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David James Lessard

Designation

Director of Architecture

Perkins+Will is keen to expand on its sustainability mandate this year, according to its director of architecture, David James Lessard. Up to 59 of the US-headquartered consultancy’s 92 regional employees are women.

Lessard, who was a senior project architect at Perkins+Will before he took over his current role, has worked in the Middle East for more than six years.

Most notable among Perkins+Will’s Middle East project portfolio are the Al Maktoum International Airport for Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects; the Dubai Mall Expansion for Emaar Properties; the refurbishment of the Radisson Blu hotel in Sharjah; and the Al Ghurair City Master Plan for Al Ghurair Properties.

Lessard said sustainability would continue to play a pivotal role in Perkins+Will’s regional operations. One of the firm’s significant priorities this year is to partner with clients in order to identify vulnerabilities to “natural and manmade stressors in buildings, cities, and their communities, and to create design responses to help achieve stability and adaptability”.

Healthcare, hospitality, and corporate interiors are among Perkins+Will’s largest markets in the Middle East, and the firm’s sustainability strategy forms the centrepiece of its operations in all these sectors.

“As a practice, we are leading sustainable design to the next level of building performance and resource conservation in our built environment. More and more of our clients are achieving net-zero energy, water, and carbon goals through design,” Lessard said.

Designing for “a water-stressed world” will be Perkins+Will’s greatest challenge over the next 12 months, he added.

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“The world’s freshwater reserve – a finite natural resource that is necessary to sustain human, animal, and plant life – is diminishing. At Perkins+Will, we strive to design projects that can achieve net-zero water waste and reduce the demand on freshwater sources.”

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