President

Kurt Karnatz, President of ESD, has been leading the company as a world-recognized building systems and technologies consulting practice for over 30 years. As a strategic leader, consultant and engineer, he is focused on creating better economic, environmental and experiential outcomes in the built environment through connecting people with building systems. His collaborative approach and track record of accomplishments has earned the trust of corporate real estate clients in finance, high-tech, pharma, medical, energy and beyond, while establishing ESD’s expertise in building sciences, intelligent buildings, workplace optimization and smart cities. As President, he leads a team of global thinkers who are admired for their innovative approach in creating sustainable solutions. ESD focuses on solutions that optimize the human experience, productivity, efficiency, reliability, and adaptability – resulting in user happiness, competitive advantage, differentiation and enterprise value for its clients.

Publications/Presentations

  • “The Return to the New Workplace.” IFMA Nashville Chapter. November 2020.
  • “Covid Impacts on the Future of Office Design.” CoreNetGlobal Webinar. June 2020.
  • “Building a Smart Building.” Builtworlds Building Conference. March 2020.
  • “Building a Smart Building.” BuiltWorlds 2020 Analyst Call. February 2020.
  • “The Future of Cities: Big Data, Intelligent Buildings and Smart Cities.” Panelist. SMPS Chicago. January 2019.
  • “Space-As-A-Service & Chicago’s Office Development Outlook.” Panelist. Bisnow’s Chicago State of the Market. September 2018.
  • “Tech in Office Buildings.” Moderator. BuiltWorld’s Buildings 2.0. Aug.23, 2018.
  • “Margin Expansion With Technology in CRE.” Bisnow CRE & UrbanTech Summit: Chicago. July 2018.
  • “The Future of Infrastructure in the Cloud Age: New Development, Scalability and Today’s Workforce.” Panel Moderator. Bisnow DICE South Event. June 2018.
  • “LED, Low Voltage, Networked, Sensors & More.” IBcon’s Navigating Global CRE Technology & Innovation Conference. June 2018.
  • “Future-Purpose Design.” Panelist. Lightfair International Conference. May 2018.
  • “Workplace of the Future: Changing Tenant Demands and the New Shape of Office Buildings.” Bisnow Big South Office Event. November 2017.
  • “Building Certification: Data Centers as Case Study.” Co-presenter. BuiltWorld’s Buildings 2.0. Sept. 19, 2017.
  • “Building Intelligence — Massive Disruption Ahead.” NFMT 2017. Arlington, Texas. May 18, 2017.
  • “How to Develop a Business Case and Roadmap to Building Intelligence.” NFMT 2017. Baltimore. March 7, 2017.
  • “Intelligent Buildings.” Presentation at ESD Intelligent Building Boot Camp. November, 2016.
  • “With All the Exciting Building IOT Technology, Where Do FMs Start?” Quoted. Building Operating Management. November, 2016.
  • “Owners & Developers — A West Coast Outlook.” Moderator. Bisnow’s Office Leasing and Development Series West. San Francisco, California. November 2, 2016.
  • “Developing the Business Case and Roadmap to Building Intelligence.” Presentation at NFMT’s High-Performance Buildings & Workplaces event. Austin, Texas, May 3, 2016.
  • “Making The Business Case For Smart Buildings.” Building Operating Management. April 2016.
  • “A Comprehensive Look at the Intelligent Building,” Consulting-Specifying Engineer. Co-authored with Steve Brown and Rob Knight. April 2016.
  • “How to Develop a Business Case and Roadmap to Building Intelligence.” Kurt Karnatz and Steve Brown, presenters. Building Operating Management’s NFMT. Baltimore, Maryland, March 2016.
  • “MEP Roundtable: Class A Office Building System Design.” Consulting – Specifying Engineer. January / February 2016.
  • “A Day in the Life: Creating Competitive Advantage.” NFMT High Performance Building Conference. Presentation. June 2015.
  • “Smart Technology Drives High-Performance Buildings, Provides Granular Detail.” Building Operating Management. Quoted. May 2015.
  • “A Day in the Life: Technology in the Workplace.” Panel Moderator. February 2015.
  • “What Does ‘Intelligent Building’ Mean Today?” Building Operating Management. Co-authors: Robert Knight and Rick Szcodronski. September 2014.
  • “Federal Courthouse Renovation.” Greening the Heartland: BUILDING Chicago Conference. September 2013.
  • “Understanding and Applying the IECC 2012 Code” presented at multiple forums 2012, 2013.
  • “Mechanical Engineering and the Built Environment.” Purdue Global Policy Research Institute. November 14, 2012.
  • “An Overview: Designing Office Space – Office Building Clients Demand Sustainability, Flexibility, and Cost Conservation in both New and Existing Buildings.” Consulting – Specifying Engineer. October 2012.
  • “Cooling the Classics.” Engineered Systems. Co-author: Jose Orta. November 2011.
  • “Building Information Modeling for Better Building Management.” The Facilities Mexico 2010 Conference in Centro Banamex, Mexico City, Mexico. April 20, 2010.
  • “World Class Sustainability in a Geographic World.” The Facilities Mexico 2010 Conference in Centro Banamex, Mexico City, Mexico. April 21, 2010.
  • “Banking on Energy Efficiency.” Buildings. Co-author: Andrew Geurts. April 2010.
  • “Costs and Benefits of a Green Roof from an MEP Perspective.” CSI Chicago. Chicago, Illinois. January 2010.
  • “LEED for Existing Buildings.” BOMA / Suburban Chicago. Schaumburg, Illinois. January 2009.
  • “Large Solar Energy System Feasibility Study.” Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Chicago, Illinois. February 2009.
  • “Advanced Development Practices for Commercial Real Estate – Green Building Trends.” NAIOP (National Association of Industrial & Office Properties). Chicago, Illinois. June 2009 and August 2008.
  • “Sustainable Design Approach.” Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Chicago, Illinois. May 2008.