Gelfand Partners Architects

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Master Planning

San Francisco, California

United States

About Gelfand Partners

Gelfand Partners is a woman-owned, full service San Francisco design firm. The office advances the design of schools, affordable housing and civic facilities and extends the benefits of sustainability for budget sensitive clients. Through responsive design, social engagement and adaptive reuse of historic buildings Gelfand Partners’ practice reinforces the strengths of mature communities and enables and stimulates a healthy future for new communities.  

Gelfand Partners has designed healthy and dignified homes for thousands of residents with low or no income. Through creating welcoming social settings Gelfand Partners’ dozens of multifamily developments help residents connect with neighbors and make themselves truly at home. Gelfand Partners’ innovations in education affect not only the tens of thousands of students attending Gelfand Partners’ new and modernized schools and colleges, but also influence high performance design standards across multiple other institutions.    


Gelfand Partners participates in the development and dissemination of cost effective, simple and reliable best practices shared across the industry. Healthy environments, lower operating costs, and a flexible future should define the 21st century building stock. Gelfand Partners designs for tomorrow today.    

We believe that firm values are integrated in all decisions – clients we serve, staff members we hire and nurture, examples we set in practice, and the company we keep. We became a B Corporation to join a community of like-minded enterprises seeking to spread the word about social engagement, sustainability, and responsible business citizenship. 

The Change We Seek®

Gelfand Partners seeks to increase the relevance of architecture beyond fads and fuss to the most important issues affecting life in the designed environment. Design can reduce human impact on global climates and habitats, encourage healthy communities and impart personal pleasure and fulfillment.    

What makes us a better company?

B Impact Report

Certified since: 

October 2013

Company Score

Median Score*



The Environment section of the Assessment evaluates a company's environmental performance through its facilities; materials, resource, and energy use; and emissions. Where applicable, it also considers a company's transportation/distribution channels and environmental impact of its supply chain. This section also measures whether a company's products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure, or consult to solve environmental problems.



The Worker section of the survey assesses the company's relationship with its workforce. This section measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training, and ownership opportunities provided to workers. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility and corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.



The Customers section of the Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers. The section focuses on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit, and if those products/services are targeted towards serving underserved populations. Questions in this section will measure whether a company's product or service is designed to solve a social or environmental issue (e.g. improves health, preserves environment or creates economic opportunity to individuals or communities, promotes the arts/sciences, or increases the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises).



The Community section of the survey assesses a company's impact on its community. The Community section evaluates a company's supplier relations, diversity, and involvement in the local community. The section also measures the company's practices and policies around community service and charitable giving. In addition, this section includes if a company's product or service is designed to solve a social issue, including access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity, arts, and increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises.



The Governance section of the Assessment evaluates a company's accountability and transparency. The section focuses on the company's mission, stakeholder engagement, and overall transparency of the company's practices and policies.

Overall B Score

80 out of 200 is eligible for certification

*Of all businesses that have completed the B Impact Assessment

*Median scores will not add up to overall

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Company Highlights: 

Governance: Company has integrated explicit commitment to social impact and environmental stewardship into mission; Employee training includes instruction about environmental & social mission

Workers: Retirement plan includes socially-responsible investing option; 85% of full-time employees have participated in professional development opportunities in the last fiscal year; Company offers health and wellness program to employees; Company provides employees with written guidance for career development & feedback that includes peer and subordinate input

Community: Company gives preference to local and sustainable/fair trade suppliers; 55% of company is owned by individuals from underrepresented populations; 100% of workers are employed in facilities located in low-income communities

Environment: Company has a recycling program that includes composting; 100% of company facilities are located within 1/2 mile of public transportation; Incentives exist to encourage carpooling/use of public transportation


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