Marilyn Crenshaw

“Unless we become the change which we wish to see in the world, change will never take place.”

Marilyn Crenshaw’s architectural and artistic experience combined with her commitment to sustainability result in building designs that are outstandingly beautiful, vibrant, creatively composed, and environmentally considerate. With more than 30 years of experience in green architecture and an additional ten years with “blue” architecture, Marilyn has designed over 500 residential, commercial, and industrial projects throughout Santa Cruz and around the country.

What is Green Architecture?


GREEN ARCHITECTURE is oriented on energy efficiency and materials that are non-toxic & sustainably sourced.

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What is Blue Architecture?


BLUE ARCHITECTURE is a sub-niche of green, focused on every aspect of the built environment that water touches.

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The Blue and Green Architect synthesizes integrated water resource management and green building practices into thoughtfully designed development, grid-optional infrastructure, buildings for commercial, industrial, agriculture, and residential use.  Experienced since 1977, licensed in California, Colorado, Washington, and Arizona, LEED and ARCSA Accredited Professional, Marilyn specializes in blue and green project management and building applications that optimize water use and conserve financial and environmental resources. She is fluent in all green building certifications, is experienced in green building techniques and technologies, as well as blue and green consulting to other architects and design professionals.  She is proficient at assembling and managing collaborative design teams of blue and green specialists or empowering people to be their own project managers.

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“Marilyn is terrific… she comes back with something that you know is right. She’s why you hire an architect.”

-Thomas Kruse, Owner, Winery Project, Gilroy, CA

“It’s nice to see the benefits of a successful architect’s design.”

Carlton Parsons Jr., VP Coast Commercial Bank, Aptos, CA

“It was profitable and economical to work with Marilyn. She saved me her fee four times over in construction cost saving, appraised value, and fantastic design.”

-Van Masters, Hollister, CA

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Recent Green Blogs

Certifying your green building materials, residence, or commercial building is easier than ever. There are numerous certification agencies for green building materials which can be found by reviewing the Links page on this website. Once you have selected the appropriate certified green building materials for your project, there are also a variety of certification agencies …

There is green certification available for people, products, and buildings. In regards to green certification for individuals, the U.S. Green Building Council can certify you as a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional). You don’t necessarily have to be a contractor, architect, or designer, but you have to possess a familiarity …

Recent Blue Blogs

Domestic water exiting a house is: 40-50% gray water, gray water is alkaline ph 50-60% black water Subsurface irrigation saves 50% of irrigation from drying / evaporation To grow food, the rain catchment surface must be 2.5 times larger than the cultivated area Typical rain: 40% infiltrates, 15% goes to the watershed, 45% evapotranspires (becomes …

Fifty-eighty percent of residential “waste” water is comprised of dish, shower, sink, and laundry water. This “waste” water can be reused for other purposes such as landscape irrigation. Grey water is any water that has been used in the home, except water from toilets. Fifty-eighty percent of residential “waste” water is comprised of dish, shower, …