builders x design

building Lab is an award-winning firm specializing in thoughtful and highly refined residential design and building. We are passionate about modern architecture, dedicated to precision quality construction and committed to green building practices. Discovering innovative solutions for the specifics of program and context is the challenge we gladly embrace. Along with a collaborative spirit, these converge in a unique ability to offer intelligent, practical and sustainable solutions in support of our clients' goals.

the bL story

Skilled in carpentry at a young age, principal Stephen Shoup received his formal architecture training at UC Berkeley (M. Arch) and The Architectural Association in London. He founded this innovative firm in 2001 based on his belief in a holistic approach to the design and building processes. With a team of talented designers and project managers, bL is involved in any number of residential categories: from new construction, whole-house remodel, addition, kitchen and bath, custom cabinetry, to master planning and landscape.


Green building principles and practices are part of our DNA. The majority of bL’s designers and carpenters are certified Green Building Professionals and principal Stephen Shoup is a qualified Green Point Rater and Advisor. We look forward to the day when building green will simply be building. To speed that scenario along, we always bring the ‘greenest’ options to the table for consideration in all of our endeavors. Very often, going green doesn’t appreciably raise costs or compromise quality. In those cases, we simply choose what’s best for the environment. This might mean specifying formaldehyde-free sheet goods, OVE(optimal value engineering) framing, or low/zero VOC(volatile organic compound) paints. When there are significant price differences, however, we always solicit input from our clients as we weigh budgetary, performance, and architectural factors. At the start of each project, we do our best to learn what our clients’ green priorities are. The term ‘green’ has many different meanings. One person’s most pressing green issue may be indoor air quality, whereas another’s may be the carbon footprint of building materials used, while yet another may care most about water and energy consumption. Whatever the clients’ environmental concerns are, we try to address them in the most responsible and cost-effective manner.