1. How did you become interested in green building?
As second generation building professionals, we have always been committed to quality. Both of our late fathers were residential and commercial builders. We learned from them the essentials of creating the best possible environments and places for people to work and live. We were taught to always strive for excellence and pay attention to the quality of our work. It was natural for us to become interested in green building because green buildings are demonstrations of the highest quality work.
2. How do you integrate environment, economy and equity into your work?
We are social entrepreneurs. We are very mindful of caring for people and the environment and providing quality services and products to our clients with integrity and understanding. We pay attention to our client’s interests, making sure that they find our services economically useful, which usually translates to easier sales, higher customer satisfaction and larger profits. At the same time, we make sure that we are providing a contribution to the community as a whole, improving the quality of life for people while avoiding harm to the natural environment. As a result of careful planning and management, our approach usually reduces waste, both monetary and other resources. Clients are happy with the quality of products.
3. How do your different strengths complement each other in your work?
It is a dynamic balance of yin and yang. We have a harmonious working relationship without contradicting each other. Eric is an engineer with a strong technical background, very detailed oriented, and always makes sure jobs get done with the highest standards. Marsha is an expert in the Feng Shui system, with an educational background in environmental science. As an author, speaker, consultant and community advocate, Marsha values education as the first step in improving and changing the way people think. Her creativity, global visions and actions complement Eric’s down to earth, pragmatic approaches.
4. What is your greatest accomplishment, personal or professional?
Being community advocates and green building professionals, we are both passionate in our work in sustainability. We take a holistic approach, partnering with diverse professionals and forming alliances to create unlimited possibilities. As we are integrating the traditional with the modern, technology with natural principles, we collaborate with many other committed people, from local to global, in recreating a sustainable world that works for all.
5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to get involved in sustainable building?
Recognize that a sustainable building is an important component of a healthy environment which leads to healthy lives. By your involvement, you become a vital part of a healthy, sustainable ecosystem…you are a contribution to a healthy sustainable planet earth.
6. How do Feng Shui and sustainable building complement each other?
Feng Shui is a proactive, holistic living system that improves quality of life. Favorable Feng Shui in a home is intended to visibly shape quality of life. A structure that is well-built with favorable Feng Shui designs will set up a place to welcome and self-generate vibrant positive energy. The transformation of a home beyond sustainability and resilience provides for safety, strong structure, durable materials and cleanliness.
The ideal building is built with natural materials and impeccable craftsmanship and has vibrant, healthy energies permeating the space with a harmonious life force that provide comforts, vibrancy, and positive feelings such that the lives of the inhabitants will be improved. Integrating modern sustainable building technologies with Feng Shui heightens the awareness and usage of natural elements, non-toxic materials, and methods of construction resulting in health, safety, sustainability, preservation, conservation and restoration.
7. Why did you decide to get involved in your local USGBC Branch?
Marsha attended a global green building conference in Hong Kong in 2007 where she first found out about USGBC. We both joined USGBC-NCC first and then became steering committee members with the Diablo East Bay Branch together with other committed green building professionals. We participated in the establishment of the Branch in 2009 and continue to serve in the Branch leadership
8. How have you benefitted from being part of the USGBC?
As part of the USGBC family, we are welcome to participate, to volunteer and network with other green building professionals. The many events organized by the Chapter and Branches have given us the opportunity to learn what’s new in green building. What we have learned has greatly enhanced our expertise, giving us confidence in providing quality services. In addition, we also get to know members from other Branches and Chapters, building a network of connections, and friendships with many. As part of the leadership team of the Diablo East Bay Branch, we have the opportunity to serve, connecting USGBC with the local communities. We can make a difference in local and state policymaking from being part of the USGBC. Most importantly we can make a positive impact to our communities.