Featured Interview with Lisa Lin, LEED AP BD+C
Q. What made you choose green building as a career (or volunteer)?
A. I wanted to be an architect since I was five years old, but it wasn’t until my time in college that I was introduced to green building. When I studied environmental design, I never would have guessed that the environmental aspect of the degree would become such an elemental part of my life and supersede design. To me, architecture was more than highly engineered curves, rare metal skins on building facades, and monumental statements to mankind. It was about how buildings were oriented to achieve the maximum amount of natural daylighting, how roof design can help capture rainwater, or how local materials should be chosen to respond to the building’s context and region. It was about how buildings coexist with nature, not how they develop on it. After having worked in the architectural world for five years, I have chosen to move to the nonprofit sector focusing on sustainability initiatives for local governments. I am hoping these two roads will converge in the future and bring me back to a greater understanding of promoting and working in the green building movement.
Q. What advice would you give to a student who is considering the green building field?
A. The green building field opens the door to so many opportunities. It’s important to focus on what one’s interests are and talk to the people who are in that area of expertise. Find a mentor and learn from their mistakes and successes. Also, they should understand that green building is not limited to architecture, engineering, and construction. We are all green builders because we are building the movement.
Q. Forecasting eco-trends—what do you see in your crystal ball?
A. I think the next big thing is Living Buildings. After LEED becomes an established standard of building, everyone will be clamoring to build regenerative and restorative architecture. Gone will be the days of buildings that are “less bad.” It will be about “howgood” buildings will be for the environment. It will become a truly integrated system.
Q. What inspires you the most about green building?
A. Knowing how much influence green buildings have on our natural resources, quality of life, health, biodiversity, economy, energy (and the list goes on) inspires me to feel like I am making not only a positive impact but also a substantial impact on the Earth.