2023 40 Under 40: Kiersten Washle, CEM, LEED Green Associate, LFA, ActiveScore AP, 27
Building Science Engineer, CMTA; MS, Engineering Management, George Washington University
Vexed by dryer lint at a young age, the passion to use waste byproducts and make systems more sustainable pushed Washle into a career in green buildings. Her goal is to bring the built environment into harmony with the natural one. Washle’s education in both business and engineering allows her to see more sides of the problem and make the case for sustainability to clients. She works with owners to give them the tools and data to make buildings high-performing. She walks them through the environmental impacts of different HVAC systems and the effects of building design decisions on parameters like energy use intensity and carbon footprint. The business side of her gives them perspective concerning required funds, paybacks, available incentives and return on investment. She continues to learn, having obtained a variety of certifications. Personally and professionally, she strives to create opportunities for people to live more sustainably. For instance, when she moved to Massachusetts and found out her town wasn’t a part of the National Buy Nothing project, she started a local group. She is also active in several professional organizations, such as the Association of Energy Engineers. She is secretary and sustainability chair for the Boston ASHRAE chapter and has served on the board of CWEEL and BE+. She hosts monthly eco events, one of which compared the footprint of personal digital files to the energy required to run data centers. She’s engaged with the Keep Nature Wild Wildkeeper program, with a goal of helping to collect 1 million pounds of litter. Washle dabbles in DIY projects to help keep things out of landfills, which she can then rehome via various networks. In her spare time, she meets friends for a book club brunch.