2014 40 Under 40: Patrick Dempsey, LEED AP, 32

Mechanical Engineer, CannonDesign, Chicago

By Silvia Chavez and Amara Rozgus May 19, 2014

Patrick Dempsey, LEED AP, 32
Mechanical Engineer, CannonDesign, Chicago
Pennsylvania State University, BS Architectural Engineering

Patrick Dempsey is one of CannonDesign’s chief advocates for sustainable design and leader of its energy modeling practice. As mechanical engineer, Dempsey has been instrumental in the construction of numerous U.S. Green Building Council LEED projects, including the first known data center to achieve LEED Gold certification and several LEED certified projects for the Chicago Public Schools. His expertise in the field has been built around his knowledge and study of computational fluid dynamic modeling, geothermal design, and energy modeling. For the GFX building in Chicago, Dempsey and his team modeled the 40,000-sq-ft data center to support trading operations including electrical infrastructure, generators, chilled water plant, pre-action suppression systems, gaseous fire suppression, and a very early smoke detection apparatus. In pushing the limits of sustainability at CannonDesign, Dempsey has been personally involved with more than 20 LEED certified projects. He currently leads CannonDesign’s energy analysis group, a firm-wide collection of individuals who voluntarily stepped up to improve the quality of the firm’s designs by providing insight through comparative modeling. Dempsey trains this team and guides them by setting strategies for further development of high-performance design. More specifically, Dempsey and his team have been working on collecting building utility data from CannonDesign projects and comparing it to the energy analysis performed prior to construction. From the results, they hope to improve simulation methods and identify buildings that may not be performing well. In addition, they hope to calibrate future efforts and help current building owners save money. As a self-professed Kansas City Royals fan, each baseball season Dempsey makes sure to catch at least three out of the nine games held against the Chicago White Sox with his 5-year-old daughter in his quest to ensure she does not become a White Sox fan.