Oregon BEST Hires Green Building Leader

Brickman to Lead Sustainable Built Environment Program

The Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) has hired a veteran of sustainable architecture and design to lead development of its Sustainable Built Environment Program, which includes prioritizing research and investment agendas to build economic strength in Oregon and expanding the state’s reputation as the national leader in green building innovation.

Johanna Brickman joins Oregon BEST following a nine-year tenure as Associate Partner and firm-wide Director of Sustainability at Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, LLP (ZGF), a nationally-recognized architecture, interiors, and urban design firm headquartered in Portland, Ore.

Brickman’s leadership experience encompasses service on boards of directors, including two terms as an elected board member of the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, where she currently serves as vice-chair and will begin serving as chair next month. She is also an appointed member of the founding board of directors of Voice for Oregon Innovation and Sustainability (VOIS), which supports sustainable, forward-thinking business leaders through advocacy, education, leadership cultivation, civic interaction and community building.

“Having Johanna on our team is helping Oregon BEST achieve our mission of commercializing Oregon’s green building and renewable energy research into new technologies, products, and jobs that drive our state’s growing green economy,” said David Kenney, president and executive director of Oregon BEST. “She’ll connect green building companies in Oregon with Oregon BEST’s network of university labs and expertise, fostering innovation and collaborations that build on Oregon’s position as the national epicenter of sustainable built environment research and practice.”

One of Brickman’s first tasks is coordinating the efforts of Oregon’s researchers to refine the research agenda for the proposed Oregon Sustainability Center, a net-zero energy high-rise building planned for downtown Portland that will serve as a living lab for green building research. The aggressive research agenda associated with the project will be conducted by university researchers in conjunction with the project developers and stakeholders. The goal of the agenda is to better understand what is required to effectively rise to the strict imperatives of the Living Building Challenge, through advanced research in net-zero energy and water systems design, materials, occupant behavior, as well as investigation of the design process itself.

Each research area will conduct projects that carry across all phases of the project and which encompass all scales of the program from materials/components to systems to building-scale to district-level.

“The Oregon Sustainability Center is an excellent opportunity for Oregon to demonstrate its leadership position in built environment innovation,” Brickman said. “Oregon BEST researchers and partners have recognized this project represents a unique combination of aggressive performance targets, a motivated group of tenants, inclusion in the PSU EcoDistrict, and a long-term building owner committed to tracking and reporting performance over time.”

Brickman will lead Oregon BEST’s focus around nine research themes: alternative materials; sustainable structures; energy generation; envelope technologies; active/passive HVAC; design and systems integration; behavior, health and productivity; eco-district systems; and eco-district policy.

She also leads working councils, assembles applied research teams, acts as a liaison to complementary regional and national organizations, and serves as an advisor to policy makers, industry and university partners, nonprofits and the media.

At ZGF, Brickman led development of a dedicated Sustainable Design Team that extended the firm’s services to include a full range of sustainability consulting services. The efforts of Brickman and the ZGF Sustainable Design Team led to a national ranking at the top of sustainable design firms in Architecture magazine.

Brickman holds a degree in environmental studies from Scripps College and has been honored with the Portland Business Journal’s, 40 Under Forty Award in 2003 and a BetterBricks Advocate Award in 2006.

About Oregon BEST: The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) brings together Oregon’s significant R&D strengths in the key emerging areas of renewable energy and green building products and services, with the goal of increasing research and accelerating public/private partnerships to transform that research into on-the-ground business opportunities and Oregon jobs. Since being established by the Oregon Legislature in 2007, Oregon BEST has helped secure more than $7 million in research revenue at its partner universities, which include the Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, the University of Oregon, as well as numerous private businesses, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Media Contact: Gregg Kleiner, 541-740-9654
Sources: David Kenney, 503-725-9849; Johanna Brickman, 503-725-9641