Sustainable Design

Sustainable Design

Centerbrook has designed green buildings for nearly five decades. We are steeped in current thinking about sustainability, wellness, and biophilia. We are also experts at modeling and measuring ways to maximize building performance. However, what differentiates us is our focus on the stewardship of the places and the communities we work in.

Sustainable Design: Topic

Locally Grown

Centerbrook's building portfolio spans the climates and cultures of the North American continent. We learn from local customs of each place and design building forms, details, and materials that respond to them. We are also committed to understanding the special relationships between the people and the places we are designing in. This leads to buildings that endear themselves to their inhabitants and their communities, and thus endure.

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Sustainable Design: Topic

Connecting People to Nature

It is in our DNA to connect our buildings with the ecosystems around them. Our hallmark attention to detail extends to the materials, furniture, and ornament that reference natural and cultural aspects of a place. Daily experiences at our office in the Connecticut River Tidelands, one of The Nature Conservancy's "Last Great Places” for biodiversity, give us a unique perspective on biophilic design; our staff are gardeners, outdoor adventurers, nature poets, and mushroom foragers. We further inform our work with research on the health, cognitive, and productivity benefits of using natural materials, textures, shapes, and experiences in our buildings.

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Sustainable Design: Topic

Comfort and Wellbeing

Wellness is central to our design process, and Centerbrook is at the forefront of the science of occupant health thanks to our involvement with the Mayo Clinic’s WELL Living Lab. From our beginnings, however, we have also believed that holistic wellbeing requires something more: buildings that nurture the human spirit. Whether a museum, lab, or house, our buildings give occupants a sense of belonging and life. Designing for the full spectrum of human interaction, from extroverts to introverts, we aim for spaces that provide warmth, wonder, a comfortable place, a view, an excursion, a curiosity, a quiet and calm retreat… a place to be one’s full self.

Sustainable Design: Topic

Long Term Thinking

Our focus on stewardship was born in our own unique home base — a water powered complex with 300+ years of history. We carefully maintain it and test new ideas and technologies as we strive to become carbon-neutral. This hands-on experience has kept us grounded and helped us focus on achievable solutions.

Our understanding of stewardship has been further enhanced by the many institutions we work with on a long term basis. Helping their places flourish is our most important responsibility.

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Sustainable Design: Topic

Building Performance

We integrate sustainability throughout our design process. We use digital models to evaluate strategies to reduce energy and carbon, maximize natural light, and increase the use of renewable and healthy materials. This experience includes broadcasting our clients' stories about their sustainability efforts.

Our expertise has led to four LEED Platinum, eight LEED Gold, and one Living Building Challenge project. We’re parties to the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment, with the goal of making all of our new projects carbon neutral by 2030.