Greg Mella


"Just the idea that the environment is something that is vital and has value shaped the way I view the role of architecture."

Greg was thinking green before much of our society thought about sustainability, or even heard of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. As director of sustainable design, he brings an in-depth knowledge of environmentally-intelligent building materials and practices to every project, and uses a “whole building" systems-oriented approach that examines how to integrate architecture with the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to maximize shared benefits. Greg's design of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Merrill Center, the world's first LEED Platinum Building, created a paragon on sustainability. As someone delighted "to design cool buildings that are connected to their place," Greg is inspired by conservationist Aldo Leopold. "Just the idea that the environment is something that is vital and has value shaped the way I view the role of architecture," notes Greg. "His writing taught me the importance of forging a connection to nature."

Director, Sustainable Design

Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top Newsmaker, 2016; Living Building Challenge Hero, International Living Future Institute, 2016; Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 2013

Professional Credentials
American Institute of Architects, Fellow (FAIA), LEED Accredited Professional, Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD+C)

P 202.974.5187
LinkedIn profile

Community Involvement

Following his passion for sustainability, Greg has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s leading authorities on a myriad of green design topics and initiatives. In 2015, he co-authored SmithGroupJJR’s Health Product Declarations (HPD) Library, a searchable database containing hundreds of HPDs that owners and designers can access free of charge to assist in their material selection and LEED documentation process. Outside the office he serves as co-chair of the AIA's 2030 Commitment Working group and was co-creator of the tools that firms use to complete their reporting. His depth of knowledge has led him to be a frequent lecturer and critic at architecture schools across the U.S. and a sought-after speaker at national conferences focsued on design and sustainability.