While a student at James Madison University I saw a presentation on energy auditing through the college’s student chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers and was immediately hooked. I loved the opportunities for creativity and the ability to affect real changes with real impacts. I can now say I have had the privilege of working in sustainability and energy efficiency for over 12 years and my favorite way to describe what SBP does to friends and family is to say “Well, before a building project happens, we work to figure out how a project that does not exist might exist if it existed and use that work to find meaningful information that helps the building exist better when it finally does exist. Once the project is underway, we work to make sure the project comes to exist in the way it was intended to exist.”
Outside of the office I can be found existing and working on various renovation projects in our historic (and slowly getting more energy efficient) home on Chincoteague Island as well as acting and designing/constructing sets and lighting for The Chincoteague Island Theatre Company, which was founded by my (beautiful and talented) wife in 2011.
Brian, SBP’s self proclaimed trivia savant, is our extra set of eyes and ears on projects for building owners. Before joining SBP, Brian served 21 years in the Navy and then retired as a Chief Petty Officer. It’s well known throughout the military that those who rise to the level of Chief are not only technical experts, but also leaders, mentors, and problem solvers. He uses all of those skills in his work reviewing MEP designs, equipment installation, and ensuring everything is running properly before we hand a building over to any owners. He also helps buildings complete their certification processes by submitting all necessary paperwork – a true hero to those of us without the patience for paperwork. His interest in commissioning is driven by learning new things about different systems and processes every day. When he’s not in the office or playing trivia you can find him beating his friends in bowling or losing to them in golf.
“The Devil is in the details, but so is salvation.” – ADM Hyman G. Rickover, USN.
Out of college Scott worked in the field of environmental science, focusing on indoor air quality. For many years he has helped clients tackle issues related to mold, sick building syndrome, designing shelter in place programs in response to biological warfare, and general issues related to comfort while indoors.
While studying issues related to general indoor comfort, Scott became involved in green building, sustainability and energy efficiency. He pursued and gained his certification with National Green Building Standard, as a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater and ultimately as a Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Quality Assurance Designee (QAD). Through these experiences Scott has gained a vast knowledge of construction practices, energy modeling and diagnostic testing of buildings and building components, which help design and construct more energy efficient, healthy and ultimately sustainable buildings.
When not at work you can find Scott with his wife and two sons doing all of the activities that young boys love to do. He also enjoys going to local car shows, and if the wife allows it, playing a round of golf.
Mike has been in the energy efficiency and green building consulting arena for twenty years. With a background in mechanical engineering and a passion for holistic building design, Mike looks to find creative solutions that balance long-term performance and environmental impact with cost, health, wellness, comfort, durability, and return on investment. Mike has an in-depth working knowledge of building systems and can translate highly technical subjects into straightforward concepts and actionable information. Mike is committed to advancing the art and science of high performing buildings through collaborative workflow, technical agility, and ultimately meaningful dialogue and is grateful everyday for the opportunity to work alongside a wonderful team of professionals that inspire and challenge him to perform at the highest level and execute this mission.
Abbey, our passionate Phishhead, spends her days fielding and solving technical sustainability problems throughout the design and construction process. She loves looking in depth at building projects and helping building owners understand the long term impact of building sustainably and valuing energy efficiency. She describes herself as “a passionate and dedicated sustainability advocate committed to lessening anthropogenic impacts on our earth” and envisions “mobility systems and vibrant communities that harmonize sense of place and the human spirit to support rich social interaction, resource efficiency, cultural integrity, and happiness”. She spends lots of time outside exploring California, playing with her pups, volunteering at her local animal shelter and cooking. If you need her you can catch her at any Phish show!
“Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right” – Grateful Dead
Mike started his path to our building performance team at Penn State University where he majored in Energy engineering, it was there that he got his first taste of energy auditing. His motivation behind his work is the fact that his job contributes towards the fight against climate change, even if he feels it’s only a small contribution. Conserving our natural world goes hand in hand with his hobby of competing in trail running. When he’s not at work you can find him traveling the country competing, reading, tuning into obscure British panel TV shows, or rooting on the Eagles – Go Birds!
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t climb a ladder with a rabbit in each hand.” – Bob Mortimer
Katharine is dipping her toes into all aspects of our projects that need a green touch. Her role is to direct and encourage sustainable designs from conception to completion of construction. She collaborates with all of our teams to deliver the most sustainable results possible! As you can imagine, her work varies constantly and is always presenting her with new challenges. She loves getting to work with different team members and watch projects develop from blueprints into buildings. Katharine stays busy outdoors when she’s not at work. From hiking and biking to rock climbing and gardening, it seems work isn’t the only place she’s switching things up.
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee
One of my favorite places in the world is a cabin perched on a mountain ridge in West Virginia. Sleeping on the deck under the stars, waking to the beautiful 360 degree views and sharing it with friends and family are just some of the highlights.
My love of nature began as a child- playing outside with our dogs and learning to fly fish on the streams of CT and ME. Classes in environmental science in high school and college continued to fuel my interest in nature, as did my semester studying in Malta with a focus on sustainable societies, overfishing, and artificial reefs.
My first job out of college introduced me to the construction/building science side of things and I began to get interested in constructing environmentally friendly buildings. At SBP I have moved into a career that is a perfect match with my environmental background and my interests in nature and sustainability.
“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” – Lily Tomlin
Kyle is another one of our James Madison University ISAT representatives. His passion and motivation for working in the sustainable building sector is knowing the work he’s doing every day is contributing to a more sustainable future. He made an amazing addition to our building performance team as an analyst and works extensively with our modeling software to create 3D models of buildings and various mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems within those buildings. Another aspect of work he covers is creating a baseline model to measure our projects against so we can estimate energy and annual savings compared to a typical building. When he’s not busy modeling for us he likes to spend his time painting, tabletop gaming or watching Formula 1!
Becca gained her education at University of Maryland where she studied Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Environmental Economics. Now, she uses that knowledge to educate our project teams on sustainability and the LEED program. She loves watching the information she shares integrate into new projects to make them more sustainable. She’s got plenty of hobbies to keep her busy when she’s not at work like hiking, going to concerts and festivals or playing with her kitten.
“Unless someone like you care a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
Laura graduated from Virginia Tech in 2016 with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning and a minor in Sustainable Natural Environments. Growing up in Northern Virginia, Laura tried to go outside as often as she could. One of her favorite pastimes was walking through the fields and forest with her family’s horses in Nokesville, Virginia. This developed an appreciation for the environment and her desire to preserve it.
While at Virginia Tech she pursued a career in environmental planning which let to an opportunity to become an intern for the Office of Energy and Sustainability, which truly started her love affair with sustainability. Working as an intern helped Laura appreciate both urban planning and sustainability, ultimately leading to her goal of helping to create a more sustainable built environment.
In her free time, Laura can be found trying out local restaurants, going to farmers markets, walking and exploring local parks, and cuddling with her dogs and cats. She is a fan of good food, tea, videogames, and reality television shows. Straight out of college, she is now working at Sustainable Building Partners with the sustainable programs team. She is excited to have the opportunity to work for such a sustainability-oriented company.
After graduating college, Dan landed a job with a HERS provider where he was employed as a HERS rater conducting energy ratings on single-family homes. This was Dan’s first foray into the world of energy modeling and diagnostic testing. Dan eventually found his way to Sustainable Building Partners where my world got a lot bigger; expanding into energy modeling for commercial and high-rise buildings. During his time at SBP, Dan has the opportunity to acquire a diverse set of skills and apply them to a range of real world problem solving applications.
When not work Dan enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, spending time with friends and family, and enjoying all the Washington DC area has to offer.
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Sierra joined us as a recent graduate from Virginia Tech where she obtained a B.A.P.U.A In Environmental Policy and Planning. She helps assist in the collection of data supporting the verification of compliance with various green building certifications. The most satisfying part of her work is being able to affect the design of buildings in a way that will benefit the environment, as well as the occupants who will be residing or working there. Outside of work you can find her doing all sorts of physical activities. She’s a gym enthusiast and also enjoys hiking, kayaking, yoga, boating and listening to music. She’s also loving spending her free time exploring the DMV area and finding new places and things to experience.
“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life” – The Great Gatsby
Bennett started in the built environment industry as a Mechanical Engineer at an MEP firm. He learned the theory behind Mechanical Design as it pertains to projects as well as coordinating with firms in all phases of the Design/Build process. Transitioning into a commissioning role pairs his technical ability in design with his experience as a project manager that provides a valuable skill set for building owners. He oversees commissioning projects from design to completion and focuses on identifying critical energy consuming systems. Going on site and seeing his direct impact on projects keeps him motivated to do his best work.
Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, he has maintained a connection with the environment around him. He worked on systems that contributed to the health of the Bay through controlling the nutrient load from runoff due to agricultural practices. Bennett has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Hamilton College and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Outside of work he enjoys playing soccer, participating in any form of winter sport, discovering new restaurants and going to Bills games – no matter the temperature.
“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.” – Stephen R. Covey
Haley grew up along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia where she first developed a keen interest in sustainability. With this in mind, she attended the University of Virginia to pursue a BS in Civil Engineering with a Concentration in Environmental Engineering. After finishing her degree, she spent three years in the general contracting industry before boarding the SBP ship to dive deeper into the world of green building! She loves how her role in designing more sustainable buildings makes a positive difference for the environment and for future generations. When she’s not busy at work you can find her scouting out new restaurants, honing her cooking skills, and discovering new hiking trails on her explorations of the great outdoors.
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
Charles is one of our captains of the commissioning team, and we’re better off for it! His main focus is to ensure our clients are receiving exceptional quality on all of their projects. His 15 years of experience in commissioning and project management and numerous licenses and certifications have helped set a high standard for himself and his work. He started off his long path of commissioning work by obtaining his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University and hasn’t lost his passion for innovation and making a difference since. He spends his free time playing basketball, boxing, reading, traveling, and mentoring.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
Dave is an extrovert, so he is always able to thrive in a group environment. This was a skill that he believes he picked up in college and, education aside, thinks it an important aspect of what he took away from school. It drives everything he does. Coming from a big family has helped as well. It almost feels weird to him to not be around people, as that is what he has known for most of his life. Dave is always driven to ask questions. Growing up with an engineering father also piqued his interest in science and math. Dave was always exposed to it, and it was never out of the norm for him to be taking something apart just to see how it worked. He was always interested in the idea that pretty much everything in this world is comprised of systems. Each thing has several sub “things” that make it work. This is the foundation of Dave’s interest in and passion for green building. Aside from the physical building, there are so many other sub-systems that work behind the scenes to produce an affective building.
Dave believes that one never grows up, they just get older. It is evident by his interest in technology, and his ongoing collection of “toys,” like computers, Apple Watches, and the like. Technology drives the world, and can bring people together. Technology is awesome!
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Simply put Jeremy enjoys spending time outdoors. Jeremy moved to the Shenandoah Valley recently so his family could enjoy the mountains everyday. Jeremy has a sincere desire to preserve and protect the environment that his family enjoys. He is glad to be working at SBP each day to contribute to a more sustainable environment and world by contributing to building efficiency which reduces energy consumption, and continuing to push for more aggressive strides towards a net zero energy economy; ultimately weaning our culture off the need to harvest non-renewable based energy sources.
Nafisa is one of our specialists who uses her knowledge to analyze architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing drawings and model the annual energy consumption of a project from those drawings. This information is utilized to measure a project’s performance so that further energy saving measures can be implemented and explored if necessary. Her educational background as a Master in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus in sustainable infrastructure is what established her base of knowledge to perform analyses like these. Following her degrees she gained experience in commissioning, energy modeling, and green building documentation. In addition to her work she has contributed part of her free time to the USGBC education committee to help educate others on the importance of creating a sustainable world. Her work in the sustainable building sector began with her firm belief in working towards having a healthier planet and contributing to that by working in an industry that is part of the solution. It’s no wonder why she is so passionate about sustainability – most of her hobbies, like hiking, camping and skiing, include being out in nature. However, on a rainy day you can find her dancing, performing martial arts or reading.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. – Robert Swan”
Abhijit began his green building journey by pursuing a Mechanical engineering degree at George Mason University, he was then motivated to obtain a construction management degree instead after gaining some field experience and enrolled in courses at Indiana State University! His work at SBP involves ensuring that the installation and operation of MEP equipment is as per the design documents. He’s very active outside of work as a Boy Scout adult leader and FIRST Robotics mentor. He can also be found working on his motorcycle, hiking, camping and hanging out with friends when not in the office.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot I only exist when you need something.” -Unknown but very relevant to Cx.
Scott’s passion for the environment came about from camping and canoe trips in Ontario and Maine. His inspiration – and some degree of romanticism – came from environmental writers like Thoreau, Jon Krakauer, and Edward Abbey. After receiving an undergrad in cultural anthropology from UMW, his ambitions grew out of the unique understanding whereby Westerners view nature – as an object of alienation. Seeking to close this gap that he too was experiencing, he spent several months in South America learning amongst Amerindian societies.
With the fortune to have had this experience, Scott went back to earn a master’s in natural resources at Virginia Tech to apply theory into practice. As a student consultant he developed a practical understanding of resource challenges we are currently facing. Energy being the primary global driver that dictates environmental policy. Ever since he has worked in various capacities installing retrofits, performing residential ratings, and energy modeling. SBP has encouraged him to pursue a balanced approach to energy consulting; reaffirming an ethos that people with informed decisions (or lack thereof sometimes) are what makes the world tick. Realizing them as the most important of resources will pay off for future generations and our planet.
Aside from being a national parks junkie, Scott enjoys hiking with his wife Sarah, reading, occasional DC United games, spicy foods, jiu jitsu practice, and volunteering.
As a youngster, Rachel was fascinated to learn about green house gas and pollution. Over the years, she has turned this fascination into her chief ambition to single-handedly save the earth. She currently spends her days advising projects how to incorporate sustainability into the built environment. Originally an army brat, she decided to stay in the DC area so she can pollute the air while in traffic, thus keeping herself marketable.
Rachel joined SBP in 2011, adding to the 70% JMU ISAT population within the company – Go Dukes! Though she has a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering, she has yet to design a wastewater treatment system and hopes that will never be in the cards for her (crappy work). Rachel’s 9 years of experience with LEED projects has lead her to managing the LEEDers in SBP where the team kicks sustainability butt.
Her family has been susceptible to her environmental influences while updating their 50+ year old home. They tolerate her antics only because if she ran away they would never have clean clothes. She and her husband are raising two rug rats raring to save the planet.
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud – Maya Angelou
Brandon has a love for precision. His work involves interpolating field measurements with pre-designed parameters to ensure each project meets and exceeds their respective energy program target. He loves watching the projects he’s helped plan out so meticulously come to life. Before working with us he spent over 8 years as a HERS rater and completed thousands of onsite residential inspections for IECC code compliance, HERS, and Energy Star. When he’s not at work he loves to be outside, play games, watch the 49ers or spend time sketching and drawing.
“Measure twice, cut once.”
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Robert originally grew up in the DC area and spent his college years at Penn State studying Environmental Resource Management. After completing his undergrad, he began his career supporting the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, before joining SBP to consult on projects working towards achieving sustainability and wellness certifications. His favorite part about this work is being able to point out the numerous buildings SBP has worked on throughout the DC area and seeing the company’s impact firsthand! Outside of work, he enjoys cheering on DC’s baseball team (go Nationals!), cooking, and hiking, while also pursuing an M.S. in Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins University.
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
Phillip Parrish began his academic career with an interest in Physics with the intent of understanding how energy was utilized by all system, biological and mechanical. However, after the first semester of his Junior year at JMU he discovered that ISAT ,which offered a concentration in Energy, would provide a more focused study of the flow of energy (I.e. thermal physics and mechanical engineering). After graduating Mr. Parrish decided to pursue a career in energy policy as a contractor with the Department of Energy.
As a contractor with the DOE Mr. Parrish hoped to reduce environmental impacts caused from the consumption of our natural resources. Unfortunately the resulting work at the Department of Energy was geared toward supporting the industry but did not lead a direct impact on the reduction of the use of our natural resources. After roughly 2 years at the Department of Energy Mr. Parrish decided to pursue a career more directly focused on reducing the consumption of natural resources. Now Mr. Parrish finds himself working at Sustainable Building Partners which provides a more satisfying career helping to reduce the energy consumption of newly constructed and existing buildings.
“You can never stop hating someone until you know them, and you can never know someone until you stop hating them.” – Orson Scott Card
Kirsten is another Hokie member of our team with a degree in Construction Engineering & Management and is our resident carbon specialist. She provides sustainability consulting with a focus on life-cycle assessment, embodied carbon, and carbon accounting and works with project teams through design and construction to select materials that will have a reduced environmental impact. One of her favorite materials to work with is concrete! She finds being able to influence the concrete mixes used in a project to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of a building, one of the coolest things she’s learned since joining the green building industry. Speaking of the industry, Kirsten and another SBP team member, Rachel Nicely, started the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) Hub in Washington, DC with the hope of bringing the DC AEC industry together to brainstorm and discuss strategies on how to reduce embodied carbon in our projects and in our city. You can catch Kirsten going to see live music, hiking or backpacking when she’s not in the office!
Hannah is our resident fashionista. She’s made a hobby out of buying from second hand shops and educating herself on limiting her own footprint in regards to her wardrobe. Her role at SBP is a little different. She helps offer sustainability consulting for multiple building rating systems and to complete field inspections and IAQ testing on site. She loves how ever evolving and changing this field of work is and how tangible the results are. Her favorite thing about working here is the challenge that there are always new things to learn and that her coworkers and team members are always looking to expand their knowledge and better the green building community. She gained her love for sustainability while traveling through Montana as a kid and seeing the natural conservation processes in place there. She followed her passion to University of Maryland where she completed a degree in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Ecological Technology Design. Throughout college she was involved in many sustainable projects like building and operating Complete Mix Anaerobic Digesters and field research and colony maintenance focusing on mosquito reproduction.
“…the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the roads of present travel.” -Theodore Roosevelt
As an avid fisherman and outdoor enthusiast, Jess was lured to a career in sustainable development as a means to buoy and encourage practices that preserve natural resources for future generations.
It was while earning his MS in Sustainable Engineering from Villanova University that Jess was first hooked on the concepts of holistic designa nd systems thinking. By diving deep into the factors lurking beneath the surface, we can reel in more effective solutions while minimizing the risk of unintended consequences. After graduating Jess decied to cast a wider net and accpeted a position at an energy consulting firm, where he assisted commercial real estate clients in identifying and catching utility cost-reduction savings opportunities. He brings building systems experience to the SBP commissioining team, where he hopes to channel his passions into making a positive impact on the built environment.
When he is not making up bad fishing puns, Jess enjoys hiking, camping, playing sports, and watching Villanova Wildcats basketball.
Hawkins Thomas brings over ten years of project and account management experience to SBP. Hawkins’ experience as a green building consultant and construction manager for a premier general contractor provides project teams with unique perspective solutions and thorough yet streamlined service. Over the years, Hawkins has had a sustainable impact on millions of square feet across various building types, green municipal codes and rating systems throughout the country. Dedicated to customer service and experience, Hawkins also believes in the intersection of sustainability and creating business value for project stakeholders.
After spending no less then half of his parenting-life reading (and re-reading) Dr. Seuss, its only fitting that Dr. Seuss has provided Jake with some much needed guidance when it comes to maintaining a clear head both at home and work. When not being fully consumed in the energy modeling lifestyle at SBP, Jake balances life with two little ones, a hyperactive dog, and his patient wife. Somewhere in-between he finds time to coach swimming, train for marathons, fix-up his dream home, and play countless games of Pretty, Pretty Princess. Jake’s affinity for problem solving helps to work through the trials and tribulations of potty training a toddler, but ultimately piqued his interest in building energy performance and drove him into the field of energy modeling.
“Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.” – Dr. Seuss
As Partner and co-founder of SBP, Mr. Wilcox offers clients over 30 years of experience in the energy industry. He has experience in utility power procurement, energy auditing, building commissioning, measurement & verification execution, HVAC design reviews, LEED consultation and administration, LEED credit calculation and compliance, business development, sales, and project management. He is also heavily active in ENERGY STAR consulting services and general energy project support. Dan’s work experience includes commercial, industrial, and residential facilities.
Mr. Wilcox graduated with a B.S in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic University. He is a Certified Energy Auditor in the State of California, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
Jennifer graduated from Virginia Tech and started her career in the construction industry with a commercial contractor in the Washington, DC area. After working on a high school project targeting LEED Gold certification and managing the construction credit documentation she realized her true interests were in the green building field. She made a career switch into a green building consulting role at SBP and has loved every minute! At work, most of her time is devoted to guiding projects through the LEED certification process. During her free time, you can find her traveling with her husband, daughter, and crazy Lab and doing anything active (biking, skiing, boating, fishing, running). If she happens to be at home, she’ll attempt to whip up a good meal or tend to her garden. But she’ll be the first to tell you, she is better at finishing a great movie.
“Go Hokies !!”