February 5, 2016

HKS has added depth and reinforced its commitment to sustainable design with the addition of three highly regarded industry professionals. 

Rand K. Ekman, AIA, LEED Fellow, joins as HKS’ new chief sustainability officer. In addition to Ekman, the firm added two more key sustainability professionals to its DesignGreen staff, including Julie Hiromoto, AIA, NCARB, LFA, LEED AP BD+C; and Scott West, PE, BEAP, BEMP, LEED AP BD+C.  

Ekman assumes CSO responsibilities from Kirk Teske, FAIA, LEED Fellow, who has served the firm in a dual capacity as its CSO and chief operating officer for the last two years. Teske remains in his role as COO and will continue to promote the firm’s environmental initiatives from his recent appointment to the HKS Board of Directors. 

For the last six years, Ekman was CannonDesign’s director of sustainability, operating from Chicago. He will remain in Chicago in his new role with HKS and is charged with business development and driving broad-based measureable change by advancing sustainability in both practice and approach, inside and outside the firm. 

“Rand is a well-known and highly respected figure in sustainability circles,” said Ellen Mitchell Kozack, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, vice president and director of sustainability for HKS. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and will be instrumental in incorporating sustainable thinking into our projects, as well as elevating sustainability within our firm’s culture. I’m confident that he will positively impact both,” Mitchell Kozack added. 

For his part, Ekman says that joining a firm in which senior leadership supports sustainability within its own workplace and in its approach to design is the way toward a more mindful and deliberate process that integrates high-performance project delivery and high design. “Those two ideas are not in conflict. The relationship between the built and natural environment is a key design opportunity for the 21st century. Creating the condition for clients to define their project in a manner that’s both personal and performance-driven will shift the paradigm, making sustainability an everyday part of the design process,” Ekman said. 

Hiromoto, most recently with SOM in New York, manages complex and large-scale projects, balancing design excellence and technical expertise. Her wide-ranging portfolio includes skyscraping office buildings and residential and mixed-use towers, including the new One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan – an already iconic, award-winning 103-story, 3.5-million-square-foot mixed-use tower that is pending LEED CS v.2 Gold certification. As project manager, designer and senior technical architect, Hiromoto specializes in curtain walls and sustainable, energy efficient design. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at New York University’s Shack Institute of Real Estate and is based in HKS’ New York office. 

West is HKS’ first registered professional mechanical engineer. Based in Dallas, West’s sustainability and energy analysis projects have been widely-published and presented in Texas, across the U.S. and internationally. West supports the firm through the development of high-performance design strategies, energy code compliance, and the application of renewable and low-energy building technologies and energy modeling for sustainable design. His far-reaching expertise includes projects within the government, healthcare, education, aviation, commercial and corporate sectors. 

“Bringing Rand, Julie and Scott on board signals our commitment to sustainability within our firm culture,” Mitchell Kozack said. “They each bring unique experiences and perspectives and an amazing amount of knowledge to the table, which positively impacts the quality of our design work and firm culture moving forward.” 

HKS, Inc. is a leading architectural design firm ranked among the top six architectural engineering firms, according to Building Design+Construction magazine. Since its founding in 1939, HKS has completed construction projects totaling more than $83 billion in more than 1,742 cities located in 88 countries. HKS has more than 110 million square feet and 195 LEED registered and certified projects to date. The firm is ranked number seven on Engineering News Record’s 2015 list of Top Green Design Firms. HKS operates from 26 offices worldwide. For more information, contact Julie Wellik at jwellik@hksinc.com.

Posted in Green Places
Tagged HKS DesignGreen, Julie Hiromoto, Rand Ekman, Scott West, sustainability