We’re celebrating five years of Sustainable Building Week and to help mark the occasion we’re launching Five Things: a series of interviews that connects our five years to you, Portland’s sustainability community. In the coming weeks, follow along as we share answers to five questions we’re posing to some of the biggest movers and shakers in our city, who are working to keep Portland green.
Tell us about your role at Brightworks.
As a project coordinator, I work with our design and construction team members to complete the necessary technical documentation for green building certification of commercial and multi-family residential buildings. The types of green building certifications I work on include LEED, the WELL standard, Fitwel, and Living Building Challenge. In addition, I collaborate with construction team members to understand the global warming impact of selected building products and materials. We do this by completing whole-building life cycle assessments on a building’s structure and enclosure and proactively informing decision makers of the appropriate and impactful opportunities to reduce embodied and operational carbon quantities from a proposed project.
Describe your involvement with Sustainable Building Week. What inspired you to get involved?
I’ve been volunteering with Sustainable Building Week since 2019 and have attended the events since 2018. For 2022, I took the opportunity to be the sponsorship coordinator for the event planning committee. SBW co-founder Webly Bowles inspires me. She drums up so many connections to hold this energetic weeklong event series in Portland. The events have always been relevant, educational, and accessible. I’ve done so much networking through SBW and even met the Brightworks team through it, which ultimately landed me my job!
What does “sustainability” mean to you?
To me, sustainability means the optimization of healthy and equitable goods and services for planet Earth’s built and natural environments. To be present with sustainability means being accountable for human contributions to environmental degradation and the climate crisis.
What inroads has Portland made and what still needs to be done to “keep Portland green?”
The City of Portland Green Building Policy contains a large suite of sustainability goals focused on energy and water efficiency, on-site renewable energy generation, habitat restoration and preservation, healthy and sustainable building products and materials, and building occupant wellness. Portland needs to hold real estate developers, building owners/operators, and facilities maintenance teams more accountable to ensure they are actively contributing to the city’s climate goals, adhering to the city’s policies, and being innovative in terms of their green policy initiatives.
Name a local project or collaboration that has inspired you and tell us why you are inspired by it.
The City of Vancouver, Washington is redeveloping the Vancouver Waterfront to highlight a certified LEED Neighborhood Development among myriad certified green buildings either completed or in the process of design or construction. The Vancouver Waterfront Redevelopment is inspiring as it brings an abundance of local, accessible, day and nighttime amenities to the community. I’m inspired by the design and construction team members’ passion and commitment to the historic aspects of the area.