Sustainability not seperateOur architects and engineers are constantly researching emerging strategies, best practices, and new tools as part of our comprehensive approach to sustainable design.

At the beginning of a project we consider broad-based site and planning analyses before identifying energy-saving systems, time-saving construction methods and healthy materials in order to respect natural resources and minimize a building’s environmental impact.

At OPN, sustainability efforts are led by Tate Walker, LEED Fellow, and backed by 37 LEED Accredited Professionals. More than 35 Certified or Registered projects make us a state-wide leader in sustainable design. OPN has also taken the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment pledge to achieve carbon-neutral buildings by 2030. The voluntary program asks organizations develop multi-year action plans, and implement steps that can advance carbon neutrality in both design and practice. While these efforts are noteworthy, our focus on sustainability is always to create user-friendly facilities that perform exceptionally, regardless of certification.

Designers make many decisions that directly affect a building’s impact on the environment. One of the first – and potentially the most important – questions should be: Is there an existing building we can use instead? 

This is adaptive re-use. It is just one way we can reduce embodied carbon to positively impact global warming. But what is embodied carbon?