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    Credit: Stefan Hester

Respected green-building leader Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, is joining the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in a two-year consulting position as a Resident Fellow. In this role Lazarus will be an internal resource providing a practice-relevant perspective on sustainability and health as the AIA implements the “Decade of Design: The Global Urban Solutions Challenge,” the AIA’s Clinton Global Initiative commitment.  Additionally, she will add to the body of knowledge on sustainability and health by identifying and mentoring a network of authors and speakers among the AIA membership.

Lazarus brings an enviable set of credentials to her role at the AIA. In 2001, she founded the sustainable design initiative at the global architecture firm HOK. Lazarus has served as HOK’s director of sustainable design, leading the firm’s integration of sustainability criteria into planning, strategic visioning and design concepts on design, construction, and operations. She has already been a steady presence concerning AIA initiatives, leading the development of the popular Guide to the International Green Construction Code in collaboration with volunteers and staff.

“I am confident that this important step to bolster education and outreach will sharpen the Institute's focus on sustainability and health for our members and for the public’s we serve,” said AIA EVP/CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “Mary Ann will play an important role at the AIA and we are energized by her presence.”

Lazarus, having joined HOK in 1980, co-authored the second edition of The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design, an influential textbook used by design professionals and universities. Lazarus won ECOSTRUCTURE's 2012 Evergreen Award in the Perspectives category, which recognizes one individual each year for advancing sustainable design. In 2011, based on her significant contributions to sustainable design over her career, the AIA elevated Lazarus to its College of Fellows. 

“This is a great opportunity for Mary Ann to help the architectural profession make a positive impact on the health of our people and planet,” said HOK President Bill Hellmuth, AIA. “As much as we will miss her leadership, we understand our responsibility to share Mary Ann's expertise. As a result of Mary Ann’s strong leadership, HOK’s Sustainability Steering Team will continue to keep HOK on the leading edge of innovation in sustainability.”


Lazarus has played a key role in many milestone HOK sustainable projects. In 2010, she led a St. Louis-based project to design Net Zero Court, a prototype for an affordable, zero carbon emissions office building.  Since 2011, she has directed HOK's pro bono design team on Project Haiti, a U.S. Green Building Council-sponsored, biomimetic, LEED Platinum, net-zero-energy orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

Lazarus will begin her new position at the beginning of March.