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

Marilyn’s Ultimate Green Building Checklist A Green Checklist is essentially a list of building materials and methods that you can incorporate into your project to make it GREEN. Within the past decade, many Green Building Checklists have been created around the world. They have been developed by different government entities, public utilities, non-profit organizations and …

In happening upon any large container shipping port, you will discover piles upon piles of discarded containers. Hundreds of containers are discarded every year due to stringent quality and safety regulations on account of the shipping industry. The containers themselves cannot be recycled economically, which accounts for the piles of rusting containers. These containers can …

Recent Blue Blogs

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, …

Have you ever thought about how the food at the grocery store ended up sitting on the shelf?  Or how much energy or water it took for that food to grow, and how far it traveled?  These are things we should be more conscious about in our lives because water is a finite resource, and …