Clark Patterson Lee | Blog http://clarkpattersonlee.com/ Clark Patterson Lee Blog en Copyright 2022 2022-10-01T07:05:30-04:00 <![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Member in Charlotte]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-charlotte-4 https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-charlotte-4 CHARLOTTE, NC — CPL, a full-service design firm serving public and private-sector clients for more than 47 years, is pleased to welcome Sean Gatto to its office in Charlotte, NC.

Gatto joins the technology team as a results-driven Helpdesk Specialist, and will be primarily responsible for responding to ticket requests from every CPL location. With ample experience utilizing a wide range of diagnostic tools, programs and utilities, he will configure, install and upgrade software; address vital information technology (IT) issues with great care and immediacy; and work to meet firm-wide objectives in a timely manner.

Prior to joining the firm, Gatto served as a Service Desk Technician for Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. He is a graduate of the Computer Technical A School in Meridian, Mississippi, and a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP); he also maintains CompTIA A+ certification.


About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 450-person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Community, Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education and Transportation – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit www.CPLteam.com to learn more.


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2022-09-21T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Joshua Wheeler, the Avant-Garde Architect ]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-joshua-wheeler-the-avant-garde-architect https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-joshua-wheeler-the-avant-garde-architect Joshua Wheeler, AIA, NCARB is an artist—and drafting paper is his canvas.

His passion for creative pursuits emerged during childhood, when his parents realized he excelled in everything from oil painting to hand-sketching. He enrolled in a college-level fine arts program, where a compelling art history course opened his eyes to the world of architecture at North Carolina State University, and went on to become a licensed architect.

Today, Wheeler is a seasoned Architect and Project Manager in CPL’s Greensboro office, where he brainstorms outside-the-box ideas for a variety of Community and Higher Education projects. On a typical morning, he might be found consulting with clients, developing 3D models, leading engaging visioning sessions or researching architectural codes, guidelines and standards; he says the work is fulfilling because it allows him to exercise his creative muscles while helping young minds achieve their goals.

“To me, architecture is art that you can live, work and learn in, not just hang on the wall,” he said. “Good design is both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, with the intent to increase comfort and make people’s lives easier.”

With more than a decade of experience, Wheeler has contributed significantly to the firm’s portfolio of colleges, universities and trade programs. Recent projects include an overhaul of Estes Dining Hall at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA; renovations for the Kline Campus Center at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA; and the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC.

The Estes Dining Hall at Randolph-Macon College.

“We don’t just work for our clients—we become an embedded part of their campus culture and history to help them create human-centric spaces that drive meaningful interaction between students and faculty,” explained Wheeler.

When he isn’t juggling projects, he serves as a champion for Revit, helping junior team members leverage building information modeling (BIM) software to generate architectural models. He is also participating in the Leadership Greensboro Class of 2023 program and recently made the Triad Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 2022 list, an honor which recognizes young community trailblazers throughout the Piedmont Triad region.

His advice for aspiring architects?

“Creatives often become their own worst critics,” Wheeler said. “You should certainly invest in and dedicate yourself to your projects, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses—it’s all about balance.”

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2022-09-29T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Moving Towards a Better Ideal — Evolving Design Trends in Pediatric Healthcare ]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-moving-towards-a-better-ideal-evolving-design-trends-in-pediatric-healthcare https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-moving-towards-a-better-ideal-evolving-design-trends-in-pediatric-healthcare When a sick child enters a hospital, the traditional patient pathways for treatment, procedures, and life-saving interventions can often feel overwhelming. Creating healing spaces that emotionally support young patients―and their families―during their medical journeys is the foundation of strategic healthcare design.

In terms of “look and feel,” the evolution of pediatric care environments has been substantial over the years. What started out as cold, sterile atmospheres with plain, white walls and glaring, fluorescent lights eventually became brighter, more “kid-friendly” spaces with a cacophony of bold colors and cheerful graphic patterns.

However, while a more “frenetic” design aesthetic did a better job stimulating young patients, the overcorrection may have started to do more harm than good—especially for children who are prone to hyperactivity, anxiety or autism spectrum disorders.

Modern-day pediatric hospitals need to strike the perfect balance. They must engage, but not overwhelm; support healing, without being clinical; and most importantly, bolster inclusivity without sacrificing compassionate care.

Nature’s Perfect Palette

Imagine the soft, serene tones of the seashore, the earthy greens and browns of the forest, the lively hues of a flowery garden, or the warm, dusty pastels of a desert vista; these beautiful, balanced palettes found in our natural world are both soothing and restorative. Pediatric care environments should incorporate nature’s color schemes to help patients feel comforted and appropriately stimulated during their stay.


The Comforts of Home

Inviting familiar, “home-like” elements into pediatric patient rooms often helps ground the space for any child in need of care. Window treatments, wall art, TV’s, device charging ports, and controllable lighting and temperature are all recognizable, residential amenities that bring relief and convenience into the “unfamiliar” hospital setting.

Additionally, providing amenities for a child’s immediate family is equally as important. Family and close friends should be greeted with dedicated areas to eat, sleep and recharge so they can be their best selves for the patient.

Behavioral Health Designs

Pediatric healthcare environments must cater to children of all physical and developmental abilities. As such, critical child safety measures should be incorporated into these spaces, including the minimizing of sharp objects, rounding exposed corners and securely mounting furniture where applicable.


Further bolstering inclusivity, strategic lighting design plays a key role in comforting patients, especially neurodiverse children. Instead of bright, glaring or buzzing lights that may cause anxiety, interior rooms should leverage circadian lighting, natural daylight or other dimmable, noiseless options to mitigate potential negative reactions.

Expanding Health’s Reach

Thoughtful care and treatment shouldn’t be limited to a pediatric patient’s room―common hospital areas should also have special design considerations for alleviating stress and promoting healing. Incorporating outdoor elements like gardens into lobbies and corridors can help elicit feelings of optimism and tranquility in an otherwise chaotic, high-stress environment.


Children, although highly resilient, are still fragile members of our society in need of protection and compassionate care. Protecting both their physical and psychological well-being in the built environment is a critical responsibility—one that has lasting impacts on their ability to heal.

As innovation in medical treatments continues to evolve, so will our approach to supporting the ever-changing needs of pediatric patients through evidence-based design.

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2022-09-27T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Reducing the Flow: Using Green Infrastructure to Sustainably Manage Stormwater]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/reducing-the-flow-using-green-infrastructure-to-sustainably-manage-stormwater https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/reducing-the-flow-using-green-infrastructure-to-sustainably-manage-stormwater Water is vital for life. It is necessary for drinking and sanitation, sustaining livestock and crops, and nurturing the ecosystems on which human life depends on for survival.

In the U.S., most of the infrastructure that detains, treats and delivers water was built before critical stormwater management regulations were enacted. This has resulted in an estimated 10 trillion gallons of untreated stormwater runoff entering our county’s waterways each year, infecting our environment and drinking water supplies with pollutants like sediment, trash, motor oil, road salt, lawn fertilizers, pet waste and more.

Upgrading the infrastructure to better manage harmful stormwater runoff would be a timely and costly capital investment for most cities to undertake. Instead, blending traditional infrastructure systems with sustainable, green infrastructure design would be a financially and environmentally responsible way to mitigate issues and protect our freshwater sources.

Green infrastructure focuses on managing stormwater on-site by harvesting and soaking up the water with porous natural surfaces.

“There’s a matrix of choices for green infrastructure,” explained Jim Basile, P.E., Senior Civil Engineer at CPL. “Depending on the site, solutions may include rain gardens, pervious and reduced areas of pavement, bioretention gardens and landscaping, grass-covered roofs, or rain and water tank harvesting.”

According to Basile, the chosen solution must adhere to state-level regulations and permitting requirements, and we look at each site independently to keep the client’s budgets and space limitations in mind.

Over the last few years, green infrastructure has become integral to sustainably managing stormwater systems, especially with climate change increasing the frequency of destructive flooding incidents.

“The intensity of extreme weather events has made this a really pressing problem,” said Dick Waite, RLA, LEED AP, SITES AP, Landscape Architect at CPL. “It’s becoming more important for us to put sustainable solutions in place to help stormwater systems better handle increased volumes of runoff.”

In addition to managing stormwater more efficiently, green infrastructure also offers several benefits such as urban beautification and improved efficacy of street operations in parking lots and roadways.

“We’re seeing a new trend with leveraging sustainable stormwater management elements to serve communities and the environment in other impactful ways,” explained Waite. “For example, you could design a bioretention area to serve as a visually appealing butterfly or pollinator garden to help protect native insects and plant species.”

With green infrastructure, our team can thoughtfully design solutions that offer powerful benefits for neighborhoods, including reduced flooding, improved biodiversity, increased pollination, and enhanced aquatic biome protection. Above all, green infrastructure helps reduce harmful stormwater runoff, which better protects our environment and preserves resources for future generations.

“For something as critical as water, the positive impacts that come with green infrastructure cannot be overlooked,” said Basile.

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2022-09-19T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Good Samaritans – How CPL Jamestown is Energizing the Pearl City]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-good-samaritans-how-cpl-jamestown-is-energizing-the-pearl-city https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-good-samaritans-how-cpl-jamestown-is-energizing-the-pearl-city Our visionaries in CPL Jamestown are more than just A/E professionals — they’re home-grown humanitarians.


As lifelong locals with a shared passion for helping others, our team takes great pride in tackling diverse assignments that enrich the lives of our partners, friends and neighbors. From revitalizing hospitals and transportation systems to envisioning new facilities for elementary schools and college campuses, they blend practical function, thoughtful design, and personal understanding to cultivate transformational community projects.

Image of two men walking in a hallway reading blueprints together

“Our team has been a vital part of the Chautauqua County community for almost 40 years,” said Architectural Project Manager, Robert Nordin, AIA, LEED AP. “Our roots run deep here, and we pursue projects that are just as meaningful to Jamestown residents as they are to us.”

Nestled in the suburbs of the “Pearl City,” our office is a comfortable space that sparks design inspiration with spirited accent walls, vaulted ceilings and expansive workstations. Lush parks, gardens, and paths — such as the nearby Riverwalk, an urban trail that follows the Chadakoin River through downtown — contribute a calming atmosphere that helps clear minds and increase focus.

Team members also appreciate their proximity to a variety of local shops, restaurants and landmarks, including the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and the beloved National Comedy Center, itself a CPL-designed paragon.

“Our location connects us to everything Jamestown has to offer,” said Administrative Assistant, Chelsea Schultz. “It also promotes accessibility for our clients — a lot of the work we do happens right here in town.”

Reflective of a dedication to increasing Jamestown’s overall quality of life, our team has led and contributed to numerous projects throughout the city and beyond. Recent ventures include building improvements for Jamestown Community College; design for a maintenance garage for the City of Jamestown’s Department of Public Works; additions and alterations for the Attica Central School District in Attica, NY; renovations for the Millcreek Township School District in Erie, PA; and a feasibility study for the United Refining Company in Warren, PA.

In addition to local work, Jamestown team members frequently collaborate with colleagues across the east coast on a broad range of project types, allowing them to become “Jacks of all trades” who are well-versed in every practice area.

“Combined, we have over five decades of experience involving many unique projects. Sharing knowledge across offices and disciplines adds valuable depth to project outcomes that exceed client needs and expectations,” explained Principal Consultant, Paul Hedin, AIA.

Altruism is the lifeblood of CPL Jamestown’s work culture, and when we aren’t working on projects, we’re exemplifying our core values by participating in meaningful community activities.

Whether we’re spearheading GoFundMe campaigns on behalf of the Salvation Army; volunteering with the Jamestown Community College Foundation, the First Presbyterian Church of Jamestown, or the Jamestown YMCA; golfing for charity at the Moon Brook Country Club; attending local festivals and parades in support of our clients; encouraging donations as United Way “pacesetters;” or lending design assistance to our fellow team members in Rochester, Buffalo, and Newburgh, this group is always searching for new ways to bring out the best in others.

“This is our home, and we’re committed to helping it continue to grow and prosper,” Nordin said. “There are a lot of promising developments on the horizon.”


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2022-09-15T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BUZZ: Top 160 K-12 School Architecture + AE Firms for 2022]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/buzz-top-160-k-12-school-architecture-ae-firms-for-2022 https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/buzz-top-160-k-12-school-architecture-ae-firms-for-2022 CPL ranked #25 in the nation's largest K-12 school sector architecture and architecture/engineering (AE) firms for 2022, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report.

Check out the full list here!

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2022-09-13T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Robin Washco’s Eye on Design ]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-robin-washcos-eye-on-design https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-robin-washcos-eye-on-design Robin Washco, AIA never imagined she’d be designing entire buildings from scratch.

Growing up, she demonstrated talent in both mathematics and the arts, and struggled to find her path. In the 11th hour as a graduating high school senior, she experienced a classic “lightbulb moment” when her mother suggested studying architecture, a field that marries both strengths, and went on to graduate from Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture, Art and Design.

Today, as CPL’s Southeast Region Design Leader, Washco applies her keen eye and variegated project management expertise toward elevating designs for projects spanning the firm’s diverse practice areas. She leverages guiding principles to promote a highly interactive and thoughtful design process that is both client-driven and concept-focused, resulting in superior project outcomes.

“To deliver successful projects, we first need to understand the client’s goals and assess the desired community impact, and we dig deep to determine what that might look like,” Washco said. “Asking questions and brainstorming with our clients is the best way to execute their vision – collaboration is truly the lifeblood of our projects.”

The FirstHealth Cancer Center in Pinehurst, NC is one great example of Washco’s design narrative and leadership at work. To plan and deliver the highly anticipated 120,000 sq. ft. facility, she led CPL’s project team and partnered with other team leaders to facilitate robust visioning and concept sessions with the client’s design and executive steering committees. The group collectively produced site, exterior and interior design elements that would promote feelings of hope, caring, safety and comfort not for only patients and their families, but for staff as well.


Washco, left, reviews a floor plan with a colleague.

“Transparency and idea sharing have been key drivers to ensure that the Center is thoughtfully designed to support treatment and healing. In opening the floor for discussion, we broaden our perspectives to develop the most innovative solutions,” she said.


Interior rendering of the FirstHealth Cancer Center lobby; the Center will begin providing expert patient care for area residents in early 2023.

When she isn’t designing, mentoring junior team members or meeting with clients, Washco showcases her passion for architecture as an active member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and by competing alongside her CPL Charlotte colleagues in the city’s regional A/E volleyball league.

She says the firm’s support has been instrumental in shaping her career.

“What I love most about CPL is that we celebrate unique growth trajectories. The path to success here is not linear,” Washco explained. “You’re never boxed into one role and your team will actively help you find your industry niche. To me, that sense of support and opportunity makes all the difference.”

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2022-09-07T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Tactical Urbanism ― Creating More People-Friendly Streets]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-tactical-urbanism-creating-more-people-friendly-streets https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-tactical-urbanism-creating-more-people-friendly-streets Looking to advance long-term community goals related to street safety, public space or walkability? Tactical urbanism could be an actionable strategy worth considering.

This effective, human-centered approach to neighborhood building has become a growing movement characterized by the altering of public spaces through temporary initiatives that seek to create beneficial, long-term development. At its core, tactical urbanism is designed to help people gain the ground they need to inspire real change and ignite progress toward improving the safety, functionality and enjoyability of their communities.

“We understand the benefits that interim approaches can have on getting desired projects off the ground for our clients―we’ve seen it happen firsthand,” explained Jennifer Michniewicz, P.E., PTOE, Transportation Project Manager at CPL. “Our planners and transportation engineers have successfully used low-cost tactical urbanism strategies to test what really works and jumpstart critical initiatives.”

The award-winning “Mid-City Stroll” in the City of Chamblee, GA was an exemplary public involvement event that leveraged tactical urbanism demonstration projects to yield valuable feedback on potential enhancements to the Peachtree Road Corridor and Rail Trail.

The City partnered with local businesses to create a street festival mirroring the proposed changes, which required all major intersections along Peachtree Road to be temporarily converted into 3-way stop intersections. Event participants were able to safely enjoy the Stroll’s provisionally designed route to see how current pedestrian walkability challenges could be improved in the future.


Additionally, a City parking lot was temporarily redesigned as a proposed park with indoor/outdoor carpet to substitute for grass as well as tables and yard games.

Public input was strongly encouraged at different check points throughout the Stroll with one area presenting “graffiti wall” banners that invited citizens to write what they wanted to see on Peachtree Road. Comments on the envisioned concepts were taken into consideration and accounted for in final designs.


Customized and scalable, tactical urbanism campaigns are all about getting noticed. Whether we’re placing temporary sidewalks to vet walkability, inserting movable plants and planters to visualize new streetscaping, installing “pop-up” parks to envision recreational opportunities, or creating improvised bike lanes to determine viability, each creative solution can become a catalyst for powerful change.

In addition to testing ideas and pinpointing the best options for our clients, the street-level strategies that we develop and deploy wind up generating meaningful public support and engagement along the way―an essential component for any community-based project.




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2022-09-12T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Member in Rochester]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-rochester-3 https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-rochester-3 ROCHESTER, NY — CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 47 years, is pleased to welcome Joshua Rudesil to its growing team in Rochester, NY.

Rudesil joins the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering team as a Junior Electrical Engineer, and will perform drafting and design services for a wide array of facility projects that involve lighting, power, data, fire alarm, security and communications systems.

Coordinating across practice and disciplinary teams, he will provide design support by supplying power to manufacturing equipment; selecting appropriately-sized generators for community facilities; and laying out electrical outlets for floor plans. He will also participate in construction administration activities and conduct codes and standards research to ensure compliance with various agency regulations.

Prior to joining CPL, Rudesil served as a Driver for Advanced Auto Parts in East Greenbush, NY. He earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering technology from Alfred State College and a Computer Science Certificate from Full Sail University. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in software development and an Associate of Applied Science in information technology and networking from DeVry University.


About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 450-person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Community, Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education and Transportation – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit www.CPLteam.com to learn more.

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2022-07-27T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Member in Buffalo]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-buffalo-7 https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-buffalo-7 BUFFALO, NY — CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 47 years, is pleased to welcome Jake Dominesey, P.E. to its growing team in Buffalo, NY.

Dominesey joins the Transportation team as a Civil Engineer, and will contribute to a wide range of highway, bridge and road development projects. His core competencies will include planning bicycle lanes; implementing road signage; performing right-of-way (ROW) calculations; and conducting feasibility studies. He brings to the firm extensive knowledge of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and Work Zone Traffic Control (WZTC) procedures, which will prove instrumental in advancing progress for diverse assignments.

Prior to joining CPL, Dominesey served as a Highway Design Engineer at CHA Consulting, Inc. He earned a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and maintains professional engineering licensure in New York state.


About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 450-person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit www.CPLteam.com to learn more.

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2022-08-02T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Member in Newburgh]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-newburgh-5 https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-newburgh-5 NEWBURGH, NY — CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 47 years, is pleased to welcome Stephanie Wisniewski to its growing team in Newburgh, NY.

Wisniewski joins the firm as an Architectural Technician, and will be responsible for assisting in the creation and maintenance of AutoCAD and Revit building models for a broad range of Community and K-12 Practice projects. She will apply more than a decade of experience in residential and commercial design toward preparing complex drawings; leading and participating in design team meetings; conducting product research and selection; and developing survey maps and layouts.

Prior to joining CPL, Wisniewski served as a Draftsperson for Mauri Architects, P.C. in Poughkeepsie, NY. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the New York Institute of Technology, where she graduated summa cum laude, and is pursuing professional licensure in New York state.


About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 450-person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Community, Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education and Transportation – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit www.CPLteam.com to learn more.

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2022-08-16T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes Jona Wright, Ed.D as Chief Human Resources Officer]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-jona-wright-ed-d-as-chief-human-resources-officer https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-jona-wright-ed-d-as-chief-human-resources-officer ROCHESTER, NY — CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients since 1975, is pleased to announce the addition of Jona Wright, EdD as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

In this new role, Wright will lead the firm’s high-impact human resources (HR) team to align daily operations with strategic business goals. In addition to overseeing the tactical planning and execution of a wide range of HR initiatives, as a member of the executive leadership team, she will develop strategies that enhance the firm’s competitive edge in the evolving A/E market. This added support will continue to optimize engagement, champion talent mobility and drive post-professional learning that is measurable and effective.

“It is imperative that we remain nimble and invest in our people to adapt to ―and even influence―developments in our industry, and we know Jona is the right person to help us do so,” said Todd Liebert, AIA, NCARB, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at CPL. “Her profound ability to create and implement thoughtful, long-term plans will streamline critical processes and foster enduring partnerships between our practice and operational teams.”

Prior to joining CPL, Wright served as the Director of Human Resources for Pulsafeeder Engineered Products, where she led the HR team in developing business partner approaches to shared services. She has a demonstrated aptitude for organizational and leadership development, change management and strategy, and maintains numerous professional accreditations, including FourSight Breakthrough Thinking Tool, Actualized Leader Profile (ALP) facilitator and cognitive coaching certifications.

Wright is also an active member of the National Human Resources Association (NHRA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She earned a Doctor of Education in executive leadership and organizational development and management and a Master of Science in administration from St. John Fisher University, as well as a Master of Science in literary education and a Bachelor of Science in communication disorders and sciences from SUNY Geneseo.

The firm is confident that Wright’s determination to foster an intentional workplace culture will promote diversity, equality and inclusivity, and guarantee robust professional opportunities for all.


About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 450-person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Community, Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education and Transportation – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit www.CPLteam.com to learn more.

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2022-08-01T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Bringing in the Sun: The Impact of Daylighting in Schools]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-bringing-in-the-sun-the-impact-of-daylighting-in-schools https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-bringing-in-the-sun-the-impact-of-daylighting-in-schools From kindergarten to high school, children will spend an average of 15,000 hours learning inside school buildings, most of which were built during the mid-20th century when sun exposure in a classroom was not a design priority. Numerous studies suggest that substituting natural daylight with artificial, fluorescent lighting can adversely affect student health and academic performance.

We must reintegrate daylighting back into our aging, K-12 building designs.

CPL Architectural Project Manager, Graham Boyd, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, deeply understands this need and how integral it is to harvest daylighting techniques during the planning phases of a school renovation or new construction project. His experiences with reincorporating daylight back into schools have yielded sustainable, modern-day learning environments that can:

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2022-08-26T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Leveraging Thoughtful Design to Support Student Wellbeing ]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-leveraging-thoughtful-design-to-support-student-wellbeing https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-leveraging-thoughtful-design-to-support-student-wellbeing Today’s K-12 students face unprecedented challenges; in addition to homework, peer pressure and college prep, they’re grappling with a global pandemic, school violence and social unrest.

Designers have an opportunity to help alleviate their stress by envisioning safe and flexible academic spaces that promote inclusivity and belonging, support physical health needs, and increase comfort for both students and faculty. These elements collectively enhance the shared learning experience, and are instrumental in facilitating student growth and long-term success.

Creating a Sense of Community

How can a sense of community be achieved in a school corridor?

Smart design looks at every nook and cranny in a building, searching for a clever opportunity to make a positive impact on a potential end user.

A small, unused janitor’s closet can be transformed into a private study room. Old display cases can be revamped to better showcase student work. Boring, white walls can become “writable,” presenting students with more ways to collaborate and express their voices.


Each of these examples gives students the power of “choice” in an educational setting. Choice leads to feelings of empowerment and ease, which aid in building a robust learning community.

Championing Physical Health

To ensure the next generation prioritizes living a healthy lifestyle, it’s imperative that we help students understand the profound influence physical health can have on overall wellbeing.

Sensory paths featured throughout school hallways can motivate young learners to jump over a log or balance on one leg, stimulating their senses and leading them to associate physical activity with fun. For older students, providing access to fitness equipment and athletic activities in gym class or on team sports can elevate both their health and interpersonal skills.


Another concept to consider is the integration of a “learning stair” inside a school corridor. These versatile spaces offer formal and informal opportunities to get students together to learn in an amphitheater-like environment. While educators instruct from the stair, children can move around at their leisure, encouraging mobility and keeping engagement levels high.

Promoting Safety in Schools

The importance of creating a comfortable environment for K-12 students cannot be overstated.

This often starts with assessing a school’s indoor air quality to ensure buildings are equipped with proper ventilation, especially during the warmer months when increased humidity can cause tables to become sticky and hotter air can impede students’ ability to focus in class.

By adhering to WELL building standards, we can marry best practices in design with evidence-based medical and scientific research to yield higher indoor air quality inside schools. Furthermore, we can confidently avoid the use of materials containing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to augment students’ focus and prevent headaches, nausea or other ailments associated with faulty design.

Innovational academic spaces are born from a strong sense of community, efficient programming and sensible materiality, serving to uplift and inspire students. When we leverage thoughtful K-12 designs, we can provide children with the learning environments they deserve, enriching their experiences and paving a smoother path to success for the next generation.

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2022-08-29T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Paving the Way for the Traveling Public]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-paving-the-way-for-the-traveling-public https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-paving-the-way-for-the-traveling-public David Hastings, P.E., PTOE is designing safe, connective roadways that culminate in vibrant community transformations.

He became invested in transportation design during his time as a student at SUNY Buffalo, when he secured an internship with the Office of Design at the New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYSDOT) Engineering Division. The opportunity augmented his understanding of civil design processes, setting the stage for a successful career in transportation engineering.

Now, as a Senior Transportation Engineer with more than 12 years at CPL under his belt, Hastings applies extensive design and project management experience toward completing a variety of complex assignments for the firm’s Transportation Practice, which encompass everything from traffic impact studies and streetscape design to roadway widening and multimodal accommodations.

“Transportation infrastructure impacts everyone on a daily basis and serves as a foundation for society,” Hastings explained. “As transportation engineers, we have the opportunity to collaborate with the public to improve operations, connections, and safety which I find deeply gratifying.”

Over the last decade, Hastings has contributed more than 70 projects to CPL’s transportation portfolio. Recent endeavors include a pedestrian safety action plan for the Town of Tonawanda, NY; the rehabilitation of South Winton Road in Rochester, NY; and the Walkable Olean project in Olean, NY, which was awarded "Transportation Project of the Year" by the New York Upstate Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE, 2021)


The Walkable Olean project reconstructed a portion of Main Street to delineate traffic and integrate pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.

Hastings also demonstrates his passion for design excellence as an active member of the ITE, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). When he isn’t engineering, he can be found trekking the Adirondacks with his fiancée, serving as the captain of his kickball and soccer league teams, or competing against his coworkers in CPL’s annual Golf Tournament and the Chase Corporate Challenge.


Hastings, left, poses with fellow team members during CPL Rochester’s 2022 Corporate Challenge at Frontier Field.

He credits the firm with having fostered his growth as both an engineering professional and member of the Rochester community.

“The leadership team has been good to me from day one. They’ve helped me carve out my own niche and strengthen my skills while encouraging fun at work,” Hastings said. “I’m immensely appreciative of the direction my career has taken. CPL has the best people and the best opportunities.”



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2022-08-29T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Adaptive Reuse ― Reimagining Existing Campus Assets in Creative Ways]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/adaptive-reuse-reimagining-existing-campus-assets-in-creative-ways https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/adaptive-reuse-reimagining-existing-campus-assets-in-creative-ways Higher education institutions across the country are developing creative ways to recruit and retain students within their current campus footprint. Simultaneously, institutions are facing the challenges of maximizing the use of and maintaining underutilized buildings constructed decades ago.

Adaptive reuse is an effective solution that maximizes on-campus space and resources to boost enrollment. This sustainable and financially responsible approach looks to recycle and reimagine underutilized campus buildings or spaces to become revitalized assets that serve end users in more valuable ways.

Partnering with key stakeholders, CPL has had the opportunity to assist several institutions in transforming their campus assets through creative adaptive reuse practices. These project outcomes significantly improve the educational experiences for students and faculty by giving them more useful and contemporary learning spaces to learn and grow in.

Repurposing a 100-Year-Old Alumni Gym for New Student and Community Use

One of the advantages of adaptive reuse is the opportunity to preserve the cultural significance of historic campus landmarks, which is mutually beneficial to both colleges and their surrounding communities. Protecting and renovating these decades-old buildings from decay or eventual demolition creates renewed public interest― key factors in bolstering student enrollment.

Considering historic preservation as a part of adaptive reuse was critical during the visioning and planning phases of a recent, ongoing renovation project at Bridgewater College. Originally built in 1908, the school’s Alumni Gym had been used for storage and a maintenance shop for the last 15 years and no longer served as a value-added space for students or the greater community. The College sought CPL’s strategic guidance to convert the building into a more versatile event center―one that kept the gym’s historic integrity.

Exterior of Bridgewater College’s Alumni Gym before adaptive reuse renovations

Our team has been diligently making design decisions that preserve key aspects of the gym, like portions of its existing viewing balcony, as well as removing the ceiling to expose its original wood trusses and clerestory windows. Furthermore, the interior brick walls will be leveraged to maintain its original brownish-red color. These efforts will conserve the building’s historical significance while paving the way for a more modernized aesthetic.

Additional plans for the gym include a new, expansive entryway and lobby that will invite visitors into the new event and student activity space. The gym will also live next to a newly constructed, bustling courtyard on the western end of the campus. Once completed, the historic building will become a vibrant, centralized campus hub for peak socialization among students and members of the Bridgewater community.

Exterior rendering of Bridgewater College Alumni Gym

Sustainably Converting an Old Warehouse into an Advanced Manufacturing Center

Besides conserving historic landmarks, adaptive reuse also encourages sustainable and energy-efficient design practices. Recycling older, underutilized buildings eliminates the need for substantial demolition and reconstruction, which reduces our energy consumption throughout the life of the project. We also lessen carbon emissions by limiting the manufacturing, delivery and assembly of new building materials.

Upholding environmentally conscious standards was a crucial element during the repurposing of a former bus manufacturing building at Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC). CPL worked closely with GTCC leaders to transform the warehouse into a state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) facility that now houses programs for essential workforce development in transportation, machining, welding and automotive technologies.

Exterior of Guilford Technical Community College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Through extensive visioning and collaboration efforts, our team creatively worked within the original height of the high-bay, 250,000 sq. ft. space by “inserting” a second floor on the top portion of the building to make room for additional labs, offices and educational shop spaces.

Keeping sustainability at the forefront, we also replaced the building’s outdated mechanical, electrical, cooling, heating and hot water systems with energy-efficient equipment, while seamlessly integrating LED lighting throughout. Moreover, many of the original interior elements were recycled into the finished space, such as the exposed structural steel and concrete flooring. These efforts resulted in a high-performing CAM facility that drives new student enrollment.

Interior of Guilford Technical Community College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Transforming an Aging Campus Hall into a New School of Health Professions

Adaptive reuse also offers significant financial advantages for higher education campuses. Since these projects use a minimum amount of expensive building materials, institutions can lower development costs and reinvest their funds into more state-of-the-art programs and facilities for students. Additionally, recycling costly materials with resources already found on location inherently saves money.

This was the case during the recent transformation of St. Bonaventure University’s (SBU) historic Frances Hall into a multi-functional School of Health Professions. Once used as a convent and later converted to a residence hall, the building had begun to show its age; SBU stakeholders trusted CPL to capitalize on existing space to construct a critically needed, yet financially responsible clinical learning center.

Interior of St. Bonaventure University’s School of Health Professionals.

Repurposing an available space in lieu of constructing a costly, new facility allowed significant funding to be used for innovative classrooms, tech-savvy laboratories, collaborative student lounges and other learning environments essential to train future healthcare professionals. For instance, the building boasts sophisticated physical diagnoses and simulated anatomy training spaces stocked with hospital beds, exam tables, attached debrief rooms and two Anatomage tables, which is the most technologically advanced clinical diagnostic tool available.

To ensure the new school would remain flexible over time, our team curated highly adaptable workspaces within the existing building that can continually evolve with medical teaching necessities―another decision that drastically lowers renovation needs and saves money for SBU in the long run.

Through creative programming, the repurposed historic campus structure is now a living-learning community with a health professions program on the lower levels and renovated residence rooms on the building’s upper floors and is a cornerstone of SBU’s program offerings.

Interior of St. Bonaventure University’s School of Health Professionals.

Continued Implementation of Adaptive Reuse Practices

Through adaptive reuse, our team is empowered to design impactful collegiate spaces that yield substantial benefits like historic preservation, energy efficiency and financial savings. Above all, this resourceful approach transforms underutilized campus buildings into admired assets that have the power to attract and effectively retain students.

We should continually implement adaptive reuse methodologies as a sustainable way to create meaningful contributions for our higher education clients and their neighboring communities.

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2022-08-23T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: A History of Industry in the City of Good Neighbors ]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-a-history-of-industry-in-the-city-of-good-neighbors https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-a-history-of-industry-in-the-city-of-good-neighbors CPL’s location in Buffalo, NY, is the perfect blend of preservative design and engaging workplace culture.


Strategically envisioned to reflect the city’s identity as a 19th century industrial powerhouse, the office’s three-floor interior features exposed brick, high ceilings, bold, modern carpeting and large windows that overlook the vibrant murals of adjacent buildings and flood the space with natural light.

A Buffalo skyline wall graphic welcomes visitors in the waiting room, while local historical artwork pays homage to the city’s past. Moreover, deep blue accent walls throughout the building provide team members with a steady sense of calmness, and energizing pops of yellow furniture and décor serve as a source of infinite design inspiration.


“We worked as a team to cultivate the ideal office―one that would promote comfort and productivity while honoring Buffalo’s industrial heritage,” said Mike Mistriner, AIA, CPL’s National Higher Education Practice Leader. “Coming into a space that echoes our rich history helps us generate dynamic design solutions for the future.”

Buffalo is known as “the City of Good Neighbors,” and CPL’s visionaries authentically embody this spirit of unity. The group has been described as a multi-disciplinary melting pot of professionals, with architects, engineers, interior designers and urban planners collaboratively tackling a myriad of projects spanning Western New York and beyond.

From sprightly schools and universities to charming public parks and recreation centers, the team joins forces with colleagues across the east coast to create spaces that elevate quality of life and drive human connection. Recent ventures include comprehensive design services for the highly anticipated Healthy Living Campus in Batavia, NY; an interactive touch tank addition for the Aquarium of Niagara in Niagara Falls, NY; and a new School of Health Professions at St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, NY.

“Everyone works on a little bit of everything, so we’re exposed to a wide range of project types that strengthen our skills,” said Senior Interior Designer Carly Owczarczak, NCIDQ, LEED AP, WELL AP. “We offer all the resources of a large firm, paired with the hands-on approach of a smaller, family-like team. It’s the best of both worlds.”

When they aren’t managing projects or meeting with clients, Buffalo team members enjoy getting together for ice cream and breakfast hangouts, book club discussions, lunch and learns, tailgating events and birthday celebrations. And on gameday Fridays, you’ll find the team in the office’s expansive training room posing for photos in full “Buffalo Bills Mafia” regalia.

In addition to their office activities, the team’s location in the heart of the lively Cobblestone District provides them with access to a wide range of exciting after-work entertainment options, including Key Bank Arena (home of the Buffalo Sabres), Sahlen Field (home of the Buffalo Bisons) and Larkin Square, an urban park and concert venue. There’s no shortage of fun things to do at Canalside, and the city’s waterfront downtown―known for its breweries, restaurants and cafes―is just a short walk away.

Inherently civic-minded, the team also shares a collective passion for charitable endeavors, and frequently volunteer as a group with organizations such as the GLOW Region YMCA to fundraise for projects and facilitate local enrichment efforts.

“Our coactive environment faithfully mirrors Buffalo’s strong sense of community. Everyone has a voice, and we want to see each other succeed,” said Marketing Proposal Manager Robin Coffey. “We enjoy brainstorming and growing closer not only as coworkers, but as friends.”



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2022-08-17T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Raising the Bar Together ― The Benefits of Engaging with the Competition to Advance Design]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-raising-the-bar-together-the-benefits-of-engaging-with-the-competition-to-advance-design https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-raising-the-bar-together-the-benefits-of-engaging-with-the-competition-to-advance-design I have always believed that good business begets good business. When we look to our competition for inspiration, we elevate our own design, and sequentially, develop more dynamic spaces for end users.

In the past several months, I’ve had the opportunity to go on school tours in Washington D.C. and Central New York as a member of and incoming New York State Chapter President of the A4LE (Association for Learning Environments). Through this organization, the K-12 education design community has one common goal: to lead innovation at the intersection of learning and place, and in which, the place is a catalyst for inspired learning. The A4LE looks to its members to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and identify those in the educational environment industry who demonstrate the core competencies essential to the practice of planning, designing, equipping and maintaining educational environments.

Accounting for School Values Through Design

While in Washington D.C. at the Northeast Regional conference this past April, I toured Sandy Springs School, a private Quaker School in Maryland.

Exterior of Sandy Springs School. Design firm: Stantec.Exterior of Sandy Springs School. Design firm: Stantec.

Guided by the project’s lead Architecture/Engineer (A/E) team and the school’s Director, we were welcomed to this new building, which recently received Well AP Silver certification due to its net-zero ready infrastructure, solar panel field, on-site composting and geothermal heating. The school’s architects and designers graciously explained their eight-year-long process, working with the support of key stakeholders to embrace the following Quaker values through design.

Belief that the truth is continually revealed.

Belief in seeking peace with oneself and others.

Belief in accepting and respecting each individual's uniqueness.

Belief in the spirituality of life.

Belief in the value of simplicity.

Belief in the power of silence.

To support these values, their team worked to outfit the building with sustainable materials like linoleum flooring, reclaimed wood from the surrounding area and mineral wool insulation. Additionally, daylighting controls were designed through the application of custom sunshades and fins on the exterior, which were positioned to allow for the use of sunlight when it’s needed and deflect its power when it’s not.

Environmentally focused design elements were also integrated to create a building that is both thermally balanced for controlled heat and acoustically balanced for audibility and noise reduction. Total use of the building’s space was considered with the integration of breakout zones hugging the circulation areas, which permits individualized learning opportunities.

Furthermore, local artists provided sculptures for the soaring, open space within the interior, two-story volume as well as for the zen garden behind the building. The natural and simplistic beauty of the school’s design evokes a calming yet focused atmosphere for students and administrators.

Engaging with a School’s Community

On another school tour, we were led through a new addition at the Vernon Verona Sherrill Middle School, located in Verona, New York. Here, the school’s architect and Assistant Principal walked us through their intricate processes for community engagement. Working with key stakeholders, students, administrators and the community, they discovered that the school was most in need of a dedicated space to support learning goals more closely aligned to 21st-century workforce demands.

Interior space in Vernon Verona Sherrill Middle School. Design firm: King + King.Interior space in Vernon Verona Sherrill Middle School. Design firm: King + King.

This resulted in a large, multi-functional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) wing that bolsters the existing curriculum, inspires administrators to use innovative education practices and is also available for use by the school’s community. Primary design choices revolved around cross-disciplinary and project-based learning, which was achieved by the incorporation of a myriad of writable surfaces, flexible furniture selections, portable modular walls and the use of tasteful school branding elements.

Engaging design practices were also found in both the interior and exterior of the school. The surrounding patios and green spaces are now used by educators for diverse outdoor learning activities like drone flying and experimentation, and the interior lab and its four adjacent classrooms are utilized for after-school activities, community board meetings and local club gatherings.

Exploring Spaces Leads to Collaboration

The opportunity to observe these spaces and speak openly with colleagues in our industry leads to deeper dialogues about why we do what we do. Together, we acknowledge that by approaching K-12 design with a common purpose of creating safe, healthy and appropriately stimulating learning environments, we are not “competition” but “co-collaborators” working towards a unified, educational goal.

Understanding these principles of practice and seeing them exhibited firsthand has broadened my knowledge of how to create more resourceful learning environments. Rather than viewing other firms as a roadblock, we should look to their work as encouraging examples of design successes. When we recognize and learn from our colleagues’ achievements, we strengthen our own design knowledge, which only benefits our clients and their end users.

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2022-08-15T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: How Rich Edinger is Strengthening the Built Environment]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-how-rich-edinger-is-strengthening-the-built-environment https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-how-rich-edinger-is-strengthening-the-built-environment Rich Edinger, P.E., CFM is developing resilient infrastructure systems that will withstand the test of time.

As CPL’s Southeast Region Community Practice Leader, he manages large-scale civil engineering projects from the earliest stages of design through construction, serving as a respected advisor to local leaders and residents alike. Leveraging insight gleaned from his time with the Delaware and Georgia Departments of Transportation (DOT), as well as his tenure as the Director of Public Works for the city of Suwanee, GA, he strives to build strong community foundations by increasing connectivity and engagement, and has become an embedded public servant in the process.

“Having worked in the public sector, I understand exactly where our clients are coming from. They want to make life better for their constituents, but face complex engineering hurdles,” he said. ”Our job is to help them make informed decisions that keep society moving and enable residents to thrive.”

With more than 17 years at CPL under his belt, Edinger has tackled everything from climate resiliency plans to bridge and dam rehabilitation assignments. His recent ventures include planning services for Hall County; unified development code work for the cities of Acworth, GA, and Social Circle, GA; and comprehensive civil design services for the city of Flowery Branch, GA.


A rendering of the future Farmers Market streetscape at Pine Street Park in Flowery Branch, GA.

When he isn’t meeting with clients, Edinger leads CPL’s project teams in performing erosion control inspections; conducting site reviews; and interacting with permitting agencies such as the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Reflecting his desire to elevate quality of life throughout Georgia and beyond, in his spare time, Edinger serves as the Vice Chairman of the Gwinnett County Planning Commission. He’s also an active member of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the Gwinnett County Stormwater Authority and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM).

He says his perpetual goal is to keep both clients’ needs and wants top of mind.

“We don’t make our clients’ decisions for them―as their partners, we devise thoughtful strategies that help get them where they want to go,” Edinger said, adding, “The best way to support our communities is to really listen to what they have to say.”

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2022-08-11T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Invaluable Insight Gained from Effective Client User Groups]]> https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-invaluable-insight-gained-from-effective-client-user-groups https://clarkpattersonlee.org:443/blog/blog-invaluable-insight-gained-from-effective-client-user-groups The foundation for a successful project starts with an extensive planning phase, where crucial design elements are laid out and identified with strategic drawings. Alongside client partners, CPL approaches this process through visioning sessions to outline project needs and design preferences, followed by a series of user group meetings to acquire deep knowledge about an organization.

The most effective user group meetings often include key project stakeholders, client staff and a range of potential end users who come together to share their personal input. The insight gained from well-orchestrated user groups allows us to bring clients the following key benefits.

        1. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FROM A FULL BREADTH OF USER PARTICIPANTS
          To fully understand a project’s design requirements, we must first understand the clientele and direct users of the targeted space. This effort varies significantly depending on the market.

          For instance, healthcare users include everyone from executives, doctors, nurses, patients and family support; whereas education users involve administrators, educators, students and members of the community. Different users warrant different design decisions.

          The more users who attend organized user group meetings, the better our team can interpret the daily problems faced from multiple angles, and level up effective solutions to tackle them all.

        2. INVESTED DESIGNER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS
        3. User group meetings are rooted in establishing an open and honest work relationship between our team and the client. During these meetings, we aim to create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere that encourages the free flow of easy, casual discussions from all participants. As our team prompts users to offer their valuable insight, we actively listen to ensure feedback is heard and accounted for.

        4. INTEGRATION OF BRAND IDENTITY
        5. An organization curates its brand identity with various methodologies, including personal user experiences, word of mouth, social media and marketing, among others. However, these outward perceptions present limitations in terms of giving us a thorough understanding of a client’s mission and core values. This barrier is broken during user group meetings.

        6. SPARKED CREATIVITY
          After several meetings, our team possess a full scope of an organization’s specific needs and desires, as well as an innate understanding of end user preferences. This knowledge propels the most creative design concepts.
        7. The more we collaborate as a fully vested team, the easier it is to create impactful design solutions that not only incorporate guided input, but also strengthen the relationship between us and the client.

          To fully perceive a brand through design, we need to have meaningful conversations about a client’s principles and identify the lasting impact they want to have on their people and communities. User groups illuminate these discussions, allowing our team to authentically integrate a client’s brand identity into final designs.

          Engaging in user group conversations over formal presentations ultimately helps us become fully immersed in our projects. These open discussions enable personal, ingenious ideas to be pitched, heard and further developed. Collectively, the creative ideas we share together are always the most powerful solutions to consider.

    The firsthand feedback we receive from our clients and their end users is what sets the stage for a successful project. As part of our collaborative planning process, CPL rallies behind user group meetings because we have borne witness to the exceptional design solutions that inevitably emerge from them.

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2022-08-04T00:00:00-04:00