HOK Tops Annual Ranking as “Greenest Design Firm”

We first highlighted the global architectural and design firm HOK with our post last December covering the opening late last year of the new “sustainable” Indianapolis airport (pictured above), for which HOK was principal designer.

Earlier this year we talked with Mary Ann Lazarus, HOK’s Sustainable Design Director, about the growing buzz over building efficiency and the course of sustainable design in a struggling economy.

In its latest issue published just today, Engineering News-Record magazine released a survey ranking HOK, for the second consecutive year, as the greenest design firm in the world.

Green by design

The survey is based on revenue for design services generated in 2008 from projects actively seeking certification from major third-party environmental standards or rating organizations, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program. Last year HOK generated $197.54 million from sustainable projects, 26% of the firm’s total revenue.

In ranking by individual sector, the ENR survey placed HOK first in “Education,” second in the “Commercial Offices” and “Sports, Entertainment & Civic” sectors, and third in “Government Offices.”

As a group, the Top 100 ranked firms generated $2.85 billion in revenue last year from projects registered with, and actively seeking certification from, third-party ratings organizations. Despite a troubled economy, this marked a 63.9% increase over the $1.74 billion in revenue for the group in 2007.

“While the business has shifted dramatically in the past year, sustainable design continues to resonate among clients across all sectors and regions,” says Lazarus. “We are continuing to broaden our expertise to help clients solve their environmental, economic and social challenges through traditional and non-traditional strategies. And through our exclusive alliance with the Biomimicry Guild, we are applying nature’s innovations to the planning and design of buildings, communities and cities worldwide.”

As Lazarus told us last April, HOK is an “early adopter,” incorporating sustainability and efficiency as a core component of the firm’s mission back in 1993. Their design expertise has led to 43 LEED certified projects, six BREEAM rated projects, and more than 100 others actively seeking certification. Through their ongoing work applying sustainable design strategies to emerging geographic locations (HOK has 24 offices worldwide), building types, and sectors, the company continues to play a significant role in making efficient, sustainable design increasingly mainstream. Lazarus, along with her HOK colleagues Sandra Mendler and William Odell, have also authored The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design.

Tom is the founder, editor, and publisher of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the TDS Environmental Media Network. He has been a contributor for Triple Pundit since 2007. Tom has also written for Slate, Earth911, the Pepsico Foundation, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, and many other sustainability-focused publications. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists

Leave a Reply