SOURCE: SmithGroup


April 28, 2010 16:00 ET

SmithGroup Names William Diefenbach, FAIA, LEED AP, Office Director in San Francisco

James Hannon to Focus Full-Time on Firm's National Health Practice

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - April 28, 2010) -  SmithGroup (, one of the nation's leading architecture, engineering, interiors, and planning firms, has named William Diefenbach office director of its San Francisco and Los Angeles practices. Diefenbach succeeds James Hannon, who will focus solely on the firm's national health practice. Hannon led the 160-person California practice for the past six years.

The moves continue the firm's alignment of top intellectual resources and management staff to focus on core national practices, and reaffirms the firm's long-standing presence in California, said Carl Roehling, SmithGroup president and CEO.

"This transition will be of great benefit to our organization, allowing Jim to fully concentrate his time on leading and growing our health practice," Roehling said. "Bill's success both as an architect and as a studio leader ensures clients and our staff of our commitment to continued leadership excellence." Diefenbach will leave his longtime post as San Francisco's research & learning studio leader, with a successor to be named soon.

Diefenbach -- who is nationally recognized for his expertise in research laboratory planning and design -- is only the 10th office director in the 82-year history of the firm's California practice. During his tenure as head of SmithGroup's highly successful research & learning studio, Diefenbach influenced design and managed projects ranging from the award-winning Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Molecular Foundry to the California Institute of Technology's Broad Center for the Biological Sciences. He is currently serving as principal-in-charge on a number of projects including two for the University of California San Francisco -- the Institute for Regeneration Medicine and the Cardiovascular Research Building. Both buildings are under construction and are expected to be completed later this year. The studio's portfolio includes numerous architectural projects for universities and state courthouses.

Hannon, a 30-year veteran of the firm's San Francisco practice, was named Office Director of SmithGroup's California offices in 2004. Hannon, an expert master planner, has focused his entire career planning healthcare facilities and campuses.

"The expertise of our team is widely viewed as among the nation's best and that is testament to Jim's successful leadership," Diefenbach said. "Our diversity in terms of business categories is strength of our firm and I intend to maintain that diversity as we move toward augmenting our national practices."

Among Hannon's achievements as head of the SmithGroup health practice are management of long-term consulting assignments for eight Kaiser Permanente campuses and leading major projects for healthcare giants such as the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University and Sutter Health's California Pacific Medical Center, as well as many projects for the U.S. Veterans Affairs System.

"This is an important time for SmithGroup and for the country in light of healthcare reform," Hannon said. "Reform will impact every aspect of healthcare, including facilities. Our ability to stay at the forefront of new strategies for operational efficiency in care delivery such as continuing shifts to increased outpatient care, as well as links between other major policy trends and facility organization needs will ensure our continued success in this important business segment."

Both Diefenbach and Hannon are members of the SmithGroup Board of Directors and will retain those responsibilities. Hannon is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee.

SmithGroup, which posted 2009 gross revenue of $166.3 million, is the oldest continually operating architecture and engineering firm in the U.S., originally founded in 1853. The 800-employee firm operates 11 offices across the U.S. A national leader in sustainable, design, SmithGroup currently employs 346 LEED accredited professionals and has 43 LEED certified projects, including five with the highest "Platinum" status. Among its most noteworthy, recently completed projects are the dual LEED Platinum Christman Building, a corporate headquarters in Lansing, Mich.; the LEED Platinum Smart Home at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and the National Renewable Energy Lab's Science & Technology Facility, Golden, Colo., the first LEED Platinum federal project.

SmithGroup's California practice specializes in the design and creation of fully-integrated healthcare facilities, including hospitals and medical clinics; assisted living facilities; lifescience buildings, laboratories and research centers in both the private and public sectors; courthouses; college and university facilities; and workplace environments.

SmithGroup's San Francisco office occupies 36,000-square-feet of space at the Bently Reserve, a landmark San Francisco building in the city's financial district that was the original home of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. To showcase its own capabilities in the design and construction of sustainable workspaces, SmithGroup in 2007 transformed its offices into one of the most progressive high-performance professional workspaces in the nation. The Bently Reserve building was certified LEED CL Gold in 2008 and is a premier work environment nationally.

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