Interior architectural designer, in-house LEED consultant
By Kelly Hushin
It’s no shock to anyone that Wilson Associates is a firm familiar with green.
Founder, Trisha Wilson, has a well-established charity organization and the firm is known for giving back to the community; the natural next step is to give the same care to the environment.
That’s why in their Dallas headquarters, Wilson is proud to work with in-house LEED-certified consultant and interior architectural designer, Jen Mauldin.
Mauldin’s advice for environmental consciousness on a personal level is simple; “Reduce, reuse, recycle.”
“Those are the things to do, less is more,” she said.
As for hospitality, Mauldin, who has been certified for four years, said she wants to see a LEED program specific to that field of design. Right now, LEED focuses more on architecture and the construction of buildings.
“I’d love to see LEED specialize in hospitality, something that implements not only the construction but the operations to be more green. You see a lot of hotels already trying to be more green in their operations but what would be nice would be to have an official monitoring system where a property could earn points for green operations.”
Mauldin came to Wilson from three Architecture, where she worked after graduating with a degree in environmental design from Texas A&M University. While the degree may sound very green, it’s actually a bit deceiving and is really a program set up for students to base their professions around the environment they’re designing in. But Mauldin decided to take that extra step and take the “environmental design” degree more literally.
“They hired me at three because of my green principles and later let me go because of my green principles,” she said. “They decided I was so passionate about green and that’s not the same direction they wanted to go, but it wouldn’t be fair to say that they haven’t since chosen to go that direction. Everyone is now wanting to change and adapt to the market for green.”
“Since I’ve been LEED certified, it’s something that’s always on my mind,” said Mauldin. “If I’m capable of selecting materials for a project, I try to select and design appropriately and consciously.”
One of the most important issues she learned from her LEED courses was about the harmful effects that VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) have on interior spaces. She is now more conscious about choosing products that use finishes that do not contribute to VOC’s.
“It’s become much simpler to specify because everyone is becoming green savvy and the industry as a whole through wall papers, paints, etc. – they’re all aiming for lower VOC’s,” she said. “Sometimes you’re selecting a product that has low VOC’s on a daily basis and someone who doesn’t understand that doesn’t know that it’s already being done.”
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