Mazzetti Mazzetti Wed, 25 Mar 2020 17:44:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Albert Ostroy: A Tribute to One of Mazzetti’s “Founding Fathers” Wed, 25 Mar 2020 17:44:19 +0000 Albert was one of the key people responsible for building the company we are today…

When I started at Mazzetti (28 years ago), we had around 10 people, all of which were electrical staff. Shortly after I started, John Pappas joined to start the Mechanical Department (that story for another day).

As John was building demand for our mechanical services, he contacted Albert, who had worked with the two of us at Flack + Kurtz (now WSP). Albert joined soon thereafter and worked with John to build our mechanical department.

Albert was a character. He may have seemed gruff to some, but he had a heart of pure gold.

The first “really significant” Mazzetti healthcare project was the Kaiser San Francisco Hospital Seismic Upgrade. This was an incredibly complex project. The building was built with 10′-6″ floor to floor heights, without air conditioning. Kaiser decided that they wanted to do a seismic upgrade of the building, while it remained in operation, and to fully upgrade it to modern codes and standards. The complexity of this project is still unmatched in my experience, and most of the burden fell on Albert to coordinate the teeny little ducts through the piping and structure into those ceilings. He persevered and delivered.

Albert had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for many years and passed away last week. His wife, Yana told me that, aside from his family, there was only one thing he remembered, even in the end, and that was Mazzetti. The people here and the company we built, was that special to him that his suffering brain still held onto that.

In a very real way, Albert helped make us what (and who) we are today.

A toast to a great engineer and friend. Your memory will forever live on at Mazzetti.


Rising, New Leadership in Mazzetti Atlanta Mon, 23 Mar 2020 21:32:11 +0000 Dustin Smith, PE was recently promoted to Team Leader in Mazzetti’s Atlanta office.

How did you get into your specific line of work? What about this role excites you?

Growing up in my family HVAC business, I found it was a natural transition to become a mechanical engineer and work in MEP Consulting. I really enjoy interfacing with leading healthcare organizations and contributing not only to their hospitals, but the communities that they serve. In my new leadership role, I am looking forward to the opportunity of helping my coworkers achieve their goals.

Tell us about a memorable project. What made it stand out to you?

I had the opportunity to work on the first LEED Gold hospital in the Southeast (construction completed in 2013) and continue working with this client, almost a decade later, designing to LEED standards. This facility has numerous different “unconventional” mechanical systems including ground source heat pumps, displacement ventilation, and low temperature heating hot water; I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to design these systems that many other engineers may never have in their careers.

What excites you most about your line of work?  

I am excited to interface with other organizations on the cutting edge of Healthcare – to contribute to jobs that not only shape the hospital but also the communities that they serve.

What brought you to Mazzetti?

I started working at PerryCrabb in 2013; this was my opportunity to grow my career beyond my HVAC background and remain near my family. (PerryCrabb merged with Mazzetti in in 2017.)

What are you most excited about for the future of Mazzetti?

The research and code work Mazzetti is doing with international and national health organizations is impressive.  Additionally, our ability to work towards creating integrated design teams to better serve our clients is something that sets us apart.

If you could give any advice to the next generation of engineers, what would that be?

Don’t worry about when you start… always the chance to start again. Some people are fortunate to land a “dream job” right out of school, but likely more don’t fit this category. Seek your passion, and the rest will fall into place.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside of work- what are your passions or hobbies?

I am lucky to live in the first “Bee City” in Georgia where I keep honeybees as a hobby. These pollinators are essential not only to local ecosystems but also paramount to all of mankind. I also enjoy gardening in an urban setting. I will typically have a dozen containers growing tomatoes, peppers, okra, and vegetables using drip irrigation to limit the amount of water used.

A “Light” Note During Coronavirus Crisis Wed, 18 Mar 2020 17:29:48 +0000 Mazzetti friends and colleagues:

Let me start by apologizing for delivering one MORE email to your almost certainly flooded inbox. And, while it is true that we are here to help anybody who needs it (and our people are already helping many of you), we wanted to give you a few other thoughts about ways our community can work together to use this situation to make positive change. “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”


First, we have a strong wellness initiative inside of Mazzetti, including a focus on mental wellness. As part of that, we host a twice-weekly meditation for all employees. (A couple of years ago, we worked with UCSD Center for Mindfulness re Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training for our employees, based on the practices of John Kabat-Zinn). Now, as our global community faces the anxiety that comes with the coronavirus, we want to extend an invitation to all of you to join us. If you’re interested, please contact my colleague Jess Hamann who will be happy to share dial-in info with you. (This is suitable for all levels of meditators, including those who have never experienced a meditation – we invite you to join us too!)


Second, in the spirit of “let no good crisis go to waste”, we have an opportunity. What happens to electrical systems during a pandemic? Can we correctly size electrical systems to have enough capacity for these surge events? How much must we oversize our systems to be sure we have enough? And, how do we know how to set appropriate National Electrical Code demand factors without data on this topic?  The current situation provides us with a rare opportunity to try to gather this much-needed data. More context here. Please contact me if you are at all interested to partner on this cause.


A recent communication from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been lost in the necessary news deluge regarding the virus. On Tuesday, Guterres said , “It is important that all the attention that needs to be given to fight this disease does not distract us from the need to defeat climate change.” Even as we work together to get through this crisis, let’s use the community we are building to tackle other daunting common challenges.

In an interesting way, both of these challenges require similar responses from each one of us. I heard one public health official say, if we go to all of this trouble, and the pandemic doesn’t seem too bad, it will seem like we over-reacted. But, that is exactly the point of public health interventions; you intervene to ensure that something bad does not happen. Protecting health works best when we work together to prevent harm, rather than trying to fix later.

Mazzetti’s priority is the same as yours — taking care of each other. With 85% of our business in Healthcare, we can best do this by ensuring our Healthcare system has the buildings it needs to face any situation.

We welcome your questions in this time of exceptional need. Let’s all take care of each other, and let’s not forget to take care of our planet. Now’s the time.  

Women@Mazzetti – “Lighting” the Way in March Mon, 16 Mar 2020 21:15:52 +0000 Happy Women’s History Month!

Last month, a female member of our C-Suite decided to return to the architecture side of our industry. She played a big role in helping Mazzetti develop and grow an even stronger presence in the healthcare world. We are sad to see her leave and see our Women@Mazzetti numbers dip, but we are excited for her future as well as ours! Here’s to the start of another quarter as we continue to work on building our community of strong women employees here at Mazzetti.

Last week was International Women’s Day 2020. The theme for this year is #EachforEqual. We asked our offices to take a picture of their best equal poses. Here is a collage of some of our offices pledging to promote gender equality within Mazzetti and externally as well!

W@M March 2020 Spotlight: Lauren Schwade

This month’s Women@Mazzetti spotlight is on Lauren Schwade. She is a Senior Lighting Designer and Associate in our Atlanta office.

When Lauren’s niece was suffering an illness requiring regular hospital visits, Lauren would often visit as a caring aunt. Seeing, first-hand, the impact of the physical environment on healing, Lauren was inspired to make a career out of improving healing environments for everyone, including her niece.

During her senior year of college where she studied Interior Architecture, Lauren interned with a lighting design firm and was hooked. Her versatile background includes working for lighting design firms, architecture firms, doing healthcare specialty sales for a lighting manufacturer, and now consulting alongside engineers at Mazzetti.

The common thread, for Lauren, has remained healthcare lighting. She is involved in the Healthcare Committee for the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) that helps write the standards for lighting in healthcare facilities. Recently, she worked on updating the lighting standards for behavioral health facilities within RP-29 through the IES. She has also had the opportunity to work on some unique projects such as the Medical Center at Princess Nora Bint University for Women in Saudi Arabia and the state-of-the-art Monmouth Cancer Center in New Jersey. With every project, Lauren highlights the significant impact of lighting re healing. Though not always obvious to the general public, lighting plays a critical role on our health and emotions; Lauren designs for this impact, daily. She is excited for the future of healthcare lighting and the evolution from typical troffers in patient room ceilings to more organic, slim designs with LED.

Since the beginning of her career, Lauren has had a clear goal of becoming one of the most educated healthcare lighting designers in the industry. While her path has not been linear, all her experiences and relationships have aided her toward achieving that goal. Although she sometimes wishes that she could have had more consistent mentors throughout her career, she is also grateful to have “grown on her own” without being spoon-fed advice. As a female in the industry, Lauren encourages other women to, “speak up [because] no one will know what you can do until you show them.”

One of Lauren’s most recent challenges has been learning how to balance her career with motherhood. She says being a mother has made her become more focused and prioritized, and she strongly believes that flexibility is the only way to make it work. She is grateful to have support from everyone at Mazzetti because as she once said “you should love what you do [or] it’s not worth being away from your kids.” We are so lucky to have a dedicated trailblazer like Lauren at Mazzetti!

Women@Mazzetti – February Update Thu, 13 Feb 2020 18:36:00 +0000

A month into the new year and Mazzetti is off to a good start with an uptick in our percentage of female staff. With personnel changes and a new board member, we have an increased percentage of women in technical positions and a gender equal Board of Directors.

Every year in January, we participate in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s winter career fair to recruit the future workforce of Mazzetti. This year we had five young engineers (three of whom were women) from the San Francisco and Sacramento offices represent Mazzetti at the career fair. Such an exciting opportunity to speak to potential candidates and help these brilliant students find a future career home (hopefully with Mazzetti!). We also attended Cal Poly SLO Society of Women Engineers (SWE)’s annual Evening With Industry (EWI) dinner and donated $2K to help the collegiate section promote engineering opportunities for female students. The theme of the event was “The Future is 2020.” We also believe 2020 will be a good year for Mazzetti to achieve more gender diversity within our work family!

W@M January 2020 Spotlight: Shannon Bunsen

Shannon Bunsen is a sustainability project manager and the Executive Director of Sextant, the nonprofit founded by Mazzetti. She was enticed to enter Healthcare to help address the enormous amount of waste generated by the industry. Shannon is a great example of an individual who paved her own career path. She created her first job out of college from her involvement (as a student) with a sustainability committee at the hospital. She says that her career path has been both intentional and opportunistic. She met our CEO, Walt, when he came to interview her organization for an American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) awards program. Shannon joined Mazzetti almost three years ago after reconnecting with Walt through a shared connection. Working in such an innovative business, she said she often feels pressured to “speak engineer” even though she isn’t one and to show that Mazzetti is consistently leading the effort in sustainability. She has found great support from her involvement in the Women@Mazzetti committee, encouragement from leadership at Mazzetti, and participation in a group for sustainability leaders in the MEP industry.

Shannon recalled times where she had been treated unprofessionally at industry events and meetings, but she said that, “the bright spots are the men at Mazzetti who want to know how to be better allies.” She thinks it’s important for all of us to be allies for our colleagues – something she’s been advocating for with W@M. For much of her career so far, she has been the youngest person and often only female at the table, but she takes pride in her leadership and facilitation skills. Her advice to young women just starting their careers is to recognize and leverage the strengths we have as women. And if you aren’t finding the right opportunities out there, look for where you can create them.

The Sextant Foundation is Mazzetti’s nonprofit organization, catalyzed in response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. As the director, Shannon manages the board and organizes all the projects, volunteers, and networking for the nonprofit. She works tirelessly to recruit Mazzetti employees and other industry connections as volunteers and builds connections with other organizations for Sextant projects such as installing solar panels, evaluating hospital infrastructure after disasters, and helping communities access clean water. We are so lucky to have her leading our efforts in sustainability and volunteering for global issues!

What if we “reimagined” the OR alongside clinicians? Mon, 27 Jan 2020 18:52:07 +0000 Have you heard, our Sextant Foundation is organizing the fourth “Reimagining Workshop” focused on the OR?

Just before the world’s largest gathering of perioperative nurses (AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo), we’ll kick off the next two-day “Reimagining Workshop” for clinicians and designers to “reimagine” the OR. This workshop is presented by the Association of periOperative Registered Nursesand the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI), on March 26th and 27th in Anaheim, CA. Leading clinicians and designers will assemble to “reimagine” the OR, improving patient outcomes and operations. Participating architects and clinicians earn continuing education credits. REGISTER HERE.

WHY focus on operating rooms?

According to the American College of Surgeons (MA Chapter), Americans experience an average of six operating room procedures in a lifetime. Any invasive procedure brings a significant amount of risk and expense to both the patient and healthcare organization. If we can improve the effectiveness of these physical spaces, we can help improve outcomes and overall public health.

Hear from an anesthesiologist in Seattle, WA share some feedback on working in the OR for nearly twenty years…

It’s all about safety and efficiency — as few steps as possible. Ideally ORs would become larger and less clustered, with the ability to “telescope” a little more. Details matter — location of the doors and light switches, strategic staging areas, supplies in the room, etc. As an anesthesiologist, I highly rely on excellent lighting and the ability to “move freely”. This translates to the need for cameras positioned at the end of lights and LOTS AND LOTS of ceiling plug/outlets.


Women@Mazzetti – New Year, New Goals Fri, 10 Jan 2020 18:05:33 +0000

Happy New Year! Mazzetti’s female workforce dropped slightly in the last quarter of 2019 due to a few departures. In this new year, we have goals to continuously improve our footprint of women in the industry, particularly at Mazzetti. For our New Year’s resolution, Women@Mazzetti is aiming to increase awareness of gender issues, to educate our Mazzetti-ites on how to be good allies to women, and to partner with other women-focused groups.

This year, we will also kick-off the Women@Mazzetti mentorship program. We will be highlighting some of the amazing women at Mazzetti in monthly updates. We hope you will find these female mentors as inspiring and strong as we do!

W@M January 2020 Spotlight: Karen Lange

Karen Lange is the Senior Team Administrator for Mazzetti’s Portland and Denver offices. She has been with Mazzetti for 22 years, transitioning from a versatile drafter/designer of all trades to an administrative position when Mazzetti acquired her previous firm in Baton Rouge.

Karen was one of few women at a predominately male engineering school and that pattern continued into the early years of her career. Today, Karen says, “things are different…[Women] can stand up and say our piece without being patted on the head.”

To cope with often being one of the only women, Karen learned to be tough and use friendships and connections to her advantage. In school, befriended some of the men in her classes, and they would stand up for her when she was teased for being the only woman. In her career, she formed a mentorship with a manager who supported her. He took the time to show her all aspects of the engineering business by bringing her to meetings and site visits and giving her perspective on how much she was contributing to the company.

Although Karen was accustomed to being one of the only women in her workplaces, she never felt discouraged from technical positions. Karen thought that she would miss engineering when she chose to become an admin with Mazzetti, but she is content with her position. She enjoys wither coworkers and the flexibility of working from home. Karen’s advice for young women entering the AEC industry is to do your best and learn as much as you can from everyone you can. She recommends finding a mentor that will take the time to show you everything you need to know. Karen believes that equal pay would be a huge step for bringing the industry closer to gender equality.

Thanks to Karen for agreeing to be our first interviewee!

Sustainable Resolutions: Start Small & Smart, and Just Start Mon, 16 Dec 2019 19:52:43 +0000 Previously, we wrote about how to keep the spirit of holiday traditions alive – while inspiring a thoughtful, sustainable holiday experience.

Now, we hope to inspire your sustainable resolution for the new year. Here’s how you might discover a resolution that makes sense for you. Let’s start with understanding your personal carbon footprint.

There are several tools out there, like this Footprint Calculator from the Global Footprint Network. It answers the question: “how many planets do we need if everybody lives like you?”. It prompts you to share information on food, transportation, housing, etc. You can quickly select your best estimates on a scale or add details to improve accuracy. The results can help you prioritize change.

While I knew I traveled a lot, seeing my air travel’s relative impact in the calculator was compelling and motivated me to change my behavior. My new personal campaign is: “Fly Smart 2020”. I’m challenging myself to consider the benefit of each trip and if it outweighs the environmental impact.

Once you’ve set your goal, it’s time to take the first step towards it.

If your goal is to produce less waste, start by keeping a reusable mug in your bag. If your goal is to drive less, take the bus to the grocery store. If your goal is to eat less meat, make one vegetarian meal today. Start small and start now.

Keep your commitment written on a sticky note at your desk or as a reminder in your phone. Create an environment where it’s easy to maintain the habit. Ask your family or friends to join you to tap into the herd mentality and celebrate your successes. At Mazzetti, we do sustainability challenges together each month.

We encourage you to think strategically about your greatest opportunity for impact, start small, and recognize the “snowball effect” that occurs where one sustainable habit leads to another. Once you’ve found ways to conserve energy, you’ll notice ways to save water too. Once you feel good about biking to work, you might leave the car behind for other trips too.

However, we also tend to justify certain unsustainable actions – potentially those with a larger negative impact – with other sustainable ones that make us feel good. “What’s another flight across the country? I bus or bike every day!” Be aware of this kind of thinking.

Join us in setting sustainable resolutions for the new year! And, if your organization hasn’t determined its greatest area of impact, or how to keep your efforts snowballing, give us a call and we can help.

Contact Shannon Bunsen at, and check out Mazzetti’s free tools to help your organization understand its environmental impact and prioritize change: M+Energy and M+WasteCare.

Women @ Mazzetti – Fall Update Thu, 14 Nov 2019 00:25:20 +0000 It’s officially fall season and the color of the leaves are changing. Mazzetti has also gone through a few changes the past few months, leading our % of women to decrease.

As expected like the seasons, things change, and we keep moving on. On the bright side, there are some exciting activities Women@Mazzetti has been doing including attending the Society of Women Engineers national conference in Anaheim this month and starting an internal women leadership mentoring program.

We (Angelica Chow and Cassidy Thompson) are not just W@M co-chairs; we are also actively involved with the Society of Women Engineers, a non-profit organization supporting women in engineering that started nearly 70 years ago. Both of us were former officers involved with outreach and business development in the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo collegiate section. And now, we are both a part of the leadership team in the Golden Gate professional section.

With an expected attendance of over 14,000 people, the SWE annual conference (WE19) in Anaheim, proved to be inspiring, resourceful, and empowering. We were inspired by the stories of overcoming adversaries from keynote speakers and attended sessions discussing and teaching everything from time management skills to zero net energy buildings to recognizing bias.

As engineers working in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry, the presentation on zero net energy (ZNE) buildings really got our minds thinking. California is on the fore front of energy efficiency with ambitious goals for zero net energy buildings. We can see the state moving towards these goals, especially with the most recent code cycle of Title 24, Part 6, which now includes healthcare facilities. This is important for our California offices (San Francisco, Irvine, and Sacramento) given the healthcare aspect of the projects we work on. One aspect of a ZNE building that the presentation focused on was embodied carbon. While energy standards help us focus on building performance and energy usage, we also need to pay attention to the carbon dioxide emitted during the manufacture, transport, and construction of building materials. The more we learn about energy efficiency and zero net energy, the more we realize the importance and our role in building better and sustainable buildings for the future. It’s exciting time to see how our industry will change as we must comply with new standards and change the way we design in order to achieve zero net energy and zero net carbon goals.

Technical talk aside, at WE19, we also learned the importance of recognizing our value as women engineers, the innovative and diverse ideas we can bring to the table, and to not downplay our achievements. We are both very happy to work for a company that realizes all of this. With a CEO, managers, and co-workers who support and advocate for us, we have found ourselves as stronger and more confident engineers. And until the day we reach our ambitious goal of being the most women-friendly engineering firm, Mazzetti and W@M will not stop advocating for women in engineering.

Angelica Chow and Cassidy Thompson at SWE19.

NEWS: Seasoned MEP Engineer Stacey Lin Joins Mazzetti Wed, 02 Oct 2019 17:39:00 +0000 Please join us in welcoming seasoned MEP Engineer Stacey Lin, PE, CxA, who joined Mazzetti as a Principal in San Francisco. He brings 25+ years of experience, specializing in sustainable design.

We sat down with Stacey to learn more about his background and outlook on the future…

How did you get into your specific line of work?

I became interested in math and science before high school, and I knew I wanted to eventually do something technical. When I started looking for a job after a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1990, the economy was down. I contacted many firms and a stand-out was an energy consulting company specializing in energy conservation. They were looking for engineers to analyze building energy consumptions using DOE2 (the most popular program for comprehensive energy analysis at the time); my background in fluid and thermal sciences made it easy for me to learn and use program. After three years, I joined a well-known Pacific Northwest MEP firm to broaden my background in mechanical engineering. I have continued my career in MEP design and energy efficiency consulting for 29 years which eventually led to me Mazzetti.

Tell us about a memorable project…

It was a high-rise mixed-use project. My firm provided mechanical design for a design-build contractor based on design concepts presented by another firm. When the construction was nearly completed with occupancy permit planned to be received in two weeks, we received really bad news – the building’s stairwells and elevator shafts could not be balanced to be within the pressure range specified in the new code. The change in the code allows the deletion of vestibules into the stairwells on each floor, but its implications were not fully understood by anyone. I was asked to come up with a fix in less than two weeks! Through sleepless nights, frantic analyses and full support from other team members, I arrived at a solution and gained 15 minutes of fame too!

What excites you most about your line of work?

Consulting engineers are in a unique position to contribute directly to tackling sustainable growth and climate change. I am excited about making my work relevant and impactful!

How did you discover Mazzetti?

I was working in Portland when a local firm merged with Mazzetti. I knew Mazzetti worked on mostly healthcare and complex projects, and I also learned throughout the years that the firm is willing to bring in new talents through mergers, which demonstrates the leadership’s willingness to embrace change.

What are you most excited about, working for Mazzetti?

I am excited about the opportunity to lead a team of engineers to provide quality engineering solutions. Firms that can attract and retain talents and equip them with advanced design tools will be in high demand by our clients.

Advice for the younger generation?

Consulting engineering is technical work, but it also forces young engineers to improve their people skills – communication, empathy and teamwork. These skills will benefit anyone, but especially make an engineer more effective and valuable.

Life outside of work??

Being a Principal, it’s hard to separate work from other parts of your life. To me, physical and mental health is the most important asset, so I try to exercise regularly and keep up with reading.
One quote I appreciate is: “Treat your family like friends and your friends like family.” I enjoy spending time with them, and my appreciation only grows.

What does the future of the A/E/C industry look like?

My own view is the A/E/C industry will go through transformations in the next decade. Firms will get bigger & there will be fewer of them in the landscape. Changes will be ongoing in order to meet demand for speedy deliveries and to keep pace with advancements in other industries.

Contact Stacey directly here.