Propel Studio has committed itself to making architecture that has a minimal impact on our environment. We have a holistic approach to sustainability, taking a wide range of economic, environmental and social factors into our designs.
We have an array of tools in our belt that help along the path to a sustainable built environment. We have worked on projects that have utilized various sustainable certifications including LEED, Living Building, Earth Advantage and others, when appropriate to guide the design process. All of the members of our team are LEED Accredited Professionals and have made the commitment to stay ahead of the curve through continuing education opportunities and research. As a firm we have signed onto the 2030 Challenge committing ourselves to adopt stringent design targets aimed at reducing fossil fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy consumption with a goal of building Carbon-neutral buildings by 2030. All of this leads to a long term approach to decision making as we take the lifecycle cost of each choice into consideration.
Even when certifications aren’t applicable or are cost prohibitive, we incorporate sustainable strategies, both active and passive, into our designs. We work closely with our engineers and consultants to seamlessly integrate innovative cost saving systems like ground source heat pumps, radiant slabs, heat exchangers, and others, to minimize the need for expensive mechanical systems. Wall and Roof details may include extra insulation and our designs encourage natural ventilation to further reduce reliance on energy intensive machinery to condition our spaces. We advise our clients to turn their roofs into productive space by installing solar hot water, PV panels and green roofs where appropriate. Our dedication to sustainability doesn’t stop at our building’s envelope. Interior spaces flow out into the landscape where native plants and site design reduces dependence on irrigation, while bioswales and other elements work to filter grey water and reduce stormwater runoff.
Along with our expertise in environmental sustainability, we find it extremely important to address social and economic issues as well. We pride ourselves in building strong relationships within our community and in the communities in which we build. Building lasting partnerships and collaboration leads to places that are well used, loved, and maintained. Our goal is to build buildings that become centers of their community, that are cared for by their users, that are beautiful and timeless. Throughout our careers we have donated our time and experience to community groups and nonprofits to help them grow and be successful. We have designed projects through Design Bridge at the University of Oregon, Architecture for Humanity, and for Vernon Elementary School a few blocks from where we work and live. We offer our services Pro-Bono or on a sliding scale to make sure that people and groups from all walks of life and economic conditions can have access to the transformative power of architecture and design.