Create sustainably.

Our Planetary Principle

For decades, A&E Design has endeavored to create impact with innovative architecture and design while reducing the associated environmental consequences. We know the potential risks to our planet and natural resources that come with the built environment. With each project, we feel the weight of responsibility to recognize, control, and minimize those risks while transforming the world around us.

As one of our firm’s values, the planet is a primary consideration in every A&E Design deliverable. We embrace “green architecture” practices, integrate viable strategies, and educate our clients, partners, and peers on the importance of sustainability. Our commitment is evidenced by our history—from completing the first LEED-certified project in a national park to our most recent LEED Platinum facility at Montana State University. With every structure we create, we explore ways to advance our industry while perpetuating the health of our planet and people.

Challenge Accepted

It is our firm’s environmental emphasis that motivated A&E Design to challenge ourselves to design more energy efficient and environmentally conscious buildings. We set out to reduce our combined annual average Energy Use Intensity by 20% in 2020. Thanks to our diligent efforts, we exceeded that goal by 14% last year with a total reduction of 34%. In 2021, we’ve set an even more ambitious goal – achieve a 30% EUI reduction across our architectural projects. We are confident that with our guiding framework that integrates environmentally conscious decisions into each phase of every project, we will again rise to the challenge and be one step closer to our ultimate goal of carbon neutrality.


We collaborate with the owner to create a checklist that guides our work toward their energy efficiency, building maintenance, and LEED certification goals.

Schematic Design

Members of our sustainability and design teams unite for a collaborative charette to explore sustainable design opportunities. We use an energy modeling software, the cove.tool, to maximize energy performance with optimum orientation and daylighting.

Design Development

During a sustainability meeting, we review goals with the owner and stakeholders, discussing how each is implemented in construction documents.

Construction Documents

Our standard specifications are used to create construction documents that incorporate established sustainability goals.

Construction Administration

We track sustainability goals throughout construction to ensure they are successfully implemented as planned.

2021 Goals

The story of our sustainability success starts with the practices we put in place today to minimize our environmental impact. To achieve our short- and long-term carbon neutrality goals, we plan to take the following steps in 2021:


Implement key sustainability operations, including tracking goals, fostering accountability, and integrating the cove.tool into 21 projects.


Reduce our Energy Use Intensity by 30%. 


Build a running materials watchlist, which identifies sustainable options and those with potentially harmful impacts.


Create project goals and accompanying action plans that clearly outline requirements and track delivery milestones.

Best Footprint Forward

As we look to the future, we are collectively driven to shape our communities with responsible and ethical design. Setting the precedent among our peers means we must integrate sustainable practices into all internal processes and across every service. Although this framework serves as a foundation for the work ahead, we will annually review our progress and assess goals, continuously striving to improve our efforts and our world.

Download our mandate.