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ISTUDIO Architects

USGBC member

1611 Connecticut Av NW
Washington, DC 20009


Service area: 200 miles


ISTUDIO Architects is an award-winning architecture, design, and planning firm dedicated to the design of livable, sustainable communities. We provide exceptional, highly personalized service to help people realize their vision of home. Our clients have projects that range in scope and size from modest home renovations and additions to new custom homes and multi-family developments. We have an innovative approach to each project that considers people as a part of the natural environment - not in opposition to it. Our goal is to improve the quality of life by improving the places we inhabit.


ISTUDIO Architects has a varied list of uniquely-designed places to live - and they're all green. Recent award-winning green homes include a passive solar townhome in NW Washington DC, a clean water cottage on a sensitive site near the Chesapeake Bay, a zero-energy home overlooking the Potomac River, and a pavilion with rain gardens in Bethesda Maryland. We have also designed solar apartments in Arlington Virginia, green condos at the Georgetown Reservoir, and a sustainable community near the Shenandoah Valley.

These projects and others have been covered in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Dwell magazine, Chesapeake Home, Washingtonian, and numerous publications on green building.


Principle Rick Harlan Schneider, AIA. LEED AP, employs an innovative approach to architecture and urban design. His vision takes into consideration the broader needs and long-term impact of design on local communities and the healthy functioning of their natural ecosystems. This forward-thinking approach is complemented by a firm, pragmatic grasp of the building industry itself. A graduate of Virginia Tech, Rick spent the better part of the 1990’s developing an approach to sustainable architecture and design through practice, writing, travel and research. He began ISTUDIO in 1999 as an architecture firm dedicated to the design of sustainable communities. The process Rick continues to develop toward a smarter, “greener” and more livable built environment emphasizes collaboration, community engagement, and a comprehensive approach to an understanding of site. This approach has lead to richer design solutions for a range of building types and locations.

Rick promotes the discussion and development of sustainable building issues through his work with the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE), and with the US Green Building Council (USGBC). He has written on transit-oriented development while at Yokohama National University in Japan and the Washington Alexandria Architecture Consortium in Virginia. He teaches community-based sustainable design in lectures and seminars with such organizations as the Catholic University of America, the Kresge Foundation, the National Building Museum, the American Institute of Architects, the Urban Land Institute, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He maintains a mentorship program within the studio to teach at-risk youth about architecture and design. Rick was named “Young Architect of the Year” by the American Institute of Architects in 2005.

ISTUDIO Architects is an award-winning architecture, design, and planning firm dedicated to the design of livable, sustainable communities. We promote green building through education and advocacy of programs such as the Enterprise Foundation's Green Communities, the USEPA's Energy Star program, and the US Green Building Council's LEED for Homes. We have designed showcase projects in green building on the National Mall, at the USEPA headquarters, and at the National Building Museum. Formed in 1999, ISTUDIO offers expertise in planning and design to communities of all sizes. We bring years of experience in facilitation, coalition-building and design education to aid the process of developing projects from the “ideas” stage to construction and habitation.

U.S. Green Building Council Member
U.S. Green Building Council Member

The U.S. Green Building Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation. More...