LPA Design Director Keith Hempel Elevated to AIA College of Fellows

Sustainable design leader is the integrated firm’s fourth architect to earn this national honor from the American Institute of Architects

LPA principal and design director Keith Hempel has been elevated to the 2021 College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects. Only about 3 percent of the AIA’s 95,000 members earn this recognition, which is reserved for architects who have made significant national contributions to the architecture profession.

Hempel joins three other LPA leaders who previously achieved this distinction: CEO Wendy Rogers; President Dan Heinfeld; and Workplace Design Director Rick D’Amato.

Since joining LPA in 1995, Hempel has devoted his career to connecting design excellence and building performance, working to develop and share an integrated design model focused on collaboration, maximizing passive strategies and establishing measurable performance goals on every project.

“Keith is a gifted design professional who consistently demonstrates that high performance and design excellence can be attained regardless of a building project’s budget, program or size constraints,” said CEO Wendy Rogers. “During his 26-year career with LPA, he has elevated the firm’s sustainable design expertise and generously shared his knowledge with colleagues.”

Hempel’s influential role within the firm has helped LPA become the largest firm in the U.S. to meet the AIA’s 2030 Commitment of 70 percent energy use reductions in new buildings during each of the last two years. And under his design leadership, numerous LPA projects have earned national recognition for their sustainable design innovation. Recent honors include the 2020 national AIA COTE Top Ten Plus award , the industry’s highest honor for exemplary energy performance, for the Environmental Nature Center and Preschool in Newport Beach, California.

“I think, in many ways, this honor represents where we have come as a firm and what we have accomplished,” Hempel said. “There is so much passion and so much great work from the firm and to have been a part of that is humbling.”

Hempel’s influence can be found on a wide variety of award-winning corporate and education projects, including the Edwards Lifesciences Campus in Irvine, California; the modernization of the John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, California; and the Flight Projects Center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in La Canada-Flintridge, California.

Hempel is a passionate advocate for promoting best practices in the broader architectural community. He was recently named to the AIA National’s 2030 Commitment Working Group, where he is providing guidance to other architecture firms to help them meet the Commitment’s energy reduction targets. In addition, he represents LPA on the Sustainability Working Group of the AIA National’s Large Firm Roundtable, helping to develop resources for firms around the country.

More recently, he worked with a group of national design leaders to develop recommendations to the Biden Administration for immediate actions that can be taken to combat climate change in their first 100 days in office.

“Keith’s commitment to improving building performance and cultivating knowledge among LPA’s integrated design teams is helping to move us all toward a net zero future,” said LPA President Dan Heinfeld.

The AIA’s College of Fellows program honors architects who have made significant contributions to the profession and society on a national level and who have achieved an extraordinary standard of excellence.

The 2021 College of Fellows includes 102 AIA members from across the nation. Hempel and the other newly elevated AIA Fellows will be recognized at the 2021 AIA Conference on Architecture, an all-digital event scheduled in June 2021.

Founded in 1965, LPA specializes in creating innovative environments that work better, do more with less and improve people’s lives. An integrated design firm with six locations in California and Texas, LPA’s team includes more than 400 in-house architects, master planners, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and research analysts, working across a wide array of sectors. For more information, visit lpadesignstudios.com.