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.
Regenerative Design and Performance
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 Net Positive Water(Objective A.2) and Contribute to Site Restoration(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.
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.
San Francisco Carpet Regulation 2018
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.
Sustainability must be equally available to everyone. We know that this area of architecture is still developing, but we are working to better incorporate these considerations into our firm. From volunteering in our communities to purchasing carbon credits that support renewable energy and offset the annual impact of our business footprint, Miller Hull is serious about our role in contributing to the social, cultural and ecological health of communities through design.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
We currently have 35 Certified Projects and 16 in progress.
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.
Pro Bono Design Services
Donating services enables us to share thoughtful design time and expertise to those in need or who share a common mission supporting progressive environmentalism and social causes. Many opportunities have come our way as a result of employee connections.
One percent or more of our annual working hours are donated to pro bono architecture design services for nonprofit organizations.
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 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
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)
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 River Park
Seattle Aquarium Foundation
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.
Trajectories, Corey Collier and Glen Stellmacher
Constructing Media, Vlanka Catalan and Sarah Chan
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.