Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Overall Rank: 28th
Rank in Each Category:
• Business: 143rd
• Design: 44th
This firm in San Francisco is proof that you don’t have to be a large firm to make a big impact through sustainable design. With just 16 employees, LMS has embedded the ethos of energy efficiency into its entire practice. Fifty-six percent of the gross square footage of the firm’s projects met AIA 2030 challenge standards; 100 percent used energy modeling and pursued a potable water reduction beyond what was mandated by code. Fifty-six percent of staffers have LEED credentials. “In some ways, staff are preselected because of our reputation and how much emphasis we put on sustainable design,” says Richard Stacy, FAIA, a firm principal. “We don’t have to bug people to pursue accreditation; they are self-motivated.”
LMS is also proof that you don’t have to break the budget to achieve energy efficiency. An affordable senior housing project that the firm designed in Oakland, Calif., was certified LEED Platinum. Last year, the firm completed Sweetwater Spectrum in Sonoma, Calif., a net-zero residential community for autistic adults that was built to LEED Gold standards. “We don’t see budget as an excuse not to do sustainable design,” Stacy says. “We get creative with taking standard materials like fiber-cement siding and coming up with our own inventive ways to make that into a rainscreen.”
Research is another key component of the LMS approach: Several projects, like Sweetwater, are pilot programs that can hopefully be replicated. “We develop our research and our knowledge base primarily by doing research on a case-by-case basis and then sharing that info,” says principal Marsha Maytum, FAIA.
Sustainability is such a core value that principal William Leddy, FAIA, believes the descriptor to be superfluous: “We’re working hard to get rid of the word sustainability, because we believe good design is good design. You cannot think of it as a separate thing.”
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