A Manifesto on Working with Water with Engineer Chris Webb

Chris Webb is a licensed professional engineer (civil) in the States of Washington, Oregon, California, and a LEED™ Fellow and Accredited Professional (ND & BD+C) whose passion and technical expertise is focused on providing civil engineering designs that demonstrate the highest degree of sustainability and are based on ecological principles. Chris is a frequent speaker on the technical aspects of sustainability as it is applied in civil engineering.

Chris’ sustainable development project experience includes working with many local and state governments, private and public entities, utilities, and non-profit groups.He works as part of diverse design teams across the spectrum of project scales from the single lot to large multi-unit developments and from master planning through permitting and construction documents across many building and site types.

The Early Days with Chris  

Chris grew up in northern New Jersey and was really active outdoors which lead to an early connection with the environment.  He then went to the University of New Hampshire and studied civil engineering.

“The University of New Hampshire now is a leader in research and development on green stormwater infrastructure.  But at the time that I went there, green infrastructure was not really a thing yet. So it’s been fun to run into some of my old professors at a low impact development conferences and talk about that. – Chris Webb

Sustainability Minded

Chris went to school for engineering and focused more on structural and had yet to resolve his personal values of the environment with his career.  Chris then took a job a few years out of school where he continued to work with structural engineering at a nuclear power plant. He then moved out to the west coast to pursue a career in green engineering which wasn’t as obvious of a career choice as it is today.

“One day I was at the nuclear power plant and went into an area where there was some contamination apparently. I think I picked up some contamination on my clothing and site containment there and came out and set off all the alarms that I picked up some contamination and they kept my clothes and I walked out of there in a paper jumpsuit and I was 24 years old.  That was definitely a moment where, you know, maybe it’s time to resolve my environmental ethic with my career and quit my job.” – Chris Webb

Early Influencers

Chris served on the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Board of Directors and became connected with Kathleen O’Brien, Kurt Stafford, Rob Harrison and the green community.  Others in the cadre such as Tom Pallidino, Richie Athens, Patty Southard were early adopters in the area and they became a cohort . Chris was always getting great advice

“I’d always planned on getting a master’s degree and had talked to Stuart Cowan who  had written the book Ecological Design. And he gave me some really good advice, which was hey, look, you’re tapping into something that’s changing really rapidly.  And at that time, there were not really any graduate programs that were sufficiently advanced to really capture the rapid change that was happening. There’s some really great programs to jump into.  So I was given advice to basically by him, he had gotten his PhD and he gave me advice rather than going back to school, you should really seek out those people whose work you admire in those projects that you really think are awesome and just go to them and just directly learn.  So that is what I did.” – Chris Webb

Book Recommendations

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Podcast Recommendations

99% Invisible

Hidden Brain

Tune into this podcast to listen to the rest of Holley Henderson’s amazing journey in this podcast hosted by Charlie.

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Announcement:  Starting on January 1, 2019, GBMS will begin rolling out it’s new membership community.  Members will be given access to some of the guests on the podcasts that you can ask project questions to, if you are preparing for an exam there will be more insurances that you will pass your next exam, you will be given cliff notes if you are a member and so much more.

If you truly enjoyed the show, don’t forget to leave a positive rating and review on iTunes.  We have prepared more episodes for the upcoming weeks, so come by again next week! Thank you for tuning in to the Green Building Matters Podcast!

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