Drawing on decades of experience, Terrapin develops effective, high performance solutions to help you achieve your environmental, financial, and social goals.
Achieving big impact with our clients
We help our clients achieve their highest environmental goals for the long term stability of their organizations. Through a holistic process, we will leverage our deep experience and broad network of collaborators to address your unique challenges.
Using biophilic design to integrate elements of nature into architecture and urban planning projects, we help you increase revenue and improve human health and wellbeing.
Expanding on traditional green building metrics, Phoebe helps you capture the economic advantages of improving human health and wellbeing while strengthening local ecosystem services and mitigating risk.
Using biologically-based strategies, we collaborate with you to create products and processes that solve your technology challenges, increase revenue, and reduce risk and costs.
Empowering our clients to become leaders in sustainability, design, and innovation
Why Environmental Strategies?
A changing climate, stressed natural resources, and demographic changes all impact our communities, cities, food systems, critical infrastructure, and health. We believe these challenges present opportunities. By transitioning our buildings and cities to positively impact the environment, we believe that we will not only address these 21st century hurdles but also create stronger, smarter systems and a prosperous society.
We use this philosophy to develop solutions for our clients’ environmental, economic, and social challenges. By partnering with diverse experts from around the globe and drawing on a collaborative methodology refined over twenty five years, Terrapin is uniquely equipped to solve these complex issues.
Environmental Opportunities Charrettes
We facilitate in-depth design workshops that engage our clients’ stakeholders and our network of experts in a collaborative process. These engagements will help you identify opportunities to achieve economic sustainability, enhance ecosystem performance, and improve human health. These workshops and subsequent collaborations can be used to fulfill LEED v4 certification requirements for the Integrative Process (IP) credit.
After analyzing the complex issues surrounding our clients’ ambitious development projects, we create plans for companies, organizations, and cities to pursue their tangible and aspirational goals for environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
Green Design Guidelines
We create guidelines tailored to our clients’ unique goals and challenges, ensuring the highest level of sustainability is achieved. These guidelines will allow you to quickly implement holistic strategies across large developments, real estate portfolios, and brands.
Net Zero Strategies
By working on projects ranging from commercial and residential developments to entire towns, we understand the complexities and issues of implementing net zero energy, water, or waste goals. We develop strategies to ensure long-term financial savings and stability for our clients while drastically cutting a project’s carbon footprint.
Real Estate Portfolio Analysis
We reduce risk exposure for real estate portfolios by developing climate change resiliency and resource-efficiency strategies. Our technique will allow you to prioritize capital investments, minimizing costs and maximizing environmental impact.
We collaborate with colleagues from diverse disciplines to bring new insights to the design and construction industries in order to further improve human health and productivity, ecological balance, and climate change resiliency.
Research & Publications
- Midcentury (Un)Modern
- Knowledge from Data in the Built Environment
- Designing for a Moving Target: Adapting Our Buildings to a Changing Climate
For more information about our environmental strategy services, email us at [email protected]
View from Cacique resort (above). Terrapin was part of a master planning effort for the resort.
Forging connections with nature to improve health and wellbeing in the built environment
Why Biophilic Design?
Based on neuroscience, environmental psychology, and endocrinology, biophilic design integrates elements of nature into architecture and urban planning projects. We collaborate with our clients and their design teams to implement biophilic design in their projects for an enhanced experience. Biophilic design has quantifiable health and wellbeing benefits that result in financial savings through higher worker productivity and retention rates, improved student test scores, increased real estate values, and faster patient recovery rates.
Biophilic design provides a distinct advantage over conventional design practices by recognizing the scientific evidence connecting human biology and high performance design. We provide biophilic design strategies with measurable outcomes that place our clients’ properties at the forefront of innovative design.
Biophilic Design Workshops & Charrettes
We lead our clients through a creative thinking process to determine how biophilic design can improve the occupant health and building performance of their projects. We will guide your design team through a deep dive into the science, goal setting, and focused discussions to understand design opportunities.
Site Mapping & Design Peer Reviews
We evaluate our clients’ projects for opportunities where proposed or existing biophilic design interventions can be implemented or improved upon. We provide reviews for projects at any scale — from a room or whole building to a landscape or an entire master plan.
Biophilic Design Guidelines
We establish design guidelines for our clients that align desired health and wellbeing outcomes with their project or portfolio goals. We ensure that these design guidelines integrate with all owner requirements, project programming, and marketing narratives.
Research & Analysis
We conduct research, case studies, post-occupancy studies, and field experimentation to validate the impacts of biophilic design on human health, economics, and social resilience. We will partner with you and experts to explore emerging aspects of biophilic design through research, implementation, and evaluation.
Research & Publications
For more information about our biophilic design services, email us at [email protected]
Studio of COOKFOX Architects (above). Terrapin has collaborated with COOKFOX on biophilic design projects.
Reconnecting communities to ecosystems to improve human health, mitigate climate change, and adaptively manage resources for a regenerative society
The name Phoebe is inspired by a group of North American songbirds, whose ranges have expanded along with human development because they have adapted to nest in bridges, buildings, and other structures. We emulate the Phoebes’ example by intentionally connecting the built and natural environments for mutual advantage.
Terrapin’s suite of ecological design services combines ecology, architecture, and urban planning. These services integrate aspirational goals with quantifiable metrics, empowering our clients to reimagine the role of design. Phoebe’s goals are to connect people to natural systems, align local ecosystems with larger regional systems, and integrate comprehensive ecosystem impacts into planning and decision-making. Using this holistic approach, we address our clients’ most challenging problems while strengthening the connection between the built environment and nature.
Phoebe Workshops & Charrettes
We facilitate workshops and charrettes that enable our clients to identify opportunities to improve the quality of their projects through ecological design and to develop distinct project objectives based on Phoebe’s goals and principles.
Built Ecological Reference Standards (BERS)
We use BERS to define aspirational goals based on natural ecosystem structure and function. BERS will help you to recognize onsite diminished ecosystem services and how to revive them for increased site performance, reduced costs, and improved resilience.
Ecological Risk Analysis
Terrapin’s analysis of five temporal processes across a site and region reveals hidden vulnerabilities to our clients’ success. We will work with you to uncover these invisible connections in order to ensure long-term success.
Terrapin’s systems-level planning approach strengthens a project’s ability to respond to social and ecological changes that are both gradual “press” changes and sudden “pulse” disturbances. We will work with you to translate these risks into implementation strategies.
Outsourced Impact Analysis
We help our clients understand how their projects are dependent on larger systems. We will analyze your project’s upstream and downstream material and energy flows, enabling your team to prioritize and select sustainable and valuable strategies.
Research & Publications
- Advancing Urban Sustainability
- The Value of Ecological Design
- Embracing the Ecological Perspective
- Rethinking Restoration Ecology
For more information about our Phoebe services, email us at [email protected]
This aerial view (above) demonstrates how communities and cities are interdependent on their surrounding ecosystems and natural resources.
Leveraging 4 billion years of R&D to create innovative products and processes that solve difficult technology and design challenges
Why Bioinspired Innovation?
We believe natural systems offer solutions to society’s most pressing technology challenges. Nature provides a rich yet largely unexplored library of technologies that effectively process and manage information, materials, and energy. By abstracting ideas from this catalogue, bioinspired innovation opens the way to technological breakthroughs that are often unattainable using conventional research and development.
Leveraging over ten years of experience in bioinspired innovation and our vast network, our multi-disciplinary team is uniquely positioned to provide bioinspired innovation services to our clients. We develop innovative products and processes that increase our clients’ revenues while reducing their risk and costs. We work in fields as diverse as materials science, building systems, and advanced manufacturing.
Bioinspired Innovation Workshops & Charrettes
We use innovation workshops to explore and identify our clients’ technology challenges. During these workshops and charrettes, we will guide your team through the bioinspired innovation process and align your challenges to potential solutions found in nature.
Technology Roadmap Development
We develop roadmaps that explore technology challenges and identify business opportunities, enabling our clients to expand their business and create new markets. These roadmaps will address the social, economic, and technological forces that are transforming your market.
Concepts & Prototypes
Our innovation process is designed to move clients beyond inspiration–guiding them from the ideation stage into experimental design. We will first identify natural strategies applicable to your technology challenge and then leverage our network of researchers to evaluate these potential solutions.
Research & Development
We offer extended engagements to our clients that desire to integrate the bioinspired innovation process into their R&D culture. We will establish key partnerships with industrial designers and researchers to ensure your technology goals are realized.
Blog Posts & Publications
- Tapping into Nature: The Future of Energy, Innovation, and Business
- Bioinspired Innovation Case Studies
- Biomimicry & Photonics
- Biomimicry, Bioutilization, Biomorphism: The Opportunities of Bioinspired Design
For more information about our bioinspired innovation services, email us at [email protected]
Lena River Delta (above) demonstrates constructal theory, which was used to inform Harbec’s plastic injection molds for faster cooling times and reduced energy use.