Miller Hull

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.

Sustainability

Since 1977, sustainability has been a foundational value of Miller Hull. While we have considered natural systems and climatic conditions since our very first project, we continue to evolve with broadening sustainability concepts, technology, and increasing scientific knowledge.

In addition to designing ecologically, our own company’s operations reflect those principles as well. Both of our studios are Living Building Petal Certified providing comfortable, daylit and Red List-free environments for our staff.

Our passion for sustainability has led to successful projects for our clients and recognized by the industry with eight AIA Committee on the Environment Awards, five certified Living Buildings and recognition as a Top Firm for Sustainability by Architect Magazine.

In 2021, we launched EMission Zero which is an initiative targeting the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings we design.

EMission Zero

Launched by Miller Hull in 2021, EMission Zero is an initiative targeting the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings we design.

The building industry is responsible for nearly 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Although we continue to work toward reducing our climate impact, it is clear that we need to do more, and improve at a faster rate, in order to mitigate the worst effects caused by climate change.

Despite our ongoing efforts, we realize that Miller Hull has not yet done enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions incurred by the buildings we design, and therefore, our work is part of the problem. It is time for us to take responsibility for our contribution to the environment and do everything in our power to support the health, safety and welfare of our planet.

EMission Zero is an initiative that combines our actions through Design, our ongoing efforts to Educate and Advocate and then our commitment to Offset the greenhouse gas emissions released up to the point of occupancy for all of our built projects. This document outlines the scope of the initiative to reinforce accountability in every aspect of our business. EMission Zero FAQ here.

Regenerative Design

Regenerative design works to create resilient and equitable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature.  We have proven through our work that buildings can and should be better stewards of nature and be regenerative. With each project, we strive to reduce consumption of natural resources while rectifying past exploitation. The results are buildings with exemplary energy performance and water efficiency that are simultaneously healthier and uplifting for their occupants.

Our Sustainability Action Plan charts our goal for all buildings to be regenerative and outlines several key areas including efforts to Target Net Positive Energy (Objective A.1)Target Carbon Sequestration (Objective A.2) and Target Net Positive Water (Objective A.3). It is intended to be a document that evolves and is updated often.

Materials

Architects have a significant role to play in the selection of building materials, incorporating criteria ranging from durability to aesthetics. Beyond these, we also recognize the importance of attributes such as embodied carbon and ingredients toxicity. As advocates for a transparent building products market, Miller Hull supports the Healthy Product Declaration Collaborativemindful MATERIALS, and the Healthy Materials Collaborative.

The health of occupants in the buildings we design hinges on a clear understanding of material ingredients and toxicity – which is why we support research efforts in material health. We have unmatched expertise in vetting building products and materials and experience in finding safer alternatives for our client’s buildings.  The result is not only helping the industry evolve but to bring better air quality to the spaces we design. Our Miller Hull Red List v3.0 provides data to help our staff educate clients, peers and partners on the scientifically-based rationale behind removing these chemicals of concern.

Commitments

Miller Hull Emission Zero Initiative

Miller Hull’s EMission Zero is an initiative targeting the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions in the projects we design is an initiative for members of the building industry designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We welcome your feedback as we continue to improve this program and invite others to join us in this climate action effort.

EMission Zero is an initiative that combines our actions through Design, our ongoing efforts to Educate and Advocate and then our commitment to Offset the greenhouse gas emissions released up to the point of occupancy for all of our built projects. This document outlines the scope of the initiative to reinforce accountability in every aspect of our business. Got questions? FAQ here.

 

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.

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.

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 operational impact of our business. 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 actions to help us continually improve our reduction and share with those who are inspired to do the same.

Projects

Social Equity

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.

Some of our 1+ projects include Bayside Community Center, Matt’s Place, Mighty House, and the ROOTS Young Adult Shelter.

 

Initiatives

Our commitment to create an equitable workplace and improve our professional industry is guided by these initiatives and certifications.

JUST

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.

National Organization of Minority Architects

Miller Hull has committed to the NOMA NW 2020 Call to Action Pledge and the NOMA SoCal DEI Challenge 2020.

Acknowledgement

Black Lives Matter.

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.

Actions

Miller Hull is committed to fostering a more equitable workplace. Here are some of the actions and initiatives on which we are currently working:

Reflection

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.

Organization

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.

Recruitment

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

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.

Equity Lab

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.

Engagement

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.

Scholarship Programs

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

Contact | Matthew Cohen, cohenm@wsu.edu

Washington State University Department of Architecture

 

 

University of Washington | The Miller Hull Partnership Endowed Scholarship Fund

Contact| Claudine Manio, Claudine@uw.edu

University of Washington College of Built Environments

University of Oregon | The Miller Hull Endowed Scholarship

Contact | Cindy Lundeen, clundeen@uoregon.edu.

University of Oregon School of Architecture & Allied Arts

Mentorship | Teaching

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.

Charitable Activities

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.

Design industry
  • ACE Mentor Program
  • AIA
  • AIA 2030
  • ARCADE
  • 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)
  • Space.City
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI)
  • US Green Building Council (USGBC) San Diego
  • UW Professional Advisory Council
  • Verdical Group
Community-focused
  • BLOCK Project
  • Cascade Bicycle Club
  • Community Lake-to-Bay Trail
  • Fare Start
  • Food Lifeline
  • 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
  • United Way
  • University of Washington’s Women’s Center
  • Urban Discovery Academy
  • Water 1st International
Environmental
  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation
  • Carbon Solutions
  • Forterra
  • Nature Bridge
  • Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
Client-Based
  • King County Library Services
  • Northwest Railway History Center
  • Pike Place Market Foundation
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Technology Access Foundation
  • Open Window School
  • Sahar Foundation
  • San Diego Zoo Foundation
Professional Organizations
  • 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.

Past Recipients
Trajectories, Corey Collier (2018)
Constructing Media, Vlanka Catalan and Sarah Chan (2019)

People

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.