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History

Starting with our firm’s first client, the Chicago Board of Trade, innovation has permeated our culture as we continuously strive to improve the engineering and technology of the built environment through the trust of our clients.

A History of Innovation

Innovation has different meanings based on context of use. For ESD, innovation is defined by how it improves our client’s mission or society as a whole. We believe innovation is the result of process as much as it is about the integration of engineering and technology through a consultative manner.

Throughout the years, ESD has developed innovative design solutions to improve energy efficiency, reduce lifetime costs, make people more comfortable, improve productivity, increase system reliability, and improve air quality. Some examples include:

1968

The first high-rise in Chicago to incorporate high-voltage risers — reducing construction costs while providing electricity crucial to the business.

1982

Protecting a library’s rare book collection through humidity, lighting, and fire suppression design.

1988

Energy efficiency through one of the first direct digital control temperature control systems for a large-scale, mixed-use high-rise.

Credit: © James Steinkamp
1998

Air quality, comfort, and system reliability for a large-scale hospital through full-building HEPA filtration, flexible thermal zone control, and a redundant on-site power plant.

2000

Energy efficiency and reliability for a business district through the first large-scale district cooling system.

Credit: © Omaha World-Herald
2002

Comfort, productivity, and flexibility for a large-scale, Class A office building through air column design, underfloor air design, and a web-enabled building automation system.

2007

Energy efficiency and sustainability strategies leading to lower operating and maintenance costs and comfort of tenants in transitional housing

2019

Intelligent Buildings practice leads to developing and spinning off Cohesion IB.

A History of Collaboration

End users, architects, real estate services firms, and building owners have contributed to our success through the years by engaging in collaborative relationships to develop some of the world’s most exciting places. Whether a client’s needs are based on bringing an idea to fruition, upgrading a space’s infrastructure, or looking to repurpose an icon, these relationships have contributed to each client’s success.

A History of Environmental Focus

As our firm matures, we dedicate our talent and time to improving society through the built environment and offer value to our clients and society as a whole by creating healthy and productive environments and designing facilities that are more cost effective, flexible, reliable, and sustainable.

Testimonial Quotes
Transformative thinking is in ESD’s DNA, an integral part of our over 50-year history.

Forward-looking and creative, we embrace change; we have the courage to take calculated risks and become leaders as the world evolves.

Raj P. Gupta | Executive Chairman

See What Happens When We Work Together.

Creativity, insight, partnership. Better spaces to work, to live, and to plan for the future. See how various markets are served in these projects.

Confidential Large Nationwide Technology Client
Services: Automation, MEP/FP Engineering
ESD Headquarters
Services: Eco+Energy, MEP/FP Engineering, Technology
Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital
Services: Eco+Energy, MEP/FP Engineering
151 North Franklin Street
Services: Cybersecurity, Eco+Energy, MEP/FP Engineering, Technology

News and Events: Our People and Values in Action

The various facets of our company are reflected in the thought leadership, instructional videos, podcasts, and other information offerings we post regularly. Check out the latest.

Lehrer Shares Creative Side to Engineering

Designing for today’s built environment requires imagination, unconventional thinking, and the ability to solve engineering problems in new ways. (Listen to the podcast.)

ESD Tour Showcases Working Office Experiment

Attendees of the recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference on Architecture had a chance to view office technology in action at ESD’s Chicago headquarters. (Learn more about ESD’s Living Lab.)

Lardenoit to Join Panel on Women in Construction

After being postponed earlier this year, sessions have been announced and registration is open again Chicago Build 2022. (Learn more about Chicago Build 2022.)

Design for Tomorrow Plan for the Day After

The future isn’t distant: It starts today. Let’s solve problems together. Let’s build solutions.

Let’s Work Together. How Can We Help?

© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture/Photography by Namgoong Sun

Interested in Making a Difference?

Our mission to improve society through the built environment is brought to life through our people. Are you ready to make a difference?

Join Our Team