Sustainable Design

Environments That Make Sense

Callison is committed to creating environments, buildings and communities that are environmentally resourceful, sustainably developed and enhance quality of life.

Sustainable Design Philosophy

As architects, we understand the need to exercise leadership in the built environment. We believe we must alter our profession’s practices and encourage our clients and the entire design and construction industry to join with us to change the course of the planet’s future. Sustainable design at Callison expresses itself in a desire to dig deeper, professional design aptitude and will-power. In our approach, we seek to maximize performance, resource efficiency, affordability and beauty. We believe in challenging the status quo and going the extra mile to arrive at a higher level of design integration, content and value for our clients and for society. Design has to be “discreetly good.” We see it as the result of fundamental soul-searching, research and analysis. This is how we achieve “discreetly good”: Our process is guided by focus on key design principles. 

Callison’s Five Points of Sustainable Design

  1. Does it work? (meets all functional, programmatic, environmental and cultural requirements)
  2. Does it look attractive? (meets qualities of a visual aesthetic and conveys the underlying idea in an artistic sense)
  3. Is it fuel-efficient? (tested in energy models; meets the spirit of the AIA2030 challenge toward energy efficient design)
  4. Does it look fuel-efficient? (the design language shows and reads ‘high performance’)
  5. Is it economically feasible and marketable?

Our Resources

Callison has a suite of sustainable design tools and resources that we continue to update and expand. These include:

  • Matrix by Callison, Callison’s proprietary, web-based sustainable design tool 
  • Climate-based sustainable strategies recommendations
  • Market and culture-based sustainable strategies recommendations
  • In-house climate analysis
  • In-house energy modeling
  • In-house daylight analysis
  • A database of our sustainable design projects which tracks major strategies implemented on each project

Client-Committed and Data-Driven

Callison’s goal is to energy model every project and to bring our projects in line with Architecture 2030 energy consumption targets. Our clients look to us to guide them in selecting sustainable design measures that make sense for their business. What makes sense for them can make sense for our business as well. Callison implements many sustainable practices in our day-to-day operations and continues to seek additional opportunities.

Callison Commitment in AIA 2030

In 2009 the AIA began the AIA 2030 Commitment, a “growing national initiative that provides a consistent, national framework with simple metrics and a standardized reporting format to help firms evaluate the impact design decisions have on an individual project's energy performance.” We believe we must alter our profession’s practices and encourage our clients and the entire design and construction industry to join us in sustainability efforts. A multi-year effort will be required to alter current design and construction practices, realize significant reductions in the use of natural resources, non-renewable energy sources, and waste production, and promote regeneration of natural resources. Callison, LLC therefore signed on to the AIA 2030 Commitment program in June of 2009. As part of this commitment, we have implemented a green operations plan, developed a Sustainability Action Plan to increase the energy performance of our projects, and we report our progress to the AIA yearly.

Matrix by Callison

Matrix by Callison is a compilation of the top strategies in sustainable design. It is a fun, easy-access gateway to both basic and detailed information that can be used to inform project teams and clients. A database on functionality and applicability of more than 80 sustainable design strategies, Matrix by Callison helps project teams review and evaluate specific strategies that increase the design performance. Strategies are organized by performance categories and sub-categories and can be easily browsed. Matrix by Callison as a design tool is most effectively used in Concept and Schematic Design.

Energy Modeling

Callison’s industry-leading Design Simulation expertise has been instrumental in crafting sustainable projects that help us meet the 2030 goal. Our use of energy and daylight modeling software firm-wide began in 2008 and has steadily increased in use, now covering most of our projects. A team of 20 staff worldwide have been using the software to provide comparative analysis for our design teams and clients, helping them make better decisions that result in sustainable design. Our efforts have been featured at Greenbuild 2011 and in the graduate-level modeling course at the University of Washington.

Callison LEED Services

Callison has been a member firm of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2000. Our close involvement with USGBC keeps our teams informed of the latest changes and releases of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and innovations in sustainability. Since being involved with LEED, we’ve been helping clients attain reputable project certifications. To date, we have 32 projects LEED certified, which represents over 4.5 million square feet in total projects. 21 of these projects have earned LEED Gold or better. Many of our projects have participated in LEED pilot rating systems including the most recently released, LEED Volume Build and LEED for Neighborhood Development. Callison provides both LEED Administration services (coordinating the LEED activities of the entire project and construction team) as well as LEED Documentation Services for our clients that request third party verification of the sustainable design of their projects. Callison has 127 LEED Accredited Professionals on staff to support all of our offices. We can easily staff a project with team members with firsthand experience in LEED.