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Environmental Focus Scores for Architecture Firm

When Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian decided to spend $1 billion to expand its Irvine campus into OC’s largest hospital and healthcare hub, it hired Irvine-based LPA Design Studios to create architectural plans.

When Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) launched its recently completed major expansion of its Irvine campus, Orange County’s largest medical device company also tapped LPA, which had previously worked on other projects at Edwards’ expansive headquarters complex along Red Hill Avenue.

Both projects illustrate LPA’s increasing emergence as a key player in OC’s highly competitive healthcare industry building boom; outside multifamily development, hospital and healthcare-related work is the largest source of new commercial construction projects in the county, with billions of dollars of work currently underway.

Firm’s Growth

LPA, helmed by Chief Executive Wendy Rogers, ranked as OC’s third-largest architectural firm, having reported $70.3 million in local architectural billings for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023, according to Business Journal data.

Six years ago, around the time of Rogers’ appointment, the company reported close to $50 million in local billings.

LPA’s profile has been rising, in significant part by distinguishing its brand as focusing on environmentally conscious design, a strategy that’s been in the works for decades.

“We were an early supporter of LEED; in 1998 LPA designed the nation’s first LEED NC-certified building,” the company’s website notes.

In 2004, the firm “committed to an internal goal of making projects perform 25% better than California’s Title 24 energy code.” Today, more than 80% of its staff are LEED AP-certified.

LPA says that “the best responses to the challenges of the built environment are integration and collaboration. After adding interior design and landscape architecture, we brought in structural engineering in 2007 and by 2010 all the engineering disciplines were in house.”

The firm’s unified strategy was seen at the recent groundbreaking for Hoag’s Sun Family Campus in Irvine.

The project includes six new, state-of-the-art, low-rise buildings, with bridges and skywalks incorporating plants and other natural elements.

LPA’s designs for the new Irvine campus include space for institutes for specialties among the most in demand—cancer, digestive health, heart and vascular neurosciences, spine, women’s health and orthopedics.

The project will add 155 beds, eight operating rooms, 24 intensive care unit beds and 120,000 square feet of ambulatory facilities, for medical services performed on an outpatient basis.

An LPA Leader Steps Back

As the spotlight was on Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian’s Irvine campus expansion last month, behind the scenes, a key architect of the building of LPA Design Studios was ending his 45 years at the firm.

Dan Heinfeld recently stepped down from his decades-long presidency, second in command at the company, which he helped grow from a small, 10-person studio to an architectural design company with 400-employee, a national reputation for innovation in sustainability and major clients, including a 40-year relationship with Newport Beach developer Irvine Co.

Heinfeld will continue with LPA as a consultant and adviser to LPA’s board of directors.

He has been succeeded in the firm’s presidency by Keith Hempel, who was LPA’s chief design officer, having started at the firm as an intern. The firm’s CEO remains Wendy Rogers, who has been in that role since 2017.

Heinfeld’s legacy includes the Toyota South Campus in Torrance, the largest private complex in the U.S. to receive a LEED Gold rating for new construction at the time, according to company officials.

Some 95% of the campus was built with recycled materials, and it includes a rooftop solar photovoltaic system, a water pipeline that supplied recycled water for cooling, landscaping and restroom flushing and energy-efficient materials such as thermally insulated glass.

Other projects which he oversaw include the Great Park Ice and FivePoint Arena in Irvine, Irvine Co.’s The Market Place in Tustin, The Cove at University of California and Irvine Applied Innovation in University Research Park.

“How fortunate I was to end up in Orange County—a place that had an amazing amount of growth to sustain an architectural firm,” Heinfeld told the Business Journal.

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