Eric Eichler has 23 years of experience managing design, engineering, construction, and development projects in the Chicago, Los Angeles, and European markets. He has spent the past 13 of these 23 years delivering high‐quality institutional projects for Universities, religious institutions, schools, and other non‐profit organizations. 


Eric has significant expertise in conceptual budgeting, planning, design management, construction management, scheduling, and procurement & administration of architecture, engineering, construction, professional services, and FFE contracts. His experience has given him a solid understanding of how to execute successful construction projects and a deep knowledge of construction costs. Eric is well‐respected professionally in the architecture, engineering, and construction communities as a collaborator who excels at synthesizing input from large groups of stakeholders to deliver quality projects within challenging budget and schedule constraints.

Eric Eichler, MBA, LEED AP - Principal and Founder

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Eric founded Forge in 2017 after serving as Senior Project Manager at the University of Chicago for 
nearly ten years. Sitting in the Owner’s chair, Eric not only directed the design and construction 
of signature University buildings, but also remained connected to projects for years after 
completion. The opportunity to have seen a finished building begin its operating life, and to 
troubleshoot issues after several years of operations, provides Eric with a valuable perspective 
that guides his decision‐making during the course of a project. By retaining Forge for Owner’s 
Representative services, you will be selecting a team that always considers both the immediate and 
long‐term implications of every issue.  

Prior to his work at University of Chicago and the inception of Forge Projects LLC, Eric worked for 
several major construction management firms in Chicago and Los Angeles.  He has also worked 
internationally in the Czech Republic, managing real estate development projects as Owner’s 
Representative on behalf of foreign investors.  Eric has permanent residency in the Czech Republic and is fluent in Czech and French.

Eric has been fortunate to work on a number of highly sustainable building projects and is 
passionate about environmentally responsible design and construction.  He is currently working on 
two projects that are expected to achieve net‐zero energy designations.

LEED Accredited Professional

Guest Lecturer – University of Chicago

•   How to House a Kiln project (2017)
•   Carbon Neutral Construction (Current)


Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana‐Champaign
Masters of Business Administration – U.S. Business School Prague (accredited by Rochester Institute of Technology)

Project Management Certificate Program from The University of Chicago – Graham School

David Crowell - Consulting Director

Mr. Crowell provides strategic Development Management, Project and Program Management, advisory and planning services for complex Projects and Programs such as master-planned developments, mixed-use developments, residential, hospitality, corporate offices, retail, institutions, adaptive reuse, and real estate portfolios.  Mr. Crowell provides clients with strategic and delivery services including: feasibility, best and highest use analysis, organizational structuring and restructuring, and process mapping, site analysis/selection, team development, procurement strategies, contract structuring, and project delivery solutions.


During his 40+ year career, he has been responsible for successful delivery of more than 150 major high profile programs and projects totaling over 100 million square feet in the United States, The United Kingdom, the Middle East, and China.  He brings discipline to goal setting and decision-making throughout programming, pre-construction, procurement, and design phases. His work reflects a mastery of processes with high degrees of integrated technology, complexity, and quality.

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Mr. Crowell has provided an array of building industry and real estate advisory services to a blue chip client base that includes cultural and higher education institutions, governmental entities, real estate developers, major financial institutions, multi-national corporations, global consulting firms, and healthcare systems.


Dave was educated as an Architect; and has been a Construction Manager, Contractor, Design-Builder, Owner’s Representative, Management Consultant, Project Management Consultant, and business owner.  This provides him with a unique 360 degree perspective in the building industry for all building types and contractual delivery methods.  One truly unique factor is his ability to understand his clients goals and objectives as if they were his own and manage projects to achieve his clients success.


As a founding member and COO of the highly influential and successful Rise Group, Mr. Crowell led Rise’s best practices initiative overseeing formalization of in-house technical services. He instituted, developed, and led the firm’s ongoing training, education, mentoring and cooperative education programs; including courses delivered in partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology and Northwestern University. He brings this expertise to Forge and will leverage his extensive experience to build the firm into the top service provider in its class.


Dave is a frequent speaker, panelist, and writer on building industry topics.



Adjunct Professor, Masters of Project Management,

Northwestern University’s Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Illinois Institute of Technology, Life Trustee

Chairman, Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture Board of Advisers

Member, Illinois Institute of Technology Governance Committee

Member, Illinois Institute of Technology Facilities Committee

Member, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Member, Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Expert Panel

Founding Board Member of the ACE Mentor Program of America and ACE Mentor Program of Illinois




Bachelor of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology