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Finding the best solution, especially if it means creating it. That’s how we think. That’s how we work.

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:


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


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


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

Credit: © James Steinkamp

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.


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

Credit: © Omaha World-Herald

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.


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


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

Innovation is in Our DNA

Give us a problem and we’ll find a solution. That’s how the company was founded and that’s how it continues to this day.

ESD Innovation Team

The innovation committee works to improve collaboration and create a culture that encourages innovation. The group develops initiatives to promote engineering design/technical excellence, project delivery/presentation and services offering.

Innovation Fest

Designed as a way to share ideas across the company, ESDi held its first Innovation Fest in 2019. While the pandemic caused a brief hiatus for the annual event, Innovation Fest 2022 was back in force with cross-disciplinary teams exploring the theme centered around ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) – an initiative highlighting ESD’s commitment to building long-term value for our people, clients, partners, and society.  The fest featured three discussion sessions running concurrently, each focusing on one of the three pillars of ESG. Attendees joined both in-person and virtually.

Tech Chats

We have a plan. We have a goal. What’s the smartest and most efficient way to get there? We’ll design it. Tech Chats are intended to be concise and engaging presentations on a specific topic, followed by an open discussion. Anyone can signup to give a tech chat. Topics over the past year include “How Manufacturers Lie About Acoustics Ratings,” “Micro-Climate Mechanical Design Strategies,” “Creativity in Solar,” and “From Dumb Box to an Artificial Intelligence IOT – The Evolution of Video Surveillance.”

Credit: © Tom Harris | Design by Gensler

Innovation of the Month

ESDi sponsors the Innovation of the Month (IOTM) award, a contest to encourage creativity and innovation in our business-related activities. The concept is simple: Share an innovative idea and win a prize!

Innovation is Part of Our Culture

Several years ago, we established an internal group to promote and grow innovation with our people. ESD Innovation (ESDi) includes a rotating team of members working to encourage each other to push for new ideas and “aha” moments that only come with cooperation and collaboration.

See How Our Innovations Come to Life

Creativity, insight, partnership. Better spaces to work, to live, and to plan for the future. See how our ideas become reality.

Confidential Large Technology Client
Services: Automation, MEP/FP Engineering
Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall
Services: Automation, Commissioning, Eco+Energy, MEP/FP Engineering, Technology
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Services: Eco+Energy, MEP/FP Engineering, Technology

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Work With Us On Today’s
Toughest Problems

How do we make people’s lives better at work?
How do we build communities around skyscrapers?

The people who work for ESD love asking these questions, and love finding the answers.  We learn from each other and teach each other.  We support each other and our clients.  We’d love for you to join our team of practical dreamers.

Want to Join Our Team?