About Us

Mission

Beyond Efficiency empowers people to create enduring human-centered buildings and communities.

Vision

Beyond Efficiency is a team of building consultants, researchers, and educators passionate about innovating and scaling solutions to environmental and social equity challenges related to the built environment. We combine human-centered thinking with engineering and science-based strategies to accelerate positive impacts from practices, processes and policies for buildings and communities.

Our work in research, policy and education is influenced and strengthened by our hands-on building consulting and engineering work that provides us unique insights into the real challenges faced by building owners, designers, builders, and stakeholders in creating successful projects.

Philosophy

Super-efficient buildings are critical to ensuring we hand off a planet ready to embrace future generations. When focusing on efficiency, it's important not to get blinded by isolated components and neglect the ultimate goal of optimizing the entire system—from the building to the site, community and beyond. After all, elements of a building are only as efficient as the larger systems they comprise.

Yet a truly successful building—one that's loved and stands the test of time—transcends efficiency. It is healthy, comfortable and filled with natural light; it feels good and improves people’s well-being. It has thoughtfully designed spaces that are smart and functional. It considers and connects to the community.

Efficiency is vital, but without these intangible and "beyond the lot line" human elements a building will not endure (so much for efficiency!). Buildings are for people, and they must be loved to endure. This is the premise of our philosophy and approach.  

        - Katy Hollbacher, Founder and Principal of Beyond Efficiency

Team

Katy Hollbacher, P.E., Principal + Founder

Katy is a licensed civil engineer and founded Beyond Efficiency in 2009 to provide technical consulting services for high-performance building projects, something that was sorely lacking in the marketplace. She has twenty years experience in the A/E/C and green building industries and is passionate about educating clients and team members on building science and best practices.

Prior to founding Beyond Efficiency, Katy spent five years managing Build It Green's suite of technical information programs, including the Ask an Expert green building hotline and Best Builders technical assistance program. She was also an engineer at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, a national consulting firm specializing in the forensic investigation and repair of modern and historic structures. At home in the field as well as the office, Katy has pounded nails, hung drywall, and pulled wires on various construction projects.

She has presented for a broad range of clients including AIA, PG&E, ACI, West Coast Green, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), and NARI as well as various public agencies, USGBC and Passive House chapters. Katy was a founding board member of the non-profit Passive House California and holds a Master of Science in Civil/Structural Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Follow Katy on Twitter @a2green

Jose Rivero, Sustainability Engineer Manager

Jose holds degrees in Architectural Engineering and Engineering Management from the University of Colorado and Fort Lewis College. He is also a certified Passive House consultant and registered Engineer-in-Training (EIT).

After following around contractors as a child, Jose was swinging a hammer from a young age and developed a lifelong love of building. He has worked in most facets of design and construction for the past 20 years, from mechanical and electrical engineering design to construction management. His most recent achievement is the design and construction of two net-zero energy (NZE) homes in Berkeley, California.

Justin Tatosian, P.E., Mechanical Engineer

Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming and provides construction-ready engineering services through his company JTec based in Jackson, Wyoming. He has been both designing and installing HVAC systems for more than fifteen years. With a broad range of experience from single-family to large commercial and municipal projects, Justin isn't afraid to think outside the box and apply both creativity and common sense to solve the engineering challenges presented by low-energy, high-performance projects.

Prior to JTec, Justin worked at CN Engineers and Synergy Heating Systems in Jackson as well as Stantec in Seattle and Horizon Engineering in Portland. Beyond Efficiency has collaborated with JTec on numerous projects throughout the western U.S. and they work together as an integrated, cohesive team.

Danielle Beevé-Morris, Sustainability Engineer Manager

Daniell Beevé-Morris headshot

Danielle holds a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) as well as a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering Planning & Management from Johns Hopkins University. Within the last few years she has been excited to make the switch from the Biotech industry to the Environmental Sustainability sphere, and she brings with her a strong background in project management, process improvement, and regulatory compliance at both the national and global levels, having worked in renewable energy in London immediately prior to Beyond Efficiency.

A self proclaimed Tree Hugger, she is passionate about finding environmentally just solutions to the climate crisis, and is an active member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps. As such, she is thrilled to be working with a team that holds similar values: working together toward a more sustainable future for all.  

Theo, Zen Master (2001-2014)

In Memoriam
Theo was with Beyond Efficiency since before its beginning. After spending a year in the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley in Hailey, Idaho, Katy brought him home to Wyoming in 2003, where he spent many months hanging out at a jobsite--the perfect place for a dog learning to be house trained. There, and later at Build It Green, and then at Beyond Efficiency, Theo's primary responsibility was office morale booster.

Theo believed that sun feels good and reminded us of the importance of bringing the outside in. And of getting outside to breathe fresh air, explore interesting scents, and run free through the woods and waves. In a nutshell, to enjoy every moment. Humans could learn a lot from wise old dogs.

Theo had a pure and gentle soul and made me a better person. I will miss you dearly, my sweet Theo.

Jennifer Love, Senior Sustainability Engineer

Jennifer holds a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Clemson University and has technical expertise in many facets of green building, from stormwater management and rainwater harvesting to indoor air quality and materials. She is especially interested in water conservation and quality and was involved in Water-Energy Nexus research at a prior job. Jennifer is a Certified GreenPoint Rater and Certified Energy Analyst and has completed an array of professional Passive House training courses. 

Prior to coming on board with Beyond Efficiency, Jen worked on educational programs for the Pacific Energy Center for four years. She also worked at Build It Green, where she counseled building professionals through the Best Builders program, answered hundreds of Ask an Expert hotline questions, and contributed to the development of the now far-reaching GreenPoint Rated program over her four-year tenure.

Katie Dahlgren, Project Success Manager

Katie Dahlgren headshotKatie holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Washington State University Honors College and brings 10 years of construction management experience to her role at Beyond Efficiency. She enjoys diving into the details and working with diverse teams to effectively meet client goals. Katie's core role is to support the team's project management needs and facilitate abilities of technical staff to efficiently and effectively fulfill contracted work scopes. 

Prior to joining Beyond Efficiency Katie worked with Big-D Construction - Signature Group and McCarthy Building Companies, working with clients to build their vision with design-build teams. Key roles included cost estimator and project manager on projects ranging from parking structures in Southern California to high-end custom homes in Jackson, Wyoming. Katie has served as a board member of USGBC Wyoming and an advisory board member to Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling, contributing to the county's Zero Waste Resolution through input on facility planning.

Laken Allen, Operations Manager

Laken holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and brings a diverse background in event planning, customer relations, project management and interior design to the Beyond Efficiency team.

She enjoys streamlining processes and supporting the staff in creating enduring, human-centered buildings. In her role, she oversees day to day operations and administration to allow the technical staff to focus on the big picture. She coordinates recurring and special events and facilitates marketing efforts. She also manages the hiring process, on boarding and continued staff education.

Prior to Beyond Efficiency, Laken worked in interior design where she realized her affinity for problem solving and detail oriented project management could also serve her passion for sustainability. She is thankful for the opportunity to work with teammates equally as excited to create a better planet.

Harshul Singhal, Senior Energy Engineer

Harshul Singhal headshotAs a Senior Energy Engineer, Harshul is wholly committed to sustainability and climate responsive designs. He has considerable expertise in developing high performance design strategies both for new-build and refurbishment projects and an extensive analytical knowledge of building energy performance and resource conservation strategies.

His substantial body of creative work in the USA, China, India and other parts of the world demonstrates his commitment to sustainable and renewable sources, while his ongoing research and teaching responsibilities enable him to underpin his professional work with scholarship and contribute to lifelong learning.

As an architect and an engineer, he has proved to be a highly effective bridge between the two worlds of architectural design and building services.

 
Dan Johnson, AIA, Sustainability Architect Leader

Dan is a licensed architect and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Washington, which included a Valle Fellowship to study building technology at the IVL Swedish Environmental Institute in Stockholm. Dan also earned degrees in conservation biology and anthropology from UW and is an alumnus of the International Honors Program for comparative foreign study. Dan is a leader that inspires camaraderie and team integration to meet project objectives. Recognized as an expert on sustainable buildings and early-design energy modeling, Dan enjoys creative problem solving and using his broad skillset to bridge gaps between architects, engineers, owners, and contractors.
 
Prior to joining Beyond Efficiency, Dan led projects through all phases of design in the K-12 Schools studio at Ratcliff Architects, and worked as a designer and project manager at Arkin Tilt Architects. With Dan's leadership, the firm undertook one of the first Passive House, net-zero-energy homes in the Bay Area, which used many reclaimed materials and received several design awards and green certifications. Dan also brings his experience from the Integrated Design Lab in Seattle, where he consulted on daylighting for commercial and educational buildings.

Jayant Patil, Energy + Systems Specialist Manager

Jayant Patil headshotJayant holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nevada and is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM). He brings more than 12 years of diverse experience in energy efficiency, measurement and verification (M&V), and energy audits in commercial, small industrial, and K-12 educational facilities.

Jayant's primary role at Beyond Efficiency includes evaluating and recommending HVAC and electrical equipment measures including boilers, pumps, fans, chillers, controls, solar collectors, and thermal storage. He also provides energy modeling, data and financial analysis, and commissioning services.

Peter Grant, Research Manager

Peter Grant

Peter has been researching building energy topics since starting his Master's degree from the Building Systems Program at the University of Colorado in 2007, including a Research Assistant position at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Peter got into building engineering through the inspiration of watching his parents build an almost completely solar powered house in Northern Minnesota (December is a real challenge). His primary areas of research have historically included hot water systems, developing simulation models and simulation model calibration and validation. Recent research efforts and interests include adding AI to building control systems, automating processes and finding ways to help ensure that simulation model results match reality.

Prior to joining Beyond Efficiency, he's worked at institutions including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the European Academy.  His projects at those institutions have included laboratory testing and simulation model-based research, primarily creating experimentally validated simulation models of hot water systems. He's also served as a technical expert advising the regular Title 24 update process. Peter is also an annual presenter at the ACEEE Hot Water Forum, and at any event where people are interested in his areas of research.

Nathan Iltis, Energy Engineer

Nathan Iltis headshot

Nathan earned his Master of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. His focus program was Atmosphere & Energy, and his coursework detailed solutions to the climate crisis. He assisted in teaching Energy Efficient Buildings and Renewables & Efficiency. Nathan seeks to understand how best to reduce emissions in buildings across the country, whether by employing new efficiency techniques, deploying data science and new technologies, or supporting new codes and standards that minimize emissions. He currently assists in energy modelling for buildings of all sizes and ensures clients’ buildings achieve strict green building standards.

Prior to Beyond Efficiency, Nathan managed energy data in California schools, and was also a structural engineer in Colorado and Alaska. Having grown up at an outdoor leadership camp in northern Wisconsin, he learned the value of treating the planet and people well early on. His love of a quality lifestyle motivates him to master the best techniques for creating highly habitable buildings for others, and he is very thankful to be surrounded by teammates that support this mission wholeheartedly!