William McDonough

William McDonough

Overview
William Andrews McDonough is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

, founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) with German chemist Michael Braungart as well as co-author of 'Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things also with Braungart.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'William McDonough'
Start a new discussion about 'William McDonough'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
William Andrews McDonough is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

, founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) with German chemist Michael Braungart as well as co-author of 'Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things also with Braungart. McDonough's career is focused on designing environmentally sustainable buildings and transforming industrial manufacturing processes
Industrial process
Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical or mechanical steps to aid in the manufacture of an item or items, usually carried out on a very large scale. Industrial processes are the key components of heavy industry....

.

Biography


McDonough was born in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, the son of an American Seagram
Seagram
The Seagram Company Ltd. was a large corporation headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that was the largest distiller of alcoholic beverages in the world. Toward the end of its independent existence it also controlled various entertainment and other business ventures...

's executive, and trained at Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

 and Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

. In 1981 McDonough founded his architectural practice, and his first major commission was the 1984 Environmental Defense Fund Headquarters. The EDF's requirement of good indoor air quality in the structure exposed McDonough to the need for sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

.

McDonough's practice
Architectural firm
An architectural firm is a company which employs one or more licensed architects and practices the profession of architecture.- History :Architects have existed since early in recorded history. The earliest recorded architects include Imhotep and Senemut . No writings exist to describe how these...

 is located in Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.The official population estimate for...

, with a small office in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, the Netherlands. McDonough moved his practice from New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 to Charlottesville in 1994, when he was appointed as the Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

. He relinquished this position in 1999 to focus on expanding his professional practice.

A number of large corporate projects for The Gap, Nike
Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area...

, and Herman Miller
Herman Miller (office equipment)
Herman Miller, Inc., based in Zeeland, Michigan, is a major American manufacturer of office furniture and equipment, as well as furniture for the home. It is notable as one of the first companies to produce modern furniture and, under the guidance of Design Director George Nelson, is likely the...

, which focused on both a financial and environmental standpoint, led to his commission for a twenty-year, US$2 billion environmental re-engineering of the Ford Motor Company's legendary River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan
Dearborn, Michigan
-Economy:Ford Motor Company has its world headquarters in Dearborn. In addition its Dearborn campus contains many research, testing, finance and some production facilities. Ford Land controls the numerous properties owned by Ford including sales and leasing to unrelated businesses such as the...

. The project included rolling out the world's largest extensive "living roof
Green roof
A green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems...

" in October 2002. The roof of the 1.1 million square foot (100,000 m²) Dearborn truck assembly plant was covered with more than 10 acres (40,000 m²) of sedum
Sedum
Sedum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, members of which are commonly known as stonecrops. It contains around 400 species of leaf succulents that are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, varying from annual and creeping herbs to shrubs. The plants have...

, a low-growing ground cover.

In 1996 McDonough became the first and only individual recipient of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. In 1999 Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

called him "Hero for the Planet". In 2002 he wrote (with Michael Braungart
Michael Braungart
Michael Braungart is a German chemist who advocates that humans can reduce our negative environmental impact by redesigning industrial production processes...

) Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things is a 2002 non-fiction book by German chemist Michael Braungart and U.S. architect William McDonough. It is a manifesto detailing how to achieve their Cradle to Cradle Design model. It calls for a radical change in industry: a switch from a...

. In 2004 he received a National Design Award for environmental design
Environmental design
Environmental design is the process of addressing surrounding environmental parameters when devising plans, programs, policies, buildings, or products...

 from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council
Design Futures Council
The Design Futures Council is an interdisciplinary network of design, product, and construction leaders exploring global trends, challenges, and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of the industry and environment...

.

McDonough is also a Senior Advisor and Venture Partner at VantagePoint Venture Partners
VantagePoint Venture Partners
VantagePoint Capital Partners is a firm with investments in the cleantech, information technology and healthcare sectors.Founded in 1996, by Alan E. Salzman and Jim Marver, the firm has raised over $4 billion with more than $1 billion dedicated specifically to CleanTech...

, one of the largest venture capital investors in clean technology
Clean technology
Clean technology includes recycling, renewable energy , information technology, green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, lighting, Greywater, and many other appliances that are now more energy efficient. It is a means to create electricity and fuels, with a smaller environmental...

.

Architectural Philosophy


William McDonough and his architecture and community design firm, William McDonough + Partners, ground their work in Cradle to Cradle Design, a philosophy developed by McDonough and German chemist Dr. Michael Braungart in their 2002 book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things is a 2002 non-fiction book by German chemist Michael Braungart and U.S. architect William McDonough. It is a manifesto detailing how to achieve their Cradle to Cradle Design model. It calls for a radical change in industry: a switch from a...

. The goal is to frame design as "a beneficial, regenerative force—one that seeks to create ecological footprints to delight in, not lament."
This concept can be seen in the Ford Rouge Center’s green roof
Green roof
A green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems...

, which along with storm-water management benefits also creates habitat for birds.

The design of the firm is often categorized as green architecture or sustainable architecture
Sustainable architecture
Sustainable architecture is a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world...

. The concept, closely linked with green building
Green building
Green building refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition...

, is not known for a distinctive visual style, but for minimizing the negative environmental impact of a building. McDonough, however, is often quoted as saying the aspiration is to design something like a tree, something that creates good, like oxygen, rather than minimizing negative impact. McDonough's designs use solar and other passive energy efficiency techniques, as illustrated by the William McDonough + Partners' Flow House designed for the Make It Right Foundation New Orleans
Make It Right Foundation New Orleans
- Organization Overview :In December 2006, Brad Pitt founded Make It Right to rebuild 150 safe, energy-efficient and affordable homes for families from New Orleans Lower 9th Ward who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina...

. The design incorporates deep overhangs, multiple connections with exterior areas allowing for lots of daylight and natural ventilation, roof mounted PV panels, water cisterns to harvest rainwater runoff and rain gardens to absorb any storm runoff.

In 1984, McDonough and his colleagues designed the Environmental Defense Fund office in New York City. Since then, William McDonough + Partners has been responsible for other milestones in the movement, such as 901 Cherry Ave in San Bruno, California, completed in 1997 for Gap, Inc.; it is now home to Google's YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

. The building features a 70000 square feet (6,503.2 m²) green roof
Green roof
A green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems...

 that helps to prevent water runoff, insulates the building from noise and provides a habitat for several species, and received the BusinessWeek/Architectural Record Design Award in 1998. The Bernheim Arboretum Visitor Center for the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a 14,000 acre arboretum, forest, and nature preserve located in Clermont, Kentucky ....

, in Clermont, Kentucky, completed in 2005, blurs the line between outdoor and indoor space. This project, like others designed by William McDonough + Partners, draws heavily on the biophilia hypothesis
Biophilia Hypothesis
The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book entitled Biophilia.- Love of living systems :...

 - the study of the human desire and physiological need for contact with nature. The building was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum rating.

Currently under construction, the NASA Ames Research Center's Sustainability Base, is designed to be a Net Positive building—producing more energy than it needs — with potable water consumption by more than 90% when compared to an equivalent size building of conventional design, significantly reduced building maintenance costs when compared to an equivalent size building of conventional design, and an expected Platinum LEED certification.

William McDonough + Partners is a core team member in the Make It Right Foundation New Orleans
Make It Right Foundation New Orleans
- Organization Overview :In December 2006, Brad Pitt founded Make It Right to rebuild 150 safe, energy-efficient and affordable homes for families from New Orleans Lower 9th Ward who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina...

 effort to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward
Lower Ninth Ward
Lower Ninth Ward is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. As the name implies, it is part of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The Lower Ninth Ward is often thought of as the entire area within New Orleans downriver of the Industrial Canal; however, the City Planning Commission divides this...

 in New Orleans and the firm’s Flow House duplex design will offer its residents connections to the outdoors via access to light and views. Deep overhangs respond to the climate. Other aspects include natural ventilation, roof mounted PV panels, water cisterns to harvest rainwater runoff and rain gardens to absorb any storm runoff. William McDonough + Partners was an overall adviser to the Make It Right project, bringing the Cradle to Cradle philosophy into designs by all firms involved with advising on standards by the firm.

Green Products Innovation Institute


On May 20, 2010 at Google Corporate Headquarters, the Googleplex
Googleplex
The Googleplex is the corporate headquarters complex of Google, Inc., located at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California, United States, near San Jose. "Googleplex" is a portmanteau of Google and complex, and a reference to googolplex, the name given to the large...

, McDonough announced the launch of the Green Products Innovation Institute. The Institute builds on the 2008 California state law that establishes the nation’s first green chemistry
Green chemistry
Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is a philosophy of chemical research and engineering that encourages the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances...

 program. The non-profit public/private Institute has received the Cradle to Cradle product certification program on an exclusive, worldwide basis to accelerate the transition to safe material use and increased material reutilization. Executives from Google, Wal-Mart, YouTube, Shaw Inc. and Herman Miller Inc. joined McDonough for the announcement which took place before an audience of a couple hundred people.

Criticism


After being named one of Fast Company Magazine's "Masters of Design" in 2004, the same magazine followed up in 2008 with a more critical look at McDonough entitled "Green Guru Gone Wrong." While acknowledging McDonough's contributions to the green movement, the article suggests that McDonough has been overly protective of his certification process, and in some instances has not inspired cooperation with other individuals and businesses. McDonough's Huangbaiyu, China project
Huangbaiyu
Huangbaiyu is a model sustainable village in Benxi, Liaoning, People's Republic of China. As of 2006, over 40 individual houses had been built, however the construction methods, costs, materials used and the design of each house has come under great criticism....

 has not been inhabited due to design flaws, including conflicts between Feng Shui
Feng shui
Feng shui ' is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi. The original designation for the discipline is Kan Yu ....

 and passive solar design standards, appending garages although no villagers can afford cars, failing to provide space for grazing livestock, and building the houses out of potentially unsafe compressed coal dust. And McDonough's Nike
Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area...

's shoe project was never realized, due to McDonough's unwillingness to share cradle-to-cradle specifications with suppliers, although he continues to promote it.

Architectural works

  • Ford River Rouge Complex
  • Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
    Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
    The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, located on the campus of Oberlin College, is one of the most advanced examples of Green building in the United States. Construction crews completed work on the building in January 2000...

  • 901 Cherry Office Building in San Bruno, California
    San Bruno, California
    San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 41,114 at the 2010 census.The city is adjacent to San Francisco International Airport and Golden Gate National Cemetery.-Geography:San Bruno is located at...

     the current headquarters of YouTube
    YouTube
    YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

  • Nike European Headquarters
  • Bernheim Arboretum Visitor's Center located at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
    Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
    Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a 14,000 acre arboretum, forest, and nature preserve located in Clermont, Kentucky ....

     in Clermont, Kentucky
    Clermont, Kentucky
    Clermont is a USGS-designated populated place in Bullitt County, Kentucky, United States, south of Louisville.-History:The area was officially recognized by the USGS on September 20, 1979, during the rapid expansion of Shepherdsville due to the development of Interstate 65. A large portion of...

  • NASA Sustainability Base
  • Fuller Theological Seminary Library

Published works

  • Braungart, Michael
    Michael Braungart
    Michael Braungart is a German chemist who advocates that humans can reduce our negative environmental impact by redesigning industrial production processes...

    ; & McDonough, William (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
    Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
    Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things is a 2002 non-fiction book by German chemist Michael Braungart and U.S. architect William McDonough. It is a manifesto detailing how to achieve their Cradle to Cradle Design model. It calls for a radical change in industry: a switch from a...

    . North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-587-3.

See also

  • Hannover Principles
    Hannover Principles
    The Hannover Principles is a set of statements about designing buildings and objects with forethought about their environmental impact, their effect on the sustainability of growth, and their overall impact on society...

  • Sustainable design
    Sustainable design
    Sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability.-Intentions:The intention of sustainable design is to "eliminate negative environmental...

  • Ecological modernization
    Ecological modernization
    Ecological modernization is an optimistic school of thought in the social sciences that argues that the economy benefits from moves towards environmentalism...

  • Next Industrial Revolution
  • EPEA

External links