Komal Kotwal, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, is HOK’s new sustainable design leader for health, well-being and equity.
The newly created position will help HOK take a leadership role in addressing the intersection of health, climate change and equity.
“We are deeply committed to planning and designing sustainable, equitable environments. The future of our cities depends on it,” said Anica Landreneau, director of sustainable design at HOK. “Komal has dedicated her career to advocating for sustainable solutions with our clients across the globe. She will leverage her passion and experience to help ensure healthy and equitable design strategies.”
Since joining HOK’s Houston studio in 2013, Kotwal has led sustainable design efforts for more than 2 million square feet of space, including net-zero projects, and 1 million square feet of LEED and WELL Platinum projects.
“The pandemic reinforced the link between healthy places and healthy people,” said Kotwal. “The built environment can have a direct impact on health outcomes for the entire population, and especially the disenfranchised. Health disparities have been exacerbated by climate impacts and we need to continue to broaden our focus and commitment to embed concepts of community health resiliency into our projects. I’m looking forward to this expanded role and HOK’s opportunities to be an agent for change.”
As a member of HOK’s Diversity Advisory Council for five years, Kotwal helped shape the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs. She recently contributed to the Making a Difference by Design report highlighting HOK’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities.
In addition to helping organizations achieve their DEI and ESG initiatives, Kotwal will work with them to advance WELL Portfolio projects, WELL and Fitwel certifications, and to create holistic environments that prioritize human performance and equity.