STUDIOS Architecture Signs AIA Architecture & Design Materials Pledge

STUDIOS Architecture announces the recent signing of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture & Design Materials Pledge, a framework for driving more meaningful product specification decisions and practices across its portfolio. STUDIOS’ adoption of the Pledge as policy sets a higher, guaranteed global standard for the lifecycle impact of its projects––reinforcing a decades-long commitment to championing whole-community health through environmentally conscious design.

“Our priority at STUDIOS is the human one; we are collectively driven by a purpose rooted in the responsibility of design to best serve the people who inhabit the world we create, as well as the environment and natural systems they interact with,” says Marc Pfenninger, AIA, Principal and CEO at STUDIOS. “Decarbonization is perhaps one of the best ways we can have a more positive impact, and we are proud to support AIA leadership in taking this important step forward as a firm.”

STUDIOS’ adoption of the Materials Pledge builds on its long-time positioning with the AIA’s broader sustainability frameworks. The firm was one of the early signatories of the 2030 Commitment, which is now inclusive of more than 1,200 organizations across the design industry, and has been advancing a multi-pronged approach to decarbonizing its portfolio for nearly 15 years. Since STUDIOS first began reporting energy data to the AIA, the firm has improved the performance of its portfolio nearly four-fold––signaling to the potential magnitude of influence of the Commitment at scale. For 2022 alone, STUDIOS posted approximately 120 projects to the Design Data Exchange––the AIA’s benchmarking platform designed to track the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in building operations to zero.

The Pledge, for which STUDIOS joins a growing subset of materials-minded signatories, will strengthen the firm’s approach to minimizing its impact through affirmations pertaining human health, social health & equity, ecosystem health, climate health, and a circular economy. Concurrent with this initiative, STUDIOS’ Sustainability Council has been working to amass years of performance data and energy metrics to inform a reinvigorated action plan to underpin the firm’s larger go-forward business strategy. Using the AIA’s frameworks to inspire new initiatives and strategies, the team has developed a roadmap for education and implementation, including initiatives such as informational mailers, interactive work sessions, and a full-scale Materials Library overhaul utilizing the Pledge as a rubric for evaluation. The team is also in the process of identifying and selecting new tools to rollout company-wide to better support in the tracking of embodied carbon as a supplement to its growing repository of energy usage data.

“STUDIOS is responsible for between 60 and 100 projects each year, and while some of those will inherently be more performant in the presence of certain goals or objectives, our greater focus is on the incremental changes we can implement throughout all of our work,” says Justin Glover, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal at STUDIOS’ San Francisco office and co-chair of the firms Sustainability Advisory Council. “If we are able to make even a 5% improvement each year across our portfolio for 10 years, the scale of that impact is equivalent to having completed 180 net-zero projects. We’re talking about substantial, compounding change over time with minimal intervention.”

STUDIOS’ ultimate goal is to provide its team with the tools and language needed to make those interventions through meaningful engagement with clients about community-scale health, wellbeing, and environmental resilience.

About STUDIOS Architecture

Founded in San Francisco in 1985, STUDIOS Architecture is an international design firm that provides services in architecture, master planning, interiors, workplace strategy, and environmental graphics and design. With over 250 employees in San Francisco, Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Lyon, the firm has forged relationships with groundbreaking and innovative clients throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Clients range from tech start-ups to private developers, universities to civic organizations, and name brands including Coach, Disney, Google, LinkedIn, Lyft, Major League Baseball (MLB), Microsoft, Nike, Pandora, Samsung, Sony, and TIME, among others. Free from disciplinary silos that limit innovation, the firm’s diverse and experienced team applies a range of insights gained across all work areas from master planning to interiors. Each client’s solution is unique to them and responsive to context, program, and people. For more information, visit