Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable Architecture + Planning

Sustainable Architecture and planning are foundational to a better future.  As a firm we are passionately committed to high performance, net zero resilient buildings and communities.  It's our privilege to collaborate with our clients, who are passionate about improving their lives and the world we live in.  

Our clients are educated, discerning critics of the “green washing” common in our industry, and are looking for financially responsible, hyper comfortable, planet sensitive solutions.  Our clients are empowered by our talent and commitment to good design, and our vast experience in realizing, measurably better buildings.

Sustainable Architecture and Green Design are an investment in our community today - for tomorrow.  

Driven by good building science, we put things on the planet with great care, leveraging decades of experience into lasting relationships, and hundreds of realized dreams.

3-Fold Approach to Sustainable Architecture and Green Design

At Artisans Group, we practice a three fold approach to Sustainable Architecture and Green Design that provides our clients with a healthier living experience and strengthens community.


Energy efficiency is to sustainable architecture as floatation is to a boat.  

If you want to invest in building sustainably, the first thing you should work on is energy efficiency.  

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for about 48% of a typical home’s energy use.  We can design better; we have the science, and know-how.


The Passive House building standard is the best available building science for cost effectively creating an energy efficient building, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

 For a quick take:

  • An energy efficient Passive House saves over 75% more energy annually than a similar new home, and 90% more than a typical U.S. home. Imagine going from 11000 kilowatt hours per year of energy use to 2,750kWh.  We design, model, and see that level of energy efficiency in our clients' homes.
  • An energy efficient Passive House has no need for a large, expensive, and inefficient heating or cooling system.  A Passive House is built to recycle heat from appliances, light bulbs, and you - to keep your home around 72°F all-year-long.
  • An energy efficient Passive House is designed to maximize natural light, which decreases the need for artificial lighting.  We model your home through annual sun cycles. We know where to put your windows so that you get the necessary amount of sunlight to keep your home comfortable on February 23 and on August 16.
  • An energy efficient Passive House undergoes extensive site modeling so that we see how the sun, weather, and landscape will work with your home to improve solar gain and minimize overheating.  All of this is well understood before construction begins and we test the integrity of our idea throughout and after construction.  

We have designed more buildings to the Passive House standard than any other firm in the U.S.  

We design Passive Houses because they represent the best available science for high quality and practical sustainable design.

And our experience designing such advanced homes is that all of our projects benefit from this additional experience and knowledge.  Even our traditional homes feature additional insulation, air sealing and responsive window placement to increase energy efficiency over a standard new home.

Whether your project is a new home, remodel, or commercial - our eye and training for energy efficient solutions means better and more realistic options for you.

We constantly look for ways to help improve energy efficiency in a way that works for you.  Tankless hot water systems, hydronic floor systems, low flow toilets and showers, the most energy efficient appliances and lighting options, beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows that don’t bake your house; whatever it is, we keep ourselves informed so that you have access to this knowledge.

We want to empower you to make the best decision for you, your family, your lifestyle, and your aspirations.

If you would like more information about the revolutionary Passive House building science, we encourage you to read about it on our website, on Passipedia, and (yes) through following a good new fashioned internet search!


We’ve been a part of the Green Home Design movement for long enough to see it be a grassroots effort as well as trendy marketing.  As we mentioned above, sustainability is not something we do for marketing purposes, it’s what we do because we want our families and friends and children - and children’s children - to have a better world.  And we want to live in a better world, too.

From the very first stages of design we carefully consider materials and construction methods in order to eliminate excess waste and ensure durability.  

Whether it’s sourcing quality salvaged goods, calling for sustainably harvested wood throughout your project, or ensuring healthy indoor air quality - we provide ongoing education to our team members so that they can provide you with more sustainable options in building materials and the most up-to-date building science standards.  

We design and build your home or business to work with and be responsive to its environment.

A better, more sustainable and ecological architecture isn’t rocket science, it's building science.  


We’re in the business of designing a better world because we believe in the long view.  We're optimists about our neighbors.

We employ local high demand and highly skilled individuals from across the design and project management spectrum.  We empower them with further education and challenging opportunities to grow and develop skills that help build a more durable, resilient and sustainable community.

At Artisans Group, we think that a sustainable building is a community asset.  From successful revitalizations of commercial spaces and social hubs, to homes that compliment and boosts their neighborhoods; our clients have honored us with their hopes and dreams for stronger community through sustainability.  We honor them with our dedication to craft and community that resonates today - and - tomorrow.

Why do we design improved air quality into our buildings?  Because healthy communities start with healthy people. We support local organizations like United Way, Safeplace, and Big Brothers Big Sisters because we know that healthy communities need support and maintenance so that when times get tough (and they always do) there’s a network of support to try again.

We’ve said it a lot throughout the pages of our website, but it bears repeating; we love what we do, we like planning for the long term, and we look forward to working with you.  

We’re all in.


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