Thoughts, theories, and findings that we’ve explored and shared with the world.

Living Building Challenge Chicago Collaborative Water Implementation Petal Guide

A Resource Guide for Chicago-area project teams considering a pursuit of the Water Petal through the Living Building Challenge. The Implementation Guide discusses local resources, challenges, and opportunities on the way toward achieving Net Positive Water.

Code-Ready Sustainable Planning

This article discusses the types of gaps communities may have between plan recommendations and code provisions and provides a primer on how planners can use quantifiable planning objectives to guide the development of zoning provisions.

LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development Rating System

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)—organizations that represent leading design professionals, progressive builders and developers, and the environmental community—have come together to develop a rating system for neighborhood planning and development based on the combined principles of smart growth, New Urbanism, and green infrastructure and building. The goal of this partnership is to establish a national leadership standard for assessing and rewarding environmentally superior green neighborhood development practices within the framework of the LEED® Green Building Rating System™.

A Little TLC

The Downtown Rockford Strategic Plan focuses on implementation strategies for the previously made recommendations, rather than just creating another shelf document that is years from realization.

LIVING CITIES: Transforming APEC Cities into Models of Sustainability by 2030

Since its founding 22 years ago, APEC has pursued policies that support free and open trade and investment as the surest way to accomplish greater common prosperity and stability in the Asia-Pacific Rim region. This report, co-authored by Farr Associates and Northwestern University, makes the case that APEC should step up to a position of global “green” leadership by advocating its member countries to develop and redevelop their cities in the highly sustainable manner of “Living Cities” in the near term.


We take pride in our work’s impact, and relish when word of our projects reaches the ears and eyes of others.

The Better Way to Know if a Building Is Green

The Atlantic

The Zero-Carbon House: It’s Just Around the Corner

WIRED Magazine

Attaining the AIA 2030 Commitment Benchmarks

Architect Magazine

Fifty firms imagine 50 futures for Chicago’s underused spaces

The Architect’s Newspaper

Midcentury University of Chicago residence hall to see new life as classrooms

Curbed Chicago

UM students build sustainable straw-bale house at Campus Farm

The Michigan Daily

Green Infrastructure: Can a Green New Deal Save Us?

Facility designed for policy engagement opens for Winter Quarter Classes

UChicago News

The Next New Neighborhood

The Austin Chronicle

Our Green New Deal

First phase of Cardinal Campus opens for business

The Times

Cardinal Campus flying right on target

The Times

Multimodal station and plan spur town’s revival

Public Square, a CNU Journal

Then There’s This: A Farr Vision for Colony Park

The Austin Chronicle

How Are Buildings and Infrastructure Changing in Response to Climate Change?

Yorkville downtown overlay project goes to City Council

Kendall County Now

Mundelein hires urban planner to build vision for a portion of downtown

Chicago Tribune

Lathrop Homes Redevelopment


University of Michigan students go off the grid with straw-bale building


Normal hears options for south side of tracks

The Pantagraph