A Passion for Constructing ‘Healthy’ Buildings
As an MUM undergraduate, Vincent Bataoel understood how to use a college education to launch a career.
The career he wanted was clear: sustainable building construction expert. What he needed was a path to get there. So, as part of his directed studies program at MUM, Vincent thoroughly researched the many environmental standards certification programs available, and after weighing the pros of cons of each, settled on becoming a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP).
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — it’s a collection of rules and standards that sustainable construction experts use to create high performance buildings. High performance LEED-certified buildings use less resources and provide healthier work and living spaces than traditional buildings.
Vincent’s first opportunity came after he graduated from MUM, when he heard that a local company, Cambridge Investments, wanted to construct a LEED-certified office building for their employees. “I took a leap of faith and contacted them,” says Vincent, who landed the contract and completed the project successfully. “That was the beginning of Above Green.”
Vincent, 30, and his wife, Above Green co-founder Nelina Loiselle, then built on that first real-world success. “’We reached out and started to network with architects, engineers and contractors,” says Vincent. Before long, more work began to roll in.
Based now in Middleburg, Virginia, just outside Washington D.C., the company is thriving, having completed more than 100 projects for clients that include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, Bank of America, and United Arab Emirates. “We run about 20 different projects at any one time,” says Vincent, who not only leads project work but manages the company’s day-to-day operations as well.
MUM, Vincent says, was an important contributor to his personal development. “Being there allowed me to chart my course forward and think deeply about who I wanted to be,” he says. “It also gave me the tools I needed to make it happen.”
Consciousness-Based Education, Vincent says, “helped me stay balanced, and has given me a deep sense of self that has translated into confidence that I bring to the table working with clients.”
Vincent is truly living his passion — growing a business while making the planet a safer place. He speaks often at conferences in the U.S. and abroad about LEED and has been a volunteer at the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy. Recently, he was a visiting scholar with the National Defense University and the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.
But what really matters most to Vincent? It’s the satisfaction of working daily with a close-knit team. “I’ve been fortunate in being able to give my friends and colleagues jobs,” he says. “As we expand, we bring more great people in. That’s what’s most gratifying to me.”
Written by Warren Goldie