what we do | who we are | what we care about

architectural design for sustainable building

bg design and consulting llc is a full-service architectural design and passive house consulting practice.

We take on small and large projects, whether it is a small addition, historic renovation or a full-scale new construction, residential design or a commercial up-fit,  we deeply care about integrated architectural design for sustainable building through application of principles of contemporary vernacular architecture, in-depth-familiarity of passive house design and energy-efficient building design principles, thereby creating livable, durable, enjoyable and beautiful spaces for and in collaboration with our clients.  In addition to our design and passive house consulting work, we offer the service of scientific translations from German to English and English to German, and thereby stay current on international developments in research about architecture, energy-energy and sustainability.

bg design and consulting is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, and takes on projects throughout Virginia, the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the Mid-Atlantic States of the East Coast, and Europe. 

barbara j. gehrung


Dipl.-Ing. Architektur | Certified Passive House Consultant

A native of Germany, Barbara developed a  passion for architecture, design and sustainability growing up, while the green building movement there grew from exotic to main stream.  First as architecture student, then as faculty at TU Darmstadt, she focused on energy-efficient building design. Following an internship at the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon University, she initiated and lead Germany’s first participation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition in 2007; both of TU Darmstadt’s winning Solar Decathlon entries of 2007 and 2009 are certified passive houses, simultaneously demonstrating  drastic reduction of energy consumption and aesthetic and highly-functional design integration of renewable energy-technologies.

Barbara has lectured internationally both at universities and professional events, such as Greenbuild or the German-American Chamber of Commerce. She has authored and co-authored several publications and recently has served as guest-critic at the University of Virginia and the University of Kentucky on sustainable building design projects.

Upon moving to the United States, she founded bg design & consulting and is currently working on several design (new construction and remodel) and passive house consulting projects, including an affordable multi-family building for Habitat for Humanity in Washington D.C. and just recently completed her work on the award-winning ecoMOD project for the University of Virginia.

Barbara is excited to continue take part in shaping a more sustainable and energy-efficient future of our built environment. She lives and works in Belmont, an historic neighborhood within the City of Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband and their daughter.

 clients & collaborations

Habitat for Humanity. 

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. Today, Habitat for Humanity is a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing. 

Through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle a significant social problem―decent housing for all.

Today, Habitat has helped build or repair more than 600,000 houses and served more than 3 million people around the world. Find out more about the Washington, DC Habitat here.

TU Darmstadt. Department of Architecture. We develop foundations for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient construction and convey it in the training of architects. sustainable construction is more than an ethical label, it also stands for efficiency and a new architectural culture; required in new buildings and in existing change management concepts. They needed a new, related to life cycles of buildings and components, economic, technical and design thinking Royal action. This requires not only the development and application of new technical systems, but are also required for new forms of cooperation between planners and doer. Find out more about TU Darmstadt here.

The University of Virginia | ecoMOD. ecoMOD is a research and educational project at the University of Virginia, striving to create sustainable modular and renovated housing units for affordable housing organizations. Find out more about ecoMOD here.

Solar Decathlon. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. Find out more about Solar Decathlon here.