The shift towards sustainable buildings requires a transformation of the architectural design process. This paper examines how sustainability is embedded into design methodology and mapped onto, or has transformed, the design process in practise. Interviews with a sample of Scottish architectural and multi-disciplinary practices were undertaken to explore the common approaches and barriers to sustainable design. Case study methodology was also employed to consider exemplar buildings and the value of post-occupancy evaluation is discussed. Within the context of the global environmental perspective, UK and Scottish legislation, sustainable principles and blueprints, a process model is developed to provide a framework for discussion and review. The first creative step is given as an alignment of practice ethos with established architectural philosophies and principles, from across the sustainability spectrum, in order to move towards a typology of sustainable building design.