Brian Dunbar

Brian Dunbar, M.Arch, LEED Fellow

Executive Director & Professor Emeritus
brian.dunbar@colostate.edu, (970) 491-5041

Brian Dunbar is Executive Director of the Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) and Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University. Professor Dunbar holds two degrees in architecture from the University of Michigan and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Professor Dunbar has taught Interior Design, Construction Management, and Sustainability courses at Colorado State and created the graduate emphasis in sustainable building, professional certification courses in green building, and sustainable design and construction courses offered in Costa Rica and on the island of St. John, USVI.

Through IBE, Brian has guided project work and facilitated design charrettes for the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, American Institute of Architects, cities, numerous school districts, and the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office. Since 2004, Brian has annually been selected as a LEED faculty member by the U.S. Green Building Council. Brian is co-author of “147 Tips on Teaching Sustainability” and his sustainable building teaching and research has been honored and recognized by the AIA, the USGBC-Colorado Chapter, the Colorado Governor, the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, communities, businesses and universities.

Josie Plaut

Josie Plaut, M.S., LEED AP BD+C

Associate Director
josie.plaut@colostate.edu, (970) 491-5665

Josie Plaut is Associate Director for the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University where she leads a variety of green building and sustainability projects across the commercial, non-profit and government sectors. A LEED Accredited Professional since 2004, Josie has worked on dozens of projects that have earned or are seeking LEED certification. In addition to green building consulting, Josie works with companies to develop capacity and action plans for organizational change toward sustainability. Josie is an engaging and sought after trainer, lecturer and workshop facilitator. She is known for her ability to inspire and motivate people through articulating a practical vision for creating a healthy, prosperous and ecologically responsible world. Josie finds fulfillment in the services she provides to clients and enjoys the professional growth and mentoring that she offers to student interns at IBE. Josie has a degree in Sustainable Enterprise from Fort Lewis College and a Masters of Construction Management with an emphasis in Sustainable Building at Colorado State University.

Josie's professional work includes providing educational design and guidance for the USGBC's Green Associate and LEED Accredited Professional Study Guides, serving on the Commercial Technical Advisory Committee for the City of Fort Collins’ green building code amendments, and serving as a Volunteer Ambassador for the Living Building Challenge. Josie is a founding developer of The LENSES (Living Environments in Natural Social and Economic Systems) Framework, which is a ground breaking research project focused on creating transformational change toward regenerative design and practice.

Jeni Cross

Jennifer E. Cross, Ph.D.

Director of Research
jeni.cross@colostate.edu, (970) 491-0483

Jeni Cross is the Director of Research for the Institute for the Built Environment and Associate Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Davis. Her areas of expertise include conservation, community development, professional social networks, social norms, and behavior change. Jeni’s passion is applying the tools of social science (theory and research methods) to help communities and organizations create meaningful change. For example, she has created social marketing projects to improve radon mitigation, reduce substance use, and increase energy conservation. Her current research projects focus on how social norms influence energy conservation and how inter-organizational social networks contribute to innovation and sustainability.

Jeni is a talented and sought after lecturer and facilitator. She regularly gives keynote addresses and develops workshops for businesses, non-profits, local government and educational groups. Recently she has spoken about using social network analysis for informing the integrated design process, making organizational transformation for sustainability, and creating social marketing campaigns for conservation. Jeni is dedicated to the land grant mission for service and outreach and is known for her skill at translating social science into practice. She is an engaging speaker, making even highly technical knowledge interesting and useful to a variety of audiences.

Stephanie Barr

Stephanie Barr, M.S., LEED AP BD+C

Research Associate & Projects Manager
s.barr@colostate.edu, (970) 491-3260

As a Research Associate and Projects Manager for the Institute for the Built Environment, Stephanie leads organizational sustainability projects for real estate investment trusts, school districts, municipalities, and corporations. Her expertise includes sustainable building design, integrative project planning, existing building operations analysis, and corporate sustainability reporting. She is a skilled communicator and public speaker, possessing a unique ability to translate technical information into visually engaging and informative media. Through her research at Colorado State University, she developed and published an organizational change framework specifically for schools called The Whole-School Sustainability Framework, which is now used nationally by the USGBC Center for Green Schools. Stephanie applies this research in organizational change management to sectors beyond the education, assisting organizations in operating in a transparent, accountable, and restorative manner.

April Brown

April Brown, M.S., LEED AP BD+C, GGP

Senior Projects Manager
april.brown@colostate.edu, (970) 491-5041

April is a Projects Manager at the Institute for the Built Environment with expertise in integrated design, green building strategies, sustainable operations and maintenance, and LEED certification. Often referred to as the in-house “LEED Therapist,” she assists clients and development projects with successful implementation of sustainable design and operations and has managed project certifications across multiple LEED rating systems (BD+C, CI, EB:O&M) for a range of building types. April is particularly skilled at carrying the momentum and enthusiasm of long-term projects from the visioning phase through implementation and completion. Additionally, she provides professional mentorship and guidance to the graduate student interns at IBE. April volunteered as a content expert for the USGBC LEED regionalization task force for LEEDv4, is a member of the LEED Expert panel for USGBC Colorado, and a LEEDUser Guest Expert for BuildingGreen’s premier online forum for LEED implementation.

Colin Day

Colin Day, M.L.A, LEED Green Associate

Projects Manager
colin.day@colostate.edu , (970) 491-5041

Colin is a Projects Manager for the Institute for the Built Environment focused on district scale projects and initiatives including the Fort Collins EcoDistrict, the Urban Lab, and The Garden at Coors Field. As a Project Manager for the Institute for the Built Environment, Colin’s focus is on civic resilience, district and city scale sustainability solutions. He is a graduate of the Master’s in Landscape Architecture program at Colorado State University, where his focus was on redesigning environmentally compromised landscape for educational and community uses.

He received his bachelor's degree in fine arts from the California College of the Arts, where he focused on painting and drawing. As a longtime resident and student of cities, his interest in urban design and urban scale sustainability and resilience are what eventually led him to the field of Landscape Architecture. While he will continue to have a keen interest in design, his skills in creative problem solving, abstract thinking and client relations, coupled with his passion for sustainable materials, collaborative networks, and environmental health, provide the foundation for Colin’s work at IBE.

Helene Gotthelf

Helene Gotthelf, M.S., LEED AP BD+C, GGP

Projects Manager
helene.gotthelf@colostate.edu, (970) 491-5041

Helene is a Projects Manager for the Institute for the Built Environment, bringing over nine years of experience in the built environment focused on sustainable design and construction, regenerative guidance tools, LEED project management, transportation planning, and affordable housing. Most recently Helene worked as a LEED Certification Reviewer with the Green Building Certification Institute/U.S. Green Building Council and brings valuable insight to our LEED projects. In addition to IBE project management, Helene mentors student interns, oversees research initiatives, and manages the application of LENSES (Living Environments in Natural, Social, and Economic Systems), a framework for guiding transformational change toward regenerative design and practice. Helene has contributed to the development and application of LENSES since 2008, facilitating teams in systems-thinking and redefining metrics of success towards regenerative solutions that create value across multiple levels. Helene received her B.A. in Geography at University of Texas -Austin and her M.S. in Construction Management with an emphasis in Sustainable Building at Colorado State University. Helene’s thesis focused on Integrated Project Delivery in the greening of the structural steel delivery process. Helene currently serves on the USGBC CO Chapter Education Committee and is an active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

Jen Schill

Jen Schill, LEED Green Associate

Projects Manager
jen.schill@colostate.edu, (970) 491-5041

As a Project Manager for the Institute for the Built Environment, Jen supports clients in diverse green building projects and interdisciplinary sustainability and research programming. She also manages IBE’s education strategy and Partner Program. Jen thrives on bringing diverse stakeholders together to transform strategic vision into impactful programming.

Jen’s passions and experience include green building, regeneration, biomimicry, river and land conservation, and ecology. She has held positions that span project management, education, communications, marketing, and fundraising. In addition to her role at IBE, Jen also serves as a project manager at the Biomimicry Institute and as program director of CLEAR. Previously, Jen worked at the U.S. Green Building Council, where she established a digital library of green building best practices and developed LEED education. She has also worn many hats at a land trust and watershed protection organization, worked in an aquatic entomology lab, and provided consulting services to various conservation nonprofits.