Maria M. Hernandez
Sustainability Coordinator- LEED AP ID+C - CGC- Building Analyst- Disaster Inspector, H & H Design and Construction Inc
Maria was born in Caracas Venezuela where she earned her degree as Interior Designer. Early on, she got started having an appreciation for construction by joining her father's construction company. God changed her Horizon and brought Maria to this Land of Opportunity where she found her niche in the Designing and Decorating, enriching her Interior design background. Maria dedicated more than 20 years, fusing creativity with an artistic vision, creating hundreds of houses and transforming them into homes. But, it had been very contradictory for her creating one of a kind Interior Décor, while at the same time, in another part of the country, seeing on the headline news hundreds of homes just being destroyed. Impacted with every natural disaster that happened and the destruction left behind, Maria started questioning how such devastation could occur in the greatest Nation in the World she asked:
“Why we don’t build better, safer, and resilient homes?”
Looking for the answer, Maria became a Certified General Contractor, understanding the construction codes would highlight solutions and help bring about the necessary changes. However, building codes are just a minimum requirements. It’s intended primarily as a life safety protection, not to ensure that the home is habitable after a catastrophic event. In 2005, after Katrina, the most costly natural disaster in the history of United State, a “”Higher Call” drove her to prepare herself and become a Disaster Inspector later in 2008., Maria became Leader in Energy and Environmental Design, (LEED AP), and Building Analyst, focusing on learning how to analyze and design buildings in synergy with the environment, considering everything, from locations to Interior Décor.
November 2012, NJ, in the wake of the Sandy aftermath, Maria had a life changing experience. All the suffering witnessed, all the homes she inspected with their memories and dreams turned into rubble, was the most painful lesson learned, she witnessed so many pitfalls of the standard construction, and so many negative environmental impacts that could be avoided. Yet, at the same time, it was the most rewarding experience, strengthening her faith, love for the people, and resolved her dedication to implement and inform about green building practices as the solution to mitigate Climate Change.
Today, as a Sustainability coordinator and LEED Accredited professional, Maria is committed to the increased adoption of sustainable construction practices as a holistic approach in creating buildings with less impact on the environment and more resiliencies, capable of withstanding the forces of Nature.
Maria has become a vocal activist in her community by writing in the first bilingual newspaper in the city in order to inform the Hispanic community in South Florida about sustainability practices and the importance of Green Building.
"I am at a point in my life where it is not enough to inform and create beautiful, safe and healthier places to live but also as an activist reach out to the kids and involve them in environmental programs so they can increase their love and appreciation for the globe”
Maria M Hernandez