Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design.
May 21, 2013

Guerrilla Green Awards 2013 Grand Prize

Team Thirsty Fountain wins the grand prize!
Team Thirsty Fountain wins the grand prize!

As of October 22, 2012 Architecture for Humanity launched a project that puts the fate of the classroom into the hands of the students. Formatted as a three round competition, Guerrilla Green has challenged teens to visualize a plan to improve the spaces within their schools, introduced them to advocacy, and supported their visions by granting up to $13,000 to the most progressive ideas.

This month, May 2013, we’ve concluded the 2013 competition by hand-delivering a $10,000 check to a team of deserving students at the Design and Architecture Senior High School in Miami Florida. The winning team coalesced an in your face water reuse and conservation awareness campaign -- showing students, school administrators and showdown fans how much water is wasted every time someone takes a drink out of a traditional K12 school fountain. To help solve the problem, they built a contraption that collects the wasted water and redistributes it as gray water in their art classes.

To date, the Guerrilla Green competition has directly connected with over 400 students. But our impact reaches far beyond that scope. The teens involved in the competition have learned how to advocate their ideas, therefore, the exact impact cannot be calculated, as it webs far beyond our visual reach.

We are proud to say, many of the teams who competed in the three rounds have said that they will continue to move forward with their projects, and fight for more environmentally proactive spaces, despite not making it to the final round. Because of these motivated teens, the future of Guerrilla Green looks like a relatable resource for students to understand and incorporate environmental sustainability into their most used spaces. The conversation will be run by students, for students. The easiest way to get a teen to understand that going green is easy, is by showing them that it’s possible.

Want to see a showdown in your community in 2014? Don't be shy, send us a note.


Water collector.
Water collector.
Team Thirsty Fountain. Grand Prize winners.
Team Thirsty Fountain. Grand Prize winners.
Advocacy stickers made by Thirsty Fountain.
Advocacy stickers made by Thirsty Fountain.


May 15, 2013

New Resource: the Green Schools Investment Guide

Architecture for Humanity and the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released “The Green Schools Investment Guide for Healthy, Efficient and Inspiring Learning Spaces,” a free downloadable resource for K-12 schools and communities that demonstrates how schools can implement healthy and resource-efficient building improvements.

The Green Schools Investment Guide outlines the steps that any school stakeholder – from school administrators and elected officials to staff and students to parents and businesses – can take to transform their local schools. The 70-page, action-oriented resource demonstrates how investments in America’s school buildings can improve student and staff well-being and academic performance, conserve scarce resources and foster thriving and sustainable communities.

This collaboration is part of the Center for Green Schools’ Green Apple initiative, a cause-marketing effort that gives individuals companies and organizations the opportunity to transform all our schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning places for students. Through this collaboration, Architecture for Humanity and the Center for Green Schools will develop a joint fundraising model to tackle our nation’s deferred school maintenance bill by implementing school improvement projects, addressing school finance barriers and providing tools to educators.

The Green School Investment Guide is the first product of a joint initiative of Architecture for Humanity and the Center for Green Schools. We’re working together to create and apply resources that show how communities can make healthy building improvements in their schools.

At the heart of every healthy community, we see a green school: a healthy, safe, inspiring and resource efficient place for learning and leadership. We believe that every school can serve as a center for community life and an engine of renewal. We believe that where we learn matters.

Apr 19, 2013

Spring 2013: Renewing Schools

ReNew New Jersey / New York Schools

School gyms, fields and tracks are central places for kids, teachers and community members to gather, share and play. ReNew New Jersey / New York Schools will create innovative and inspiring places of sport by transforming public school athletic facilities in New York City damaged by the storm.

Through the careful assessment of 13 schools with the help of Perkins+Will, three New York City schools and two New Jersey schools have been identified as participants in the program. We are now moving with our design and construction phase, and will be hosting a number of design charrettes in the coming weeks. Read the latest updates on the project page.


Restore the Shore Rebuild One Block

We are working with city officials and residents to identify projects that will strengthen the cultural and economic heritage of the business district.We will identify and build an entire block of homes for the families of first responders.



The New York chapter has been instrumental in aiding us with assessments of communities impacted by the storms. The chapter will be launching phase two of this response, named "Constructing Resilient Communities." While the project is still in its initial planning phase, its goal is to host a series of workshops in the various communities. Look forward to reports on what these workshops produce.


The Newark Chapter of Architecture for Humanity has recently re-established themselves, following Hurricane Sandy. Lead by Martha Brazoban, they wil be in close communication with our regional office and the NY chapter to expand their impact in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. This small chapter needs your involvement and support for their initiatives.  Get the opportunity to work on amazing community projects.  See their website to get involved.


We're also excited to announce two new additions to our team!  Rachel Minnery, AIA and Brian Baer have recently joined us at our newly established regional office in New York. This regional office will operate out of New York and will grow in staff until the Sandy Reconstruction Program is complete.

Rachel will be working as our Regional Program Manager, managing all of our Hurricane Sandy Reconstruction programs for the duration of the program.  She joins us as an experienced architect from environmental WORKS community design center, past-chair of the American Institute of Architects Disaster Assistance Committee, and as co-founder of Architects Without Borders Seattle.  Rachel has focused on environmentally and socially responsible design for building and planning projects in both the public and private sectors. Read her bio here.

Brian will be managing the school component of the overall Hurricane Sandy Reconstruction program in New York City. He joins us with over 25 years of sustainable community-aided design solutions for educational, cultural, civic and non-governmental agency projects across the United States. Combining his versatile leadership and managerial skills, Brian has collaborated with a wide variety of constituencies to bring consensus and success to the design and building process.  He is licensed in several states, is a LEED accredited professional and is certified by NCARB.

Please join us in welcoming these two to our team! With the new project, new addition to our staff, and one more design fellows soon to come, look forward to our upcoming updates as we move forward with our projects!

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