The Circular Workplace & Product Sustainability

How can we proactively plan for circularity as core to the design process to achieve more sustainable outcomes? Office moves create a substantial amount of waste that could be significantly reduced or avoided. This unnecessary waste could be diminished if we reset methodologies, processes, and project goals. Implementing a circular design approach in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries should contribute to economically sustainable growth and savings across multiple sectors. Workplace circularity requires full engagement from all parties in the building lifecycle. For example, product manufacturers have a key role to play. Products can be designed for circularity, but if there is no incentive to be part of the circular process, business imperatives will be limited. This is a prime opportunity for growth in a new service offering by considering materials for lease, takeback programs, or affiliations. For years, Gensler has been compiling insights on workplace circularity for our designers to use as they guide their clients in closing the loop on building materials at the end of their first useful life. Implementing a smarter specification framework, material selection, and designing for the space end life in mind requires an earnest commitment from the entire industry. For this presentation, Gensler will present examples of how the firm is implementing processes to further develop the circular economy and identify how the collective Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) industry can bolster and encourage reuse processes. Two case stories will be presented: The Resilient Living Lab and Gensler Product Sustainability (GPS) standards.

Marcus Hopper, AIA, NCARB, LEED ID+C

Regional Design Manager/ Senior Associate


Marcus Hopper, AIA, NCARB, LEED ID+C, is the Northwest Regional Design Management leader for Gensler. With a depth of experience in workplace environments, Marcus is passionate about design’s capacity to shape the built environment with creativity, environmental conscientiousness and material sustainability. He has contributed to Gensler’s Design Resilience team that completed high profile projects for Etsy in New York City and the NRDC space in San Francisco. In 2018, he was part of a research team that studied five Gensler offices that had recently undergone renovation to see how reused materials played a role. The goal of the research was to bring awareness to the circular economy and identify how the industry can bolster and encourage reuse processes within design work. Findings from this initial study were published in the Gensler Research Institute white paper, What’s Old is New Again – Circumnavigating the Circular Economy.

Samantha Lewis, NCIDQ

Senior Designer & Associate


Samantha Lewis in an award-winning designer who contributes towards the knowledge and thought leadership of Gensler by developing workplace planning models that explore the potential of building material circularity. She is an asset to Gensler’s culture and project work in terms of spirit, sharing ideas and leading internal sustainability initiatives that promote inspiration and experimentation. Samantha contributed to the design of Gensler’s San Francisco office known as The Resilient Living Lab.

Benjamin Holsinger, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, ParkSmart Advisor

Product Development Global Resilience Leader


Benjamin collaborates with design teams and partner manufacturers on reducing products' impact on the environment and humans. He provides clients with strategic advice on brand positioning bringing sustainability to the forefront of their conversations, product development, and front-facing image.

Benjamin also works as a senior sustainability strategist, consulting with both project teams and clients to help them meet their sustainability goals - whether on a project or as a corporate strategy. He has extensive experience with sustainable certification rating systems across all sectors and project typologies as well as project scales and multi-disciplinary approaches with clients, consultants, and industry partners. As a wellbeing strategist, he co-created Gensler's point of view on wellbeing in the workplace, WorkWell(tm).

As part of the core team developing and implementing Gensler's Product Sustainability (GPS) Standards - the firm's performance-based sustainability standards - he serves as the firm's manufacturer liaison to develop and implement the standard.

This content will not be available until 06/10/2024 at 8:00 AM (EDT)