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Corporate Champions: Keast & Hood

Denise Richards, Principal at Keast & Hood, says her firm became a Corporate Champion to help nonprofits tap into design and engineering services early, when good advice can optimize project costs and bring out the best in Philadelphia’s buildings and neighborhood fabric.

Keast & Hood is a Philadelphia-based structural engineering firm with twenty-four people on staff. Our work is a mix of historic preservation and new construction—a lot of times it’s both! The firm’s legacy of working with historic structures brings an elevated level of understanding of how buildings are put together. The experience and creativity needed to work within existing buildings helps to inform our design of new structures. I think that’s why our staff and clients like to work with us.

When working on older structures, we often feel like stewards of the building. You’re trying to understand what’s been done to them over the years and how to make them viable for the future. You need to understand both the client’s and building’s needs. The constraints of older buildings encourage us to be creative with our design solutions, which translates into innovative strategies on other projects.

We are proud to support the Collaborative because it encourages stewardship of the community though neighborhood engagement and improvement.  The Collaborative helps people to see the future of their neighborhoods and the ways in which they can use what they already have, whether it’s a building or a site, to benefit everyone around them.

We are proud to support the Collaborative because it encourages stewardship of the community though neighborhood engagement and improvement.  

A lot of the Collaborative’s projects involve older buildings, which can be limited in the ways their spaces are repurposed. From a planning standpoint, it’s helpful to understand early where to put a something like a community gathering space, which has higher load requirements. If you identify the structural concerns early, you can help nonprofits avoid the costs of changing course down the road.

As I walk around Philly, I can point out a lot of the different buildings that Keast & Hood has worked on over the years.  We were founded in Philadelphia more than 65 years ago and remain committed to the city.  While we are proud of our history, we are excited to continue working with the Collaborative in support of the future!

Learn more about our Corporate Champions annual sponsorships. 

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