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My story: Becoming a green professional

Published on Written by Posted in Community

The road to becoming a green building professional has been a winding journey fashioned by surprises, luck, and good old-fashioned hard work. It was a pathway I knew I wanted to embark on a decade after my initial peek into the expansive and often intimidating built environment. The forces of constant exposure and interactions with various fields and members of the building industry consumed my passion. I realized sustainability was my calling within architecture. How could I contribute?

Post-graduation, I discovered USGBC and my mind’s gears shifted in a full revolution! I quickly understood that if I wanted to become well versed in sustainability, I should grasp the concepts of LEED, and so I set my eyes upon the LEED Green Associate. Within a few months, I enrolled in education courses, studied, and passed the exam.

I couldn’t have predicted that the same year, I’d also be attending the most captivating of conferences. Each year, architects, engineers, policymakers, manufacturers, vendors, fabricators, contractors, and many more, convene at Greenbuild to discuss all types of technical and social issues. In 2013, I received the Greenbuild Scholarship, and in Philadelphia I felt like I found my second home. Like-minded individuals, who wanted to raise awareness, create a unified voice for all the sub-sectors of our industry, and lead by example, flooded the halls of the exposition by the thousands.

I returned from Greenbuild much inspired and determined, and set my sights on achieving a LEED AP BD+C credential. While the exam itself was not an easy feat, I gained knowledge of worldwide industry standards, an acute comprehension of construction ‘green’ phase scheduling, building occupant roles, and other crucial facets I had not observed as evidently.

What would I say to others who have been called to sustainability? Join USGBC. Become a part of the dialogue. Become a LEED AP and gain the knowledge to mentor others on a standard that has guided thousands of experts and rated thousands of buildings all around the world.

As an emerging professional, I have a ton of ground to cover. But I’m excited that I will be part of a passionate network of professionals who will cheer me on each and every step of the way. USGBC has led, and has taught me to lead. I invite you to become a part of this movement, too.

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    Farah Ahmad made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Farah Ahmad

Associate Architect NYC School Construction Authority

20 commentsLeave a comment

U.S. Green Building Council
So glad you got your story out Farah. So inspired by your energy and commitment to the green building movement! I am so glad we got to connect through the Greenbuild scholarships! More news to come spoon about 2014 opportunities!!!
Associate Architect, NYC School Construction Authority
Keep me in the loop on 2014 opportunities, I would love to participate if I am able to! Thank you for your dedication in the 2013 conference and for making it an easier and fun transition for everyone in our group!
Architectural Project Manager, Kitchen & Associates
It is very good to hear the enthusiasm in this story. It is always good to hear that Greenbuild feels like "home" to someone else. It needs to be a rejuvenating experience...I found that to be the case from 2004-2009 but recently to me Greenbuild has gotten a little too big and ominous...I was part of the DVGBC host committee and I gave two tours at Greenbuild Philly. My focus was to provide FACE-to-FACE optimism for integrated green design...your story proves we some things right, thanks for sharing your perspective, for my volunteerism items I certainly tried hard to make people feel "at home"...
Associate Architect, NYC School Construction Authority
Peter, thank you for reading! I agree, Greenbuild is large and can be overwhelming, especially when you want to 'see it all.' However, the amount of information available allows one to more easily find their target interest. You can find your 'niche' in the conference! There were certain booths I knew I wanted to see and because there were more options, I was able to find my specific target interests within the large event! Thank you for participating in Greenbuild and for your enthusiasm and efforts in providing visitors with a personalized experience! It makes Greenbuild a memorable conference visitors like me will never forget!
Property Portfolio Manager, Wells Fargo
Nice story! Thank you.
Associate Architect, NYC School Construction Authority
Deborah, thank you for reading!
Clark Construction Group, LLC
I enjoyed this. Thanks!
Associate Architect, NYC School Construction Authority
Thank you for reading, Oliver!
Sustainable Interior Designer, Strada Architects, LLC
This is an awesome story! Thanks for sharing!
Associate Architect, NYC School Construction Authority
Thank you for reading, Melissa!
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