News: Arch Nexus Announces Plans for First Living Building in Intermountain West

Arch Nexus is pleased to announce plans to transform our corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City to Utah’s first commercial Living Certified Building. The official announcement took place on Wednesday, with the release of Regenerative Retrofit: California’s First Living Building. Regarding the exciting news, Arch Nexus President, Kenner Kingston stated:

When we embarked on the Arch Nexus SAC project, one of our many goals was to harvest regenerative design philosophy and knowledge and bring it to the Intermountain West. Today we are pleased to announce that we are ready to realize our goal– Arch Nexus SLC, our 30,000 square foot headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah is pursuing Living Building Challenge 4.0 certification! With bidding complete and permitting in progress, please wish us luck as we take this meaningful journey for a second time.

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Publicity: Regenerative Retrofit: California’s First Living Building

Ecotone Publishing has announced the release of the seventh book in the Living Building Challenge Series titled Regenerative Retrofit: California’s First Living Building, researched and written by Juliet Grable.

Regenerative Retrofit details the journey of the renowned architecture firm, Architectural Nexus, and its experiences designing, constructing, owning, and operating California’s very first Certified Living Building. The Arch Nexus Sacramento (SAC) building, a 1950s-era warehouse located in Sacramento’s bustling R Street Corridor, produces more energy than it consumes, is capable of running solely on captured rainwater, and exemplifies resilient design that connects people to nature and the human community.

Regenerative Retrofit chronicles a design process rooted in biophilic relationships to place and the collaboration among a stellar team of architects, engineers, builders, and artists who together created a remarkably resilient, low-carbon solution to today’s critical climate challenges. It also highlights the key role of “high-performance occupants” who, as stewards of one of the greenest buildings in the world, can make a significant impact to optimize building performance.

Beautifully illustrated and enlivened with the many voices of those who contributed to the project, Regenerative Retrofit provides inspiration for teams embarking on their Living Building projects, as well as a roadmap for how we can preserve and regenerate our legacy buildings for future generations.

Regenerative Retrofit: California’s First Living Building is available online and can be ordered through architecture and building bookstores throughout North America and at the Living Future store.

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Thought Leadership: Arch Nexus Participating in AIA Utah 2020

The 2020 AIA Utah Conference will be held in digital format, hosted with Zoom, and provided for free to all AIA Utah members and Utah members of affiliated student and professional groups. Two architects from Arch Nexus will be presenting on September 15th during the 12:00-1:30 PM Connections Lunch and Link.

Meagan Recher, Regenerative Design Specialist at Arch Nexus will present on Resilient Design, the first steps to understanding what resilience is and how to apply our knowledge to projects.

Michelle Howard, Arch Nexus Associate and Associate instructor at the University of Utah will share insights about the psychology of color in architectural design and visual communication.

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Publicity: Architectural Record Details Successful Community Engagement Implemented by Arch Nexus

Community engagement is often a requirement in the process of a new design, but frequently it becomes a box to check while engaging in little meaningful dialogue. Effective and equitable examples that architects and planners can look to, are outlined in the latest publication of Architectural Record, Continuing Education: Community Engagement.

Community meetings that resulted in successful engagement are exemplified in Bayview-Hunters Point, a waterfront park on San Francisco’s south eastern shoreline and in Rockaway, a peninsula in the New York borough of Queens, as well as the Stockton Library in Stockton, California.

From the article: There are, of course, other means to elicit useful information. Jeff Davis, senior principal with Architectural Nexus, recommends seeking out community members at events such as children’s soccer matches or town fairs. “Go to them, find their networks, and you’ll get better feedback,” he says.

By relying on this method for a combined library and recreation center about to start construction in Stockton, California, Arch Nexus learned that community members wanted a building that allowed access to the outdoors, fostered collaboration, and included a technology center. They discovered that the surrounding neighborhood was a food desert, and the idea of including a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes came about. An edible garden and an area for a farmers market are also planned.

Arch Nexus draws on the Social Eco­nomic Environmental Design (SEED) Evaluator, a nonprofit that aims to use architecture to make positive change in underserved communities. The Evaluator is a framework for documentation and measurement based on five principles, including advocating for those who have a limited voice in public life, promoting an inclusive design process, and conserving resources and reducing waste.

One AIA learning unit (LU), can be earned by reading the original article from Architectural Record.

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News: Arch Nexus Named in ENR’s Top 100 Green Design Firms

Architectural Nexus is pleased to be listed among global design leaders in ENR’s Top 100 Green Design Firms. The interest in sustainable and regenerative design and construction can be seen in the results of the 2020 ENR Top Green survey. As a group, the Top 100 Green Design Firms generated $7.28 billion in 2019 design revenue from projects registered with and actively seeking certification from third-party rating groups under sustainable-design standards such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge (LBC). This represents a 7.5% increase from $6.77 billion in 2018.

In some ways, the pandemic is changing the conversation around green. For many, the relationship between buildings and environmental health has been seen as indirect, benefitting future generations. Now, green design is evolving from an approach to aid in preserving the environment to a more fundamental concern over environmental and human health.

Regarding the recognition, company president Kenner Kingston says: We are gratified and encouraged to be making our first appearance on this list. Architectural Nexus looks forward to moving up over time thanks to our clients who are understanding more and more how important it is that we provide comprehensive regenerative design solutions in our work. By creating real connections to place, treating stormwater as a resource rather than a nuisance, delivering on the promise of electrification, and ensuring that only healthy building materials get into our projects, we are leveraging state-of-the-shelf technology to make better places for people.

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Publicity: Trimtab: How Retrofitting Can Fight Climate Change

The official blog of the International Living Future Institute, Trim Tab, shares a unique look at the how retrofitting working-class buildings can sequester carbon and fight climate change. Michael D. Berrisford, Editor-in-Chief of Ecotone Publishing, discusses what makes the subject of their latest release, Regenerative Retrofit: California’s First Living Building, so special.

The Arch Nexus SAC regenerative retrofit is so much more than a shiny solar-powered, high-performance brick and mortar landmark adorned to garner “oohs” and “ahhs.” Nor is Arch Nexus SAC a green technology showcase trimmed out with futuristic tech, instantly iconic for its statuesque architecture and stately skyline posture. While it does have numerous verdant features such as the biophilic-inspired daylighting plan and living wall, robust solar capability, composting toilets, and right-sized cisterns, in actuality, Arch Nexus SAC’s shine comes from its undeniable success as a smart, practical, fully-functioning Living Building that has been bootstrapped from its humble industrial origins as a 1950s-era warehouse. 

Further, the building and its owner/occupants are notable for meeting timely objectives linked to the proliferation of crises facing California. Through this building, and pretty much every action they take these days, they are responding positively to the consequences of climate change such as recurrent droughts, intense wildfires, increasing extreme temperatures, and power grid insecurity–all the while connecting to the social fabric of their local community. 

The Arch Nexus office in Sacramento is a people-driven, thoughtfully designed building transformed from traditional building stock to an architectural gem that impressively reduces its carbon footprint. It generates energy and collects water like one of nature’s systems and provides a healthy and engaging physical workplace environment for its knowledgeable and creative occupants. Working-class building retrofits like the Arch Nexus SAC office transformation represent a viable–and now proven–opportunity for addressing climate change.

See the full article here.

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News: Publication of Regenerative Retrofit: California’s First Living Building

Architectural Nexus is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Regenerative Retrofit: California’s First Living Building.

Regenerative Retrofit tells the story of the Arch Nexus Sacramento building, a 1950s-era warehouse that has been transformed into California’s first certified Living Building. Located in Sacramento’s bustling R Street Corridor, Arch Nexus SAC produces more energy than it consumes, relies solely on captured rainwater, and exemplifies resilient design that connects people to nature and the human community.

Regenerative Retrofit chronicles a design process rooted in biophilic relationships to place and the collaboration among a stellar team of architects, engineers, builders, and artists who together created a resilient low-carbon solution to today’s climate challenges. It also highlights the critical role of “high-performance occupants” who, as stewards of Living Buildings, can make a significant impact on how the building performs.

Written by author Juliet Grable and published through Ecotone Publishing, you can now pre-order your copy of Regenerative Retrofit: California’s First Living Building, at The Living Future Institute today.

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Thought Leadership: Educational Opportunities for Architecture and Sustainable Design

Are you interested in the field of architecture, but never pursued the idea? Do you know someone with a flair for design? Is a young person in your life trying to decide on a field of study? A pandemic proves the perfect opportunity to stay home and learn. Because Arch Nexus knows that a sustainable future will be designed by current and future architects, we’re sharing opportunities to broaden your horizons and shape future designers.

edX is a massive open online course provider created by Harvard and MIT. With more than fifty courses in Architecture, edX is a great fit or both industry professionals looking to sharpen their knowledge in specific areas and for those just dipping their toes in the field. The most popular course available through edX is The Architectural Imagination. Study some of history’s most important buildings to learn the fundamental principles of architecture.

Another massive open online course provider is Coursera, founded by two professors at Stanford University in 2012. The platform has grown to collaborate with over 200 leading businesses and universities. A simple search of “Architecture” results in over 644 learning opportunities on the topic. The Age of Sustainable Development from Columbia University is a recommended course.

LinkedIn Learning via Lynda also offers free learning tools so a beginner can grasp the techniques used to design sustainable sites and buildings such as drafting, rendering, and modeling. This platform is also excellent for an industry professional looking to learn new software and for those interested in Interior Design.

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Thought Leadership: Social Equity

At Arch Nexus we are committed to being the change we want to see in the world. Since 2016 we have adopted the JUST label, a third party transparency platform that discloses social justice and equality metrics. The mission of JUST has inspired Arch Nexus to maintain a number of policies and programs that foster ethnic, racial, and gender diversity, as well as equitable wages and benefits, paid family leave, and a philanthropy program that gives employees paid volunteer time.

We recognize that we have a responsibility to increase our efforts to support those who are suffering as a result of social injustices. To promote further diversity and equality, Arch Nexus is creating additional training, hosting discussion forums, and taking architectural education to under-served demographics and communities. To manage these efforts, we have created a new management role: Director of Social Equity.

Arch Nexus is committed to making meaningful experiences for all people; people in our business, people in our profession, and people in the communities we serve.

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Jobs: K-12 Architect Wanted at Arch Nexus

About Us:

Architectural Nexus is a people driven, architectural design firm focused on stewardship, inspiration, and regeneration. We have offices in two locations: Salt Lake City, Utah and Sacramento, California. Our Sacramento office building is the first and only Living Building in California and our Salt Lake City office building is double LEED Platinum. As an employee owned firm (ESOP) we value and reward the contributions of all employees. 

Position Description:

We are looking for an experienced architect and project manager to join our progressive firm. Come and enjoy the up and coming city of Sacramento. Now is the time to embrace this opportunity to direct your career. This position is for a licensed architect with a minimum of 10 years of experience designing K-12 education facilities. This position requires experience and confidence managing teams of staff and consultants and the successful candidate can expect to interface regularly with clients. A strong understanding of contact negotiation and fee establishment is also required.

The successful candidate will work in our Sacramento office with an integrative team through all phases of design including programming and planning, to develop and document holistic designs for a variety of project types with an emphasis on K-12 projects. Applicants should be prepared to collaborate across disciplines to create regenerative places that enrich people’s lives through connection to the natural environment. Applicants should also enjoy working in a collaborative environment, demonstrate strong communication and design skills, be inter-personal, a self-starter, and a problem solver.


  • We are an Employee Owned Firm (ESOP)
  • Large-firm opportunities in a small-firm culture
  • Excellent medical and dental benefits
  • Matching 401(k) and/or Roth 401(k) plan
  • Twice yearly incentive and accountability bonus program
  • Holiday and vacation benefits
  • Philanthropy program including paid volunteer time
  • 6 weeks paid parental leave
  • Pay commensurate with abilities and experience
  • Six weeks of paid leave following the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child.

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Licensed Architect in the State of California
  • Proficient with Autodesk Revit
  • 10 years of K-12 architecture design
  • Ability to work quickly and be deadline oriented
  • DSA experience

Preferred Skills and Qualifications:

  • LEED accredited
  • Understanding of CDE and OPSC
  • Understanding of project management software 

Email resumes and references to:

Brian Cassil
Principal | Director of Communications

Thanks for sending your resume; we look forward to getting to know you.

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