Shahe Nalbandian

Associate AIA

Designer and Lab Specialist


  • Shahe’s responsibilities include design, documentation, team coordination, client communication, and construction administration 
  • Specializes in advanced technology projects, primarily cleanrooms and data centers
  • Combines his design background, his knowledge of building systems, and passion for solving technical problems to ensure the success of sophisticated building projects
  • Possesses an inquisitive, people-orientated, and focused nature which advances strong client relationships and helps create a path to project success 

Love for Controlled Environments

“The first data center project I worked on with SMMA was for the University of Massachusetts Medical School,” says Shahe. “Because of the building structure, our team developed an air plenum design on the floor above and a series of chases on either side of the room.” 

“To make this plan work, the architecture team designed a wall that spanned 22 feet and included a clear bottom to allow airflow. The engineering team worked to ensure that the room itself didn't leak and the doors wouldn’t be pushed open as air was pumped inside,” he explains.  “Working together to solve these types of problems was so much fun—I was hooked.”  

Impactful Design

While Shahe’s main professional interest is designing highly technical spaces, SMMA’s work on a residential facility for at-risk girls in Westwood/Westford was especially meaningful.

“We designed the campus to have defined living and learning areas, separating the sleeping, gathering, and study spaces from the classrooms. We also designed beautiful exterior spaces for sports and gardens. All of this made it a much more pleasant atmosphere,” explains Shahe. “For me, it’s a clear example of how thoughtful design can impact and improve lives.”