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Integrated design firm LPA Design Studios has announced the promotion of industry veteran Keith Hempel, FAIA to chief design officer (CDO), where he will help guide the firm's integrated design process and strengthen the connection between sustainability and design excellence.
Hempel, who started with LPA in 1995, is an established leader in sustainable design and an advocate for the benefits of a research-based, multi-discipline approach to design, including engineers, landscape architects and interior designers at the earliest stages of the process. For the past two years, LPA has been the largest firm in the U.S. to meet the AIA's 2030 Commitment by averaging more than a 70 percent reduction in predicted energy use in new projects.
In his new role, Hempel will serve as a resource across all of LPA's practices and studios and advance the connection between sustainability and design excellence.
"As CDO, Keith will be an advocate for ensuring everybody at LPA is fluent in the language of sustainability and design excellence," said LPA CEO Wendy Rogers. "He's going to elevate performance in all of our work to help solve the greatest problem of our time, climate change."
Hempel said his primary goal will be to bring consistency to every aspect of the design process, as well as a focus on research and data.
"We want to deliver the same rigor to every project, day in, day out, regardless of the size or budget, across all our project teams," he said. "My role will be to help guide the design teams and connect them to the resources that will make their design solutions stronger."
Earlier this year, Hempel was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows, recognizing his significant national contributions to the architecture profession. In January, he was named to the AIA's National 2030 Commitment Working Group, where he helps other firms meet energy reduction targets. As a member of the AIA National Large Firm Roundtable Sustainability Working Group, he works with industry leaders to share knowledge and develop resources for firms across the U.S.
LPA supports the AIA's Framework for Design Excellence, which makes conservation, embodied carbon, well-being and resiliency part of the foundation for any design, in addition to energy performance.
"As an integrated firm, we want to take a much more holistic look at what's important about design," Hempel said.
Hempel's experience working across market segments, including award-winning work in commercial, civic and education projects, make him uniquely qualified for the CDO position, Rogers says. He brings an understanding and sensitivity to the different audiences, as well as spirit of collaboration, she says.
"He really is one of those people in the firm who epitomizes what it means to work together as a team," Rogers said. "He encourages every voice at the table."