Lean Is Green: Accomplishing More While Building Less

Shawn Diederich, The Clark Enersen Partners
Kate Hier, The Clark Enersen Partners

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Achieving the highest and best use of the least amount of space is a strong, yet simple approach toward sustainability. It challenges additive and subtractive lines of thought regarding sustainable design practices and requires bold, upfront decision-making that answers the question, what is truly needed? This session will examine a variety of spatial efficiencies found in high-level building organization typologies, laboratory space layouts, and creative tactics for hybrid and flexible use. This will lead into the topic of HVAC design approaches that reduce space requirements and impact programmatic adjacencies.

Session participants will also uncover organizational and institutional strategies for optimizing space utilization, defining effective curriculum and program structure, and remaining agile in the face of evolving research. The session will conclude with a discussion of the additional benefits and synergies that come to life through the paradigm shift of designing for greater outcomes within less space.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand expected space efficiencies for a variety of building organization strategies;
  • Uncover approaches for optimizing the utilization of laboratory spaces;
  • Understand the impact of mechanical system selection and implementation on spatial design; and
  • Discover institutional strategies for agility and flexibility in the use of laboratory environments.


Shawn Diederich is a Senior Principal and Director of Engineering at The Clark Enersen Partners. Throughout his 25+ years of experience, he has specialized in the programming, design, and project management of science, research, simulation, and clinical facilities. As a leader of the firm's Science & Technology team, Shawn's focus is the integration of innovative building systems to enhance scientific and educational outcomes.

Kate Hier is a Principal, Architect, and Laboratory Planner at The Clark Enersen Partners. During her 10+ years of professional experience, she has led design on numerous projects at higher education institutions and medical education centers across the region. As an integral part of the firm's Science & Technology team, her professional interests lie at the intersection of systems thinking and design excellence.


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