Sustainable Design Leader


Arlington, VA, USA Remote / WFH

Full time

Sustainability Management

Environmental Sustainability Policy


Nov 17

At HDR, we specialize in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. While we are most well-known for adding beauty and structure to communities through high-performance buildings and smart infrastructure, we provide much more than that. We create an unshakable foundation for progress because our multidisciplinary teams also include scientists, economists, builders, analysts and artists. That's why we believe diversity is our greatest strength. HDR is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer.

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We believe that the way we work can add meaning and value to the world. That ideas inspire positive change. That coloring outside the lines can illuminate fresh perspectives. And that small details yield important realizations. Above all, we believe that collaboration is the best way forward.

The Sustainable Design Leader is responsible for the overall Sustainable Design leadership of the regional practice. Promotes quality design efforts of all departments and is acutely involved in the positioning of the practice as well as the pursuit, win, and delivery of projects.

The Sustainable Design Leader will provide sustainable consulting services on a variety of projects related to the built environment. Responsibilities include marketing, project scoping, fee and scope negotiation, planning, staffing, budgeting, scheduling, technical reviews, writing, analysis, and quality control. The Sustainable Leader must actively engage colleagues in the region to provide sustainable education, improve the quality of sustainable marketing and ensure that a integrated design process is occurring on all project within the region. Thought Leadership and Public outreach within the design and sustainable industry is required. This includes speaking at conferences, publishing papers, and involvement in strategic industry professional organizations.


Project Facilitation and Leadership

  • Initiate project sustainable design concepts and idea discussions and provide guidance to design teams during project design development.
  • Serve as a client liaison for the HDR project team in an active and contributing role throughout the life of the project. Maintains an ongoing client relationship, post occupancy.
  • Serve as Project Sustainable Design Principal on selected projects.
  • Guide and advise design teams on projects, providing sustainable design input to ensure consistent and high-quality design throughout the studio. Conduct technical and sustainable design reviews of in-house projects.
  • Assist in the preparation and delivery of sustainable design presentations to clients and drive consultant work to achieve design goals.
  • Responsible for preparing fee and workload projections for assigned projects.
  • Understand and enforce conditions of client contract
  • Mentor by coaching and motivating design teams and individuals. Foster an environment of mutual respect, open communication and trust within team and throughout the office.
  • Participate in interviews and recruiting of professional staff.

Business Development and Thought Leadership

  • Responsible for the development and execution of the regional business unit plan and managing the business unit’s marketing strategy; as well as the overall branding and development of HDR’s Sustainable Design Practice.
  • Participate in developing the annual business plan for the regional practice.
  • Identifies new business opportunities while developing current client relationships. Listens for and seeks out new projects which may exist or are being formulated.
  • Participate in selected marketing and business development opportunities in the region. Acts as key presenter in new project interviews.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with regional HDR leaders, consultants, contractors and community stakeholders resulting in increased business opportunities.
  • Assist in development of fee proposals for marketing proposals and contract negotiation.
  • Assist Marketing Department in development of marketing campaigns, materials, webinars, etc. and overall proposal preparation. Provides oversight to marketing staff in the development of standard materials that describe the sustainable design processes.
  • Assists in preparation of award submittals. Regional sustainable business plan must target at least (1) strategic award per year.
  • Participates in local or state professional associations. Maintains active membership on at least (1) strategic board or committee for an appropriate industry organization.
  • Attends conferences valued by clients as appropriate and presents at (1) strategic conference per year.
  • Assists in the preparation of press releases and other materials relevant to core practice and sustainable design practice.

  • Serves as mentor/advisor to sustainability and other regional staff.
  • Prepares and delivers design staff evaluations; responsible for performance development, compensation decision-making and allocation processes of department.
  • Supports diversity and develops continuing education opportunities (e.g. site visits, lectures, road trips) to expose design staff to influences which will stimulate design creativity and innovation.
  • Participates in interviews and recruiting of professional staff.
  • Encourages staff exploration and innovation to achieve project design excellence and continual improvement.

  • Skills And Competencies
  • Significant talent in sustainable design integration, design development and project leadership for large-scale projects.
  • Advanced knowledge of sustainability, integrated design, trends, construction methodology, materials application and manufacturer-supplier relationships.
  • Advanced knowledge in certification standards (LEED, BREEM, LBC etc.) and application to Federal, Healthcare and Science and Technology projects.
  • Ability to manage the sustainable design group and project design teams with a collaborative leadership style.
  • Excellent presentation skills that help build knowledge and consensus for project teams.
  • Energetic, outgoing personality to inspire project teams
  • Ability to think strategically, implements change, enforces policy and resolve conflict.
  • Thorough understanding of project work plans, schedules, staffing, and budgets. Demonstrated ability to execute projects profitably.
  • Task-oriented; good follow-through and project management skills
  • Proven ability to prioritize oneself and the work of others in order to meet deadlines and provide high quality service to clients.
  • Self-starter with the ability to act in a proactive manner to execute job responsibilities
  • Proven ability to create and maintain strong working relationships with external clients.
  • Proven ability to masterfully present, effectively sell and negotiate the services of HDR.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. Excellent writing, grammar, punctuation, spelling and proofreading skills.
  • Ability to work unscheduled overtime as needed.
  • Some travel will be necessary
  • Knowledge of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery (IDP).
  • Proficiency in the basic technical skills of the following computer skills:
  • Proficiency in HDR work plan tools highly preferred.
  • Proficiency in MS Office, including Word, Excel Outlook and Adobe Creative Suite required.
  • Proficiency in Newforma preferred.
  • Understanding of and ability to interpret and apply results from early modeling software: Equest, Energy Plus, Climate Consultant, DIVA, Radiance, DAYSIM, Sefaira, etc.
  • Knowledge of Revit, AutoCAD and Sketchup preferred, but not required.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design or closely related field
  • A minimum of 10 years of architecture, interior design or engineering experience and 10+ years in sustainable design experience
  • LEED Accredited Professional with specialty designation

Preferred Qualifications

  • Active tracking for Registered Architect or Professional Engineer licensure but not required
  • Preference given to local candidates


At HDR, we know work isn't only about who you work for it's also about what you do and how you do it. Led by the strength of our values and a culture shaped by employee ownership, we network with each other, build on each other's contributions, and collaborate together to make great things possible. When you join HDR, we give you license to do the same. We help you take charge of your career, giving you multiple growth opportunities along the way.

We provide a comprehensive benefits package that promotes employee ownership, employee health, performance, and success; which includes medical, dental, vision, short and long-term disability, life insurance, an employee assistance program, paid time off and parental leave, paid holidays, 401(k) retirement savings plan with employer match, employee referral bonuses and tuition reimbursement. In New York, the typical starting pay range for this position is $125,269-$169,481 annually depending upon skills, experience, education and geographical location.

Primary Location

United States-Virginia-Arlington

Other Locations

United States-New York-New York





Employee Status




Job Posting

Oct 5, 2023

At HDR, we are committed to the principles of employment equity in all of our offices. USA: We are an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider all qualified candidates regardless of minority, veteran, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or any other status protected by law. CANADA: We welcome applications from all qualified individuals. AUSTRALIA: We consider all qualified candidates regardless of gender, ethnicity, country of birth, political or religious affiliation, health status, or any other status protected by law.

Health and safety is also our priority. For some positions, you may be required to provide drug and alcohol testing, before or during employment, based on our Drug Testing and Drug Free Workplace Policy. If you are required to drive for us, we require a valid driver's license and compliance with our vehicle policy.

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