Intelligent Building Leader Dave Clute Joins ESD

Dave Clute

Dave Clute, a leader in the field of intelligent buildings, has been named a vice president at ESD (Environmental Systems Design, Inc.), an international leader in the design of high-performance buildings, mission critical facilities, workplaces, and health, science and education environments.

Mr. Clute has worked on hundreds of intelligent buildings projects over his career. He comes to ESD from Zurich Insurance Group, where he was responsible for the company’s intelligent buildings program. He worked on one of the largest build-to-suit projects in the United States for Zurich North America outside of Chicago, a showcase for the power and potential of intelligent buildings. ESD provided the roadmap and implementation for the intelligent building platform at the nearly 800,000-square-foot campus.

“Dave is an intelligent building pioneer,” said Kurt Karnatz, ESD president. “Having worked with him on a number of projects, his leadership and passion for intelligent buildings are truly impressive. With Dave as a partner at ESD, we add another facet of expertise that enables us to bring intelligent building solutions to our clients and helps set us apart from our competition.”

As the global head of workplace technology at Zurich, Clute was responsible for the development, implementation and operation of workplace technology systems supporting 55,000 Zurich employees in 42 countries. During a decade at Cisco Systems, he helped launch the Cisco Connected Real Estate program, which improves energy management, enhances security and reduces operational costs for buildings, among other benefits. He has also pioneered the use of Trimble’s 3D SketchUp program to create sustainable real-estate developments in emerging global markets rather than implementing any traditional 2D construction documents, a success story of how to design, build and operate sustainable architecture in the modern age.

“I’m very excited about ESD’s potential and by its growth in the intelligent buildings arena,” said Mr. Clute, “The idea of intelligent buildings has been around since the 1980s, but it’s taken off in the last five years because of the ubiquity of Wi-Fi, the Internet of Things, secure networks and the availability of cost-effective building sensors. We’re literally at the threshold of the long-term potential of intelligent buildings.”


A global company, ESD is a leader in Improving Society Through the Built Environment. We create design solutions that produce economic, environmental and experiential benefits for our clients, many of whom are the biggest names in the worlds of business, technology — and beyond. We embrace technological change and are in the forefront of developing Intelligent Buildings. We emphasize innovation, adaptability, and sustainability when providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, life safety, and technology engineering. For more information, please visit