19 Mar 2018
The Green Building Council of Australia is home to a diverse, talented staff, each of whom are passionate about the sustainable transformation of the built environment. Our organisation seeks to nurture our team and encourage them to use their unique skills to forge strong career pathways in the industry.
Now, we're on the lookout for a Technical Specialist to join the Green Star Solutions team. Think that could be you? Hear from Devan Valenti, who is now transitioning in our Market Transformation team, on the opportunities, challenges and rewards of fulfilling the role.
I joined the GBCA in May 2017 as a technical specialist, where I oversaw two of our rating tools: Green Star – Design & As Built and Green Star – Interiors.
I started my career at a green building consultancy in the U.K called Dalen Group, where I worked with BREEAM and LEED projects. After this, I returned to Cape Town to study a Master’s in Economic & Management Sciences whilst simultaneously working at the Green Building Council South Africa in a technical role. I then worked again as a consultant for a few years to get some industry experiences and then made my way over to Sydney to join the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). I enjoy working in any capacity that challenges and leads industry, and the GBCA certainly affords that.
I’ve always been inspired by the rating tools being developed in Australia and how they continue pushing the boundaries of sustainability in the built environment. The tools evolve in response to issues of national and international importance and strike a delicate balance between what is realistic and what is challenging and needed. Furthermore, the GBCA is a key global player in the green building movement. If you’re an aspiring actor, wouldn’t you want to be working in Hollywood?
There have been many, from dealing with external stakeholders, to developing technical solutions aligned with Green Star principles, to the flexible work arrangements. However, the greatest opportunity is somewhat unusual. We exist to fundamentally promotes and incentive change in the built environment. To act as a catalyst for change, we need to constantly evolve, adapt and develop services and products that are transformative. The opportunity with this is that unconventional thinking is encouraged here at the GBCA, and our ideas - big or small - are always given consideration. While there’s not always uptake, ideas are heard. The opportunity to challenge business as usual and conventionality, set industry on a journey towards sustainability, and prototype new ideas are opportunities I’m enjoying.
The role of Technical Specialist is a challenging but rewarding one. You’ll need to have a broad grasp of sustainability issues but at the same time have the ability to dig deeper into the technical details to find robust solutions. You’ll need to be a team player, as you cannot possibly know everything and need to lean on colleagues for their skills and expertise. You’ll need to be comfortable having technical conversations with external stakeholders and guiding them through successful Green Star certification. And most importantly, you’ll need to understand that in this role, it’s not what you know that’s important, but rather how you think.