Douglas Pierce


Cycling from research, to practice, to policy, and back, Doug’s work as an architect, advocate, researcher, author, and teacher is a continuous loop that has advanced living design across our industry. Combined with his dedication to mentorship and volunteering, his work has empowered both professionals and students alike to take on the world’s most challenging issues through design.

In his mission to build a better world inspired by nature, Doug is notorious for creating paths where there are none to follow. From advocating for AIA2030 Energy Targets, to championing Minnesota’s first LEED NC Platinum Building, to co-leading Perkins&Will’s Sustainable Design Initiative, Doug is now recognized as a LEED Fellow. His systems-based thinking led him to author RELi—an actionable checklist to help designers create resilient communities, buildings, and infrastructure to withstand shock. RELi has since been adopted by the U.S. Green Building Council, becoming the world’s first resilient design standard.

Building upon foundations in high-performing buildings, sustainability, and resilience,  Doug developed RELi, a comprehensive checklist to guide designers and planners in creating regenerative, restorative, and sustainable environments.

RELi was officially adopted by U.S. Green Building Council in 2017.

“When I look at something like LEED, I don’t see limits. I see ideas and patterns. RELi is just another pattern book, with more ideas to build from. The more I have, the richer I can make the world and our work.”
Setting a New Bar for Minnesota Architecture

As Minnesota’s first LEED® Platinum Certified building, Great River Energy Headquarters building is a healthy high performance work environment supplied with abundant daylight through daylighting atriums achieved within a reasonable budget. Thus, demonstrating that green design can be efficient, affordable, comfortable and healthy.

Under Doug’s direction, sustainable features included a low-velocity underfloor displacement ventilation system coupled with lake-source geo-exchange provides 30% more fresh air into the breathing zone while using 50% less energy than a comparable facility. Overall fossil fuel use is reduced 75% cutting CO2 emissions 60% to meet the 2015 goals of AIA’s 2030 Challenge.

Great River Energy HQ
Great River Energy Headquarters
Maple Grove, Minnesota

Douglas's Featured Work

Bell Museum mammoth
University of Minnesota Bell Museum
St. Paul, Minnesota
Land O'Lakes Headquarters Entrance
Land O’Lakes Headquarters Expansion
Arden Hills, Minnesota
Kent State University College of Business Administration
Kent State University College of Business Administration
Kent, Ohio