Lake|Flato Architects -

Lake|Flato Architects


Established in 1984, Lake|Flato has gained national recognition for architecture that is rooted to its place, responds to the natural environment and merges with the landscape. With a palette of regional materials, we create buildings that are tactile and modern, environmentally responsible and authentic, artful and crafted.

As stewards of the natural environment and our client’s resources, we shape every project with empirical environmental knowledge and energy modeling resulting in sustainable strategies that artfully respond to each site’s unique context.

In 2004, the American Institute of Architects awarded Lake|Flato the prestigious Firm Award – the highest honor an American architecture firm can receive. Lake|Flato’s diverse project types reflect the particular places where they are constructed.

Environmental Commitment

Sustainability, a term originating in the ecological sciences, describes ecosystems that thrive in a dynamic balance particular to their place. Each element of a sustainable system balances itself against other aligned and competing elements to create a unique fit within its natural context.

Lake|Flato believes that good design requires us to seek this same balance within our own work. Design and sustainability cannot be teased apart. Each design must find its particular fit relative to intended use, cultural context and the natural environment.

For over 25 years, Lake|Flato has employed practical and thoughtful sustainable strategies that conserve resources, engage nature and promote healthful living. Simply defined, sustainable design is smart design that looks beyond the building and considers the larger context.

We strive to create restorative environments that enhance our understanding and relationship to the natural world. Our process is collaborative and integrates knowledge from a wide range of sustainable expertise. It requires that we look to art, science and nature … to listen and learn. We benchmark building energy performance from early-stage modeling through completion to verify the efficacy of our designs and strategies.

This data allows us to measure our progress towards our goal of carbon neutral design by the year 2030, in fulfillment of our commitment to The 2030 Challenge. Lake|Flato Architects is committed to meeting the 2030 Challenge and has defined a process and the incremental steps to achieve this goal.

For 25 years, the Firm’s leadership has been a passionate advocate for environmental stewardship through sustainable design, but this commitment relies on a broad based and integrated support from the entire firm. Our efforts will be guided by the Lake|Flato “Green Beam” who have instituted sustainable practices into our daily operations, offer internal education programs and disseminate best practices through FlakeNet, our intranet wiki site.

Our Sustainability Coordinator also engages directly with projects that do not have a sustainability manager by performing energy models and sustainability reviews on a regular and scheduled basis. Finally, the firm has also committed to certifying every residential project under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program. Building performance is measured against 2030 Challenge goals and communicated to the design team.

We understand that the 2030 Challenge will require constant vigilance. In response, Lake|Flato and our consultants use a variety of energy modeling software suites to evaluate effective sustainable design, measure energy performance and document our progress relative to the 2030 Challenge. We are currently also initiating a Post-Occupancy Evaluation program.

With the data from the energy models and future Post-Occupancy Evaluations, Lake|Flato’s Sustainability Coordinator has created a database of energy-consumption statistics for all of our projects as well as selected external reference projects. With the support of the Sustainability Coordinator, Project Teams use this data to analyze strategies and share the information with clients, consultants, engineers, and other collaborators. Lifecycle cost analyses will be performed for each of Lake|Flato’s projects.

The findings will be discussed with the client. Public and client education is a critical component of our Implementation Plan. To help educate our clients, the “Green Beam” created a clear and simple sustainability reference guide called “The Green Book” which describes our sustainable design process and demonstrates examples of sustainable strategies. The book’s introduction discusses the importance of carbon emission reduction and cost-effective sustainable design.

Our commitment to sustainable design is also evident on our web site through project profiles and downloadable case studies and content such as the “Green Book.” The case studies specify energy efficiency and sustainable strategies employed on each project. These case studies represent Lake|Flato’s many notable successes including five COTE Top Ten Awards, the first LEED Platinum NC building in Texas and the first LEED Gold project in Indiana.

In total, six Lake|Flato projects have been certified as LEED Gold or Platinum. These successes are a reflection not only of our priorities but also those of our collaborators and consultants’ with whom we share this commitment. We strive to create an open and inclusive design process that invites the very best ideas to flourish.

“Our firm makes a concentrated effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but what we can’t reduce, we offset.’s CarbonFree Program has aided us in our goals for carbon neutrality.” – Heather Gayle Holdridge, LEED AP BD+C Sustainability Coordinator

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