Miller Hull

How We Work

How We Work



Go Deep

Inquiry is a foundational part of working with Miller Hull. It starts with listening to everyone involved to distill goals, priorities, dreams. Asking the right questions is critical, but just as important to a project’s outcome is listening to the answers. And our clients and project partners tell us we are great listeners. Only then do we begin to explore possibilities and develop design solutions on a shared journey of discovery to imagine and achieve the greatest potential.

Loom House

Bainbridge Island, WA

Loom House is located in the Temperate Conifer Forest biome in the Puget Sound Lowland Forest/Temperate Coniferous Forest ecoregion. From the outset, we asked how Loom House can be an active steward of its watershed, protecting the ecological health of the landscape while helping it flourish. This became a major design tenant as we worked to transplant existing trees, remove invasives and bring in natural species. Habitats such as nurse logs and native plants are in place for birds and other pollinators, while the watershed and its keystone species are protected from harmful runoff. Cleaning the site’s once polluted stormwater is important because polluted stormwater not only threatens fish and wildlife habitat, but it can also degrade the stability and function of the natural systems that support all life. Rainwater is captured, treated, used to grow fruits, vegetables and plants, and is infiltrated back into the site, completing the hydrologic cycle.

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Do Good

Our clients expect us to re-imagine and reinvent–in a productive way. They come to us when they have a challenge that demands a unique and functional response. We achieve transformative design by pushing the boundaries of current thought and leveraging the latest in technology, materials and cultural context. Grounded in expertise, yet fueled by bold thinking.

School for Afghan Girls


At the School for Afghan Girls, promoting a sense of ownership was important for such a prominent neighborhood institution. The students, staff, and community were involved throughout the design and construction phases. Visioning sessions with the students provided them with the opportunity to learn about their new school and to participate in the design process. Art was an important medium for engagement and was integrated into the design. Community involvement in the school design process included a national women-only mural design competition. Six winning entries representing the spirit and hope of women in Afghanistan are displayed on walls throughout the school, with all program participants assisting professional artists in the installation of the artwork.

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Be Bold

Once complete, a building communicates without words. The power of well-designed buildings can also contribute to human elements of health, well-being and productivity. Our highly sustainable buildings demonstrate the economic and environmental benefit that is possible through design. In the best cases, they serve as educational tools with exposed systems and interactive elements that inform and influence those who use and visit them. As designers, we tap into our clients’ core values in the imagining of new spaces that embody what matters to them.

Washington State Library Archives Building

Tumwater, WA

The Washington State Library Archives Building is perhaps the most important project that the State of Washington and the Secretary of State (SEC) will ever undertake. By providing a permanent and symbolically prominent home for the SEC and a fitting, accessible repository for the State’s most cherished assets, this project has the potential to more effectively serve the people of our state in an inviting and transparent manner.

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Sustainability has been a foundational value of Miller Hull since the firm’s inception. 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. 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 and five certified Living Buildings.

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. 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. EMission Zero FAQ here.

New U.S. Embassy Campus, Niamey, Niger

Niamey, Niger

Miller Hull began work with the U.S. Department of State Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) in 2015, an opportunity that allowed the firm to apply its performance-based design approach to a complex new program type. During this time, OBO had just developed a prototypical methodology for sustainability integration in the design process, along with a set of goals based on LEED and Federal Performance Standards. Miller Hull has brought projects well beyond the minimum standards, quantifying benefits through lifecycle cost analysis and deftly incorporating sustainable design strategies as the core design drivers. The first completed Miller Hull embassy project was a substantial modification of an existing campus in Niamey, Niger. Building shading, blackwater treatment and reuse, and renewable energy were design drivers. LEED Platinum.

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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.

Bullitt Center

Seattle, WA

The Bullitt Center project proved to the world that an urban office building developed under a private model could meet advanced benchmarks for architectural sustainability. Built for the Bullitt Foundation and designed as the first significant urban building to achieve the Living Building Challenge, the Center quickly became a “stake in the ground” that demonstrated the tangibility of regenerative outcomes, receiving numerous design and sustainability awards along with international recognition for its innovative design. Since its opening in 2013, over 40,000 people from all over the world have visited the Center to learn about its design, operations, and environmental achievements.

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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 and address the equity concerns in the manufacturing of these materials. 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.

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

The Kendeda Building is Georgia Tech’s first timber building since its earliest load-bearing masonry and timber structures from the 1880s. Mass timber was selected for its significantly smaller embodied carbon footprint, compared to concrete and steel systems. Glue-laminated queen post trusses with steel bottom chords are used to achieve the spans required by the larger spaces in the building where timber alone would be challenging. This hybrid approach reduces the quantity of wood required, while making routing of building services more efficient. The gravity and lateral elements are fully exposed, allowing the building to be a teaching tool and defining the character of the interior environment.

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Miller Hull San Diego Studio Renovation

San Diego, CA

The Miller Hull San Diego Studio renovation reflects the firm’s commitment to ecological improvement. Taking lessons learned from the Seattle studio, the San Diego studio achieved the same four Living Building performance areas, or Petals. Beyond those, the studio was also able to add the Health & Happiness Petal, as well as the Energy Petal with the cooperation of the landlord by installing a 24 kW PV array to the roof and a battery backup system to achieve Net Zero Energy.

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Miller Hull Seattle Studio Renovation

Seattle, WA

Miller Hull’s Seattle studio renovation was an opportunity to break new ground in the environmental design movement and reflect the firm’s commitment to regenerative design. Prior to the renovation, the Seattle studio was filled with individual workstations. As the firm grew, the office became downright cluttered with desks. Not only was the layout crowded; it also reflected an outdated philosophy about how and where to foster professional creativity. The renovated studio hosts a physical layout that complements the firm’s ideological structure: a collective, mutually supportive group of designers.

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