Rivers is excited about the innovative pragmatism that HDR applies to its projects, as she is passionate about architecture. She has spent her career combining the practical with the artistic, and she has a particular interest in finding ways to make the relationship between the built and natural environments work more symbiotically.
“Designers (both architects and engineers) have the incredible opportunity and responsibility to reduce the negative impacts of our built environment, proactively improve the quality of human life, and protect the ecosystems that support it,” she says.
The major focus of Rivers’ career, which has spanned four decades, has been on the planning and design of healthcare facilities. She is most proud of her sustainable design leadership on the award-winning Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, which achieved LEED Gold certification and has become the benchmark in Boston for climate-resilient design. Other significant accomplishments include her work on the LEED Platinum-certified William X. Wall Experiment Station and her participation on the Massachusetts Zero Net Energy Building Task Force.
“Deborah’s reputation in Boston as a respected thought leader in sustainable and resilient design is well-known,” says Regional Healthcare Director Chris Bormann. “We are very excited to bring her ideas and talents to our global healthcare team.”
Rivers considers her top three skills to be her willingness to listen and understand others’ viewpoints during the creative process, her tenacity to see an idea or process through, and finding alternatives when problems arise.