Five Questions with Nori Catabay, Green Building Team Program Manager, Department of Natural Resources & Parks

Nori Catabay1. What was your first role at King County? I started at King County in 2002 as the Senior Policy Analyst to King County Councilmember Carolyn Edmonds working on legislation related to Natural Resources and Parks and the Board of Health.

2. What does your work with the Green Building Team involve?  As a service provided by the King County GreenTools Program funded by the Solid Waste Division, I coordinate King County’s internal Green Building Team which includes representatives from multiple departments that manage and operate capital assets, as well as have an impact on green building and sustainable development. We are responsible for implementing the County’s Green Building Ordinance which includes designing, constructing and operating our County assets with the latest green building and sustainable development practices.  I provide green building technical assistance to County projects, review project’s annual green building reports, organize trainings to County staff, coordinate with other sustainability programs, create necessary tools to implement the policy requirements, collaborate across divisions to make process improvements, assist projects with green building rating systems, and promote County green building achievements.

3. How does green building help to address climate change? As mentioned in the Strategic Climate Action Plan, building and facility energy use is the region’s second largest source of Greenhouse gas emissions. Roughly two-thirds of all King County’s built environment in 2050, including buildings and infrastructure, is expected to be constructed between 2007 and 2050.This redevelopment offers a critical opportunity for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.  Not only can we reduce our emissions, but we can save on operating costs from lower energy and utility bills.

4. What do you like most about your job? The opportunity to work with amazing and talented project managers across county divisions that are pushing the envelope toward the highest performing sustainability standards. It is great being able to collaborate on a wide range of projects from bus shelters to transfer stations and courthouses to flood projects. I am also lucky to work in the GreenTools Program that provides innovative resources to both internally and externally to King County. As a County employee, there is a sense of pride to support my colleagues providing critical public services with green building practices.

5. What is the biggest challenge in your job? Having enough time and resources to meet the needs of roughly 300 capital projects and 100 project managers.