The firm’s Principal,
Helen J. Kessler, FAIA, LEED Accredited Professional, has over 25 years experience in sustainable design, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
She is a nationally recognized LEED /green building design consultant and was one of the first architects in Chicago to work with LEED. She routinely facilitates design charrettes and provides sustainable design assistance and LEED documentation. Kessler is an expert in energy efficiency, building commissioning and lighting design and is adept at facilitating an integrated approach to resource efficient design with the goal of maximizing efficiency of building systems and minimizing costs.
She has participated variously as sustainable design team leader, lighting designer, energy efficiency consultant and commissioning authority on numerous projects.
She has led energy audit teams for numerous facilities, saving her clients millions of dollars annually. Kessler has written over 100 articles on green building, energy efficiency and solar energy and has given over 100 presentations on these subjects.
Kessler is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council Chicago Chapter Board of Directors and chairs the Education and Research committee. She was a voting member of the national LEED for Commercial Interiors Core Committee and one of two Chicago liaisons to the Heartland chapters of the USGBC in 2006/2007.
She served on the Host Committee for Greenbuild 2007 and was on the Program Committee for Greenbuild 2004. She served as Board Secretary of CREW Chicago through 2007. Kessler chaired the Energy Code Committee that created Chicago’s first energy code, and was a voting member on ASHRAE’s commissioning guideline committee for Guideline 0 – The Building Commissioning Process. She is past chair of AIA Chicago’s Committee on the Environment.
Helen teaches a course called Sustainability in Construction at Northwestern University. Additionally, she lectures on energy efficient lighting for the Building Operator Certification program, provides training programs on ASHRAE 90.1 and teaches lighting economics for the Chicago Chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society. She co-developed Green Building: Nuts and Bolts for Contractors for the Chicago chapter of the USGBC. She is a highly regarded and frequent speaker on green building topics.
Prior to starting her own firm, Kessler was Executive Vice President at Sieben Energy Associates, an energy management consulting firm, where she was instrumental in creating their core services. She also worked as a Project Director for Hyatt Hotels (where she was responsible for renovations at 14 hotels) and for Richard I. Rubin & Company, a real estate development firm, where she managed the development of the Hotel Atop the Bellevue in Philadelphia. For many years, she designed solar homes and did research in solar energy.
Helen is a licensed architect and has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Licensed Architect, States of Illinois and Arizona
LEED Accredited Professional
U.S. Green Building Council, Corporate Member
U.S. Green Building Council, Chicago Chapter, Member
Chicago Department of Buildings, Chair, Energy Code Committee, (1999 - 2003)
ASHRAE Commissioning Guideline Committee (GPC-0), Voting Member, (1999 - 2005)
US Green Building Council, Chicago Chapter, Chair, Education/Research Committee, (2002 – present), Member, Program Committee
US Green Building Council, Chicago Chapter. Board Member (2007 – 2008)
US Green Building Council, LEED® for Commercial Interiors Core Committee (2006-2007)
AIA Chicago, Board of Directors (1995)
AIA Chicago, Committee on the Environment, Co-Chair (1993 - 1995)
Arizona Solar Energy Commission, appointed by Governor Bruce Babbitt (1979 - 1984)
Arizona Solar Energy Association, Co-chair and board member (1979 - 1984)
Tucson-Pima County Metropolitan Energy Commission, appointed (1980 - 1984)
American Institute of Architects (AIA), Fellow, member
Chicago Real Estate Executive Women (CREW), Board of Directors (2005), Secretary (2006 – 2007)
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), member
American Solar Energy Society, member