Dan Smith is the principal of dsa architects in Berkeley, CA, and has several decades of sustainable design experience. The projects of his award-winning firm include net-zero energy homes, LEED Platinum and Gold designs, as well as AIA Sustainability Awards. Dan is a founding member of the California Strawbuilding Association and has completed over 40 projects of this low-carbon building system. He has also been at the forefront of other innovative building systems, such as living roofs and gray water systems. Dan was the architect for a trailblazing net-zero prefab prototype for Zeta-Communities that brought modular construction to net-zero energy levels. His architecture generally seeks a simple elegant form, based on an appreciation for the craft of construction and a deep understanding of structure. While most of Dan's work is custom design, affordability is a key consideration in many project, especially in the context of deep green remodels or small projects like accessory dwelling units, where it is paramount to be able to balance environmental goals with budget constraints and achieve an architecturally integrated solution.
Dietmar Lorenz has been devoted to green building from the beginning of his career in Germany. Practicing in the Bay Area for 20+ years, his broad experience with environmentally friendly architecture includes several zero-energy buildings, recognized by LEED Gold and Platinum awards. He helped pioneer alternative building materials and methods, such as straw bale construction, living roofs, water conservation, and innovative mechanical systems, always seeking the synthesis into a well-balanced design that achieves all goals on a low-carbon footprint. As an architect, Dietmar works closely with his clients to create site-responsive, beautiful buildings that conserve natural resources and are healthy for the inhabitants.
Jess is passionate about building thoughtful relationships with clients and embracing a holistic approach to design. She has worked extensively in an interdisciplinary fashion - with artists, historians, planners, and policy makers. She received the AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit for her undergraduate work at CCA. She then went on to get an MArch from UC Berkeley where she taught a course on the intersection between food and the built environment.
Ian holds a Master's Degree in Architecture and an Associate's in Marine Carpentry. His background includes railcar restoration , steel fabrication, as well as tradeshow construction, home remodeling and industrial historic preservation. When he's not helping clients achieve their design visions, he's typically exploring the backroads of the Bay on two wheels.
Elva is a recent UC Berkeley graduate and writer with many years of office management experience under her belt. With a great interest in architecture, plants, and preserving green places you can often find her crunching numbers, troubleshooting technology, or at the other end of the phone. When she’s not in the office, Elva is often advocating for protected land or exploring new hiking spots in the Bay.