Careers guide: Marty Brennan explains his role as a daylighting specialist at ZGF Architects

Marty Brennan is a project architect and daylighting specialist at US architecture firm ZGF Architects. He explains the technical elements of his role for the Dezeen Jobs careers guide.

Having spent six years working at ZGF Architects, Brennan's role as a project architect has seen him being responsible for the construction details of buildings including Seattle's F5 Tower. He supports a wider team of architects by providing spatial, carbon and lighting metrics that are crucial to the structure's design.

As a daylighting specialist, Brennan lends his expertise to understand how daylight will behave in a constructed space. This involves applying his knowledge of optics, energy code and glazing to analyse how natural light will perform within the building.

Brennan developed an interest in lighting after completing his architecture studies at the University of Washington. During this period, an internship at Perkins and Will allowed him to gain experience of the research process and mechanical systems involved with design elements such as solar shading.

After taking a research position at the university's design lab, Brennan later went on to work at Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill as a sustainability specialist and learnt how to work across both disciplines of architecture and engineering.

He joined ZGF Architects in 2013 during the construction document phase of the F5 Tower, where he developed code for the outer glass structure using the visual programming software Grasshopper.

Today, having progressed to project architect level Brennan is the sustainability lead on a number of projects including the modernisation of Microsoft's Redmond campus. He now works to ensure the use of carbon-low, climate-friendly materials in the construction phase along with the daylight positioning within the interior space.

"ZGF approaches a problem – big or small – with the same intent," he explained to Dezeen Jobs. "To make environments better for people and ecology."

He advises individuals with a particular interest in the technicality of lighting in architecture to watch lighting simulations "on YouTube," and "attend conferences" such as Lightfair.

"Ask to attend meetings. Listen to consultants and learn from your colleagues. Volunteer outside of work," he explained to Dezeen Jobs.

"Architecture is about people. What keeps clients coming back besides great work is a certain amount of humanity."

Read the interview on Dezeen Jobs ›