Founding Member Spotlight
Re:Vision is an architecture and sustainability consulting practice composed of purpose-driven people committed to re-visioning and restoring the balance between natural, built, and social environments. A founding B Corporation, they are a powerhouse in the green building and sustainability space in Philadelphia and beyond, leading change in how buildings are conceived of, built and operated to drive a more sustainable future.
Why did you become a member?
Re:Vision has been involved in our local sustainability community in many ways for decades. As we see circularity deepen as concept, we feel it is critical for us to support and learn collaboratively with this community. Supporting Circular Philly gives us a place to share knowledge and resources with other like-minded organizations and individuals, and have some fun while doing it!
What does a circular economy mean to your organization?
In nature, all resources are circular – water is part of a cycle of movement from sky to ground and back again, energy moves from the sun to plants to animals to soil which then supports more life and eventual regrowth. This movement of matter and energy in a circular and connected way forms the basis for all life. As architects and sustainability consultants, we look at the built environment the same way – examining where our matter (materials) and energy (work) come from and where they go. We are curious, challenged, and happy to play our role in this large and complex cycle to make it as rich and impactful as possible!
How is your organization practicing circularity?
Matter – we have a deep material vetting process for everything that goes into our built environment projects. So deep in fact that we make sure that every single building product or material in our material library is vetted and approved for supply chain and material transparency and health before it finds a way onto our shelves. We look at where it came from, who was involved, how energy intense the extraction/manufacturing/distribution process is, how it will perform in service, how safe it is for those who make it and use it, and how it can be reused or repurposed at the end of its life. If a product doesn’t pass our bar, it straight up doesn’t make it into our projects. Period. As specifier’s we influence both the current materials market, but also future markets for reclamation and reuse. Assuming that everything we design and specify right now WILL be reused someday (it will NOT go into a landfill) we need to be mindful and strategic of even the smallest choices.
Energy – When it comes to the energies influencing our projects we go way beyond all-electric deeply energy efficient buildings. That’s the baseline where we start as we’ve been honing our craft for zero energy and passive house design for over 20 years. More than just our design and consulting work though it’s about the people energy we influence. We seek clients who are putting their energies to work for the good of our communities and ecologies. We partner with collaborators who put their expertise to work to advance the sustainable built environment. We volunteer to sow the seeds for future generations to continue in this long legacy of environmentalism, social action, and building better places for all life to thrive. A big but simple way we do this is by working with other organizations like ourselves who commit to transparency and being for benefit – by certifying as a B-Corp and reporting out with a Just Label.
How can others advance the circular economy?
Instead of the mentality of being apart from nature, picture instead yourself or your organization as a part of a grand circular economy of matter and energy. Think about what is upstream and downstream and how you can better support those in both directions. Ask hard questions of the products and processes you use and the people support. You’ll be surprised at the results and the beauty you’ll find in others who see the world through the same optimism and circularity that you do!