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"Be the change
you wish to see
in the world..."
            -M. Gandhi

t a k i n g   g r e e n   t o   t h e   e x t r e m e


Sigi Koko founded Down to Earth in 1998 to provide sustainable building design and green consulting services in the Mid-Atlantic region.  She works exclusively on projects that are ecologically sensible and on the forefront of sustainable design.  She believes that initiating positive change involves striving to, as Gandhi said, "be the change we wish to see in the world."

Sigi Koko holds a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  After earning her degree, she spent 2 years framing and siding homes to learn the practical side of how buildings are constructed.  She spent 2 years completing her architectural internship for HOK (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum) in Washington, DC, where she provided "green building" expertise on many projects.  She also created their Healthy & Sustainable Product Database" and contributed to several HOK publications, including the document now published as The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design (published by Wiley & Sons).

Her design work focuses on creating healthy environments that function in synchronicity with their environment.  She also provides consulting services and educational seminars to architects, builders, and developers.  Her primary areas of expertise are in healthy and sustainable building materials, strawbale construction and other natural building techniques, energy and water conservation strategies, and passive solar design.

Sigi Koko has designed many strawbale structures in the mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.  All projects have received standard building permits.  She has worked with building officials statewide in Maryland to gain approval for strawbale construction and rubble trench foundations.  Her projects have been mentioned in the New York TImes, featured on HGTV, and she has been featured in numerous print articles, including the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and Progressive Engineer. Additionally, she has provided sustainable design consulting for large commercial projects, including: a 35,000 SF strawbale facility in California, a 1 city block urban development site in lower Manhattan, a 1.3 million SF office building in Baltimore, and "greening" the firm-wide written specifications for Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum.

Ms. Koko is nationally known for her expertise in sustainable design and natural building, and has appeared on HGTV, has lectured extensively on sustainable design and natural building topics, and has written for numerous publications.  She helped pioneer development of the SMaRT Sustainability Standard (Sustainable Materials Rating Technology).  And she currently writes a regular product review column for The Last Straw Journal using life cycle analysis.

Publications by Ms. Koko include Interior Graphic Standards Chapter on Green Building Materials, "Five Steps to Keeping Strawbale Walls Dry" article in The Last Straw Journal, "Rubble Trench Foundations - a Brief Overview" article in Building Safety Journal magazine, co-author of "Healthy and Sustainable Building Materials Database: A New Internet-Based Design Tool" given at The 21st Century Outlook Conference sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the U.S. Department of Energy.  Contact us for a complete list of publications by Sigi Koko.

Down to Earth Design
Sigi Koko, principal
215.540.2694 PA
202.302.3055 DC

2000 Sigi Koko & Down to Earth