David Hertz Architects FAIA & The Studio of Environmental Architecture
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Sustainable Building Consulting

The green roof above the  Mullin Automotive Museum , an adaptive reuse of a warehouse building into a cultural institution.

The green roof above the Mullin Automotive Museum, an adaptive reuse of a warehouse building into a cultural institution.

sustainability consulting

S.E.A. is an acknowledged leader in sustainable architecture and regenerative design. Studio founder David Hertz, FAIA, personally has over three decades of experience in the practice and innovation of green building. A LEED accredited professional, David is a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council and the AIA Council on the Environment, and serves on the City of Santa Monica’s Task Force on the Environment. S.E.A. leverages our collective experience with sustainability and green building certifications to provide clients with architectural design and/or building consultation services.

The studio approaches sustainability through innovative systems-thinking at all scales, from materials and products to buildings and entire communities. One example of this exploratory approach is Syndecrete, a composite material made from recycled concrete and other industrial waste products. We frequently incorporate recycled materials and forms into architectural projects, and encourage the adaptive reuse of existing structures. Leading by example, S.E.A. developed our previous headquarters from a dilapidated building into a LEED Platinum certified office. We also pioneer new paradigms of regenerative design, such as the 747 Wing House, a project that extrapolates the logic of recycling to epic proportions by appropriating parts of a scrapped airplane.

Resilience Lab is a thinktank embedded within S.E.A. that offers planning and design services for the wildland-urban interface. Resilience Lab researches and develops technology and best practices for the built environment of the future. Local resilience is a necessity for humans to live with global climate change, so the studio engages fire-rebuild projects as an opportunity to help communities heal by designing with nature. Our buildings achieve symbiosis between human and natural ecosystems so that people and their homes can flourish despite the planet’s increasingly unpredictable environment.

In addition to new construction, S.E.A. provides sustainable building consultation services, improving environmental performance through cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing solutions. We consider each project as a comprehensive system, like those in nature, to guarantee the cohesion of architectural interventions. Sustainable buildings are healthier habitats for occupants and valuable investments for owners, with benefits including greater occupant satisfaction, reduced employee absenteeism, higher resale value and increasingly lucrative lease contracts. S.E.A.’s enlightened approach includes the consideration of first costs and life-cycle analysis, so that buildings achieve the the greatest return on investment as real estate and lasting value as architecture.


Photovoltaic panels and evacuated tube solar collectors on top of  the McKinley House  were an important part of the residence’s energy balance and sustainable portfolio.

Photovoltaic panels and evacuated tube solar collectors on top of the McKinley House were an important part of the residence’s energy balance and sustainable portfolio.

Our scope of consulting services offered and areas of specialization include:

  • Resilience planning

  • Fire rebuilds / Fireproofing

  • Site planning and project orientation review, including solar orientation and shading.

  • Natural ventilation strategies incorporating both passive and active systems.

  • Climatic study and analysis relevant to project design, energy systems and building type using a bio regional and climatic responsive strategy.

  • Product research and development, with a specialization in concrete and high volume fly ash mix designs and sustainable materials with recycled content.

  • Expertise in sustainably harvested wood including lesser known species, reclaimed lumber / renewable materials and bio composites.

  • Alternative energy systems research, modeling and implementation including PV photovoltaic and small scale wind and hydroelectric turbines.

  • Hydronic solar radiant systems integration for thermal solar heating systems.

  • Water conservation strategies and systems implementation.

  • Storm water mitigation measures including bio-swales, pervious concrete and rainwater capture-reuse systems for sub surface irrigation.

  • Green roof, vegetative “living walls” and green machine integration.

  • Planning/building code policy expertise and advisory experience.

  • Project team management, guidance and integration.

  • Feasibility studies based on project requirements and client priorities.

  • Green building guidelines, specifications, and procedures.

  • Indoor air quality and Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) evaluation and prevention.

  • Cost benefit and payback analysis including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and embodied energy analysis.