Vaisala is building a new facility for its Louisville campus. Courtesy Oz Architecture.

Vaisala reaffirms commitment to Front Range with campus expansion

LOUISVILLE — Vaisala Inc., the Finnish weather and environmental measurement company with its U.S. headquarters on the Front Range, is doubling down on its commitment to the area with an expansion to its campus.

On Thursday, Vaisala will break ground on a new 30,000-square-foot building that will replace the one it is currently leasing and will be tailor-made to the company. Vaisala also has another building it owns that it uses for light manufacturing.

Vaisala’s new building will bring together a mix of style from Colorado and Finland. Courtesy Oz Architecture.

The new building, which will serve as office space and will be decorated with both Colorado- and Finnish-flair. The building, which will be constructed to meet LEED Gold standards, will have a sleek design and will feature exposed wood inside, a nod to Finland’s timber industry. The project is expected to be completed in November 2019.

T.J. Mattimore, president of Vaisala Inc. — the U.S. subsidiary of Vaisala — said that the company selected the Front Range to house its U.S. headquarters because of its proximity to entities such as the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Here, the company has been building devices such as its dropsondes, which are dropped into hurricanes to forecast their behavior. The dropsondes are devices designed by NCAR and built by Vaisala and then the data is analyzed by NOAA. Vaisala, founded in 1936, also has locations near Boston; Tucson, Ariz.; and Seattle.

“While we’re not a startup, we strive to be a very innovative company,” Mattimore said. “Our core values are innovation and renewal.”

A rendering of Vaisala’s existing building (front) with the new building behind it. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. Courtesy Oz Architecture.

He added that, although many might not know the company by name, Vaisala has been integral to global forecasting for decades. What is more, it’s involved in road safety, airport runway operations and other facets of weather detection.

“We really have a broad offering,” he said. “Think about how many industries are affected by weather every day. We do a lot to contribute to accurate forecasts that affect people around the world every day.”

Looking ahead, Mattimore said Vaisala will continue to be dedicated to its role in weather detection, especially as climate change becomes an increasingly important issue.

“I would say we feel even more dedicated to our role in assisting in measurements related to climate change,” Mattimore said. “We certainly 100 percent are convinced climate change is real and a key area to fighting climate change is knowing what is going on … It’s on my mind and it’s incontrovertible that climate change is real. We stay out of the political fray, but as a company we support the global effort. Many Americans share our view that climate  change has to be dealt with, it’s the biggest issue facing mankind and I’m very proud of the role we play there.”