Sustainability

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 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.

Resiliency

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.

Materials

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

Social Equity

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.

Transparency

As advocates for a transparent building products market, Miller Hull supports the Healthy Product Declaration Collaborative, mindful MATERIALS, and the Healthy Materials Collaborative. Organizations like these are committed to improving the building industry’s transparency and innovation for a more accurate, reliable and consistent reporting of product contents and related health information.

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.

Commitments and Research

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.

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.

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.

Projects