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Kathleen O'Brien

Travels from:

Seattle, Washington

Other speakers from Washington

Speaking topics:

  • How Can a Green Home Help Solve Regional and Global Environmental Issues?
  • How Do You Put Together a Green Team for Your Green Home Project?
  • Top Picks for a Green Home
  • What's Different about the Construction and Design Process for a Green Home?

Kathleen O'Brien

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.

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