My interest in construction lead me to earn a Construction Management degree, became a Certified Passive House Consultant, a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor, and a LEED-AP. Recently I have been elected to the Education Chair on the Passive House Northwest board.
I became excited about sustainability when I realized that planning ahead for a home to grow and change as your lifestyle changed was sustainable and that those changes could be made not only in new construction, but during remodels too. I have known people that have had to transition to a walker or wheelchair and that has also meant adapting bathing facilities, or access to living areas as well. As an estimator I knew those could be pricey upgrades – unless they were planned for early in a project so that costs and waste could be reduced by planning for future needs. Once I made that connection I was hooked on the idea of sustainable construction.
One area that keeps attracting me is that of working with existing buildings. I am intrigued with the idea of what can be done with what we already have so that waste from construction could be reduced by careful planning, and future needs can be met with the structures we already have embodied energy in. My studies have focused on healthy ways to build so that the projects will benefit the inhabitants, the community, and the environment. That is truly sustainable construction.