Written by

Revealed: Architects Using Smart and Innovative Materials

Sustainability now receives the attention it deserves on the world stage. For the commercial real estate industry, there are now many eco-friendly construction options to choose from, including a range of smart and innovative materials.

These materials, as well as a range of additional sustainability initiatives, are increasingly embraced in a variety of ways by the following architects:

Studio G Architects

This Massachusetts-based architect presents a broad range of sustainability-focused properties across its portfolio, including educational institutions, workspaces, playgrounds, residential buildings, and community centers.

Miller Hull

Miller Hull is based in Seattle and is built on a foundation of sustainability. The carbon-neutral-focused architecture firm not only ensures its designs complement the natural surroundings of the property, but it also employs a range of renewable strategies. Notably, the firm recently garnered the 2018 Top Firm for Sustainability designation by Architect Magazine.

Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners is a global architecture firm with a dedicated environmental engineering team. This expert team designs energy-efficient building systems to reduce water and energy consumption. It also works with a range of smart and innovative materials.


The SmithGroup designs a range of sustainability-focused buildings, some of which incorporate net-zero energy strategies. What’s more, according to its company website, it supports full material ingredient disclosure and transparency so intelligent decisions can be made to avoid the use of hazardous materials in favor of cleaner options.


COOKFOX is “dedicated to integrated, environmentally responsive architecture,” according to the architect’s website. It actively pursues projects that provide people with the means to reevaluate how they interact with the natural environment and the buildings they use.

Continuum Architects

This Milwaukee-based firm has a varied portfolio of sustainability-focused buildings. Additionally, it works hard to raise awareness of such issues and integrates smart and innovative materials in many of its projects.

Oppenheim Architecture

Oppenheim Architecture is a global architecture firm with more than 45 AIA Awards and projects spanning 25+ countries. Furthermore, it has designed a range of impressive eco-friendly buildings that incorporate smart materials and sustainable innovations.

Goettsch Partners

Based in Chicago, Goettsch Partners has completed projects spanning five continents. Moreover, it supports transparent workflows and uses a range of sustainable design initiatives, including smart materials.


HOK literally wrote the book on sustainable design when it published The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design more than two decades ago. Now, sustainability remains a core principle of this firm and HOK is committed to achieving a carbon-neutral design portfolio by 2030.

HOK has also won 10 AIA COTE awards for sustainable design excellence. What’s more, the firm was ranked as the top green building firm in ENR’s recent survey.


BNIM was recently recognized by Architect Magazine as the top US architecture firm for sustainability. Furthermore, according to its website, the firm has been dedicated to “do more with less”. Its work is environmentally ambitious, including the use of smart and innovative materials.


CallisonRTKL incorporates experiential design processes and offers an environmental graphic design service. Moreover, it helps building owners make informed eco-friendly decisions, giving them the information they need to rule out unsustainable materials and products.


Lake|Flato believes “sustainability and design are two sides of the same coin”. As such, it provides a sustainable design process, early design phase energy modeling, and simulation and analysis services to optimize its buildings.

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

Based in San Francisco, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA) has a broad range of sustainable projects on its books. What’s more, its website presents a zero-carbon architecture business case, which is a clear call-to-action to its home state. 

As this article states: “Waiting until 2030 to de-carbonize buildings in California is clearly waiting too long.”

Pelli Clark Pelli Architects

Pelli Clark Pelli Architects believes sustainable design is “more than creating high-performance buildings”. According to its website, the firm was one of the first to pursue sustainable design certification. Now, it continues to use a range of innovative materials, technologies, and approaches in its designs.

Spillman Farmer

Spillman Farmer chooses “honest materials which honor the location” of its buildings. As such, its work is responsive to the environment and focused on sustainability.

The company website states: “Material systems play a critical role throughout our design process and inform our thinking as we make places. In each of our projects, we choose to deploy honest and authentic materials harvested from the place where the building will exist. We are deeply influenced by place…”

William Mcdonough + Partners

William Mcdonough + Partners use eco-friendly initiatives across its portfolio of work. For example, its “Cradle to Cradle” material flows strategy is an important concept. 

Regarding this strategy, the company website states: “Instead of seeing materials as a waste management problem in which interventions here and there slow their trip from cradle to grave, materials are seen as nutrients that can be maintained in two safe metabolisms: biological and technical.”


Comments are closed.