Farah Ahmad

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.