Rachel Bannon-Godfrey has everything you want in a great Director of Sustainability: a deep commitment to leveraging design to help people thrive now and for years to come, the expertise to articulate the business case for sustainable design, and the ability to inspire teams to see opportunities for more sustainable solutions in every project.
As part of RNL’s commitment to staying at the forefront of sustainable design practices, the firm created a Director of Sustainability position. Rachel was hired for this role in 2015 on the strength of her 15 years of experience engineering and designing high-performance and net-zero energy buildings across six countries and three continents. Her role at RNL includes directing internal and client-facing sustainability practices.
Rachel brings project experience on a variety of building types and sizes in North America, Asia and the Middle East. Since joining RNL, Rachel has contributed to projects across all studios, in each of our offices, including Denver Water OCR, Lakehouse on 17th Condos, Hogan Lovells Headquarters interior fit-out, Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Transit Station Improvement and Heywood Garage II. Under her direction, RNL is also working to expand our definition of what it means to design spaces and places that not only improve building performance, but also drive health and wellbeing for our clients and employees alike. As part of that effort, Rachel spearheaded RNL becoming a certified B Corporation, a designation that recognizes RNL’s commitment to meeting rigorous standards of not only social and environmental performance, but also improving the quality of life for our own employees and the communities we touch through our work.
Prior to her current role, Rachel worked on the building performance engineering team at Ambient Energy, where she was involved on Colorado projects such as the Denver International Airport Hotel and Transit Center and the Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building. She also previously served as an architectural designer at internationally recognized firms such as SOM and HOK, and a sustainable design project specialist at Arup where she developed expertise in energy efficient building technologies.
For Rachel, A/E is a family business. Both her parents and her grandfather were architects. As a newborn, her father would hold her in the crook of his arm, resting her on his Mayline, and her cloth diapers were held together with drafting tape. You could say she was born to do this. In addition to five years teaching experience, Rachel is regularly called up on to share her expertise in building energy analysis, building envelopes, passive design, post-occupancy evaluations, and living infrastructure strategies with educational institutions, industry groups, and government agencies. In 2014, Rachel completed a Solar Executive MBA focused on the financial procurement and management of renewable energy projects.