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The Practice of BNIM.

Los Angeles San Diego

Office locations

US Projects

International Projects

Des Moines

Kansas City


About BNIM.

We are BNIM BNIM is a group of passionate individuals finding solutions for our clients and community to make their life and work better, easier and more inspired. We are a multi-disciplinary design firm using technology, talent and research to guide our work. The firm is committed to our communities while stewarding a national presence as an innovator of design methodologies, sustainability and new technologies in architecture, planning and workplace design. BNIM was founded in 1970 in Kansas City, Missouri, and has offices in Houston, Des Moines, Los Angeles and San Diego with over 200 active projects across the nation.

We Design for a Better World We design at all scales —from buildings to entire communities. We elevate our client’s mission by empowering their goals with the work we create with them. Design excellence is achieved when ensuring an integrated bottom line performance —social, environmental and economic balance — for our clients and communities. We create communities—through our designs for buildings and places, through our outreach and service, and through our interaction with clients, friends and colleagues.




BNIM Philosophy.

BNIM is guided by the philosophy: DEEP DESIGN, DEEP GREEN It is often impractical to segment threads of the design process, and its ripple effects, into neat piles. Inevitably, as you pull one thread, you find it attached to and influencing many others. At BNIM, everything is connected—the process, the design, the project performance and, ultimately, our client’s success. Our projects have a lasting positive impact on those people and organizations that they are designed to serve while minimizing the consumption of resources, reducing waste and pollution and restoring natural systems.

Deep Design: Though BNIM is a design firm by name, the firm’s goal is not only great design, but great design that brings people and the planet together to create a healthier environment, stronger communities, more profitable organizations and happier individuals. In BNIM’s 38-year history, the firm has been recognized with over 40 national awards and 160 state and regional awards. Included among them are several AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects Awards, AIA Honor Awards, and recognition from the General Services Administration, the American Planning Association and the International Interior Design Association to name a few.

Deep Green: In a marketplace where many claim to be green, BNIM has pioneered projects, methods and research that shaped the direction of the sustainable movement we are a part of today. We feel that leadership in the architectural profession means establishing what is and what will be possible with sustainable design and ensuring that other practitioners can readily have the tools to do the same. BNIM and its associates are known as leaders within the sustainable design industry and beyond. BNIM’s leadership helped to establish the national AIA Committee on the Environment in 1990, and the firm’s early involvement in the U.S. Green Building Council, through national committees and demonstration projects, has shaped the USGBC’s LEED rating system and the Living Building concept from 1993 to the present. Our commitment to sustainability is embedded in all aspects of the work that we do. It is an integral part of the way we collaborate and design, and it is a philosophy shared by many of the clients and consultants with whom we work.


How We Design.

All members of the firm embrace a guiding philosophy—Deep Design Deep Green. In this way, BNIM creates designs that are both environmentally responsible and restorative and that achieve the highest level of design excellence. Through this lens, each design discipline—architecture, interiors, landscape design, master planning and so on—employs a set of tested and thorough processes that are customized to elicit a mission-driven solution for each project. We Understand Our Clients: We discover them, who they are, what they do and how they work. With this understanding, the solution can support their core business and be a strategic partner in their success. We Collaborate: Working closely with our clients and with our team of consultants we produce the most informed solutions. We Practice Integrated Design: This organized collaboration between disciplines and interweaving of building systems achieves a holistic solution that are sustainable, efficient and beautiful. We start with Intuition and end with Science: In the beginning of our design process, we allow our intuition and gut responses to the design problem to guide us. In successive phases, we hone these solutions with scientific methods of research, daylight calculation and energy modeling to test and optimize performance. We use Tools: The right tools make our work better. If we don’t have the right tool, we invent it. The tools we design for others, buildings and communities, make their lives richer. We Understand the Layers of Design: There are many layers that go into designing buildings and communities. We consider each one individually, and then holistically, to create integrated solutions.

Why We Design: The success and satisfaction of BNIM’s clients is the most important benchmark of our success. The firm celebrates the personal triumphs that can be achieved through architecture: be it the owner who realizes dramatic energy savings; the user whose productivity increases because of their healthy, light-filled workplace; the community that benefits from a responsible neighbor; or the environment that is restored by our design strategies. For over 30 years, we have held these values and, as a result, we are a leading national resource for innovation, research, design and new methodologies that continues to shape the national and global agenda for responsible architecture and design.

design team




test scenarios




existing plans

Pathway to Platinum.

Fig. 1 Mast Advertising and Publishing Headquarters, Overland Park, Kansas. (Low embodied energy concrete and a restorative landscape) Fig. 2 Deramus Entry Pavilion, Kansas City Zoological Gardens, Kansas City, Missouri (Daylighting and sustainable materials) Fig. 3 Kansas City Zoological Gardens Master Plan, Kansas City, Missouri (Restorative landscape, native landscape materials, local materials)

Fig. 1

Fig. 2


Fig. 3

Fig. 4 CK Choi Center for Asian Research, University of British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia (BNIM was Sustainable Design Consultant to Matsuzaki Wright Architects) (No sewer connection and atria to facilitate daylighting and natural ventilation) Fig. 5 Montana State University Epicenter and NIST Report, Bozeman, Montana (Development of Living Building concept and Baseline Green design tool)

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Fig. 6 Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, Kansas City, Missouri (Restorative landscape, Living Machine and three demonstrations of PV installation) Fig. 7 David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, California (Analysis and measurement of sustainability with regard to the USGBC’s LEED Green Building Rating System and the Living Building) Fig. 8 School of Nursing & Student Community Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas (Energy efficiency, increased air quality and improved natural daylighting)

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

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Fig 9 Lewis & Clark State Office Building, Jefferson City, Missouri (Advanced daylighting technologies and energy efficiency) Fig 10 Heifer International Headquarters, Little Rock, Arkansas (BNIM was Sustainable Design Consultant to Polk Stanley Architects) (No water leaves the site except for black water from the toilets)

Fig. 9

Fig. 10


Our Integrated Design Process.

BNIM’s design process embraces the concept of integrated design, which is both a collaboration between disciplines and an interweaving of building systems to produce architecture that is environmentally responsible and well designed. Intuitive to Scientific to Experiential Years of experience and expertise allow us the freedom to work intuitively through the conceptual design phase. BNIM utilizes years of research and experience with design strategies and systems to conceptualize how a structure will be oriented to embrace daylight yet reject heat, reduce water and energy usage, and inhabit its site with minimal im-


pact. These intuitive hypotheses intersect the realm of science when each concept is tested in consecutive phases. Models—virtual energy and daylight modeling tools, plus physical study models—generate scientific data, specific parameters and sizing in order to define the design direction in the design development stage. Both of these principles, the intuitive and the scientific, are important in accomplishing a beautiful, well-balanced design. These purposefully designed structures and interiors are smarter, more efficiently constructed, more adaptable, better for the occupants and the environment and they provide superior value for our clients.










Tools for Integration.

BNIM utilizes an extensive selection of instruments and processes to aid in the design of all projects. These tools allow the firm to employ the most cutting edge and effective techniques on all phases of projects, from the initial sketches to the ultimate design. i. BIM: Building Information Modeling is a relatively new tool in design and documentation methodology within the architectural industry. BIM generates information about the entire building and develops a complete set of design documents stored in three dimensional form as an integrated database. All the information is parametric and thereby interconnected. This information is used for design decision making, production of high-quality construction documents, predicting building performance, cost-estimating, and construction planning. ii. GIS: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an emerging tool intended for use inmapping and analysis of spatial information. The GIS overlay approach is a powerful instrument in helping to clearly delineate the opportunities and constraints of existing site conditions, and to understand potential development impacts. BNIM utilizes GIS for land-use and environmental planning to understand the spatial distribution of natural phenomena in four ways: ecological resource inventory, raster modeling, 2-D / 3-D geographic visualization and database management. iii. Daylighting: BNIM analyzes the potential of daylighting to create visually stimulating spaces that conserve energy while being healthy and productive for the inhabitants. BNIM uses effective tools and metrics to optimize climate and project-appropriate daylighting strategies such as apertures, glazing, and shading. iv. Climatization: Because the environment can be harsh on the buildings it surrounds, BNIM designs each structure according to the climate-specific conditions of a region or microclimate. For example, a building that would experience the harsh, Midwestern winters would be insulated appropriately; a building that would be exposed to consistent, hot temperatures would feature cooling and shading elements.


From Left to right fig. i. BIM fig. ii. BIM fig iii. daylighting fig. iv. daylighting fig. v. GIS fig. vi. BIM fig. vii. climatization fig. viii. 3d rendering fig. ix. rivet model



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Our Services.

ARCHITECTURE BNIM sees the practice of Architecture as a synergy of a number of complex variables. Our holistic practice includes a complete range of design services including pre-design analysis, architectural design and construction related services. Focusing on an integrated approach to problem solving, which includes teaming our clients with the best and brightest consultants, we strive to create teams that focus on a collaborative approach to design.

INTERIOR DESIGN BNIM offers complete interior design services, from initial programming and space planning to the final details of selection of furnishings, fixtures, finishes and equipment. Experience includes educational and institutional facilities, hotels, retail, restaurants, corporate and medical offices, theaters, housing, law firms and government buildings.

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE BNIM Landscape Architecture offers expertise in site selection and analysis, stormwater management, master planning and detailed landscape design. Our philosophy is to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor environments, while minimizing the environmental impact of building projects. We create unique, memorable places that are healthy, efficient and responsive to the client’s and user’s needs.

PLANNING + URBAN DESIGN BNIM is committed to providing holistic design and planning solutions at every scale. We believe in a vision for our communities that is founded on the lessons of the past, acknowledges the goals of the present, and promotes the dreams and possibilities of the future. Our planning services include community planning, urban design, sustainable community consulting, master planning, regional planning, environmental planning, and urban revitalization.

STRATEGIC WORKPLACE PLANNING Strategic Workplace Planning (SWP) is a philosophy. It is an approach to the design processes that drives the integration of knowledge and design. SWP is demonstrated by a pragmatic, business approach to design of the built environment. It is our mission to align our client’s goals, business objectives, and values with the design of their space. Viewing the space as a strategic tool for building the value of an organization requires a deliberate approach to information gathering, analysis, application, and planning for the future. Strategic Planning establishes a framework to accomplish this.

SUSTAINABLE CONSULTING At BNIM, our commitment to sustainability is embedded in all aspects of our work. With Elements, our sustainable consulting division, our knowledge of sustainable design is available to clients and competitors who can benefit from our years of experience with LEED, access to resources, daylighting and energy modeling and the integration of these design principles on their projects. Elements improves the performance of buildings from the standpoint of energy and environmental performance and human health and productivity.

BIM CONSULTING Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a building design and documentation methodology that creates a reliable, coordinated and consistent digital representation of a building for design decision-making, construction document production, performance testing and the actual construction process. BIM saves time and money with fewer coordination errors and an integrated digital environment that gives designers, contractors and owners the ability to enhance their overall vision of all aspects of the project.

GRAPHIC DESIGN Operating as an integrated team member within our architectural design process, our marketing and graphics studio provides a wide variety of design services from wayfinding systems to environmental design and interpretive signage, from event branding and program collateral to fund-raising packages, from identity development to web design. Informed, progressive and sustainable solutions transfuse our process, resulting in a product that creates unique solutions for our clients.

INFORMATION SERVICES Information technology plays a key role in the design and construction process. BNIM uses state of the art software tools to increase the performance of our design teams and building designs. Through partnerships with key software developers we are able to influence the development of these tools in a way that positively impacts our process.




Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building



GSA Bannister Office Building


Freight House Pedestrian Bridge


Internal Revenue Service Kansas City Campus 24 A BNIM | 360 Project




Lewis & Clark State Office Building



Adelaide Cobb Ward Sculpture Hall


Applebee’s Restaurant Support Center




Merriam Visitors Bureau


City of Greensburg Big Well Museum




North Charleston Naval Memorial

On the Boards.

City of Greensburg, KS Comprehensive Master Plan Greensburg, KS

New Orleans Make It Right New Orleans, LA

City of Greensburg, KS City Hall Greensburg, KS

J.E. Dunn World Headquarters (BNIM/360) Kansas City, MO

Bernstein Rein West Edge Kansas City, MO

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (Moshe Safdie - Design Architect) Kansas City, MO

Omega Center for Sustainable Living Rhinebeck, NY Girl Scouts Mid Continent Council Camp Winding River Equestrian Complex and Sustainable Guidelines Dearborn, MO

Iowa Utilities Board and the Office of Consumer Advocate Des Moines, IA Michael J. Cemo Hall University of Houston Houston, TX

Westside Senior Education Center Houston, TX


Odum School of Ecology University of Georiga Athens, GA




people. innovation. design.

Kansas City | Houston | Des Moines | Los Angeles | San Diego | Š2008 Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell Architects

BNIM Mini Portfolio  

A short summary of the practice of BNIM illustrated with recent work.

BNIM Mini Portfolio  

A short summary of the practice of BNIM illustrated with recent work.