Valerie Walsh, founder and principal of the Walsh Sustainability Group, was among the first generation of general contractors in the country to devote themselves to renewable energy and sustainable construction projects, and she has helped shape and set new design, construction, and performance standards for high-performance buildings throughout her career. At age 25, Walsh was the first female licensed general contractor in New Mexico where she operated her Santa Fe-based company, Solar Horizon Construction, for 17 years. It was there that she joined forces with many of the leading pioneers in sustainability working nationally to advance a visionary mission.
Valerie formed LEED Management Services -- now the Walsh Sustainability Group - after moving to Boulder, Colorado, and was among the first class of LEED AP's when the U.S. Green Building Council launched this influential professional accreditation. Beyond creating an impressive portfolio of high-profile LEED Platinum, Gold, and Silver commercial and governmental projects - that include multiple LEED Rating Systems and numerous prototypical buildings - Valerie is also widely respected as an expert in evaluating building materials and products for their sustainability and health attributes and regularly reviews products in terms of environmental claims, chemical inventories, third-party certifications, and transparency documentation. She is fluent in the language of EPD's, HPD's, LCA's and more advanced product labels like Declare, RedList Free, and Living Product Challenge (LPC) certification. Valerie is a nationally-recognized educator, author, speaker, and industry adviser and regularly mentors architecture and engineering students eager to enter the environmental building professions.
Not only has Valerie and the Walsh Sustainability Group navigated every twist and turn along the road toward sustainability...they've helped pave it. And now, with climate change and resilience at the forefront of their work, they've deepened their roots even further - and placed themselves at the intersection where resilient design meets sustainability.
Valerie's work on climate change and resilient design includes being appointed to serve on USGBC'S Resilience Working Group tasked with creating the new LEED Resilient Design Pilot Credits. And, working as the resilience consultant for a global building products manufacturer, the Walsh Sustainability Group helped that company achieve the world's first LEED Resilient Design Pilot Credit for its new global headquarters.
She's been a vetted speaker on resilient design at USGBC's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, AIA Collaborative Research Summit, GAF Resilient Design Forum, ICSC RetailGreen Conference, Colorado Green Schools Summit, and presented the closing keynote entitled The Resilience Imperative at Rocky Mountain Green, the USGBC Colorado Chapter's annual conference.
From facilitating initial, site-specific hazard assessments to identifying and prioritizing the range of practical resiliency options to exploring the related budgetary considerations - and how all this fits with sustainability goals - the Walsh Sustainability Group helps its clients address and balance climate resilient design and sustainability.