We are committed to making sustainability and building performance the foundation of every design, regardless of size, scale or budget. Over the years, we have built a model for a multidisciplinary, research-driven firm, with a collaborative culture focused on analysis and problem-solving on energy use, water use, indoor air environments, embodied carbon and improving the experience for the people who use the spaces.
Every project. Every budget. Every scale.
We believe the only way to significantly address the challenges confronting us as an industry is to take a holistic, collaborative approach to design, involving engineers, landscape architects and interior designers at the earliest stages of the process. This integrated design process seeks to break down the hierarchy between disciplines and emphasizes the use of actionable research and data guided by our in-house research team, LPAred.
Our work produces measurable results in performance, healthier environments and facilities that work better for the users. For two years in a row, we were the largest firm in the country to surpass the AIA 2030 Commitment target of reducing energy use in our buildings by more than 70 percent. We achieve the results across a wide variety of typologies and settings, proving that energy efficiency goals can be achieved on a large scale. We’ve designed one of the largest portfolios of LEED Platinum and LEED Gold buildings in the country.
In all our work, we start with simple, cost-effective design strategies. We operate as one team with shared values, working for the extra few percentage points. We continually track and share our results, good or bad. We know when we achieve success it sends a clear message: If we can do it, other firms can do it, too.
Following the AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence, we take a broad definition of sustainability. On every project, we ask design teams to develop additional project goals in four key areas of sustainability:
A Historic Focus on Sustainability
Throughout our history, we have taken a leadership role in promoting energy efficiency and sustainability, setting new benchmarks for what defines a great project. From our earliest days, the firm established energy performance and sustainability as core values. We embraced LEED early. LPA designed the nation’s first LEED-NC-certified building, the Premier Automotive Group headquarters, in 1998.
In 2004, the firm committed to an internal goal of making projects perform 25% better than California’s Title 24 energy code. In 2007, we began hiring engineers to better address building performance. A research team, LPAred, was added in 2016 to improve the evaluation of performance, develop actionable research and complete the feedback loop to enable evidence-based innovation.
“They were tackling environmental issues before climate action was even a term. To call them strong in the sustainability category would be an understatement.” AIA California Firm Award juror
As an integrated firm, we believe it is essential for involve the whole firm in the goals and achievements. It’s a shared endeavor. Everyone is given the tools to think sustainably; everyone understands the research. At LPA, there is no “Sustainability Director”; project teams have ownership of the design performance. The firm’s culture focuses on education, personal growth and transparency. We track and share EUIs and design narratives for projects, encouraging tough questions. Firmwide sessions and regular TechTalks explore the lessons learned from projects and celebrate successes; quarterly master’s courses offer deeper understanding of specialized topics.
We also believe in practicing what we preach. All of LPA’s studios are certified LEED Gold or Platinum CI.