Green and bold

Mark Ernst


Engberg Anderson Inc.

Location: 320 E. Buffalo St., Milwaukee

Employees: 60

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

– H. G. Wells

“‘Green Design’ is not a new idea. Much of what we are implementing in our designs today is based on existing technology and time-honored design principles. However, there are new trends in sustainable design that are making a difference and represent real change.

“The first trend is that sustainable design has quickly become part of our mainstream culture. Almost everyone is aware that buildings consume energy, use water and can be designed to be healthy or unhealthy. Many potential clients, both public and private, are including sustainable design in their requests for proposals. This was not true five years ago.

“The second major trend is the attention to detail. New building products have been developed to meet this demand: low VOC paints, green cleaning products, plumbing fixtures that use less water, products with low embodied energy and recycled content, etc. When Engberg Anderson decided to relocate to a raw former industrial space, we designed an environment that meshed our goals with green design principles. Using the LEED Green Building Rating System established by the U.S. Green Building Council, a design team within our firm created a healthful working environment that is not only energy and resource efficient, but which serves as a learning lab for our staff and our clients. We continue to evaluate the projected benefits with real world use and pass on that knowledge to our clients.

“A sense of urgency seems to be growing in our collective understanding, prompted by rising gas prices, the gulf oil spill, climate change and the emerging water crisis. At the local level, Milwaukee’s water initiative and the debate regarding high-speed and commuter rail indicates a growing awareness of the issues and a race between education and catastrophe.”