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Permitting and Development Center Virtual Tour

Need help? Visit Education @USGBC Help
GBCI: 0920022544
The City of Austin's Planning and Development Center recently moved to their new building in the Highland redevelopment. Join us as we take you on a virtual tour of this new building. The members of the design and construction team will also share their insights on the effort it took to pursue sustainability and wellness ratings with strategies such as blackwater reclamation and life cycle analysis.
Program: LEED v4, LEED v4.1, SITES, WELL

This course is approved for GBCI CE hours, but is not available through Education @USGBC.

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  1. Learn about the history of Highland and how a declining mall was revitalized through adaptive reuse and redevelopment into a live, work, play hub with Austin Community College, City of Austin services, greenspace and multifamily housing.
  2. Apply WELL Building measures to increase worker productivity and visitor satisfaction through strategies such as access to daylight and adjustable workstations to improve employee ergonomics, and an on-site fitness facility.
  3. Analyze potable and irrigation water savings available through blackwater reclamation and stormwater capture and reuse.
  4. Identify key components of a life cycle analysis process and how they relate to embodied carbon reductions and building material selections.
  5. Compare how the application of different green building standards complement one another to develop a more comprehensive sustainable design in line with owner stewardship goals.


Matt Whelan is the Founding Principal of RedLeaf. He is responsible for strategic direction with oversight of development activities and public-private partnerships. Whelan leads the adaptive reuse and redevelopment of distressed properties to deliver long-term community benefits and add value. He brings 24 years of real estate development experience, having served in executive roles with both public and private companies including Catellus Development Group where he was responsible for the $2 billion Mueller Redevelopment.
Denise Lucas currently serves the City of Austin as the Director of the Development Services Department. Prior to being appointed to this role, Denise served as the Deputy Director of DSD providing oversight and direction for the Building Plan Review Division, the Building Inspections Division, the Site / Subdivision and Environmental Inspection Division and the Customer Experience Unit. She has served the City for over 10 years, first as the Deputy Purchasing Officer focusing on Contract Services, Administration and Contract Monitoring and then as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Enterprise Application and Business Transformation Services. Prior to joining the City of Austin, Denise held various senior level positions in procurement in the private sector, high tech industry, manufacturing and professional legal services. She has an M.B.A. in Business Management from St. Edward’s University and a B.S. in Human Resources Management from Friends University. Denise is also a Certified Procurement Manager (C.P.M.) and has achieved lifetime certification status.
Sandrine Hitchcock has more than 20 years of experience in the design and construction industry. She is an exceptional project leader who values strong partnerships with clients, local officials, and design professionals. As a licensed architect with experience in construction administration and project management from kick-off to completion, she brings a true understanding of what it takes to ensure that each project is kept within the financial and programming commitments made to clients without sacrificing the design objectives. She approaches every project with creative design solutions and a genuine interest in streamlined aesthetics.
Eric Lohan has been involved in the development, selection, and deployment of innovative and sustainable technologies for wastewater reuse for 18 years. He has led or been involved in the development of a variety of precedent setting water reuse projects in the US including the first decentralized ecological reuse projects in San Francisco, California, Portland, Oregon, San Diego, California, and Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the first decentralized ecological reuse projects in the US States of Ohio, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Vermont. He has worked on international reuse projects in Europe, Africa, and Polynesia. Eric is coauthor of six US patents on innovative ecological wastewater treatment technologies. His projects and research have been supported by grants from the US Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Defense, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Eric has led or been involved with water reuse master planning at a wide variety of academic campuses, military installations, and corporate facilities.
Dirk Kestner, PE, LEED AP BD+C is a Principal and Director of Sustainable Design at Walter P Moore. He is a structural engineer with a focus on leveraging whole building life cycle assessment to reduce embodied carbon. He was the founding chairman of the Structural Engineering Institute Sustainability Committee, served as the editor of Sustainability Guidelines for the Structural Engineer, and is the immediate past Chair of the USGBC Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group.