An HOK boomerang, Mara re-joined the firm in 2010 after an eight year “sabbatical” that included two masters degrees, a research fellowship with the US Green Building Council, a career in healthcare architecture, and a lot of really fun adventures. As the Sustainable Design Leader for HOK’s global healthcare practice, Mara oversees sustainability implementation, research, education across the healthcare market sector. Based out of San Francisco, she loves working with project teams around HOK to drive down the enormous environmental footprint that healthcare facilities usually impose. Inpatient hospitals are among the biggest offenders in terms energy and water use, as well as waste generation – most facilities have between ten and twenty waste streams that include everything from recyclable office paper to nuclear waste.
Mara previously worked in the Science + Technology group in the St. Louis office, where she also contributed to the first edition of the HOK Sustainable Design Guidebook. In 2001 she pioneered the fine art of teaching LEED AP exam classes – one of her claims to fame was becoming HOK’s second LEED AP. She’s still teaching green building practices and principles, both within HOK and online at the Boston Architectural College’s Sustainable Design Institute.
When she’s not bouncing around the world greening hospitals, you can usually find Mara either in the kitchen cooking crazy vegetarian dishes or hanging out in one of the Bay Area’s amazing regional, state or national parks. Mara is also on the host committee for Greenbuild 2012, and she hopes that you all come to San Francisco for what will be the biggest and best green building conference ever! Follow Mara on Twitter @marabaumAIA.