Sustainability & Conservation

News Articles

Renovation as a Sustainable Solution

When you think “green” or “sustainable,” what pops into your head? Do you imagine a beautiful new building, outfitted with all of today’s newest technology? Do you think of buzzwords like photovoltaics and daylighting? Or maybe you think of simplifying with materials like rammed earth. Would ... READ MORE

Choosing the Proper Treatment for a Historic Building

Restoring history for future generations is important. Classic architecture is the perfect opportunity to do just that. But maintaining or restoring a historic building takes a lot of effort and forethought. But before you start this important journey, you’ll have to give it plenty of thought ... READ MORE

Let the Sun Shine In!

Natural daylighting can save money, energy and improve worker productivity Sustainable practices just make sense. They’re generally safer, healthier and save money when implemented as part of an integrated design approach. So it’s no surprise we’re constantly looking to optimize the design of ... READ MORE

It’s the Isle of the Tiger, It’s the Thrill of the Site

There’s a new growl emanating from the Arizona’s Valley of the Sun. WDM Architect’s latest tiger exhibit, Isle of the Tiger, opened November 6th at the Phoenix Zoo. The exhibit is the final element of the zoo’s A World Class Zoo For A World Class City capital campaign, which added three ... READ MORE

A Cool Day in the Sun
Reflections from a Solar Decathlete

The 7th biennial Solar Decathlon opens to the public today in Irvine, Calif. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, this competition challenges university students to design and build a completely solar powered house. The houses are put through a battery of tests and challenges to see ... READ MORE

International Orangutan Day:
Celebrating the “People of the Forest”

  I’m an unabashed tree hugger. But today is a day dedicated to one of the most extreme tree huggers of them all – the orangutan – because today is International Orangutan Day. This great ape shares 98 percent of our DNA and is unquestionably one of the most intelligent animals ... READ MORE

Trending Now: Rammed Earth Makes Resurgence

What do the Great Wall of China, the Alhambra in Spain and Earthships in New Mexico have in common? It’s called rammed earth. It’s a construction method that, in a most basic sense, uses hard-packed dirt to create both interior elements and exterior walls of buildings. Today’s approach uses a ... READ MORE

Storytelling…an Essential for Zoos

“….to provide unique experiences that connect people with nature and inspire conservation of the natural world.” If you were to look at the mission statement of the over 220 AZA accredited zoos and aquariums the above statement or some derivative of it would likely be present.  That is because ... READ MORE

Going Grey for 96 Elephants

WDM Architects went “grey” for World Elephant Day & 96 Elephants on August 12th. This is a global awareness campaign that helps 96 Elephants Organization organize support to urge legislators around the world to ban ivory sales and help protect these magnificent animals. You can ... READ MORE

Zoo Adaptations for the Future

The year is 2114. Our planet’s biodiversity had reached critically low levels within the last 30 years thanks to rampant overexploitation of resources. Resources used to feed, house, and entertain our non-sustainable population growth and consumption. Resources that had dwindled enough to ... READ MORE

Green Buildings Don’t Have to Cost More

It has become a misnomer in recent years that “green” buildings have to cost more than typical buildings.  Obviously, the bottom line is what we are all talking about. Do you pay less now, or less later?  Is it worth it to save more in the upfront initial construction cost?  Or, is it the cost ... READ MORE

LEED Silver Certification for Grizzly Ridge

Akron Zoo’s Grizzly Ridge Exhibit Achieves LEED Silver Certification Akron, OH – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded the Akron Zoo’s Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, reinforcing the zoo’s ... READ MORE

Our Zoo Design Architects Conquer the Master Plan Madness

We are coming to the end of another March Madness and the best college basketball teams will be fighting it out for the championship. A lot has been made of the teamwork and chemistry of these teams, and how that comes together to create excellence. Watching these talented teams work together ... READ MORE

“96 Elephants”

It seems hard to imagine but there is a very real possibility that we could see elephants vanish in a few years. Why? Despite conservation efforts, almost 100 elephants a day are being killed. To put it in perspective, imagine standing every day of a year on a street corner and watching 100 ... READ MORE

Borrowed landscape can save a budget

Importing natural vegetation often isn’t practical for a project. And it sure isn’t a sustainable practice either. When it comes to zoos and landscape architecture, we often use a technique called Borrowed Landscaping. Originally developed in Far East Asia, it’s a technique ... READ MORE