Getting started in the green building industry (USGBC Northern California) | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Written by
Posted in Community

A panel of green building experts hosted by the USGBC Northern California Rising Leaders shared thoughts about the industry.

We all know the feeling of being new and filled with a million questions, whether it’s starting a new job, living in a new city, attending a new school or even joining a new group of friends. It’s not always easy to find someone to confide in or to find the time to ask all your burning questions.

As the USGBC Northern California Rising Leaders, it is our mission to provide an environment that fulfills just that need, that allows individuals to explore new aspects of the green building industry while networking and building a group to which they belong.

On March 28, an exceptional panel of green building experts gathered at Covo in downtown San Francisco to give the USGBC Northern California Rising Leaders and attendees insight into the topic ”What They Wish They Knew When They Started in the Green Building Industry.” Lauren Elasik Goodwin, Community Project Manager, moderated the panel and was joined onstage by:

The conversation covered questions such as ”What brought you to the industry?", "What was your inspiration early on?" "What were some of your biggest challenges?” and even specifics like ”What tips do you have for seeking a promotion or raise?”. The panelists shared their experiences and offered advice:

  • Don’t be afraid to take risks in your role. Take on new and unusual projects that allow you to problem-solve creatively.
  • Make yourself irreplaceable. Be the one at your architecture firm who knows the background on all green projects and can fill in for someone who is absent.
  • Show that green building design is beyond being an option. Don’t provide the client with sustainable building technologies as an option, but rather as a “must have” and a normal part of the project.
  • Use an integrated design approach to increase sustainability. The panelists advocated for using an integrated design approach as early in the project as possible, to ensure alignment of the sustainability goals within the building.
  • Find your mentor. A mentor can help guide you or open your thoughts to aspects that you never considered before.

The evening ended with a happy hour and networking with the nearly 40 attendees from various sectors of the Northern California green building industry, people of all ages and levels of experience.

The event was organized by USGBC Rising Leaders Co-Chairs Halie Colbourne, Assistant Sustainability Manager, at BCCI Construction, and Mia Brondum, Business Development Assistant, at WindowMaster Control Systems Inc., with the help of the greater Rising Leaders committee. For more information, please email Mia or Halie. We hope to see you at our next event!

View more upcoming USGBC Northern California events