Mithun Mass Timber Fire Testing Detailing to Pass the NFPA 285 +

Detailing to Pass the NFPA 285

As part of a U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant, this team designed and detailed a two-story exterior cross-laminated timber (CLT) wall assembly to test against the NFPA 285 standards. This effort represents the first tested wall assemblies made of CLT approved for use in mass timber high-rises, opening industry-wide possibilities for prefabricated mass timber facades and streamlining future tall wood code provisions.

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Mithun Centering Health Equity Tackling Health Equity +

Tackling Health Equity

The Centering Health Equity team is examining how power and privilege influence design and development decisions throughout a project life cycle, in pursuit of an equity-centered practice framework to alter everyday decisions and promote health for all. The team’s hybrid approach includes case study narratives, interviews and workshop development of an open-source action plan to inspire broad application and continual improvement.

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Mithun Model Resilient Zoning Code Advancing Resilience through Zoning +

Advancing Resilience through Zoning

The Model Resilient Zoning Code with Equity team is examining the potential transformation of municipal zoning codes to support, rather than hinder, resilient communities. Building from design experience interacting with policies that obstruct human health, passive building performance, climate resilience and onsite-energy generation, this research effort explores an alternative zoning framework to transform the core principles of land use regulations.

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Mithun Pollination Innovation Connecting Site Ecology and Community +

Connecting Site Ecology and Community

The Pollination Innovation effort investigates the most effective combinations of plant and soil types to encourage native pollinators in San Francisco’s Mission District, utilizing a community garden test site as a platform for collaboration with citizen scientists to observe plant health and document pollinator species success. Resulting recommendations will be shared with city planners and Bay Area designers.

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Mithun Equitable Managed Retreat Organizing Refuge Alongside Community +

Organizing Refuge Alongside Community

This R+D study explores the fraught process of managed retreat, suggesting that engaging adaptation and relocation on a spectrum can strengthen place attachments and build collective capacity to address ongoing climate shocks and stresses. This work offers a framework for collaborative processes that support the self-determination of flood-prone communities that have endured harm and disinvestment.

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Mithun Building Better Schools Mass Timber Schools: Wellness in Wood +

Mass Timber Schools: Wellness in Wood

Humans have an innate need to connect with the natural world. This relationship is critically important in the built environments where children learn. Building Better Schools explores ways to optimize the use of mass timber to maximize the physiological and psychological benefits of nature in K-12 schools. The result is an easily adaptable, cost-competitive, systems-based kit-of-parts that improves learning environments.

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Mithun Equity at Work Creating Inclusive Culture +

Creating Inclusive Culture

The Equity at Work R+D effort examines racial equity within built environment design practice. Specifically, this study asks how perceptions of workplace culture, disaggregated by race and gender, affect employee retention. Through a national interdisciplinary survey and individual interviews, the research identifies a set of ten actionable recommendations to promote racially equitable and inclusive workplaces.

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Mithun Designing a Green New Deal Investing in People through Workforce Development +

Investing in People through Workforce Development

As part of the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Green New Deal Superstudio, this team explored how investing in local workforce development might expand the impact of green infrastructure. Through case studies and partner interviews, the research promotes a community-centered paradigm of Living Infrastructure, and explores a visual methodology for foregrounding community-based organizations that engage, educate and build wealth in communities through green infrastructure projects and career pathways.

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Mithun Heads Up Display Custom and Real-Time Data Visualization +

Custom and Real-Time Data Visualization

The Heads Up Display dashboard extracts relevant design data from early-phase modeling software, specifically Rhino, so that custom and real-time data visualizations are readily accessible to project teams during design. With the dashboard, teams can make informed, data-driven design decisions in a fraction of the time and reach critical project goals with greater ease.

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Mithun All-Electric Multifamily ZNE Maximizing Energy Stability and Efficiency +

Maximizing Energy Stability and Efficiency

The All-Electric Multifamily Zero Net Energy (ZNE) team is examining energy efficiency strategies, barriers and successes of six pioneering all-electric ZNE-ready projects across three climate zones in California. This research uses case study data and cost benefit analysis to highlight holistic design and systems approaches to electrification, targeting energy stability and resilience for building owners and residents.

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Mithun Build Carbon Neutral 2.0 Enhanced Tool for Carbon Calculation +

Enhanced Tool for Carbon Calculation

The Build Carbon Neutral 2.0 project advances Mithun’s previous work developing the (BCN) calculator, a publicly available and widely referenced tool for early estimation of a project’s embodied carbon impact. The current effort updates the BCN methodology to better address complex construction types, specific structural quantities, site design and above-ground biomass for simplified carbon assessments.

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Mithun Façade Generator Connecting Platforms to Accelerate Design +

Connecting Platforms to Accelerate Design

Façade Generator bridges the gap between Revit and other modeling programs, specifically Rhino and Grasshopper, to easily study façade patterns and articulation that are otherwise too cumbersome to implement or explore in Revit at early stages of a project. The conceptual drivers for design option exploration include environmental response, programmatic relationships, panelization, modularity and color.

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Mithun Scripted Anthropometry Human Dimensions and Digital Tools +

Human Dimensions and Digital Tools

The Scripted Anthropometry team examined how the body can be embedded within contemporary design with emergent digital fabrication tools. Using computer scripting, 3D printing and five-axis CNC fabrication, the team researched how to effectively model complex anthropomorphic shapes and directly cast them into concrete forms, applying this research to design and fabricate a bench installation at Louisiana Children’s Museum.

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Mithun Design in Kinship Communities and Designers in Partnership +

Communities and Designers in Partnership

Design in Kinship explores systemic funding pathways to shift power and resources to BIPOC community-based organizations (CBO). The study emphasizes relational, pre-project work where designers are invited by CBOs to build trust, reciprocal understanding and collective vision that reinforces the joy, appreciation and commitment people have for their communities and unlocks the power of place-based design.

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Mithun On Fire Designing for Fire +

Designing for Fire

On Fire examines fire-adapted environments, studying both the varied sociocultural history of fire management and the breadth of existing prescriptive best management practices for designers working within fire-prone environments. This team is developing a design toolkit through an integrated approach, considering land use, landscape design and building design simultaneously.

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Mithun Holistic Design Analytics Health-Responsive Experience +

Health-Responsive Experience

This R+D team is expanding the scope of pre- and post-occupancy evaluation data by examining health, human and environmental factors. Beta-tested health and inclusion public life survey modules provide deeper insights into future user needs, drive responsive design strategies with health and equity co-benefits, and help project teams integrate health as a value proposition in their work.

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Mithun The End of Parking Designing for Car-Free Cities +

Designing for Car-Free Cities

The End of Parking explores the most efficient and cost-effective design of structured parking for subsequent conversion to other uses, acknowledging the projected decline in parking demand over coming decades. The team presents conceptual strategies and analytic frameworks for parking conversion—addressing facade and envelope design, floor heights, insulation, column spacing, HVAC, window-to-wall ratios and more.

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Mithun Embodying Change Engaging Carbon Workflows +

Engaging Carbon Workflows

The Embodying Change effort studied the application of life cycle assessment (LCA) software and methods to Mithun design workflows across multiple scales and project types.  The R+D team ran a range of analyses, from whole-building LCAs to individual material comparisons, documenting best practices for seamless integration of embodied carbon accounting into the firm’s design process.

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Mithun Photogrammetry for Design Mobile 3D Toolsets +

Mobile 3D Toolsets

The Photogrammetry for Architects effort investigates the viability of harnessing depth sensor capabilities of mobile phones to extract three-dimensional information. The team is developing computational solutions to convert data retrieved from phone cameras into 3D geometry and is testing computational approaches towards optimizing these geometries for useful design application.

Mithun Navigating the Invisible City Autonomous Technology and Public Space +

Autonomous Technology and Public Space

Navigating the Invisible City investigates emerging autonomous technology’s role in activating urban public space. Through interviews with industry leaders and typological research that reaches beyond the typical transit and infrastructure focus to include mobile retail, pop-up exhibitions and transient services, the team is exploring design strategies and market trends that link architecture, mobility and autonomy in the public realm.

Mithun Campus Net Zero Retrofitting for Net Zero Energy +

Retrofitting for Net Zero Energy

What would it take to transform an urban campus of aging seven-story buildings to achieve net-zero operational energy using on-site renewable energy? Net zero at that height in new construction is nearly impossible, making an existing campus even more challenging. Efficiency measures were evaluated on cost, carbon and energy metrics, providing flexibility for implementing all at once or over time.

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Mithun Big Play for Small Spaces Designing for Informal Play +

Designing for Informal Play

The Big Play for Small Spaces effort investigated temporary, informal models of play through the phased construction of Blakely Elementary School. Through pre- and post- occupancy study, educator surveys and student observation, this team studied the viability and effectiveness of innovative interim play areas that can address common space, budget and liability constraints.

Mithun Computational Solvers Architectural Optimization +

Architectural Optimization

The Computational Solvers team is developing digital scripting tools to integrate rapid-feedback optimization methods for building form and assemblies into Mithun workflows. Tools focus on material use optimization, feasibility model generation and floor plan optimization, using project-based cases to develop strategies and test which office processes may benefit from digital scripting.

Mithun Parametric Planting Design Creating Intelligent Landscapes +

Creating Intelligent Landscapes

The Parametric Planting Design team, together with LANDAU Design+Technology, is pursuing the creation of a robust parametric planting design toolset. By combining spatial, environmental and ecological parameters with extensive plant data and custom digital workflows, the team aims to enable novel, scalable and efficient planting design methods that produce complex, resilient, biodiverse and beautiful outcomes.

Mithun Embodied Equity Gender and Interior Space +

Gender and Interior Space

The Embodied Equity effort investigates race and gender equity in interior space, focusing on measurable interventions that designers can influence. In the early phase of this research the team identified and defined components of interior space that impact race and gender equity; future phases aim to link these components to metrics by which they can be assessed and compared.

Mithun Urban Sustainability Framework Analyzing Sustainability at the District Scale +

Analyzing Sustainability at the District Scale

This R+D effort focuses on developing a framework for quantifying and evaluating sustainability at the district scale. Building on Mithun’s expertise and innovative sustainable practice across disciplines, the team is developing a structure to better inform project design decisions within urban scale parameters. Later phases will address parametric scripting and tools towards district-level sustainability decision-making.

Mithun Stacking Up Modular Pros and Cons in Practice +

Pros and Cons in Practice

The Stacking Up Modular R+D effort builds on industry experience to create decision-making aids that illustrate tradeoffs and evaluate the suitability of volumetric modular across various site conditions, programs, schedules and sustainability objectives. The team is developing a timely toolkit to help owners, developers and designers assess options based on informed experience and academic research.

Mithun Space Through Story Understanding Public Space via Narrative +

Understanding Public Space via Narrative

The Space Through Story effort explores the idea of democratic open spaces via interviews and storytelling in urban California. Through conversations with activists, social workers and people from the unhoused community, the work traverses topics of restorative justice, public parks, safe organized spaces and political agency. The R+D team is crafting a multimedia platform to share these stories and inspire further conversation.

Mithun What’s in the Box Assessing Modular's Carbon Impact +

Assessing Modular's Carbon Impact

This R+D effort tests the comparative environmental performance of modular construction against conventional site-based construction using case study modeling and analysis. Moving beyond common perceptions of modular’s cost and construction efficiencies, the team is pursuing environmental sensitivity variables specific to the modular supply chain, aiming for actionable factory selection guidance and specific advocacy data to advance sustainability within the modular market.

Mithun High Performance Landscape Liberty Bank Building Case Study Investigation +

Liberty Bank Building Case Study Investigation

The Liberty Bank Building design team collaborated with the University of Washington on a Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) Case Study Investigation to evaluate impacts of the project’s high-performing landscape design. This grant-funded research quantifies environmental, social and economic benefits to document effective strategies and model best practices.

Mithun Changing the Narrative Housing for All +

Housing for All

Architecture Student’s CRIT Scholar program, Mithun partnered with scholar Teddy Levy on Changing the Narrative. This effort sought to demystify themes surrounding housing affordability, outlining trends affecting the American housing system and documenting case studies of affordable housing to inform prototypical solutions. The approachable zine format deliverable targets those who may not have “the language of architecture,” as well as traditional design professionals.

Mithun Greens to Green Homes Municipal Land Use and Sport +

Municipal Land Use and Sport

The Greens to Green Homes team leverages an integrated design approach in exploring alternative land use practices for municipal golf courses suffering disinvestment and underuse. Using specific San Francisco public courses as design case studies, the team is pursuing a multi-benefit model that addresses affordable housing needs, creates public open space, encourages equitable access to sport and promotes added density on valuable municipal land.