I manage traditional preconstruction tasks ... But I also get to wear my trusty “green cape” to lead sustainable projects in Washington.
PRECONSTRUCTION MANAGER AND SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES LEAD
What do you do? I’m a preconstruction manager and sustainable initiatives lead for Skanska USA Building in Washington state. This means I manage traditional preconstruction tasks like estimating costs for the design phase of a project and reviewing construction processes from start to finish before construction begins. But I also get to wear my trusty “green cape” to lead sustainable projects in Washington and support Skanska’s national deep green initiatives and projects.
In my role supporting deep green projects, I also estimate costs and review construction processes, and ensure that we are using sustainable practices meeting “deep green” parameters.
I’ve worked on Stone34 in Fremont, which is the current headquarters of Brooks Running, and I’m currently working on the new Sustainability Center at Eastern Washington University.
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How did you get started in that field? I’ve been committed to creating buildings that “don’t destroy nature” since I was 8 years old and watched my grandpa’s land get clear cut. I started out on the architecture side of the table. Then I worked with Skanska on the Bertschi School Living Science Building, and I fell in love with Skanska’s approach to building what matters for people and the environment. So I joined their team!
What’s a typical day like? It varies, and that’s what’s great about it. Some days, I have my head in a set of drawings on a project like the new Burke Museum at UW. Other days, I’m the sustainability consultant to our Commercial Development group on projects like our new downtown tower, 2&U. Last week, I was in another state leading a “sustainable values” workshop to align a particular project’s goals with the most responsive sustainable strategies.
What’s the best part of the job? Knowing that I’m creating a positive impact through my work by:
— Helping clients deliver the best project possible within their budget;
— Pushing Skanska to stay on the leading edge by being the first to test new sustainable strategies or certifications;
— Positively influencing the connection people have with the environment on which we all depend for resources and natural experiences through the spaces we build and how we build them.
What surprises people about your work? I work for a contractor, where buildings are one of the leading users and polluters of resources, and I’m empowered to create positive environmental impact through what we build. People spend the majority of time in buildings, and those buildings need to be demonstrations and teachers of how we should care for and give back to our earth, not take from it. I know we are now in a place with technology and talent to make that happen.
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