Firm Launches Sustainable Landscape Design Practice

by Jessica A Petro, Kefalari Mason

December 01, 2021

ALBANY, N.Y., December 1, 2021 – EYP, a leading architecture and engineering firm creating memorable designs that enhance people’s lives and communities, announces the launch of its sustainable landscape design practice that creates healthier and more productive environments from the ground up. Guided by programs like the Green Building Council and the Sustainable SITES Initiatives, EYP's sustainable landscape approach extends its long history of developing sustainable projects. Jessica A. Petro, PLA, ASLA, has joined EYP as lead designer and landscape architect to spearhead the firm's focus on creating sustainable, high-performance landscapes.

"We're advocates for your site," stated Ms. Petro. "Our team thinks about how landscapes function and how they interact with their inhabitants and the surrounding community. From master planning and programming to complete design and documentation services, we work with our clients to pursue climate positive designs that can sequester carbon, clean the air and water, increase energy efficiency, and restore habitats."

Although formalizing its sustainable landscape design practice, EYP has spent years working with local consultants to oversee the landscape narrative for multiple projects, including Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis, Ind.; U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway; Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Mo.; and, The Quad at the University of Texas in Houston. The firm will continue its work with local experts and consultants to guide thought leadership and design implementation to benefit clients.

EYP has also worked on more than a dozen projects across the Texas Medical Center, including the recent Texas A&M University Intercollegiate School of Engineering Medicine. According to D. Kirk Hamilton, Ph.D., Beale Professor of Health Facility Design, Texas A&M University, "When I was in school, we had to draw to the edge of the vellum sheet, so the plan sat within a fully rendered site plan that included landscape, hardscape, drainage, parking, and walkways. In the business world, architects need to confront how their buildings interact with the land and natural environment. They need to collaborate with landscape professionals in their firm or consultants to their firm. We constantly remind our students about the close collaboration required in the design realm and the importance of the inseparable relationship between architecture and landscape."

"Expanding our capabilities to include landscape and the natural environment is part of EYP's long-term growth strategy because it's a natural fit with our culture and commitment to sustainability. We can now work with clients to achieve their carbon neutral designs, inside and out," stated Kef Mason, interim chief executive officer, EYP. "It also provides greater depth and enrichment to our staff in areas important to them: resiliency and climate. Jessica's knowledge and understanding of sustainable landscape design make her natural leader for this at EYP."

As a lead designer and landscape architect at EYP, Jessica Petro will lead the team to align the built and natural environment, so systems can inform and respond to each other to address each client's program and mission. In addition, she will leverage the expertise of EYP's in-house interdisciplinary teams and environmental data to better inform decisions about site feasibility, circulation, and natural resources.

The Sustainable SITES Initiative®, or SITES®, is a registered trademark of GBCI®.

Jessica A. Petro

Lead Designer, Landscape Architect

Kefalari Mason

Interim Chief Executive Officer