William McDonough + Partners co-founder Russell Perry joins Smithgroup

Internationally recognized sustainable design and planning authority to add expertise, depth to SmithGroup’s growing “Green Design” practice

October 18, 2005 |

Russell Perry, AIA, LEED AP, who has led some of the world’s most significant sustainable design projects, has joined the Washington, D.C. office of SmithGroup.

Perry comes to SmithGroup after 11 years at William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, VA.In 1994, he joined William McDonough and Chris Hays as the founding partners of the firm.Perry became WM+P’s first LEED accredited professional in 2001.

“The opportunity to communicate with and influence the work of 815 design professionals that are cranking out a huge volume of work on an annual basis is the best way for me to leverage the skills and information that I have at this point in my career,” Perry said.“At this point as sustainable design becomes more and more a part of mainstream architectural practice, I think the place where I can offer the most value is feedback in a larger firm setting.”

Perry’s sustainable design experience at WM+P has resulted in significant projects around the world, including in England, China, Mexico and the Netherlands.An example is the future 581,000-square-foot National Collections Centre at the National Museum of Science & Industry in Wroughton, England, UK.The building and 562-acre site-- a former WWII-era airfield located in the south of England – is designed to meet its own energy needs and to have a net positive atmospheric carbon balance, while creating hundreds of acres of natural habitat.

In the U.S., Perry’s influence as a sustainable design pacesetter has been far reaching.He was the project leader for the revitalization of the historic Ford Rouge River industrial complex, Dearborn, MI, and has guided an ongoing collaboration with Ford Motor Company.

Perry has been active in Chicago, where he oversaw creation of the “The Chicago Principles: Design for Eco-Effective Cities,” a document commissioned by the City of Chicago’s Department of the Environment. The paper was designed to assist the City in achieving the goal of becoming “the greenest city in the United States.”

Perry worked for a SmithGroup predecessor in its Washington, D.C. office 16 years ago. Perry worked for one of the firms that merged with SmithGroup predecessor Smith Hinchman & Grylls in the late 1990s.

From 1986 until 1994, Perry was a principal at the Washington, D.C. firm of Florence Eichbaum Esocoff King, and was an architect for eight years prior to that at its predecessor, Keyes Condon Florence.Perry served as project principal for the Smithsonian Institutions’s National Postal Museum, which received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects and a Federal Design Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.Two years after Perry’s departure for WM+P, Florance Eichbaum Esocoff King merged with Smith, Hinchman & Grylls-- the first of a series of four firm mergers that created today’s 800-employee SmithGroup.

Perry currently serves as a member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s committee that is writing the new LEED 3.0 Core and Shell Standard.He just completed service on the Design Jury for the Forest Stewardship Council’s 2005 Designing and Building with FSC Award.Previous activities include serving on the Board of Directors for the Washington, D.C. chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

“We have gone through the pilot process (for LEED 3.0 CS) and we’re going to the steering committee and technical advisors with a final recommended product and then, hopefully, we’ll be going out to ballot to the membership shortly,” Perry said. “We spent a year with a draft product in front of maybe 50 different design teams, and we’ve incorporated a whole bunch that we’ve learned. We should be ready to go public with it shortly.”

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