A More Sustainable and Resilient City with Mike Hess

Mike Hess is the Smart City Project Director in Orlando, Florida.  He was born and raised in southeastern Wisconsin. He graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.  Mike spent most of his life in Wisconsin and then was recruited by an engineering company in Orlando and focused on mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering for buildings.

“My background is in mechanical engineering but I quickly switched to an energy and sustainability focus early in his career.” -Mike Hess

Mike’s Aha Moment

Mike remembers bumping into the CEO at the coffee machine where they had a discussion about Energy Star.  The CEO asked Mike if he would do some research and provide him a short memo version so he was up to date for clients.  That whole exercise caused Mike to stumble upon LEED and more holistic green building rating system. It was just a chance encounter that has brought him to where he is today.

“Once I read about it (green buildings), I just gravitated towards it and realized that it was just the right thing to do.” -Mike Hess

Transitioning From the Engineering Side

Mike started out as a mechanical engineer right out of college.  He traveled across the country trying to convince people to pursue LEED and Energy Star.  Mike believes it was too early for those customers. He started his own green building consulting firm so he could focus on sustainability.  Once the sustainability movement started to pick up, Mike was recruited back and took his small business to a national and international reach.

“For about 10 years projects were mostly LEED, well over a hundred LEED certified projects.” – Mike Hess

Book Recommendations


Cradle to Cradle: . Remaking the Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart and William McDonough

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine M Benyus

Tune into this podcast to listen to the rest of Mike Hess’s journey in this podcast hosted by Charlie.

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