Point Loma Marina
4980 North Harbor Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92106
619-220-0984 —view map—email
The idea for what would become The Miller Hull Partnership started in villages of Brazil and Afghanistan.
The Miller Hull Partnership was founded in 1977 by David Miller and Robert Hull, partners with a defining background in the Peace Corps. As designers, they were profoundly influenced by the powerful landscape of the Pacific Northwest, which led to the firm’s enduring perspective on architecture that is intimately rooted in the human impact and context of the buildings we design. Miller Hull began by designing many award-winning earth sheltered and solar buildings in the early 1980s. Today, David and Robert’s passion for and tradition of creating dynamic and environmentally sensitive buildings represents the essence of our identity and continues to push our work forward.
From the beginning, sustainability has been a foundational value of Miller Hull. While we have considered the principles of natural forces and systems of the earth since our very first project, we continue to evolve with broadening sustainability concepts and increasing scientific knowledge.
We begin with passive strategies, ensuring every design complements their natural surroundings to deliver efficient and comfortable environments. Through an integrated process, we employ renewable strategies that translate nature’s energy to build exactly what our clients need.
In addition to designing ecologically, our own operations reflect those principles as well. We are a carbon-neutral firm that provides comfortable, daylit and Red List-free studios for our staff and we support numerous causes in the name of sustainability and environmental efforts.
Our passion for sustainability and the culmination of all these efforts has led to seven AIA Committee on the Environment Awards and being recognized as the 2018 Top Firm for Sustainability by Architect Magazine.
We have proven through our work that buildings can and should be better stewards of nature. With each project, we strive to tread lightly on natural resources while restoring past exploitation efforts. Above all, our spaces must be comfortable and enjoyable places for people.
Our Sustainability Action Plan implements our long-term goal that all buildings will: Target Net Positive Energy(Objective A.1), Target Carbon Sequestration(Objective A.2) and Target Net Positive Water(Objective A.3). Through this plan, we utilize strategies that go beyond code requirements and best practices to build truly regenerative architecture.
More demanding than conventional structures, buildings targeting net zero or net positive energy and water goals bring an added level of complexity to the design process. The results are buildings with exemplary energy performance and water efficiency that are healthier and uplifting for their occupants.
The realities of global climate change are already upon us and they impact all locations differently. Designing buildings that last a lifetime and are resilient to weather, seismic, fire, or other events that threaten their longevity and sustainability. Our designs consider ever-changing weather patterns, from adjusted rain fall to varying temperatures. We work to right-size systems and components to ensure we are planning for the new climate.
As proponents of passive and renewable systems, many of our buildings are already incorporating clean and resilient energy sources, but, resilience is more than just powering a building and ensuring it remains intact and operational. We consider how our buildings will serve their communities following a disruptive event and how they will provide shelter and support in times of need. True resilience begins with a holistic understanding of a building and its place in the community.
Architects have a significant role to play in the selection of materials, ranging from durability to aesthetic concerns. Increasingly, however, we consider other equally important attributes, such as embodied carbon and ingredients toxicity. To evaluate all of these characteristics, the materials market needs to be transparent and accurately report ingredients information of the products we specify to provide a full environmental picture.
In connection with human health, it important to know materials ingredients and their toxicity concerns, which is why we support the efforts behind emerging scientific data that continue to evolve our understanding of materials health. As part of our Sustainability Action Plan, Miller Hull has committed to removing six Red List chemicals from our projects (Objective B.1: Design to achieve the Living Building Challenge Materials Petal). The document below provides data to help our staff educate clients, peers and partners on the scientifically-based rationale behind removing these chemicals of concern. We hope you find it equally useful as part of your own materials journey. Miller Hull Red List v2.0
Additionally, we are a member of the Embodied Carbon Network at the University of Washington and we undertake efforts to consider and reduce the embodied carbon content in all of our work. Our analysis contains software-based carbon evaluations on each project, including assessments from leading carbon industry experts.
Through the San Francisco Carpet Regulation, we evaluate and utilize the most stringent materials and standards in our effort to evolve with the materials market. San Francisco Carpet Regulation 2018
Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond design. We believe our transparency efforts will keep us accountable and inspire others to join our journey. To that end, we have made our Sustainability Action Plan public at the link below and will continually track and report our performance, so others may learn from our attempts. We also believe our office operations should be transparent, sharing our detailed analysis of our carbon footprint from travel to printing each year. We welcome your suggestions and feedback as we strive to continuously improve.
Miller Hull Emission Zero Initiative
Miller Hull’s Emission Zero is an initiative designed to close the gap of greenhouse gas emissions and drive high-performance building strategies forward. We welcome your feedback as we continue to improve this program and invite others to join us in this carbon reduction effort.
Miller Hull Sustainability Action Plan
The goals, objectives and strategies outlined in our Sustainability Action Plan embody Miller Hull’s values and represent our commitment to sustainability rigor in everything we do. Through our design work and our office operations, we are accountable for each goal and work toward continual improvement. We welcome your feedback.
Miller Hull Red List
The Miller Hull Red List provides data to help our staff educate clients, peers and partners on the scientifically-based rationale behind removing these chemicals of concern. We hope you find it equally useful as part of your own materials journey.
Miller Hull AIA 2030 Commitment
The AIA 2030 Commitment seeks to transform the built environment through greenhouse gas emission reductions. As an early signatory to this program, Miller Hull has designed many buildings that exceed this standard,
As part of our ongoing participation in the AIA 2030 Commitment, we collect and report the estimated energy reduction of each of our projects annually. The goal of the program is to design buildings that are carbon-neutral by the year 2030. While we are not yet meeting the commitment, we are steadily improving our performance each year in pursuit of the target reduction.
For more information about the AIA 2030 Commitment, visit their website.
Miller Hull Carbon Neutral Operations
We purchase Carbon Offsets through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, supporting renewable energy sources (like solar and wind power) to completely offset the annual environmental impact of our business footprint. For more information about the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, visit their website.
Since we completely offset the carbon footprint of our office operations every year, we track our operations to help us continually improve our reduction and share with those who are inspired to do the same.
Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Awards
We currently have 35 Certified Projects and 16 in progress.
From volunteering in our communities to actively seeking to increase diversity and opportunity in our profession, Miller Hull is serious about our role in contributing to the social and cultural health of communities through design and practice. Read on for a review of some of the ways we commit to social equity within our own business and in our community beyond.
Pro Bono Design Services
Since 2005, Miller Hull has participated in the 1+ program donating at least 1% of our collective working hours pro bono every year to non-profit organizations that require but cannot afford architectural services. Donating services enables us to share our professional expertise to those in need and who share a common mission supporting progressive environmentalism and social equity focused causes in our community.
Our commitment to create an equitable workplace and improve our professional industry is guided by these initiatives and certifications.
We were among the first companies to achieve a JUST label, a social justice transparency platform and disclosure tool developed by the International Living Future Institute. The JUST label provides at-a-glance information in key social justice categories, such as diversity, equity, safety, employee benefit, local benefit and community stewardship. Using the JUST label as one of our guides, we continue to improve our metrics each year as we work towards a more just workplace for our employees. Click <here> to view our current JUST label, and here to see a progression of our JUST labels in the past.
Following the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the nation’s racial reckoning in the of summer 2020, Miller Hull took a hard look at our practices and policies with a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) lens. We believe that through actionable and systemic change within Miller Hull, we can shape our workplace into an equitable and safe space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and ultimately for all staff members. We aim to create a work environment where all staff feel valued, seen and heard.
Miller Hull is committed to fostering a more equitable workplace. Here are some of the actions and initiatives on which we are currently working:
We started by listening to and engaging both studios with firm-wide conversations focused on JE:DI as it relates to our work and what we can do better. These conversations daylit our blind spots and failings when it comes to race at Miller Hull. In an effort to truly understand where we, in 2020 we hired Paradigm, a third part consultant, to conduct an internal assessment of our firm and identify opportunity areas for improvement with regard to increasing diversity and the quality of workplace for our Black, Indigenous and staff of color.
After the murder of George Floyd, we established Equity Lab, a committee whose purpose is to focus on and advise firm leadership and staff on JE:DI issues. Some of Equity Lab’s current actions include: conducting an internal assessment through a third party consultant and making recommendations for change based on the assessment findings, developing a racial, diversity, equity and inclusion action plan and following through on the commitments made through the NOMA SoCal and NOMA NW pledges.
We believe that architecture designed by teams of diverse talent results in inclusive design. To increase diversity in our studios, we conduct outreach for new positions through the National Organization of Minority Architects and publicize our listings on job websites that focus on reaching racially diverse applicants, veterans, and people with disabilities. We adhere to federal hiring practices and audits established by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Open Studio is an introductory architecture program designed to provide high school students an opportunity to explore architecture as a practice and potential profession. Through outreach and education, the goal of the program is to introduce architecture to a diverse group of high-school students who may not have previously considered architecture as a career path and prepare students for a successful architectural education in college.
The mission of Equity Lab is to create an anti-racist environment within Miller Hull that empowers all individuals in our community to feel loved, seen, affirmed, understood, valued, protected and welcomed. We must continually evaluate our progress while remaining open to criticism, discomfort, and learning as we acknowledge that although we don’t have all the answers, we have an obligation to move the dial in an anti-racist direction.
By equipping our community with the tools, knowledge, and skills to better understand the necessity and urgency of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work, we can promote anti-racism in all facets of our work and business. Equity Lab is an advisory group of individuals within the Miller Hull Partnership who collectively provide recommendations, support and guidance as we continue on our DEI path. Equity Lab is also introspective, self-evaluating and evolving – we aim to hold ourselves and our community accountable to a high standard of anti-racist practice and recognize that as we are in the beginning of the journey, our methods and make up may change to better achieve diversity, equity and inclusion.
We believe that architecture designed by teams of diverse, multicultural and multiracial talent results in inclusive design. We do the work best when we do it together. We do the best work when we include all voices.
The legacy of David Miller and Robert Hull’s experience in the Peace Corps laid the foundation for our firm’s ongoing service to our communities. We actively share our time, resources and expertise with a range of design, community and environmentally-oriented organizations.
Our partners honor their alma maters through endowed scholarships awarded annually to design students (administered by each university on our behalf).
Washington State University | The Miller Hull Partnership Design Excellence Scholarship
Miller Hull is committed to educating and inspiring students who are the future of our profession.
ACE Mentorship Program
Colleagues in both Seattle and San Diego studios partner with local AEC design professionals in a six-month program introducing high school students to architecture, engineering and construction.
University of Washington
David Miller is a tenured professor, and several Miller Hull staff serve as adjunct teachers and offer studio reviews in the College of Built Environments.
Washington State University 'Imagine Tomorrow' Program
We critique projects and jury this annual program for K-12 students exploring the transition to alternate energy sources through research and innovation.
New School for Architecture, San Diego
Members of our team are on the school advisory board, regularly present to classes and critique student projects.
We aim to contribute an amount equal to 1% of our target net revenue every year. We support numerous organizations through annual contributions, sponsorships, board and volunteer involvement, and are active participants in a range of conservation and service projects.
ACE Mentor Program
Architects without Borders
Center for Architecture & Design (Seattle)
Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)
Design Build Institute of America
Design in Public | Seattle Design Festival
Health Product Declaration Collaborative
International Living Futures Institute (ILFI)
National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA)
Society for College & University Planning (SCUP)
Seattle Architecture Foundation
Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS)
Urban Land Institute (ULI)
US Green Building Council (USGBC) San Diego
UW Professional Advisory Council
Cascade Bicycle Club
Community Lake-to-Bay Trail
Habitat for Humanity
Living Coast Discovery Center
Posado’s Safe Haven
Rural Studio (Auburn University)
San Diego Food Bank
San Diego River Park
Seattle Aquarium Foundation
University of Washington’s Women’s Center
Urban Discovery Academy
Water 1st International
Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
King County Library Services
Northwest Railway History Center
Pike Place Market Foundation
Seattle Pacific University
Technology Access Foundation
Open Window School
San Diego Zoo Foundation
Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce
Bob Hull Research Grant
Research has always been a part of every great project at Miller Hull and has often led to the design breakthroughs that define our best work. But much of this research has typically been conducted within the confines of a single project, often constrained by fee and schedule.
What could we accomplish if research is freed from day-to-day project constraints?
Meaningful research that extends beyond the current trends of architectural practice and changes the course of how we practice in the future requires rigorous research methods, dedicated principal investigators and appropriate levels of funding. Developing partnerships with academic and industry leaders could further leverage our efforts and make a deeper impact.
The Bob Hull Research Grant is awarded to one project annually to carry out research that is of both a personal interest and of benefit to the firm. The 2020 Bob Hull Research Grant awardee is Alex Wolfrum and his proposal PreOccupied.
Our ability to design beautiful, meaningful places flows from a team of curious and engaged individuals who thrive in an open and collaborative studio environment. Building on a history of incredible consistency—fueled by growth from within, transparent leadership transition, and continual investigation at the boundaries of current thought—enables us to break new ground and not rest on past achievements or ideas.
The original partnership between Dave Miller and Bob Hull was formed out of mutual respect and an unwavering pursuit of design excellence, seasoned with fun and good humor. The bond between employees and the genuine pleasure we take in working and playing together is a testament to Dave and Bob’s continuing influence as we have expanded into a multi-studio West Coast architecture firm.