Ken Brinkman

Founding Partner


Determined to invent a design-build system better than that of his predecessors, Ken Brinkman founded Environs in 1991. Applying his expertise gained from a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois with a year of study in Versailles, a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Chicago, and his experience as Development Manager at JMB--an industrial leader in commercial property development--he chose a old house and built Environs’ first spec house. Since then, Environs has sold over 170 custom homes in Chicago’s most celebrated neighborhoods, winning multiple awards along the way and becoming Chicago’s premier residential design-build firm.

His company’s success is largely due to three factors. First is Ken’s innovation to vertically integrate a skill-set of architects, designers, and contractors. This enables the company to work as a fluid unit on all projects, ensuring a seamless experience for each client. Second is Ken’s infusion of personal values into the company’s mission. Being a family man and an architect, he appreciates how a good layout accommodates family time. With this appreciation in the core of its mission, each specialized team design-builds homes tailored to their client’s preferences. The final factor of success is Ken’s insistence that Environs promote a long-term relationship with its clients by performing maintenance, managing warranties, and offering their services for any future renovations or additions.

Ken continues to guide Environs and lead the industry, but in his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and feeding his need for speed by participating in amateur motorsports.