HDR Architecture’s Michaella Wittmann, LEED AP BD+C, and Lidia Berger IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, have been named LEED Fellows by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). They were two of 34 professionals to receive the honor this year, the inaugural year of the program. LEED Fellow is the GBCI’s most prestigious professional designation developed to honor and recognize distinguished LEED APs who have made a significant contribution to the field of green building and sustainability.
Wittmann, based in the firm’s Omaha, NE office, founded and directs HDR’s Sustainable Solutions program. She has been a leader in the sustainability and green building industry for more than 17 years. Guided by Wittmann, HDR began a process for integrating sustainable design concepts into its work beginning in the early 1990s. The Sustainable Design Services group was established to pioneer a more rigorous approach to green building through educating co-workers, advising project teams, and collaborating with like-minded industry leaders.
In 1994, under Wittmann’s direction, HDR became the first A/E/C firm to join the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). She was actively involved in the development of the first Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Tool and has worked with a multitude of clients including Federal and state agencies, universities, healthcare systems, and commercial building owners. Wittmann explains: “Our firm has never once looked back, and with HDR’s steady support, I have been able to grow an austere idea into a dynamic force that is now part of our corporate identity. In 1994 I never dreamed of all that could—and would—be accomplished.”Berger is a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s National Capital Region Chapter and is based in HDR’s Alexandria, VA office. She was involved in the development of the LEED-CI rating system and served on the LEED-EB Core Committee. Additionally, Berger has managed award-winning teams on a multitude of sustainability-focused projects within both the private and public sectors. She has also directed teams conducting Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) studies for clients such as Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A native of Silesia, Poland; region designated as one of the five official ecological disaster areas. Berger left the country in 1986, but the ecological problems that had befallen the region left a deep impression. ”Living (there) deepened not only my sensitivity to the overall human impact on the environment, but especially to ecological degradation created by industrial development, human sprawl and the extraction of natural resources.”
Over the past 17 years, HDR has completed over 37 million square feet of sustainable project work, which represents 38 LEED-certified projects, including three platinum-certified and six gold-certified. HDR has also signed the “Architecture 2030 Challenge.” HDR architects, engineers and planners are world-renowned for their award-winning designs of a full range of technologically advanced facilities for public and private sector healthcare, science + technology, and academic institutions worldwide. HDR is ranked No. 4 in Architectural Record’s 2011 Top 250 Design Firms survey. It is also ranked the No. 1 firm for healthcare design in four significant industry surveys: Modern Healthcare, Healthcare Design, World Architecture and Engineering News-Record.