|- Extended Survivability|
|- Net-Zero Energy|
|- Sustainable Renovations|
art, architecture + ecology
Indigo responds to people and landscapes. Integrating art, architecture and ecology, we deliver buildings and environments that are both cost effective and aesthetically resonant. We practice bioregional design, creating spaces that balance the practical needs of modern life with the reality of limited resources and global climate change.
The built environment accounts for 48% of total energy use in the United States and 76% of power plant generated electricity ( Architecture 2030 ). With this knowledge, we design climate-adapted buildings that remain cool in summer and warm in winter by manipulating sunlight, shade, ventilation, and thermal mass.
Design for bioregion incorporates vernacular building traditions that have been developed in response to the topographic and climatic qualities of place. These traditions often incorporate what today's architects would call passive solar strategies. By combining these techniques with the latest materials and modeling technologies, Indigo creates environments that serve human needs with a minimum of wasted resources, using local, recycled, and renewable materials whenever possible.
Our approach dictates that we work with the specifics of local climate. It also dictates that we work with people. We weave culture, art and functionality together to help people communicate, work, and live well. Our designs rely on meaningful collaboration with our clients and users to ensure that the spaces we create will optimally serve the people who will use them. We find creative, cost effective ways to incorporate craft and artistry into civic, residential and commercial projects, ensuring that buildings and landscapes are tailored to the needs and sensibilities of their users. In this way, we work toward harmonious flows of people, energy, and materials.
We work from the understanding that earth’s systems are powered by sunlight. We also know that it is one of the most beautiful and powerful materials available to architects. Unlike wood, steel, and concrete, its supply is free and boundless. Natural light provides building users with superior visual acuity, a sense of psychological well being, and dramatic energy savings. Extensive research has shown that naturally lit buildings with views to the outside increase worker efficiency and reduce absenteeism. School buildings lit by sunlight provide a superior learning environment. Controlled use of natural light keeps building occupants attuned to diurnal rhythms and reduces the occurrence of seasonal depression.
Just as we bring natural light and air inside the building envelope, we understand the importance of bringing people to the outside of buildings. Humans feel grounded and whole when their homes, schools, and workplaces incorporate usable outdoor space. With shelter and good solar orientation, courtyards and covered walkways can be used year-round.
We allow existing patterns in the landscape to inspire our designs. Native plants create landscapes that fit local ecological conditions and speak to cultural traditions. These plants help reduce on-site water demand and provide habitat for native birds, insects and other creatures. Gardens, bio-filtered fountains, sheltered walkways and courtyards provide respite in an increasingly anxious world. We are whole when we feel the sun or rain on our faces, when we watch plants grow and change with the seasons, and when we have time each day to breathe fresh air.
In addition to these daily benefits, Indigo’s building methodology can help mitigate the effects of disasters. The principles of passive solar design have been updated for the 21st Century with the concept of “Passive survivability”. Smart, energy-saving buildings can remain functional and safe in extreme circumstances. We design civic buildings that can operate even when the electrical grid is down for an extended period of time. Recent events, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, wildfires in the western U.S., and the constant threat of earthquakes on the Pacific Rim highlight the need for both long-term energy conservation and emergency coping mechanisms.
Our structural design techniques help increase the safety of buildings through earthquakes while natural lighting from skylights and windows allow daytime use without electric power. Natural ventilation and operable windows allow buildings to be used when power or fuel supply for mechanical systems is compromised. Passive solar buildings reduce heating and cooling load, lightening demand on emergency power generators and can extend the period of time essential service buildings can operate in extraordinary circumstances.
At Indigo, we combine time-tested techniques with the latest technologies to design buildings and landscapes for today and tomorrow. We carry a legacy of environmental responsibility and a passion for bioregional, place-based design solutions that are ever more efficient. We look at the big picture in order to frame our approach to each unique project. Our designs integrate art, architecture, and ecology to address the needs of today while preserving the world for future generations.
Bioregionalism: A commitment to balancing the functions of human societies with their ability to sustain themselves and their natural environment.