Illuminating Architectural Design with Creative Solutions

03.01.22
Matt Minard, LC, IES, IALD Assoc.
Senior Lighting Design Professional
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At Kohrs Lonnemann Heil Engineers, Inc. (KLH Engineers), Senior Lighting Design Professional Matt Minard, LC, IES, IALD Assoc., believes that the quality of light is essential to quality of life.

“Lighting makes a difference.  Great lighting design can change how you feel in a space and it also provides personality and identity to the built environment,” says Minard.

KLH Engineers’ lighting design studio brings a creative yet pragmatic approach to bringing a space to life. The firm’s team of lighting designers have been trained to understand all the complexities of lighting design through years of experience. From advanced lighting control systems and economic and energy analysis, to creating computer simulations, the lighting design studio provides a tremendous value for the projects they serve.

“We provide all the standard design services like photometric reports and construction documents, but what sets us apart is our in-house technology and creative process that enables us to work through concepts and mock-ups quickly to make sure we keep the client’s vision for the project intact,” says Minard. “We push for innovative lighting solutions that are constructible and affordable, but also creative and artistic when it matters most.”

In addition, the lighting design studio has a network of manufacturers that helps them design bespoke solutions and enables them to deliver one-of-a kind designs and experiences.

“It’s important to evolve and research new design strategies to excel beyond the typical status quo,” says Minard.

For example, on a recent project at Eagle Construction’s corporate headquarters in Henrico, Virginia, there was a goal to implement lighting strategies in open spaces that evoke creativity and synergy all while maintaining a $20 cost per square foot for lighting and controls. Minard worked with Eagle Construction to specify custom feature lighting so it did not resemble a typical lighting layout in an open office.

“The owner didn’t want boring; he wanted his staff to be inspired,” says Minard.

During the design phase, Minard collaborated with Levcon Analytics, a data integration consultancy launched by KLH Engineers in 2021, to implement their custom software and calculate cost per square foot. A $30 cost per square foot was identified in the private offices, preventing the owner to spend his lighting budget in the most critical area, the open collaboration space.

“After some investigation, I specified fixtures in the private offices that brought the cost down to $2 per square foot while still maintaining layout and light levels,” says Minard. “This design change allowed room in the budget for large, eight-foot concentric rings in the open collaboration spaces.”

Minard enjoys the challenges that come with every new project and collaborating with clients as they discuss lighting strategies to enhance the project.

“It’s a gift to be able to have my occupation. To be able to collaborate openly with clients and to see the projects come to life is a very rewarding experience,” says Minard. “It’s important to bring joy to the project design team and leave your ego behind. Success in a project comes from teamwork.”

For more information on KLH Engineers’ lighting design services, contact Matt Minard at mminard@klhengrs.com.

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