profile | Don Saal

Designing for People and Future Generations

When you realize your passion as a freshman in high school, you are a little ahead of the curve. But that is just what Don Saal did at fifteen years old. Initially inspired by his love of aviation and space exploration, Don’s aptitude for math and science guided his path to engineering and after accepting his first industry position in the CAD department of a mechanical contracting company, he never looked back.

Now a Building Science Practice Lead in our Denver office, Don brings more than 20 years of experience in the building design and construction industry to the BranchPattern team. But knowledge of his craft is not the only quality he brings to the table. Because BranchPattern is a firm driven by a singular purpose, it is imperative for all employees to live that purpose day in and day out. So, how does Don “Improve Life through Better Built Environments?”

Saal says, “we design and build for people because better built environments balance human health and experience with environmental stewardship.”

Because understanding the needs of occupants inspires our team’s design, Don works directly with customers to deliver projects. Not only does he guide our clients toward their desired outcomes, he partners with them on project decisions through an iterative process. This allows our client to simply communicate their request, while our team tackles the complexities a high-performance building requires.

Our human-centered design approach is not always the norm in our industry but placing people at the core of everything we create is a signature of our firm. That is why it’s essential for BranchPattern to find people who support that ideal. Don has done that, but he isn’t just designing for today’s occupants. His three children inspire his work and his attitude about the built environment.

“Creating great spaces for humanity while ensuring future generations have the resources they need are the cross roads of my inspiration.”

That inspiration also drives Don to tailor each project to the client’s specific needs, a benchmark of our firm.

When asked about the opportunities BranchPattern has afforded him Don is quick to reply, “I have a hand in leading an organization and working with a great team that provides the required building consultancy services needed to transform our industry. Being able to approach each project with a blank canvas and collaborate with a great team to realize the right solutions for each individual building and client is rewarding, and fun.”