new civic works  …promoting adoption of ecological design principles in MASTER PLANNING: buildings and infrastructure


New Civic Works was founded in 2001 by Hillary Brown FAIA to help mainstream sustainability practices in public, non-profit, and institutional capital programs.  


New Civic Works’ consultative process optimizes sustainable development outcomes by taking a holistic approach to resource allocation. Our planning processes depend upon site-specific research and the continuous application of “systems-thinking” to solve chronic, complex environmental and social problems. Through the use of local resources and by understanding the ecological links and flows of energy and matter for any prospective development initiative, and thus through the use of integrative design, we are able to compound benefits to the whole.

Our whole-systems approach to sustainable infrastructure and master planning helps to: 1) solve multiple problems through single solutions that specifically seek synergies across sectors; 2) decouple carbon-, energy-, material- and water-intensity from the construction and operation of the built environment, using “appropriate technology”; 3) align with and leverage the benefits of natural systems and local resources; 4) integrate climate-adaptive strategies; and 5) use inclusionary, participatory processes to achieve “co-development” by clients, stakeholders and community.

We help put these five objectives into practice through research and facilitation and through ongoing support to our clients. Examples of these principles and practices may be seen in samples of our master-planning work in Haiti and on other facility campuses in the US.

First row: Devils Thumb Ranch, Tabernash, CO;  Eco-Industrial Park, Grand Goave, Haiti; Salt Factory and Eco-Industrial Park, Anse-Rouge, Haiti; Master Plan, Anse-Rouge                                                                                                                                                                                    Second row: Energy production diagram, Anse-Rouge;  Master Plan, University of Les Cayes (UPSAC), Haiti;  Energy and Resource Flow Diagram, UPSAC; Energy and Resource Flow diagram, Showing Synergies, Eco-Industrial Park, Fouche, Haiti.   

Devils Thumb Ranch, Tabernash Co. Integrated systems architect, in association with Positive Energies, LLC, Developed master plan for an integrated campus with net-zero energy, renewable heating and cooling, water treatment, waste management, (project in construction), 2014-16.

GEM (Global Energy Model) Institute, Co-Founder with Daniel Gregory, P.E. Assisted development of the GEM model, a comprehensive tool for electrical and critical infrastructure co-development, addressing energy poverty in developing economies, Haiti as pilot program. Feasibility scope of work for $ 1.1 million energy master plan, to have been funded by the Government of Haiti, master plan, 2012.

New York Power Authority (NYPA), Sustainability Master Plan. Invited by NYPA to develop scope of work for NYPA’s Sustainability Plan for the agency’s statewide operations, service offerings and the workplace. Contracted by ARUP Engineers, as consultant to in final development and role-out of this 5 Year Sustainability Master Plan, 2006 to 2008.

City of New Haven, Green Schools Construction Program. Initiated and produced comprehensive, high performance energy and resource efficient design standards for the City’s public schools. Guidelines emphasize energy efficiency, indoor air quality and daylighting for a $ 1.15 billion 10 year construction effort. Provided sustainable design consulting and facilitation on ten new schools as part of an implementation phase, 2003 to 2008.

State of New York, State University Construction Fund (SUCF): Initiated and developed Green Building Guidelines for SUNY Buffalo to serve as a template for SUNY-wide implementation of New York State Executive Order 111, incorporating concerns of the Dormitory Authority, SUNY and SUCF, 2002 to 2004.

Menomonee Valley Development Authority, Development of guidelines for sustainable buildings and infrastructure for economic development in the Menomonee Valley, Milwaukee, WI, 2002 to 2003.

Guidelines and Executive Training Development for the Kresge Foundation (with Nonprofit Finance Fund), Development of a green building executive training seminar for nationwide audiences of non- profit organizations, including the direction of a 30-minute film, Detroit, MI/New York, NY, 2003 to 2005.

Co-Author and Managing Editor City of New York High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines: Greening Infrastructure in the Public Right-of-Way. City of New York and the Design Trust for Public Space, 2005.



Based on her entrepreneurial Green Building Program for New York City (1996 to 2001), Hillary Brown launched a unique consulting group focused on the challenge of achieving scale in sustainable design and construction. Through education and advocacy, guidelines development, and project facilitation, she helps her clientele – primarily government agencies, university and nonprofit institutions – integrate and operationalize program- wide sustainability measures, going beyond the single building-by-building approach fostered by LEED. By engaging those who must implement improved practices in researching and authoring them, her consulting methods mobilize creative change in organizational cultures.

Completed undertakings include: • Development of Environmental Guidelines and Management Tools for university and school programs. Implementation of those measures on multiple projects • Creation of Green Infrastructure Guidelines for the City of New York • Drafting regulatory and incentive measures for green buildings (executive order and legislation) for the states of New York and Connecticut • Sustainable Master Planning for a public utility and real estate holding company


New York Power Authority: Five Year Sustainability Action Plan

WHhite Plains, NY: Prepared scope of work for NYPA and joined with ARUP Engineering in planning Master Plan addressing energy generation and transmission operations, services for state-wide facilities, 2007

Trinity Real Estate, Hudson Square Sustainability Plan, New York City, with Buro Happold: Engineering and the Sustainable Energy Partnership Comprehensive Master Plan for major lower Manhattan real estate corporation, including a Sustainable Streetscape Plan, and strategies for conformance with the Mayor’s PLANYC for 2030, 2007

New York City Audubon Society, New York City: Authored the Bird-Safe Building Guidelines manual of best practices to reduce avian mortality in the built environment for prominent environmental organization, 2007

Scenic Hudson Long Dock Beacon Master Plan Beacon, NY: Sustainable Design Consultant (Master Plan and schematics) for this nonprofit’s 23 acre development of an eco-hotel and conference facility on the Hudson below the Dia Beacon Museum, 2006

Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation, New York City, with EDAW, Master Planner: Developed sustainable design guidelines and metrics for the Island’s future redevelopment of historic structure, new buildings and landscape, 2006

City of New York, Department of Design + Construction.

Developed NYC’s High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines for the Public Right-of-Way, Planning and Construction “Best Management Practices” for urban streets, 2005


Sustainability Master Plans & Guidelines

State of New York, State University Construction Fund, Buffalo, NY: Developed the High Performance Building Guidelines for SUNY facilities with University at Buffalo as the template for system-wide implementation of New York State Executive Order 111, mandating ‘green and clean’ state facilities, 2004

Kresge Foundation, Troy, MI, with the Nonprofit Finance Fund: Developed a nationwide Green Building Executive Training Seminar for non-profit organizations undertaking a green development project, 2005

Menomonee Valley Development Authority, Milwaukee, WI: Consulting on Sustainable Development guidelines for the City of Milwaukee’s former industrial brownfield zone, 2002

High Performance Building Initiative, Salt Lake City, UT: Green consultant to the Mayor and the Director of City Planning offering an inter-departmental approach to greening municipal and city-funded facilities Funded by The Utah Energy Office, US DOE Rebuild America, 2001

Battery Park City Authority, New York City, Museum of Jewish Heritage: Green Consultant on $5 M Sustainable Site Development and landscaping, 2001

Battery Park City Authority, New York City: Green consultant on the Design and Construction of BPCA’s 4-acre soccer and baseball playing fields in lower Manhattan_$4 M landscape project


City of New Haven, Schools Construction Program, New Haven, CT

Applying the lessons learned from her New York City experience, Hillary instigated a portfolio-wide approach to greening the City of New Haven’s Schools Construction Program. Accomplishments included: • Creating the New Haven High Performance Schools Design Requirements, a pioneering Green Technical Manual and Program Management procedural guide, with input from the client, the Mayor’s Energy Task Force, Gilbane Program Management, and School Operations Manager, Aramark; • Steered ten design teams in their integration of Green Features into school designs, using Workshops, providing Document Review and other technical support;  City of New Haven projects include:

Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, Roberta Washington Architects, with David Thompson Architects Pre-K through 7, 89,000 sq.ft., $ 27 M, LEED Gold, pending. Integrated photovoltaic, daylighting, solar shading, optimized HVAC and materials 2006 completion

Christopher Columbus School, Svigals + Partners_Pre-K through 9_80,000 sq.ft., $ 26 M: Optimized orientation, site features, natural ventilation, courtyard, efficient HVAC 2008 completion

Beecher School, Svigals + Partners, Pre-K through 8, 75,000 sq.ft., $24 M: Displacement ventilation, daylight, passive solar, optimized HVAC 2006 completion

Clinton Avenue School, Boroson Falconer Architects & Engineers Pre-K through 8, 82,000 sq.ft., $ 25 M: Optimized daylight and HVAC, 2005 completion

Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, Cesar Pelli & Associates Architects, 140,000 sq.ft., $ 58 M: Green roof, thermal storage, daylight, optimized HVAC and curtain wall 2008 completion

Worthington Hooker School Renovation, Milton Lewis Howard Architects/Amenta Emma Architects, K through 2, 24,000 sq.ft., $ 8 M: Optimized historic building envelope, daylight, use of benign and renewable materials, 2006 completion

New Worthington Hooker School, Roth & Moore Architects, Grades 3 through 8, 55,000 sq.ft., $ 38 M: Optimized site features, orientation, passive solar and natural ventilation 2007 completion

Troup School Renovation and Addition, Herbert S. Newman and Partners PC, Pre-K through 8, 150,000 sq.ft., $ 36.5 M: High efficiency HVAC, daylighting, envelope improvements 2007 completion

Sheridan School for Communications & Technology, Renovation and new construction_Boroson Falcomer Architects & Engineers, Pre-K through 8, 98,000 sq.ft., $24 M: Daylighting, optimized envelope and mechanical systems 2007 completion

Jepson School, The Kagan Company, Pre-K through 8, 52,000 sq.ft., $37M: High efficiency lighting, mechanical systems 2008 completion