Nita Tjahjana, Certified Passive House Consultant

Congratulations to Designer Nita Tjahjana, PIVOT Architecture’s newly-certified passive house consultant!

In receiving the certification from the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), a non-profit promoting high-performance passive buildings, Nita has honed her ability to design more sustainable facilities.

In the process of earning this certification, Nita learned the principles of passive building and trained using passive modeling techniques. Nita and PIVOT Designer Clay Neal, who is also passive house certified, use this knowledge to design more sustainable projects.

“I am just always curious about building technology and to learn more about the different metrics of how to make buildings more efficient,” Nita said. “It is one way of approaching sustainability and I have always liked when things are quantifiable.”

PHIUS+ provides design and construction standards ensuring sustainable quality assurance. Buildings meeting PHIUS+ standards use 40-60 percent less energy and provide high indoor air quality along with a quiet, comfortable environment.

Alison Kwok, an architecture professor at the UO, urged Nita to pursue certification with her systematic in approach to design.


Our Hearts are with Those Affected by Wildfire

As we head into a second week of devastation from wildfires raging throughout Oregon and much of the West, our hearts and thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and property during these trying times. Our unending gratitude goes out to those battling blazes, donating to relief organizations, and members of our strong community who volunteer to aid those affected.

For us at PIVOT, the majestic area is hallmarked by the McKenzie Ranger Station which fortunately is out of harm’s way for the time being. It has been a starting point as well as a place to rest and regroup during many of our excursions into the seemingly enchanted forest.

Please take care of one another during these incredibly difficult times.


Scott Clarke: 20 Years and Counting at PIVOT

Architect and Associate Scott Clarke, AIA, recently celebrated the milestone of working 20 years at PIVOT Architecture.

Twenty years on, Scott is still fascinated by architecture and its limitless capacity for exploration. “My professional life has been filled with diversity of project scale, program, and clients,” Scott said.

“From tiny remodels at one end of the spectrum, to design coordination for the 52-acre EWEB Roosevelt Operations Center, each project has brought its own lessons, and each has been treated with the same care and sense of responsibility. Our objective is consistent: Each project is a responsible use of resources, supports the projects’ users, and leaves the world a slightly more beautiful place.”

“Time and again, Scott has been an incredibly important part of PIVOT’s success over the years,” said Principal Kelley Howell. “He’s been instrumental in many of PIVOT’s key projects, is a mentor to up-and-coming staff, and maintains a strong connection to the University of Oregon.”

Recently, Scott helped launch the PIVOT Fellowship, a summer program for UO architecture students prior to their final year of study. More than an internship, the fellowship aims to foster original thought about pressing issues of the design profession, culminating in the presentation of a project on the subject. Scott also regularly teaches architecture courses at the UO and is part of the Round Table Club of Eugene, a Town and Gown organization.

“More recently, I’ve been heavily involved in PIVOT’s transit projects,” Scott said. “I find that this facet of our practice is a wonderful challenge, and greatly appreciate that these projects intrinsically support the equity, sustainability, and character of the communities they serve. They are essential components in transforming our cities into places where mobility is available to all while enhancing environmental quality.

“For designers, these projects require attention over an unparalleled spectrum of issues: We engage in urban design concepts with projects that extend for miles, and then sweat the details of transit platforms and shelters that can resemble product design more than typical architectural projects. This extreme scope of concern suits me well. It gets to the aspirations of our profession. We seek an understanding of the world that accepts that everything is part of an interrelated system. Our work is affected by, and in turn affects, everything around it.”

Thank you, Scott, for your unwavering dedication to the craft of architecture. The projects you have worked on, the clients you interact with, and colleagues who are lucky enough to work by your side, who are fortunate to have experienced the positive influence you have brought to each of us. We look forward to many more years together.


30th Anniversary of the ADA

PIVOT staff studies prototype ADA improvements.

In one of the most important laws that applies to architecture, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law 30 years ago. It has been instrumental in making facilities more accessible and is a benchmark to create projects that are welcoming and usable. But it is not just a benefit those of us with disabilities. The ADA creates better design for everyone.

The codes that are a result of the ADA provide a rigorous template that helps create places that are technically accessible. However, at PIVOT Architecture we know that compliance with the code does not guaranty that a space is experienced equitably by all users. Accessibility occurs when it is a core value of those designing the environment. Our designers imagine projects from the perspective of those with disabilities to create places that are inclusive and ensure the experiences of people with differing abilities are as equitable as possible.

The ADA has reshaped the way designers have come to think about architecture and we’ve come a long way as a profession. But at PIVOT we actively pursue and won’t stop looking for new and better ways to improve at making environments that are accessible.