Rocky Mountain Institute
Cara Carmichael's background in both architecture and engineering has served as the cross disciplinary foundation for her passion of working on strategic energy design and master planning in buildings and portfolios. Cara helped shape the strategic creation and operation of the RetroFit Initiative within RMI. She led the content development and launch of the RetroFit Depot, an online industry resource about deep retrofits — benefits, processes, case studies and tools to prove the economic viability of deep commercial building retrofits. She continues to lead an effort focused on implementing a deep retrofit business model within Energy Service Companies and targeted architectural, engineering and consulting firms. Coupled with her ability to create high-level net zero energy masterplans and deep retrofit value propositions, Cara enjoys working at a tangible, project level to apply integrative design solutions and turn theory into practice on actual projects.
Currently, she leads RMI’s efforts to design a new, next generation deep green headquarters for RMI in Basalt, Colorado. She is applying Integrated Project Delivery and quantifying some of the value beyond energy cost savings the building will provide to create a replicable process and financial model for other small building owners to follow. A few of her other recent projects include Ford’s Green Dealership program, GSA Net Zero Renovation Challenge and working with a global healthcare company to create a net zero energy roadmap for one of their R&D campuses based on the principles of aggressive efficiency and finding the most cost effective balance point between energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy generation.