Petersen Engineering Opens Boston Office

James Petersen

BOSTON – Petersen Engineering, an engineering firm focused on the sustainable design of high-performance buildings, has responded to the changing needs of Massachusetts architects, owners, and developers by establishing a new Boston office location to complement the firm’s headquarters in Portsmouth, N.H.

The company specializes in providing sustainable, energy-efficient HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, and electrical engineering design services for commercial, industrial, and residential building projects, many wanting to achieve Passive House Certification, which is a leading edge energy-efficient building standard.

The firm established its new location believing that a downtown Boston presence would benefit both its clients and employees after an anticipated shift in workplace preferences following the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift led Petersen Engineering leaders to consider how they could offer greater convenience and flexibility to their existing associates and to prospective employees while maximizing valuable in-person time with clients and other key industry leaders. The firm’s resulting expansion to Boston is proving to be an unmitigated success.

“The pandemic made it clear that remote work is technically possible for us, and employees’ desire for greater workplace flexibility appears permanent. We gave up long ago on the notion of work-life returning to how things were pre-pandemic and determined it was better to get on the bus rather than be left behind. Our Boston office serves as one of several work-location options for our team, and we are pleased that the space is yielding a positive response from both employees and clients,” said Petersen Engineering Founder and Principal James Petersen.

Petersen Engineering has experienced 500 percent growth over the last five years in response to demand for expertise in sustainable building design, including Passive House design. As a result, Petersen Engineering has hired several team members who live near downtown Boston, and the firm’s expansion allows them to adopt a hybrid schedule where they work from the Boston office and from home. Several senior engineers also work from the Boston office once per week, enabling mentorship of co-op students and junior staff. The new office also provides a convenient location for in-person meetings with clients while facilitating the firm’s presence at networking events and business development opportunities.

As the leading engineering firm in the nation for large Passive House projects, Petersen Engineering has an ongoing need to recruit new talent to meet the demand for its services. Firm leadership expected that the company’s Boston location would help with recruiting top talent, and this is proving true. The convenience of Petersen Engineering’s Boston office location and the gender parity within the firm appealed to Senior Mechanical Engineer Erica Squillacioti, who joined the company in early 2022. “Petersen Engineering has a great reputation in the AEC industry, especially when it comes sustainable affordable housing projects, and I love that there are so many women in management roles, which is pretty unique in engineering,” said Squillacioti. “Because I live in the city, I may not have considered taking on a commute to Petersen Engineering’s Portsmouth office in the past; however, the firm’s new Boston location is perfect – I’m able to bike to the office, and I really value the time savings and flexibility that accompanies living and working in the same area.”

Located at 101 Summer Street between South Station and Downtown Crossing, the office is convenient to public transportation, and a core group of local employees have easy commutes to the location. To avoid overbooking the office on busy days, the firm schedules who will work from the Boston location on a weekly basis; this also ensures a valuable in-person work experience for junior staff and Northeastern co-op students that are Boston based.