Staff: Firm veteran, new hire appreciate variety, have engaging interests

A veteran staff member and a new face in the office each bring special talents to the fore for clients of CNH Architects.

Architect Brooke Jacobson, an associate principal with the firm since 2013, came to CNH

Architect Brooke Jacobson

in 2005. Her projects have ranged from car dealerships to fire stations. She’s especially noted for managing each budget and producing comprehensive construction documents.

New to CNH is architectural designer Emily Nelsen, who has a passion for green architecture and a rural background. She grew up in Atwater, Minn. As part of her work toward a Master’s in Architecture from South Dakota State University, she designed a passive house that reduced energy use by 72 percent.

Nelsen said she appreciates the CNH organization, its low stress environment, the variety of work and the staff. Jacobson also likes the variation.

“CNH is small enough that you can work on a project from start to finish and big enough to get a variety of project types,” she said. “Each day is unique and interesting, since no two projects are alike.”

Jacobson said there’s a focus on understanding the needs of each client. Smiles and excitement often come when a project is complete. “You realize that you were working to make a difference for them.”

The architect’s love for the industry began with her grandfather, a retired architect. The two carried on many discussions and were always assessing buildings wherever they went. Raised in Minnesota, Jacobson earned her Bachelor’s in Architectural Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master’s in Architecture from Iowa State University.

The two CNH staffers also have some engaging interests outside of work.

Architectural designer Emily Nelsen

Nelsen sings soprano and joined a small ensemble choir which toured Russia in 2012. She’s a flutist, as well. And, she’s assisting a humane society near the family farm with a long-term project to control the cat population. Kittens that are about two pounds and eight weeks old are trapped, then spayed or neutered.

For Jacobson, college involvement in the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority set the stage for roles in international leadership today. She volunteers for Gamma Phi Beta and is president of the Twin Cities Alumnae Panhellenic Association, a group of sorority alumnae organizations in the Twin Cities. Jacobson also volunteers for “Girls on the Run,” a program to enhance self-esteem for young girls.

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Burnsville Fire Station No. 1: Coming Soon

CNH’s largest fire station to date, the City of Burnsville’s Fire Station No. 1 is home to a crew of all full-time firefighters and more than 44,000 SF with 10 apparatus bays. Firefighter safety was one of nine top priorities for the station. Multiple contamination zones and a designated de-contamination area will allow firefighters to keep contaminated equipment and clothing in the apparatus bay until decontaminated. Another priority in the design was firefighter mental health. A warning system that slowly ramps up with alert tones and lighting while only alerting responding staff ensures firefighters are not awoken in an abrupt manner. The station includes areas for relaxation with different lighting to promote natural sleep rhythms, as well as a yoga studio and meditation garden. Extensive firefighter training features including Firefighter 1 and advanced training elements are another highlight of the station.