SmithGroup Expands Services, Adds Engineering Expertise in California

Award-winning integrated design firm now providing mechanical and electrical engineering services at Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego offices

SmithGroup, one of the nation's largest integrated design firms, will now offer mechanical and electrical engineering services in-house at its Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego offices for the first time in the company’s 164-year history. Director of engineering services and sustainable design expert Don Posson has relocated from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles to lead this expansion initiative.

With 10 offices in the U.S. and a presence in Shanghai, China, SmithGroup has provided a full range of professional services for large and complex projects across markets. The decision to offer engineering services in California supports strategic and operational initiatives to expand SmithGroup’s pattern of steady growth and positions the firm to better service clients and building owners that are increasingly opting to use multi-disciplinary firms to solve project challenges through Integrated Project Delivery and design-build partnerships.

Having a myriad of services – from master planning and architecture, to multiple engineering disciplines, landscape architecture and more – provided by a single, integrated firm allows owners to benefit from the creativity and heightened quality that such collaboration brings. “By adding Don’s (Posson) expertise to our West Coast leadership team and expanding our service offerings to include engineering talent in California, we’re stating loud and clear that we’re becoming increasingly multi-disciplined and fully integrated,” said SmithGroup Managing Partner Troy Thompson.

Posson rejoined SmithGroup in 2013, and has been instrumental in strengthening its capabilities to deliver high performance building design solutions. He has played a prominent role in shaping engineering design concepts for some of SmithGroup’s recent notable projects, including the Museum of the Bible; the University of California, Riverside’s Multidisciplinary Research Building 1; and a new headquarters for the District of Columbia’s Water and Sewer Authority. The latter, currently in construction, incorporates an innovative heat recovery and rejection system that will utilize heat from the pumping station’s wastewater treatment operations to condition the building. Once complete in 2018, it will be one of the most energy efficient office buildings in the Mid-Atlantic region.   

“The specialized services and award-winning engineering solutions that we’ve been known for nationally will now become more readily available to our California-based clients,” stated Posson. 

SmithGroup projects have been recognized for engineering excellence by the industry’s most reputable organizations, including American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC); Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI); Engineering News-RecordR&D Magazine; and the Resilient Design Institute, among others. Select projects cited for outstanding engineering include:

  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia – This net-zero energyLiving Building Challenge Certified facility is the first building in the U.S. permitted to treat rainwater for potable uses and has been lauded as “a pinnacle of sustainability and resilience” for its many design and engineering accomplishments.  
  • DPR Construction’s Phoenix Regional Office, Phoenix, Arizona – Once an adult-themed boutique, this high-performance workplace is a living laboratory of green design and Arizona's first commercial net-zero-energy office building.
  • U.S. Department of Energy & National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Energy Systems Integration Facility, Golden, Colorado – The first of its kind in the country, this ultra-green workplace employs the most efficient technology available and was named the 2014 Laboratory of the Year by R&D Magazine.

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