a chief tenet behind our business policies, practices […]

CLSB Named 2015 AIA COTE Top Ten Project

Portland, Ore. – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) recognized the Collaborative Life Sciences Building and Skourtes Tower (CLSB) for its sustainable architecture and ecological design that serve to protect and enhance the environment. CLSB is one of only ten projects in the nation to receive this honor […]

a photo of the CLSB atrium with a LEED Platinum logo

Rethinking LEED with the Collaborative Life Sciences Building

When California-based CO Architects paired with SERA on the OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building and OHSU Skourtes Tower, they sought the sustainable design expertise and project management behind a growing portfolio of built LEED projects. Fast forward to last October and the U.S. Green Building Council certifies CLSB as LEED-NC 2009 Platinum. As one of only […]