Meet Design Fellow Stacey McMahan

Karl Johnson's picture
Posted by Karl Johnson on
Thu, 09/09/2010
Stacey is seriously green.

I don't mean new (although she's that as well, to our Haiti team, having joined us last month in Port-au-Prince), but, you know, ECO. Sustainable. Stacey is working with Architecture for Humanity as their Design Fellow delegate from the United States Green Building Council, or USGBC, better know for the development of a LEED certification system (check this overview, Stacey's in fact, of how LEED can work in Haiti).

Stacey hails from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she is Principal and Green Studio Director for the architecture firm Koch Hazard. It's an honor that she accepted our invitation to work in Haiti for a year and I'm sure countless people will benefit from her wisdom.

Being a LEED-certified architect comes with certain extra responsibilities. For instance, buildings can't simply be drawn up and thrown together at the whim of the designer's ego, or the owner's deep pockets. Sustainable architecture has more responsibilities than that. Like reducing a building's  impact on the planet. 

There's a whole slew of simple tricks that buildings can use to be more efficient and sensible. A buliding could do anything from offering bike parking to reusing rainwater, to rehabilitating toxic land. 

LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) boils down sustainable tactics into a checklist that designers can choose from and apply as many as can work for their project. There are about 100 points, and the more you satisfy, the better rating a building earns. 

I couldn't tell you the whole list off the top of my head but STACEY COULD by the sheer momentum of her awesomeness. (She would sooner say "nifty-ness" or "grooviness," but we're bringing her verbage up to date..."wicked" and "totes rad" are still in the works.)