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2024 Design Challenge Final Competition Jurors

Learn more about the individual jurors for the 2024 Final Competition Event (April 19-21, 2024) by Division below. Visit the Design Challenge rules to learn how the jurors evaluate projects.

Grand Jurors

headshot photo of Julie Edwards

Julie Edwards

For more than 20 years, Julie Edwards has been a champion of sustainability in the local community. As a senior sustainability consultant at Mead & Hunt, she is developing strategic, holistic, sustainability initiatives to drive change and create sustainable communities and cities. She is a current LEED Accredited Professional, WELL Accredited Professional, and EcoDistricts/Just Communities Accredited Professional. Her experience with LEED, Green Globes, Energy Star, Enterprise Green Communities, WELL, CHPS, and many other rating systems gives her a broad perspective on pathways to success. She is a strong supporter of local sustainability organizations, and as long-term member of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Colorado, she has served as a board member for USGBC Colorado twice and in the past led the Colorado Education Committee for several years.

headshot photo of Jess Farber

Jess Farber

Mr. Farber is a vice president and professional engineer with CMTA, a nationwide consulting engineering practice. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 1993 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He leads CMTA's Boston offices and is involved in healthcare, education, and commercial projects, with a focus on building sciences and decarbonization. He has 30 years of mechanical engineering experience and supports CMTA's team members with high-performance, data-driven design support, including geothermal and net-zero design.

headshot photo of Jason Pugh

Jason Pugh

Jason Pugh, National Organization of Minority Architects Council, American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), LEED AP is a licensed architect, certified planner, and a principal at Gensler where he serves as the global director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a global leader based in Chicago, Jason promotes Gensler's commitment to its Strategies to Fight Racism while addressing the low representation, disparities, and unique challenges minority practitioners face across the building design industry.

Jason is passionate about developing underserved communities and the next generation of designers, architects, planners, and activists. He leads projects that engage the community at-large, shepherding them from schematic community-based master plans through full construction. He is driven by the belief that one project can change a community, and if we change enough communities, we can change the world. Jason served as the 2021–2022 National President of the National Organization of Minority Architects and currently sits on Chicago's Executive Board for the ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) Mentor Program.

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Single-Family Housing

headshot photo of Dean Dalvit

Dean Dalvit

Dean Dalvit, founding principal of EVstudio, a regional multidisciplinary A/E firm, is an accomplished architect and engineer renowned for his innovative designs and sustainable approach to development. With over three decades of experience in the industry, Dean has spearheaded countless projects that seamlessly blend practical functionality with aesthetic appeal. His commitment to environmental stewardship is evident in his advocacy for green building practices and incorporation of renewable energy solutions into his designs. Dean's passion for creating spaces that inspire and elevate communities has earned him recognition as a leader in the field of architectural and engineering design.

headshot photo of Heather Laminack

Heather Laminack

Heather Laminack is the general manager for Ferrier Builders, a high-performance builder and remodeler based in Fort Worth, Texas. Representing the fourth generation of her family in the construction industry, Heather's passion and insight fuel her drive to see positive change in the way America's homes are built and remodeled.

headshot photo of Gene Myers

Gene Myers

Gene Myers is owner and chief sustainability officer of Thrive Home Builders in Denver, Colorado. Gene received the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) Legend Award for his lifetime achievement and was named Sustainability Superhero by Green Builder magazine. Gene's current efforts include leading Thrive Home Builders to carbon neutrality.

headshot photo of Stephen Wilder

Stephen Wilder

Stephen Michael Wilder, an architect and entrepreneur from Harlem, New York, brings over 20 years of experience in the built environment. With a bachelor's degree in architecture from Howard University and a master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University, he blends academic excellence with practical expertise. Stephen is dedicated to community enrichment and holds affiliations with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Through visionary leadership, he catalyzes positive change, shaping communities and leaving a lasting impact on the architectural landscape.

Attached Housing

headshot photo of Freddy Boateng

Freddy Boateng

Freddy Boateng, a mechanical engineering graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, boasts a decade of experience in sustainability for the built environment. At RE Tech Advisors, he leads the decarbonization and resilience programs for high-profile clients such as J.P. Morgan, where he applies his expertise to develop and implement climate risk mitigation strategies. His dedication to reducing environmental impact is encapsulated in his motto: “Saving the world, one BTU at a time.”

headshot photo of Tony Holub

Tony Holub

Tony Holub is a senior associate with HOK in Chicago. His work as an architect and sustainability specialist focuses extensively on LEED certification, passive building, and net zero energy initiatives. He has leveraged this experience to design durable, healthy, and sustainable buildings rooted in building science. Tony has been a LEED AP since 2007, and a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) since 2018. He has been active with the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) and USGBC, and currently serves on the Phius Alliance Chicago Board.

headshot photo of Jamie McKay

Jamie McKay

Jamie McKay is the director of Morrison Hershfield's (now a Stantec Company) High Performance Building Enclosure group, working with the Seattle, Washington, office. He is a sustainability and building envelope specialist and has worked at Morrison Hershfield for more than 25 years. Jamie has acquired a wide range of knowledge in sustainable design through his project experience, technical presentations, teaching, and lecturing. His specialties include sustainable design facilitation and integration; high-performance building envelopes; adaptive reuse of heritage buildings; building durability; and LEED Building Envelope Commissioning (BECx). Jamie received his LEED Fellow designation in 2014 from the USGBC and his Building Envelope Commissioning (BECxP) accreditation from the University of Wisconsin in 2017 (reaffirmed in 2021).

headshot photo of Lisa White

Lisa White

Lisa White is the associate director and a technical lead for Phius (Passive House Institute US). She played an integral role in the development of Phius' climate specific passive building standards, and is an instructor for both Phius Certified Consultant training and WUFI® Passive energy modeling software training. She holds a master's degree in energy engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Lisa has written and co-authored many publications, including a cover-featured article in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineer (ASHRAE) High Performing Buildings magazine. She has spoken at numerous national and international conferences on topics related to grid-friendly buildings, assessing resiliency and passive survivability, and measured data for high-performance and net zero buildings.

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Multifamily Building

headshot photo of Jason Acosta

Jason Acosta

Jason Acosta is an associate and senior project engineer who specializes in new construction projects and energy code compliance. He works on a variety of design development and construction field review tasks. Jason manages RDH's energy code compliance work in Seattle, which includes permit documentation for a variety of new construction and existing building projects. He also manages new construction projects and assists in the design and development of construction documents.

headshot photo of Nilesh Bansal

Nilesh Bansal

As vice president of sustainable buildings and program innovation at Green Building Initiative, Nilesh Bansal leads program development and strategic initiatives, focusing on aligning with the organization's sustainability goals. He previously directed a tech startup's product development, creating impactful Building Performance Analysis and Carbon Emissions Estimation software, which is currently utilized by architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals globally. With a Master of Science from Carnegie Mellon and experience at Gensler working on large-scale commercial buildings, he has significantly contributed to sustainable building practices and data-driven environmental strategies.

headshot photo of Julie Hiromoto

Julie Hiromoto

Julie Hiromoto, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, harnesses the built environment’s power as a positive force to heal seemingly intractable social challenges. She transforms architectural practice to embrace a regenerative and evidence-based future, while fostering equity and human health as an HKS partner and firmwide director of integration. Her advocacy efforts include 2020 Congressional Testimony on energy efficiency, fuel source, and the market’s ability to innovate; representing 95,000 AIA members in their first delegation to the United Nations annual climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, and Architecture 2030 at COP28; and as the Mayor’s appointee to the Dallas Environmental Commission.

headshot photo of Reggie Truxon

Reggie Truxon

Reginald M. Truxon, AIA, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), is the president of the DC NOMA chapter and an associate at Gensler. Reggie serves as Gensler's southeast region design management leader, providing guidance for the firm's design managers to strengthen the foundation of its business. A leader in large-scale, multifamily projects, he has a keen ability to manage complex projects and maintain a quality design product, all while driving both alignment and client satisfaction.

Reggie helped establish a resource group for Gensler's Black employees and is a regional race and diversity co-leader for the firm, where he organizes projects and people to make a lasting positive impact on the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry.

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Education Building

headshot photo of Pauline Hanset

Pauline Hanset

As director of client operations at Black Bear Energy, Pauline Hanset is focused on supporting her commercial real estate clients in achieving their on-site renewable energy goals, demonstrating the economic value of solar, and deploying on-site solar projects at scale. Previously, Pauline worked as a sustainability consultant with UHG Consulting, implementing strategies to reduce corporate environmental footprints while maximizing profits, in addition to developing the marketing strategy for an eco-friendly mooring system as director of marketing at Hazelett Marine. Pauline earned a B.A. in international relations with a minor in environmental engineering from Stanford University. She is a steward of the environment and constantly searches for ways to leave a positive impact on the earth.

headshot photo of David Kaneda

David Kaneda

David has a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering and an MBA, and is a professional engineer, AIA Fellow, LEED Fellow, Senior Fellow at New Buildings Institute, and European Engineer with over 35 years of experience designing electrical systems for buildings. He is an expert on advancing cutting-edge, environmentally sound, high-performance electrical, lighting, and low-voltage systems in green buildings. His focus includes electrification of existing buildings, getting to zero carbon, photovoltaic and battery energy storage microgrids, electric vehicle charging and vehicle-to-grid strategies, color tuning LED lighting, daylighting, all-electric incorporating induction cooking, building integrated photovoltaics technologies, plug load control, and smart buildings.

David is a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Peer Professional and served on the federal GSA Green Building Advisory Committee, which he chaired from 2020 to 2022. He is also a member of AIA California's Committee on the Environment and was a member of California's Green Building Code (CALGreen) Advisory Committee and a Planning Commissioner for the City of Cupertino. He is both an architect and an electrical engineer, which helps him to see the bigger picture but still loves to drill into the technical issues related to the latest developments in electrical systems for buildings in our rapidly evolving industry.

headshot photo of Rick Ruppert

Rick Ruppert

Rick Ruppert is a registered architect with over 20 years of professional practice experience prior to a move into building product manufacturing and now building project delivery software. As director of partnerships at RIB Software, Ruppert is focused on topics concerning the delivery of effective and integrated resources driving architectural design, building construction, and facility operation processes. An architect himself, Rick has a well-informed perspective regarding the transformational technologies impacting successful, environmentally responsible project outcomes. The results of his efforts can be seen in the collaboration, education, and process management consultation he regularly provides to the building design and construction community.

headshot photo of Catherine Tinkler

Catherine Tinkler

Catherine Tinkler is a strategic consultant on the planning, strategies, and analytics team of Page Southerland Page where she uses her 20+ years of facilities and project management experience in developing capital improvement and strategic facility master plans. An experienced senior project manager, Catherine combines her experience as an Existing Building Commissioning Professional with her knowledge of operations and maintenance management to help organizations assess and evaluate their existing facilities, promote proactive maintenance strategies, and craft replacement plans to ensure long-term return on investment. She has also served as a PK–12 administrator and certified classroom teacher and keeps in tune with how facility quality impacts indoor environmental quality and student learning. She blends this expertise to advance client initiatives, whether reviewing existing data, formulating data collection instruments, conducting assessments on-site, or synthesizing findings into actionable project plans.

Design Challenge Semifinal Competition Jurors

Learn more about the individual jurors for the 2024 Design Challenge Semifinal Competition Event (February 23-24, 2024) by Division below. Visit the 2024 Design Challenge rules to learn how the jurors evaluate projects.

Single-Family Housing

headshot photo of Lance MacNevin

Lance MacNevin

Lance MacNevin is the director of engineering for the Building & Construction Division at the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI). PPI's expertise is on plastic pressure pipes, such as chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), high density polyethylene (HDPE), PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), polyethylene of raised temperature (PE-RT), and polypropylene (PP). Lance has been in the plastic pipe industry since 1993—involved with hydronic radiant heating and cooling applications, geothermal ground loop piping systems, plumbing, and fire protection systems as an R&D engineer and trainer.

In addition to technical research, advocacy, and training, Lance also works with plumbing and mechanical codes and piping standards and serves on technical committees within the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM); the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE); the American Water Works Association; the Canadian Standards Association; the Hydronics Industry Alliance-Commercial; International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; International Code Council; International Ground Source Heat Pump Association; NSF; and the Radiant Professionals Alliance. He is from Canada and has lived in Virginia since 1997.

headshot photo of Ely Merheb

Ely Merheb

Ely Merheb, American Institute of Architects (AIA), LEED, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), is the founder of the architecture and interiors firm Verso LLC in Boulder, Colorado. She has over fifteen years of architecture, interior design, and preservation experience working in small and large firms in Colorado; Austin, Texas; Washington D.C.; and her native Puerto Rico. It was there that her love of art and architecture began, ultimately inspiring her to pursue master's degrees in architecture and in historic preservation at The University of Texas at Austin. She advocates for equity and sustainability as an active volunteer with AIA Colorado's Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) Committee, NOMA Colorado, and the Colorado Green Building Guild (CGBG).

headshot photo of Todd Usher

Todd Usher

While pursuing his first career in manufacturing, technology development, and sales in the chemical industry, Todd Usher began renovating houses on the side—and became more and more interested in construction industry best practices. By the time he founded Addison Homes in 2002, the well-defined quality system he had developed over the years, coupled with his commitment to sustainable principles, formed the cornerstone of the company. Todd was the first builder in the United States to earn National Association of Homebuilders' Master Certified Green Professional designation, and is one of few U.S. homebuilders constructing all its homes to high-performance standards, including the U.S. Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Home. In 2022, Todd received his Ph.D. in planning, design and the built environment from Clemson University. He also holds a Master's in construction science, an MBA, and a B.S. in packaging science, all from Clemson. Todd is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience with others in person, on social media, and as an adjunct faculty member at Clemson, teaching courses in the Construction, Development, and Planning department.

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Attached Housing

headshot photo of Spencer Jarrett

Spencer Jarrett

Spencer is an LCA consultant at One Click LCA, where he leads their consulting and business development team in North America, with a focus on reducing the embodied carbon impacts of the built environment. With a background in building science and commercial construction engineering, he brings a practical approach to assisting clients with assessing and reducing their environmental impacts. He works with construction material manufacturers, building and infrastructure design and construction professionals, and developers to decarbonize their products and projects.

headshot photo of Karla Butterfield

Karla Butterfield

Karla Butterfield is a sustainability director at Steven Winter Associates, Inc., working with residential buildings. Her expertise is in sustainable consulting services, program certification support, and implementation of high-performance building technologies. With architects, developers, builders, and homeowners, she develops specific sustainability strategies for both new construction and renovations.

headshot photo of Alex Gamble

Alex Gamble

Alex is a registered architect in the State of Texas. He has specialized experience in all aspects of professional architectural/engineering design related to project planning, project management, design, construction administration, and best practices in sustainable design. One effort Alex is focused on currently is occupant health and wellness. He is exploring solutions to improve people's physical health and wellness through evidence-based design utilizing scientific research linked with biophilic design, a design philosophy for purposefully reconnecting humans and nature through the built environment. Alex and his wife Sabrina are the proud parents of Elly, Elijah, Israel, and twins Ezra and Isaiah.

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Multifamily Building

headshot photo of Steven Nollkamper

Steven Nollkamper

Steve Nollkamper, P.E., is a mechanical engineer with 20 years of experience in design of HVAC systems, primarily for schools, multifamily buildings, commercial buildings, and data centers. He has a strong interest in blending sustainable mechanical systems (low energy and carbon) into environmentally friendly buildings, and ensuring a positive user experience that celebrates green technologies. His work focuses heavily on constructability, building automation and maintenance, and clearly conveying intent so that buildings continue to operate optimally.

headshot photo of Ganesh Nayak

Ganesh Nayak

Ganesh Nayak, AIA, LEED, Green Globe Professional (GGP) is a principal at Metier Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, consulting on sustainable design and accessibility. As a sustainability expert, he has been directly involved in the LEED certification for major projects totaling over five million square feet and was awarded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Charles Trainor team award for excellence. Ganesh holds a Master of Architecture degree from Kansas State University. He has published, taught, and presented extensively on architecture, sustainability, and disability. He is an ICC-certified accessibility specialist and plans examiner. He has served on the Code Development Committee of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

Presently Ganesh serves on the U.S. Green Building Council Equity Working Group as chair. He also serves on the National AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Leadership Group, co-chairing the Climate Action-Climate Justice subcommittee and is secretary on the AIA Georgia board and past chair of AIA Atlanta's COTE. He served as past chair of the Georgia Department of Education's State Advisory Panel for Special Education and served on the Kansas Governor's Council for Developmental Disabilities as parent.

headshot photo of Kristy Walson

Kristy Walson

Kristy M. Walson, PE, LEED Fellow, Building Energy Management Professional (BEMP), is a mechanical engineer by trade who focuses on decarbonization strategy and sustainable design with the built environment. Over the last 15 years, Kristy has provided decarbonization strategy and sustainability consulting, LEED and other sustainable rating system facilitation, energy modeling, energy auditing, and commissioning on projects throughout the United States. A graduate of Virginia Tech (B.S.) and the University of Michigan (M.S.), Kristy has extensive experience in IES VE-Pro, eQUEST, and Visual DOE energy modeling software and uses these tools to accurately model energy use and carbon emissions, and to analyze reduction strategies.

She has served in multiple volunteer roles, including as an MEP2040 Steering Committee member, chair and board member for the University of Florida's Green Building Learning Collaborative, which supports the “Sustainability in the Built Environment” degree program, advisory board member for the Florida Solar Energy Center, and AIA COTE Top 10 Juror for the Energy and Discovery categories. In her spare time, Kristy enjoys volleyball, running, hiking, and travelling with her husband, Jamie, and their three children, Clay (12), Noah (10), and Finn (8).

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Education Building

headshot photo of Amy Upton

Amy Upton

Amy Upton, AIA and LEED Fellow, is a principal and the director of environmental design at Grimm + Parker Architects, where she guides the firm's sustainable design services. For over 20 years, Amy has had a key role in the design and construction of more than 100 LEED-certified, IgCC, Zero Energy, and Green Globes projects. She balances cutting-edge sustainability practices, operational logistics, and the demystification of the green design process for both the firm and its clients. Two of her most recent K-12 projects recently earned LEED Platinum and LEED Zero Energy certification.

headshot photo of Zac Peterson

Zac Peterson

Zac Peterson is the product manager of grid services at Lumin, where he helps homeowners, distributed energy resources developers, and utilities transform buildings into responsive grid assets. Zac's background is in building energy systems with a focus on zero energy buildings, transactive energy, and building science. With nearly a decade of experience in the built environment, Zac applies his knowledge and experience to accelerate energy transition.

headshot photo of Ram Ramisetti

Ram Ramisetti

Ram Ramisetti is an experienced engineer and angel investor with a deep focus on Construction 4.0 and sustainable building practices. His eight-year international career spans Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and the United States, underlining his global expertise. Holding Indian Green Building Council Accredited Professional (AP), U.S. Green Building Council LEED AP BD+C, and Estidama Pearl Qualified Professional certifications, Ram combines his passion for technology, innovation, and the built environment to drive transformative change in the industry.

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