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. Her expertise lies in her ability to design buildings that naturally heat and cool themselves, source power from the sun and wind, harvest and recycle their own water, and are constructed using non-toxic and/or natural building materials.
A native of Santa Cruz, California, Marilyn received her degree in architecture from UC Berkley. As an early member of the US Green Building Council and LEED Accredited Professional, Marilyn has been immersed in green architecture since the beginning. While Marilyn was chair of the City of Santa Cruz Green Building Working Group, the organization implemented one of first mandatory green building programs in the United States. In 2011, the State of California adopted the program as the mandatory California Green Code, and then as a template for the International Building Code (IBC).
Throughout her career, Marilyn has participated in green tactic seminars, workshops, conferences, and continuing education courses and has shared her expertise as a speaker at conferences and universities around the US. In partnership with the Tree of Life Center Marilyn will teach the “Masters of Blue and Green Building, Civilization Infrastructure, and Community Development” program beginning June 2015.
An ever passionate activist, Marilyn has dedicated years to compiling and self-funding a digital database of information on blue and green architecture, building products and technologies, resources and inspiration, which she makes available free of cost. This database has been moved to the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, TheBlueArchitect.org, which Marilyn founded in 2012 to inspire solutions to water scarcity issues through improving civic water fluency.
UC Berkeley Architecture Department, Honors, 1979
LEED Accredited Professional, U.S. Green Building Council
ARCSA Accredited Professional, American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association
California Architecture License #C21382
Colorado Architecture License #306446
Washington Architecture License #8947
Arizona Architecture License #50164
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS (past and present)
US Green Building Council
Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR)
American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA)
International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (IRCSA)
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The Architects Association of Santa Cruz County (AASCC)
Workshops on active/passive solar, water-catchment, grey/black water, Earthship construction, 2005
Pacific Energy Center classes on day lighting, green materials, solar, evaporative cooling, mold prevention, and energy efficiency
San Jose Green Building Program classes on green building, solar power, and cool roofs
AIA Continuing education Classes on radiant heat
AASCC courses on straw bale building
Basalt Colorado class on Permaculture
UC Berkeley classes on passive solar design
Conference on Eco-village Development, Arcosanti, Arizona
Emerald Earth Tour of eco-village
Tours of Water-catchment systems, Bobby Markowitz
Interview with Hybrid Adobe builder, Philip Mirkin
Ongoing annual professional continuing education for architectural licenses since 1990
Global Citizen Center, Planning meeting participant, 2005
Santa Cruz County Green Building Directory, Co-founder, 2005
Bay Area Build It Green Public Agency, Council member, 2004-2005
City of Santa Cruz Green Building Working Group, Chairperson, 2003
Architects Association of Santa Cruz County’s Open Architecture Tour, Co-Creator
Capitola Planning Commissioner, 1984-1986
Capitola Architecture and Site Review Committee, 1980-1984
Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Director of Sustainability
Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) Conference on Sustainable Development, Co-Organizer, 2003
Green Building Forum-Synergy Network Night, Organizer, 2003
Monterey Bay Green Building Symposium, Organizer, 2002
Gaiasong Conference on Sustainable Living and Ecological Building, Co-Organizer, 2002
International Design Conference Aspen, Colorado, Participant
International Adobe Conference, Participant
Civinomics, Santa Cruz, CA Water Infrastructure Group, 2013
Thrive Infrastructure Think Tank, Taos NM, 2012
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) National Conference, 2012
WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, 2009-2011
CEO Space International, Presentation on Eco-Development Kit, 2009-2010
Water Woman Festival, 2009
University of California Santa Cruz Green Building Lectures, 2007
Santa Cruz County Green Building Talk, 2006
Tom Harvey’s Eco Review TV show, 2004-2005
Speaking engagements on green architecture at various campuses and green building forums 2002-2003
DESIGN / CONSULTATION / COLLABORATION EXPERIENCE
Since 1976, Marilyn has worked on over 500 diverse, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and residential projects from high end luxury to process oriented commerce spaces. She is accomplished in Mediterranean, Mission, Moroccan, South Pacific Island, Mexican, Tropical, Southwest, Japanese, Chinese, Craftsman, Victorian, Cape Cod, Territorial, Modern, and Eclectic styles.
LOCATIONS: California (Santa Cruz, Pebble Beach, Carmel, Los Angeles, Marin, San Francisco, Tahoe), Washington (Sequim), Colorado (Aspen), Montana (Whitefish), New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nicaragua, and British Columbia, Canada
INDUSTRIAL WAREHOUSES: 200,000 S.F + new construction; Tenant Improvement and design-build projects include: produce processing plants, industrial tenant suites, ceramic and light fixture manufacturing, fashion garment manufacturing, rehabs for retired chewing gum plant, icehouses and juice plants, and LEED packing plant.
COMMERCIAL: Corporate administrative offices, wineries, aquatic/tennis center, shopping and mixed use centers, jewelry stores, audio/flower and vacuum stores, funeral home, senior center, dance studios, optical, dental, and soil labs, and gallery
FOOD and BEVERAGE: Elegant bar restaurants, espresso bar cafes, rejuvenation spa, raw juice bar, and senior center commercial kitchen.
HILLSIDE GEOTECHNICAL: Waterfront, coastal bluff, mountain executive view homes, and high altitude alpine resort sloping sites.
ARTIST WORK SPACES: Production work spaces for graphic artist, sculptors, ceramicists, painters, neon, slumped glass, and art glass
BARNS: Antique car barns, horse barns, Venture Capitalist retreat center, and artist production studios
GREEN: Passive solar homes, nontoxic, self-reliant grid-optional utility systems, and Earthship
RESIDENTIAL: New homes and remodel/additions: coastal permits and CEO custom homes, gated communities, multifamily, historical Victorian remodels, granny units, developer custom speculative homes, manufactured home greening and site preparation, and golf course communities
SCOPE Award, Industrial Project in City of Santa Cruz
SCOPE Award, Dental Project in City of Capitola
Rio Del Mar Improvement Association, Residential Project
Begonia Festival First Prize Float Award in City of Capitola
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The Blue and Green directory is a free resource of thousands of website links to blue and green building materials and resources, education, government agencies, nonprofit resources, media, and more.
While the project was formed and previously hosted at the architectural office’s website, it has since matured into the nonprofit 501(3)c, TheBlueArchitect.org
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