Local architectural firm boosting productivity, work quality through sustainability

Emersion Design's Former LEED Platinum Office

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - "If our clients are very interested in high levels of sustainability, we need to be able to do that ourselves, and so it comes down to integrity," said Chad Edwards, a Principal at Emersion Design.

Emersion Design is a Cincinnati architectural firm that specializes in creating sustainable buildings. Over the last several years, they've also been focused on their own

Edwards explained, "In 2007, Emersion was created. At that time, we really wanted to prove out that high levels of sustainability and cost are not necessarily in conflict."

Their renovation there allowed them to become first engineering and architecture firm in the world to have a LEED platinum office. When it came time to expand their own walls beyond the Hamilton County Business Center, they created another LEED platinum workspace in Cincinnati urban core with the efficiencies you might expect to reduce their carbon footprint.

"Employing all of those strategies we learned throughout the years in terms of LED, energy-efficient HVAC systems, energy recovery wheels, recycled content, and the materials that we've selected," said Edwards

Emersion Design also says their sustainability-centered operation creates a natural filter, helping them to see which job candidates and employees are a good fit for their own, forward-thinking environment.

Edwards explained, "We'll be able to pull in folks that want to be part of that neighborhood, community-shaping conversation."

The firm's theme of sustainability is not directed at employees but instead invites them to share their ideas to make their office and work a better place.

"We have a living process wall, Post-It notes up on our window that invites anybody from this office to go up and try to make a change. If they see something that needs to be improved, we have a vehicle for that," said Edwards.

Emersion Design says creating a LEED platinum office space is more than just helping the environment, it's also increasing the quality of work coming out of this office and productivity.

Edwards said, "[For] the folks that are here, this isn't just a job. They want to be part of that overall movement, and that's what's really fun and powerful about this."

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