Feature Article

Embracing the Economy as a Design Challenge

How architects, community developers, and others are experimenting with new models to support progressive design.

April 4, 2017

The consulting engineers at Integral Group are accustomed to working with clients early in an integrated design process. Working with Kevin Bates, president of Sharp Development Company, was different, however. “The first meeting wasn’t a design meeting—it was a financial meeting,” said John Andary of Integral Group, of a recent project with Bates. “As long as [Bates] was meeting his ROI [return on investment] and capitalization rate he was willing to spend whatever money, even if he was planning to sell the building.”

Integral group is now on its fourth market rate, net-zero-energy project with Sharp Development, and has additional developer-driven net-zero-energy projects in the works in California and Colorado that aim to replicate Sharp’s success.