8 Values : 1 Vision




Inspire, enrich, and transform lives through great design.


We define SUSTAINABILITY as “implementing the highest quality green, energy-efficient, and high-performance design practices.”


WORKSHOP8’s design for Paisano Green Community is the first NetZero, fossil fuel-free, LEED Platinum affordable senior housing project in the United States. Take a moment to read Paisano Green Communities HUD Energy Study to learn about specific energy efficiency strategies that made this project one-of-a-kind. 

Today we explore SUSTAINABILITY and how it is integrated into our culture and our work:

Brandy LeMae

Sustainability is a tough one. Sometimes we have to do a little arm twisting with clients. I think they want to do the “right thing,” but sometimes investing in sustainability on their projects puts them over budget. We do our best to present sustainable products and strategies on all projects, but at the end of the day, it is up to our clients to make the ultimate decision on how to implement sustainability in their projects.”

Marcel van Garderen

Sustainability is a tricky subject when discussing with clients. Most do see the importance of reducing their energy consumption in the interest of the climate, however, most have a business to run. Does it make sense to spend $100K to save marginally on your energy use? Could that $100K be used in a more effective way to offset energy consumption? There is always a more sustainable way to build a project…at what point are you doing enough? As you can tell, sustainability is not a cut and dry topic; it is incredibly complex and each project has to be approached in its own unique way.”

Sydney Angel

WORKSHOP8 shares many values, but one of the biggest things we care about is our environment. When we are designing a building, we think about its impact on the environment. We look at materials, energy efficiency, and many other factors that create a sustainable building. Not only do we pay attention to sustainability in the field, but also in the office by composting, recycling and creating as little waste as possible. We believe that every little bit we can do helps.”

Matthew Murray

Sustainability is a big part of WORKSHOP8 we strive to design environmentally friendly buildings. We accomplish this by using eco-friendly materials and use creative design strategies to reduce energy costs. In the office, we also try to be aware of what we use, and we recycle and compost. I’m glad that sustainability is a big part of the WORKSHOP8 culture.”

Megan Stanley

Sustainability is often thrown around as a “hot button” word and is often misinterpreted. As students of sustainability, we at WORKSHOP8 aim to view the entire design and construction process as part of a bigger system. We want our work to contribute to social and physical longevity, as well as material and resource conservation. Creating habitats and other spaces that promote social and physical sustainability matters to us, and makes our work that much more rewarding.”

Maris DuBois

Sustainability goes beyond a product; oftentimes when we are presented new materials we ask questions such as “where was this made, what transportation method will be used, and what resources and processing went into its creation?” We take the whole picture into consideration when determining the sustainability of the project. As Megan mentioned, we want to contribute to social, as well as physical, sustainability and conservation.”

Joseph Vigil

Where to start? We, as passengers on this planet of ours, have a responsibility to live our lives in a sustainable way. This means everything we consume, we return in kind. This is really difficult and counters everything we have learned in our pursuit of the “American Dream.” This concept is so overwhelming that sometimes it is easy to ignore, or feel this is such a big issue that “what impact can I really make?” Well I believe we can, and must, contribute in any way we can. We know what it takes to make a building sustainable, and I feel it is our responsibility to have these conversations with our clients, but not every budget can support the associated costs. As the cost of climate change becomes more prevalent and impactful, these associated costs will increase in value and become the more commonplace.”

Omar de la Mora

The basic goals of sustainability are to decrease the consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy environments. At WORKSHOP8, we practice sustainability from composting lunch scraps to installing reclaimed wood floors in our office. When doing rehabilitations to existing structures, we avoid demolitions that negatively impact the environment. By planning durable and sustainable environments, ou goal is for renovations will last upon generations of use.”

Alex Parulis

“Maybe it’s because our office is located in Boulder, Colorado (one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the country), but we naturally take on sustainability measures both in our office and on our projects. Buildings account for nearly 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions, so I feel it is our duty to reduce, or better yet, eliminate, these emissions however possible.”

Ivan Patino

To me, sustainability is all about performance. How can we achieve more with less? Or how can we ensure that what we build lasts? These are examples of some of the questions that we address throughout our design process. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the notion of sustainable design is often associated with expensive testing and standards…I digress. Sustainability is important to us because it can have a significant impact on our habitat.”

Chelsea Semelka

“Designing with sustainability in mind is one of our most important responsibilities as architects and designers. We implement sustainable practices in many ways throughout the design process. As an Interior Designer, I pay special attention to the sustainable properties of finishes. When selecting finishes, I spend a lot of time considering the environmental impact of the product as well as how long it will last. It is important to use durable products that have a long life span while they are in the building and can be recycled when they are removed.”

Cesar Gellido

Sustainability is composed of three categories; economic, environmental, and social. All of them stem from an understanding of meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations to meet their needs. One way WORKSHOP8 practices social and economic sustainability is during or weekly Scrum meetings, where we openly discuss the past, present, and future needs of the office.”


Thanks for reading!

Maris DuBois | Studio Manager
18 December 2019