Leadership in Engineering


MKA’s sustainability driven structural and civil engineering approach focuses on three areas: efficiency, resilience, and value-based decisions.
To employ efficiency, MKA projects take advantage of soil already onsite or nearby, reducing impacts of unnecessary transportation.
Designing a building to stand the test of time is a large part of MKA�s approach to sustainability.
MKA is an active participant in industry-shaping organizations around the world.

What makes a building sustainable?  MKA takes a global view of any sustainably driven project:  what are the environment costs of building it, operating it, and, eventually, demolishing it?  In fact, MKA’s Don Davies is part of the Center for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s groundbreaking new study, "A Whole Life Cycle Assessment of the Sustainable Aspects of Structural Systems in Tall Buildings," which will--for the first time-- quantify the sustainability of several common structural systems.

Highly Optimized Designs

The math is simple:  creating innovative designs that use less of our limited resources is better than simply maintaining the status quo. MKA has a decades-long history of optimized designs that use as little material as possible while meeting design objectives. The above chart, featuring Leatop Plaza in China, illustrates how MKA’s steel high-rise designs (green dots) use less material than designs by other structural engineers (blue dots) regardless of height.


It’s easy to understand that a more efficient structural frame uses fewer natural resources than an overdesigned or inefficient frame. MKA’s civil engineers also have it figured out:  through strategies for efficient soil management, the construction of a project can take advantage of soil already onsite or nearby, reducing impacts of  unnecessary transportation.


Designing a building to withstand the test of time is the ultimate gauge of sustainability.  MKA’s performance-based seismic design approach can produce a more resilient design at a reduced financial and/or material cost, making it the clear sustainable choice.

Value-Based Decisions

MKA understands and has designed all variety of systems spanning the sustainability spectrum. This practical experience, combined with our industry-leading research and advancements, ensures we have the knowledge to recommend and quantify wood vs. steel, water reuse sytsems, etc.

Leading the Way

MKA is an active participant in industry-shaping organizations. Our participation is refining the direction of sustainability in the A/E/C world. We have on staff the past Chair of CTBUH, a Lifetime Member of the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, and a Founding Member of the Carbon Leadership Forum.

Featured Sustainability Projects: