KieranTimberlake confronts climate change, social inequity, and the biodiversity loss on every project. We are signatories of the AIA 2030 Commitment, which seeks to make all buildings carbon neutral by 2030, and the AIA Materials Pledge, a promise to include human, climate, and ecosystem health as a part of the building materials evaluation process. As a founding signatory of US Architects Declare, an industry-wide appeal to address the growing emergencies of climate, justice, and biodiversity, we are committed to transforming the built environment through design, research, education, advocacy, and building operations.

At the UCSD Keeling Apartments, courtyard basins, arroyos, and a vegetated roof function as a bioretention and bioremediation system. Sediment and pollutants are filtered from the water by soil, rocks, and plants. Water is collected in the buildings for reuse as well. | © Tim Griffith

We design buildings with environmental sustainability central to the project process by prioritizing:

  1. Ambitious Carbon Goals: Setting carbon emissions goals for every project and tracking progress with iterative energy and life cycle assessment models.
  2. Materials Health: Prioritizing the use of materials that are Red List free and sustainably sourced while avoiding forced labor in the supply chain.
  3. Health and Well-being: Optimizing indoor air quality, reducing pollutants, and providing safe, comfortable, and healthy environments for building occupants.
  4. Equity and Inclusivity: Collaborating with key stakeholders that represent the diversity of the community in the design process and conducting post-occupancy evaluations to assess the impact of our buildings on their occupants.
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We investigate problems and opportunities around sustainability through our research:

  1. Tools: Creating and sharing industry-leading tools (Tally, Roast, Pointelist) that reveal the social and environmental impacts of architecture.
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  3. Culture of Inquiry: Questioning traditional practices that ignore the issues of supply chain equity, environmental justice, circularity, post-occupancy evaluation, science-based carbon targets, and ecosystem impacts.

Ortlieb's Bottling House was converted into office space with large, operable windows for daylight, air quality, and thermal comfort controls. | © Michael Moran/OTTO

We promote education internally to address sustainability challenges:

  1. Working Group Meetings and Lecture Series: Training all staff in environmental topics , convening task teams to tackle technical topics, and coordinating an internal lecture series with guest speakers.
  2. Support Professional Development: Requiring LEED certification as a minimum, we support staff in attending conferences and obtaining additional environmental literacy certifications.
  3. Staff Performance: Reviewing and offering feedback on environmental engagement during annual performance reviews.

We are providing a pathway for our peers to join us in advocacy:

  1. Relationship-building: Seeking out clients, consultants, and manufacturers who share similar goals around climate advocacy.
  2. Expanding Knowledge: Promoting environmental literacy through cross-industry conferences, symposia, workshops, and peer-reviewed papers and op-eds.
  3. Pro Bono Work: Volunteering 1% of working hours in our community and taking leadership positions within our industry to shape policy, sustainability rating systems, and global coalitions addressing the impact of our industry on the planet.

Strategic shading and passive natural ventilation strategies have enabled UCSB's Henley Hall lab building to achieve high performance and enhanced occupant comfort. | © Patrick W. Price

We live out our values through our building operations at our office in Philadelphia, a former bottling plant converted into office space:

  1. Recycling and Composting: Composting food waste has cut our landfill waste by one-half in weight, plus seven streams of recycling and reuse allow further diversion from landfills.
  2. Travel: Tracking and limiting business travel and purchasing carbon offsets for the remaining emissions.
  3. Living Lab: Conducting continuous post-occupancy evaluation and systems testing on our workspace to minimize our energy demand.
  4. Carbon: Purchasing renewable energy to power the building.