Applying over 12 years of direct industry experience, Cara helped shape the strategic creation and start-up of the RetroFit Initiative within RMI. She led the content development and launch of the RetroFit Depot, an online industry resource about deep retrofits - benefits, processes, case studies and tools to prove the economic viability of deep commercial building retrofits. She continues to lead an effort focused on implementing a deep retrofit business model within Energy Service Companies and targeted architectural, engineering and consulting firms.
Coupled with her ability to create high-level net zero energy masterplans and deep retrofit value propositions, Cara enjoys working at a tangible, project level to apply integrative design solutions. Utilizing her unique architectural and engineering background, she is one of the top project managers within the buildings team, turning theory into practice on actual projects.
Select RMI Projects
- Ford’s Green Dealership - RMI worked with Ford to identify solutions that will have a large-scale impact on both new and existing
auto dealerships to improve building efficiency.
- GSA Net Zero Renovation Challenge – RMI worked with the GSA on identifying opportunities, barriers, and solutions to achieving their energy goals and enhance and increase the usage of Energy Savings Performance Contracts on GSA buildings.
- Global healthcare company – RMI create a net zero energy roadmap for an R&D campus based on the principles of aggressive efficiency and finding the most cost effective balance point between energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy generation.
Prior to joining RMI in 2005, Cara worked at ENSAR Group, a sustainable design consulting firm, providing general sustainable design consulting, energy modeling and analysis, daylight modeling and analysis, charrette development and LEED consulting. She consulted on a variety of projects including K-12 schools, universities and national park facilities, and she assisted with the development of sustainable design guidelines locally and internationally. Cara also managed project data for an in-depth laboratory case study evaluated by the Green Building Tool, an international green building rating system. She has managed the LEED process for over 15 certified projects including the LSR Preserve (which achieved LEED NC v2.1 Platinum), the Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (LEED NC v2.1 Platinum), the University of Denver College of Law (LEED NC v2.1 Gold) and the University of Colorado Memorial Center (LEED EB Silver).
- Bachelors of Environmental Design, University of Colorado, 2003
- Masters of Civil Engineering, Building Systems Engineering, University of Colorado, 2009
- LEED Accredited Professional (both 2.1 and 2.2 NC)
- Green Points Certified
- American Institute of Architects IDP Program
- Colorado College, Presidential Advisory Council on Sustainability 2006-2007
- LEED EB Core Committee 2005-2007
- Sustainable Travel International 2005 (assisted with the development of training material for auditors)
- “Analyzing the real cost for green solutions in Labs,” Environmental Design and Construction, July 2008, Roundtable participant
- “Barriers and Breakthroughs for multi-tenant developments” Solar 2008 conference proceedings
- “LEED Platinum for Rocky Mountain Institute,” Solar 2006 conference proceedings
- “Hawaii Gateway Energy Laboratory,” Solar 2006 conference proceedings
- “Sustainable Innovation Design Strategies” Article in FMJ November/December 2004, Coauthor
- “Reinventing Fire and Deep Energy Retrofits”, Colorado Real Estate Journal 2011 Green Building Summit and Expo, September 2011
- “Deep retrofits and Performance Contracting”, USGBC CO Chapter Rocky Mountain Green Conference, April 2011
- “Deep retrofits and the Empire State Building”, Johnson Controls Engineering Summit, January 2011
- “Greening Tenant Landlord Interactions: Demonstrating Transformation”, Solar 2010 Conference, May 2010
- “Integrated design and how it affects the HVAC engineer”, ASHRAE Rocky Mountain Chapter Conference 2008, August 2008
- “LEED for Commercial Interiors in Action”, Greenbuild conference, November 2006 (voted in the top 10 presentations at the conference)
- “LEED Platinum for Rocky Mountain Institute”, Solar 2006 conference, July 2006
- “Integration in LEED”, Women in Design, August 2005
- “Daylighting Design”, USGBC Colorado Chapter Fall Greening Conference, September 2004