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Professional Profile: Scott McNallan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Lab Manager speaks to Scott McNallan, architectural design lead with CRB in Philadelphia

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Scott McNallan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is architectural design lead with CRB in Philadelphia, PA. Lab Manager recently spoke with Scott about his career, experience, and personal interests.

CRB Scott McNallan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Professional Profile

Q: How did you get started in your career? Did you major in your field in college, get an internship, switch careers mid-stream, etc.? 

A: I earned an architecture major, art minor, and a master's degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota and started my career immediately after.

Q: What is a typical day at work like for you?  

A: My typical day is similar to many other professionals. I spend most of my day engaging with clients to understand their goals and vision for the project. When I’m not meeting with clients, I guide my team at CRB by sharing a vision of what is possible for the projects we have underway.

Q: What is the biggest work-related challenge you've faced? How did you overcome it?  

A: The biggest challenge is building alignment with our clients' teams. We are often given direction from the company's leadership, and then throughout the next year of design and construction, we are responsible for managing the impactful change that the project creates for the variety of user groups. It is our responsibility to help align these groups and create excitement for the change that is to come. We use stories, images, and animations to build excitement for their new ways of working and the new opportunities the environments provide. 

Q: What lab projects are you working on at the moment?  

A: There are many, but only some I am allowed to disclose—1201 Normandy with Ensemble in the Navy Yard; NexPoint in Plano, TX; Spark Therapeutics in Philadelphia; and BI Global Innovations in Athens, GA.

Q: What is your favorite building, lab-related or not? 

A: The Salk Institute is the first reaction, but also the Vals bath house by Peter Zumthor. Both projects have physical and metaphysical engagement with the surrounding context.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years in your role at CRB? 

A: I want to expand our design excellence and help build a culture of excitement and care that encourages our teams to challenge themselves and support one another.

Q: If you weren't in this profession, what job do you think you'd be doing instead? 

A: I think I would be doing a job that allowed me to explore varied landscapes and engage with cultures and communities throughout the world.