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The Northwest Green Home Primer


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About the Author

Kathleen O'Brien is president of O'Brien & Co., Inc., a sustainable development and green building consulting firm. A nationally recognized expert in the field of sustainable design, construction, and development, Kathleen brings over 25 years of writing, research, and analytical experience to her role. She organized the first regional conference in the Northwest for the green building industry and has worked with local chapters of the National Association of Home Builders to develop award-winning green building programs. As a result there are over 20,000 green homes certified in Washington, Hawaii, and California. She has also consulted on several early demonstration projects such as the Central Market in Poulsbo, Washington, the first grocery store to aggressively incorporate recycled content materials, and the innovative Sakai Intermediate School on Bainbridge Island, where the building became a teaching tool for sustainable practices. She continues to consult on leading-edge green-building initiatives, such as the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol, a green building standard for public schools in Washington State, and the Kitsap SEED project, an eco-industrial park focused on clean energy. Kathleen received her bachelor's degree in political science and secondary education at University of Buffalo (summa cum laude); her master's degree in environment and the community at Antioch University; and is both a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor and a LEED Accredited Professional. She has won several regional leadership awards including Kitsap County YWCA Woman of Achievement (2001), Sustainable Seattle's Outstanding Leadership Award (2006), Kitsap County Earth Day Award for Environmental Leadership (2007). She was recognized by the Cascadia Region Green Building Council as a Cascadia Fellow, a lifetime achievement award (2008). A prolific writer, and a highly sought after guest speaker on green building issues, Kathleen has published over one hundred articles on topics related to her field, including feature articles in the Journal of Light Construction, Environmental Building News, Conservation Monitor, Building With Nature, BioCycle, and Resource Recycling. Kathleen and her husband built a home that achieved the highest rating from the local Built Green program, won the Parade of Homes Environmental Achievement Award, and has been featured on Home and Garden TV for its sustainable features. Kathleen resides on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Kathleen Smith is a project architect, sustainability/LEED consultant, and project manager with over 13 years of professional experience. She is currently principal of her own sustainable design and consulting firm, working exclusively on sustainable projects with a diverse group of clients. The firm's goal is to work collaboratively to create environments that are life enhancing, cost-effective, and sustainable. Prior to establishing her own firm, Smith was senior designer, project manager, and consultant with Van der Ryn Architects in Sausalito, California. She continues to collaborate with them on many projects as their key LEED consultant and an expert in green materials, workshop facilitation, and integrated design processes. Smith has diverse and extensive experience in sustainable design and systems including: non-toxic, renewable, salvaged, and recycled materials; ecological site planning; climate responsive design and energy efficiency; community housing; community-based participatory design processes; multi-disciplinary integrated design processes; and workshop and charrette facilitation. She has worked around the country and in Mexico and Japan on a variety of projects incorporating sustainable strategies and participatory design processes. She is an experienced and sought after speaker and teacher on sustainable design and related issues, and is a faculty member with the U.S. Green Building Council. Smith has a master's degree in architecture and is co-author of the book Rebuilding Community in America: Housing for Ecological Living, Personal Empowerment, and the New Extended Family. She resides on Bainbridge Island, Washington.


The tone of the book is targeted for lay people, to show that anyone can make 'green home' decisions, even on a budget. The book provides guidance and resources for people buying, building, or remodeling a green home, providing a unique perspective that includes an in-depth description of the process of getting a green home. -- Carolyn Hamilton Proctor Seattle Downtown Examiner 20090802

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