by B.J. Novitski
Along with the recent surge in knowledge about, and adoption of, sustainability practices has come a realization that senior staff in architecture firms are confronting topics that scarcely existed when they were in architecture school.
In some cases, learning new technologies can be assigned to junior staff. But when the topic, like sustainability, is so integrated in the very art and science — and business — of design, it's time for senior staff to go back to school themselves.
Rather than delegate the responsibility for teaching to outside parties, the large international architecture and engineering firm Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum (HOK) recently produced a three-day sustainability workshop and invited the firm's leading designers and project managers from offices around the world.
This conference represents HOK's commitment to integrating sustainable design principles regardless of a project's geography, culture, industry, building type, or budget. It also affirms their intention to instill such expertise throughout the firm, rather than creating a special practice or business unit.
The workshop took place in St. Louis, Missouri in October 2001 and drew more than 50 HOK participants from offices as far away as London and Hong Kong. The hands-on event provided opportunities to share information, ideas, and resources for incorporating sustainability throughout the firm. >>>
HOK's site design at the National Wildlife Federation Headquarters supports wildlife habitats, a case study of the firm's commitment to sustainable design.
Larry Malcic, of HOK London, and Sandra Mendler, of HOK San Francisco, were among the design leaders who shared ideas during a three-day workshop for in-house sustainability education.
Photo: Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum
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