Skip to Main Content
View all Insights

Q&A With Partner & K-12 Market Leader, Zac Morton

by Kat Phelps, Marketing Manager

Zac Morton, PE, LEED AP serves as a Partner at DBR, managing the firm’s Practice Area Leaders and overseeing client relationships and projects in Central Texas. Since starting with DBR in 2002, Zac has developed a wide range of project experience including new construction, additions, renovations, and system upgrades. Zac holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from Kansas State University and is a licensed engineer.

As a LEED Accredited Professional, Zac has developed an understanding of the requirements and best practices for energy-efficient designs. With a conscience for responsible and sustainable design, he works to ensure a better-built environment for our clients.

In his free time, Zac enjoys spending time with family (which lately means a lot of swim meets), running, cycling, and golf.

Zac’s personal attention to his clients, solution-oriented thinking, and down-to-earth personality make him a valued leader in our San Antonio office and in our firm.

Q&A with Zac:

Q: In your role, you oversee all technical service departments for DBR. What are ways that you ensure the firm and project teams stay up to date on best practices and on the forefront of design innovation?

A: We have a core group of technical design leaders. Although part of their role is quality control, we avoid keeping them bogged down in day-to-day production so we can be researching and pursuing new technologies. The primary focus of new technologies lately, has been to improve energy and water efficiency. This ties in with our goal to have all of our projects Net Zero Ready. We want any new ideas that we implement to work well for our clients in constructability and maintenance, so that is part of our vetting process.

Q: As a leader in the K-12 Education market, what do you see as key opportunities in the near future?

A: Most school districts are seeing a real benefit to more energy-efficient systems. For a long time, system lifespan and maintainability took precedence over energy performance, but that is starting to change. We continue to be leaders in energy-efficient school building design, which will help us continue to be one of the top K-12 MEP engineers in the State of Texas. Providing Technology consulting services that are integrated and coordinated with the MEP systems enables us to be a full-service consultant to our clients.

Q: What have you found yourself focusing on most during the last few months given the current industry challenges and what kind of development is the San Antonio market experiencing?

A: Lately there have been several challenges for us to address. The pandemic brought renewed attention to making our buildings healthier. We have researched various air cleaning technologies, most of which have been available for some time but not widely used. The most important improvement owners can make is to ensure proper ventilation and filtration. Another challenge by the pandemic has been rising costs and lead times for equipment. There are not many things we can do as engineers about costs and lead times, but we have found ourselves checking both more regularly to ensure projects can proceed on schedule and on budget. Now more than ever, the quality of our documents has become a top priority. The cost of construction is high enough already, without adding costly changes during construction.