Join HKS at the 2018 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo


The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago, Nov. 14-16, is a place to meet other AEC professionals to discuss how we can build sustainably and responsibly. In addition to hosting several events in our Chicago office before the conference, HKS’ Rand Ekman, Ellen Mitchell and Tommy Zakrzewski will be speaking at Greenbuild. The Chicago office, a model for thoughtful design and sustainability, will be a part of the Green Building Tours. We look forward to an exchange of ideas and the opportunity to host you in our space.

Pre-Greenbuild Events at HKS Chicago

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 10 a.m. – noon: mindful Materials: Key Stakeholder Feedback

Tuesday, Nov. 13: noon – 1:30 p.m.: mindful Materials: Defining Success and Priorities for 2019

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.: mindful Materials Strategic Planning

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Large Firm Roundtable Sustainability Committee Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: Sustainable Design Leaders Show and Tell

Greenbuild Events

Building Energy Literacy: The 2030 Commitment’s Transformation of Firm Culture

Speakers: Rand Ekman, chief sustainability officer, HKS; Heather Holdridge, sustainability director, Lake | Flato Architects; Gwen Fuertes, building scientist, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects; Nathan Kipnis, principal, Kipnis Architecture + Planning.

This session provides case studies of four firms to demonstrate how the AIA 2030 Commitment has made an impact on the culture and practice of their organizations. We will also discuss next steps for these organizations as they continue to push for more efficient buildings. The short case studies will present the opportunities and challenges that each firm has experienced while integrating the 2030 Commitment. The short panel presentations will provide a comparative look at a diverse group of firms’ experiences, setting the stage for a dialog with the audience on transformation of firm culture.

WELL and LEED v4 Dries Displacement Ventilation Workplace IEQ Innovation

Panelists: Ellen Mitchell, director of sustainability, HKS; Tommy Zakrzewski, director of integrative energy engineering, HKS; Adam McMillen, director of sustainability, IMEG; Amanda Bennett, architectural lighting designer, AMBIA Lighting Design.


Building repositioning is often challenging in large urban centers such as Chicago where the market share of commercial buildings is classified as existing historical/landmarked buildings. The potential of existing buildings in a tenant fit-out can be elevated by thinking beyond traditional architectural and building systems. The HKS Chicago Living Lab leveraged collaboration from the start with pre-design focus groups that drove creative problem-solving, design-thinking and co-creation of innovative solutions. It features displacement ventilation air distribution technology integrated into a space initially used for the base building’s conventional overhead VAV system. This creative approach transformed the interior design of the Living Lab to one that substantially improves energy efficiency, indoor air quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, lighting and employee productivity. Attendees will better understand the synergies between the International WELL v1 Building Standard and LEED v4 ID+C: Commercial Interiors.

Green Building Tour of the HKS Chicago Office

Attendees will tour commercial offices that have implemented the WELL Building Standard, the first certification focused on occupant health and well-being. WELL is meant to complement LEED and all three tour sites pursued WELL while also achieving LEED certification. Chicago’s Living Lab Studio, located within the historical and renovated National building of Chicago’s central business district as of late-2017, is an expression of HKS’ responsible design. Naming the Chicago office a ‘Living Lab’ is intentional alignment to the organic and scientific process of exploring, observing and testing design concepts. The tour will focus on identifying synergies between the two rating systems and defining for the audience the fundamental differences between the two.


HKS is a team of more than 1,400 architects, interior designers, urban designers, scientists, artists, anthropologists and other professionals working together across industries and across the globe to create places that delight, heal and stimulate peak performance. The firm has nurtured a culture of extraordinary people with curious and creative minds who are passionate about delivering elegant solutions. HKS has a dedicated research team that digs deep to discover processes and ideas that improve outcomes for everyone. In everything HKS does, it is mindful of the fragility of all life and of the planet.