Principal: Stefanie Young
Stefanie Young is a principal here at Rushing and the Director of Sustainability. She holds the following accreditations: LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Built Green verifier, BREEAM assessor, and LEED for Homes Green Rater. Stefanie has been with Rushing since 2012.
How did you get interested in sustainability?
Since I was a child, I wanted to help with the environment. I first got started by developing a recycling program at my elementary school and from there, I was hooked. When I started looking into my higher education options, I found out that buildings are one of the largest contributors to Greenhouse Gas emissions and climate change contributor due to energy use. This fact solidified my path toward the built environment, specifically sustainability consulting for buildings.
Tell us about some of your achievements and experiences in the industry.
I have a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon, a master’s in Urban Planning and Design from the University of Washington, which have all prepared me for my career in sustainability. I have completed some doctoral work. My research focused on climate change, the built environment’s resilience and adaptation, and ecosystem services. I also am on USGBC’s Steering Committee and Vice-Chair of the LEED Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group focusing on writing LEED v5. I am one of the only BREEAM assessors in the Pacific Northwest and have recently won Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2022 40 under 40 award.
What inspires you to do the work that you do?
Stories of my mother’s experience working on the family farm in rural Iowa first inspired me to consider and care for the earth so that we can continue to reap the benefits that it continues to provide us. As a sustainability consultant, I am continually inspired by seeing my work put into action, helping clients realize their goals while contributing to being part of the climate solution, and working with an amazing, passionate team at Rushing.
What are you doing to ensure that people continue to get into careers that take care of our planet?
Knowing that the engineering industry is largely dominated by men, I have been inspired to help foster Rushing’s relationship with Boy Scouts of America Troop 88 from Lake Stevens. This is an all-female troop that Rushing is volunteering with to support, educate, and fundraising efforts. I have also taught sustainability courses at the University of Washington which helps expose, educate, and hopefully inspire a new generation which takes action to help the planet.
What brings you joy?
Every day my husband, my son, and my dog, Remy, give me joy. I am thankful and lucky to have them in my life. They continually make me smile. I am also very lucky to be part of my wonderful work team! We support each other every week and continue to be positive and helpful in all that we do.
Have you picked back up any hobbies or started a new one?
I am restarting my garden. I haven’t had an active garden since my husband and I moved into our house, as our lovely dog wants to eat all the veggies. This past weekend, we built a dog-proof fence and will be ready for our seedlings in about two weeks. My husband and I also enjoy decorating the exterior of our house for the holidays; if you’re ever in West Seattle and see a house dressed to the nines, it could be ours!
How do you like to stay active?
My husband and I just welcomed our first born to our family in October. As you can imagine, this has changed our life dramatically. Before Baby, we were regulars at Sounders games and active within the West Seattle community. We still enjoy going to Sounders games, but we also love going on long walks in our neighborhood visiting all the neighbors’ dogs.