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Adaptive Reuse Saves Embodied Carbon at Repositioned 20 Mass

Our integrated design team excels in complex adaptive reuse projects. The process of redesigning a building to support a new function utilizes our structural engineers, our systems experts, our architects and more. Our teams’ deep knowledge allows them to tackle even the most complex projects. These adaptive reuse projects create far less embodied carbon compared to demolishing and constructing a new building.

Trevor Hollins joins LEO A DALY to lead lighting design

With 23 years of experience, Hollins sharpens the firm’s focus on regenerative design and proactively enhancing wellness in the built environment.

Photo of Trevor Hollins

Trevor Hollins, PE, LC, Assoc. IALD, has joined LEO A DALY to lead the firm’s lighting design practice. Based in Omaha, Trevor will influence projects nationally and internationally. His work has earned nine design awards from the Illuminating Engineering Society, for projects ranging from event venues and museums to hospitals and corporate offices. Trevor worked previously for HDR, where he started the Omaha lighting design studio, and for Specialized Engineering Solutions.

“Trevor’s leadership in lighting design is the latest addition to our high-performance engineering lineup,” said Kim Cowman, National Director of Engineering, “as we continue to create value for clients through best-in-class, sustainable buildings.”

In 2018, Trevor won a Global 40 Under 40 Award from Lighting Magazine, and his projects have adorned the pages of Medical Construction & Design and the German high-gloss Erco Lichtbericht 93.

“I’m really excited to be part of an integrated practice again because lighting design is so tied to the other disciplines,” Hollins said. “Lighting influences feelings of relaxation or tension in a space. Lighting can make a big difference in the way people perceive or experience architecture.”

Lighting design for wellness

Hollins brings a penchant for quantifying seemingly intangible qualities. He combines physics and technology to evaluate spaces holistically. Using the geometry of a space, the materiality of horizontal and vertical surfaces, Hollins approaches projects in part by calculating the impacts on human biological systems.

“It’s very hard to develop an immersive lighting experience through sketching alone,” he said. “If you define a system based on the laws of physics, you can quantify experiences through a lighting-simulation process that accounts for three-dimensional volume and how light interacts with the materials. Lighting design has an emotional impact but also a psychological impact on people. And in the past, you did not always know precisely how, but now we have the tools to measure that.”

For example, by designing for the human melanopic response, which regulates melatonin production and evolved from our exposure to the natural day-night cycle of daylight, occupants will enjoy greater alertness and healthier sleep cycles. And as energy codes continue evolving in the face of climate change, daylighting offers a healthy and sustainable way forward.

“I think all designers will get to a point where we are laser focused on energy efficiency. We will create buildings that are regenerative, that actually heal the environment rather than burden it.”


“Our team will be involved early on with architects to make decisions about daylighting, integrating it heavily in design. Daylighting is important now and will be really important in the future. The best way to save energy is to holistically incorporate daylighting into the building design process so electric lighting becomes less necessary,” Hollins said.

Buildings generate between 30 and 50 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally. And on average, 30 percent of the energy generated by U.S. commercial buildings, is wasted, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

As climate change advances, energy efficiency in the built environment grows paramount, which is why LEO A DALY continues to advance sustainable design in every market sector and discipline.

“When a watt of electricity goes into an LED, the LED has to convert electricity into light,” Hollins said. “A certain percentage turns into heat. Every watt of light eventually turns into a watt of heat, which the mechanical system has to remove from the building. I think all designers will get to a point where we are laser focused on energy efficiency. We will create buildings that are regenerative, that actually heal the environment rather than burden it.”