We work with energy sector clients to develop design strategies that evolve work processes, support technical tasks, and reinforce culture — in turn empowering them to attract top talent and tackle challenging problems.
California has its sights on a future grid fueled completely by renewable energy. To make that happen we need to aggressively reduce the operational energy spend of buildings to ensure that future demand balances out with renewable energy supply.
—Vince Flickinger, Energy leader

Tech culture will find a new home in energy workplaces.

As the energy sector pulls talent from technology companies, the industry’s traditionally conservative workplace culture will change. Informal innovation spaces designed to support collaboration will replace enclosed offices; a diverse new pool of workers will demand a wider variety of workplace options than the industry is accustomed to providing.


Design interventions will bring industrial workplaces up to par with “white collar” offices.

Recognizing the importance and potential of their plants as innovation hotspots, some forward-looking energy companies are exploring how to prioritize them and blur the lines between various workflows and roles. Industrial workplaces, once barren and utilitarian, will soon feature more supportive amenities, collaboration opportunities, natural daylight, and greenspace.


In pursuit of carbon neutrality, the industry will expand its real estate portfolio to include spaces for nuclear power and hydrogen capture.

LEED certification will steer the energy industry’s real estate decisions for years to come. But innovative players will also explore how to operate independently of carbonized grids and use energy sources like hydrogen to decarbonize the atmosphere. Companies investing in nuclear power will need innovative ways to educate the public on its safety.


Success in workplace safety will inspire a broader focus on designing for wellness.

Compared to most other industries, the energy sector provides outstanding workplace safety but falls short when it comes to supporting overall employee well-being. In the coming years, the industry will build on its historically strong culture of safety to promote healthier behaviors, aided by design features centered on mental health and physical balance.

Joining the U.K. and France as a major investor in nuclear energy, China plans to build at least 150 nuclear reactors in the next 15 years.
A person walking in front of a large white building.
Design Forecast 2023
10 Meta Trends That Will Transform the Future of Cities
Design Forecast identifies the trends and design strategies that are shaping the future of the human experience and the built environment. We provide strategic advice, research, and projects from all 29 of Gensler's practices to help clients prepare for transformational times.