Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2013 (Revised May 2013)

Building Innovation at Terrapin Bright Green

by Amy C. Edmondson, Sydney Ribot and Mary Saunders


Describes Terrapin Bright Green, an environmental consulting and strategic planning firm, and its approach for creating integrative, systematic solutions to green-building conundrums through consulting, research, and policy-related activities. Emphasis is placed on the role of integrated design and the intensive team-based "charrette" process in Terrapin's consulting work as well as on the design trends of biophilia and biomimicry. The case focuses on the sustainable redesign of 111 8th Avenue, New York, New York, to explore the challenge of managing strategic, intangible services in the context of Terrapin's more concrete focus historically. A serendipitous discovery leads the founders to consider how the firm could systematize its process while maintaining the flexibility that made it successful.

Keywords: integrated design; entrepreneurs; Creative Industries; CONSULTING firms; Energy; Design; Governance; Growth and Development; Innovation and Invention; Knowledge; Labor; Organizations; Problems and Challenges; Research; Strategy; Value; Consulting Industry; New York (city, NY);


Edmondson, Amy C., Sydney Ribot, and Mary Saunders. "Building Innovation at Terrapin Bright Green." Harvard Business School Case 613-053, March 2013. (Revised May 2013.)