Heidi Kunka will further green building initiatives for a more sustainable future.
WASHINGTON, D.C. —(August 9, 2016) – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) announced the appointment of Heidi Kunka as the director of USGBC Central Pennsylvania. In this role, Kunka will work to advance USGBC’s mission to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated through localized engagement and outreach throughout the state.
As director of USGBC Central Pennsylvania, Kunka will advocate for better buildings, including the expansion of LEED®, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the world’s most widely used green building rating system, collaborate with local stakeholders to create a more sustainable built environment in the state and region.
“Heidi’s years of expertise in the sustainability sector and in-depth knowledge of Pennsylvania’s green building initiatives will enhance the mission of USGBC Central Pennsylvania to expand LEED education, advocacy and outreach throughout the state,” said Kimberly Lewis, senior vice president of community advancement, USGBC. “We are thrilled to have Heidi lead our efforts to inspire sustainable transformation and advance Pennsylvania as a national and international leader in the green building movement.
Kunka has spent more than a decade in the environment and sustainability field, most recently serving as energy program specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Energy Assistance. During her tenure, Kunka served as the primary tour guide of the LEED Gold Southeast Regional Office. She developed the educational content and secured the majority of building material donations for an award-winning green home exhibit, which toured throughout Pennsylvania. Kunka also managed various contacts with external partners such as energy-efficient building training experts for government and K–12 school facility managers. She led the redesign of the Pennsylvania application for U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, which is now referred to as a national model, and organized the first statewide recognition ceremony for the program.
Kunka held several other positions in various departments in the Pennsylvania Department of Energy, including compliance specialist and water quality specialist for the Storage Tanks Section and energy specialist for the Office of Energy & Technology Deployment. She also served as an environmental scientist for the URS Corporation.
Kunka is an active community member and has participated in many events, including USGBC Central Pennsylvania’s Forever Green awards, and was the primary organizer for the Delaware Valley Green Building Council Educational Programs Committee. Kunka was the recipient of the Greenest Apple award from USGBC Central Pennsylvania for her countless hours of volunteering. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Pollution Control from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Muhlenberg College. Kunka also holds a LEED Accredited Professional certification and a Building Operator certification.
”As a former board member and now director for USGBC Pennsylvania, I am thrilled to continue my work on behalf of USGBC and LEED,” said Kunka. “Pennsylvania has played a strong role in the green building movement. I look forward to being a part of the continued growth to ensure that generations to come will live, work and play in green buildings.”
Currently, Pennsylvania has 999 LEED-certified commercial projects, equivalent to more than 115 million square feet. In addition, between 2015 and 2018, green building in the state of Pennsylvania is expected to support nearly 345,000 green construction jobs and more than $19 billion in labor earnings, according to USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study.
USGBC’s integrated community gives regional and state green building leaders and volunteers the opportunity to focus on driving local growth with the support of its global green building network. By creating a network of building local leaders, USGBC communities are transforming the way we think about how buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated to achieve a sustainable built environment for generations to come.