Green building and retrofit architects are responsible for designing buildings that use the latest technology to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, as well as retrofitting existing buildings to bring them more in line with modern green initiatives. To accomplish these goals, a green building and retrofit architect's approach varies depending on their employer and projects. For new “green” buildings, they may design all systems from scratch to be environmentally sound (from LED light fixtures to solar panels to utilizing natural light and modern insulation technology).
Retrofitting existing buildings requires the architect to assess cost-effective opportunities to renovate the building; this likely results in doing cost-benefit analyses and then making recommendations for removing energy-inefficient facets and fixtures, such as improving insulation throughout the facility and switching energy delivery platforms for key infrastructure; for instance, the architect may recommend natural gas-powered climate controls or the placement of solar panels when able. Individuals in this field should expect to work in an office and spend time on job sites, usually working during regular business hours.
To work as a green building and retrofit architect, an individual generally needs at least a bachelor's degree in a related field and all necessary certifications to work as an architect. Companies hiring for this position also look for postsecondary education in green sciences and/or practical experience working on green design and/or retrofit projects. The architect generally needs a stronger science background than a typical architect, and they need skills with computer-aided design (CAD) and design software as well.
Green Building & Retrofit Architect Tasks
Assist the Vice President of the Sustainability Group with daily duties.
Manage multiple Green Building and LEED certification projects.
Prepare, frame and manage client meeting to develop strategic sustainability program plans.
Prepare proposals and reports.
Develop and maintain client relationships to generate additional sustainability work.