Insights

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

SERA to Design Mass-Timber Affordable Housing in San Jose

We’re excited to announce that the nonprofit housing group First Community Housing has selected SERA and our partners Lendlease to design and build their most ambitious affordable housing project to date: a 365-unit LEED-Platinum development near the San Jose Diridon Station. Named McEvoy Apartments, the project will be built using an innovative mass timber frame […]

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 […]