Ginger Watkins, Principal Architect, is a Certified Passive House Consultant, a LEED Accredited Professional, and has training in building science, zero energy design and energy performance testing. She has eleven years of experience in low energy building design. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences in 1998. Her interest in architecture began while studying in Bodhgaya, India, a small pilgrimage town filled with elaborate Buddhist temples side by side with simple, hand-made earthen huts. In the interlude before beginning her studies in Architecture at the University of Virginia, she participated in field ecology research of fresh water fish in Costa Rica and was a counselor at a wilderness camp for at-risk youth. At UVA, she focused on sustainable design and interned at world-renowned William McDonough + Partners in Charlottesville. There she contributed to analysis of the Adam Joseph Lewis Center at Oberlin College, which would have achieved LEED Platinum if the USGBC rating system had been in place at the time. She graduated with a Master of Architecture in 2002 and subsequently joined Design Corps. There she founded the Virginia Sustainable Farmworker Housing Program, working with farmers and farmworkers to build housing using locally available materials including straw bale, farm-made earth plaster and natural paints.
In 2006, Ginger returned to Kentucky and designed her first off-grid solar home at Nolin Lake. Next, as part of Guyon Architects, she designed layouts for condos at 500’s Main, an urban infill project in downtown Lexington, and with EOP Architects, lead sustainable design for the LEED Gold renovation of Boone Tavern in Berea. Ginger has been involved in several Passive House and near-Passive House projects in Kentucky, serving in various capacities including designer, Certified Passive House Consultant and energy rater conducting blower door testing. The Berea Habitat Passive House, which she designed, served as the focus for the first Passive House Builders Training in North America.
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS & SERVICE
Ginger is involved in a larger community of energy, affordable housing, environmental and design professionals. She belongs to the Central Kentucky Inventor’s Council, Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance and Passive House Alliance U.S., serving on the Board of Managers. She serves on the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth New Energy and Transitions Committee, working toward a just transition at the intersection of green jobs, energy efficiency, and housing quality in Eastern Kentucky. In 2012, she contributed to the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence’s Energy Efficiency Collaborative. During 2013, Ginger has acted as the at-large representative for public interest groups as part of the East Kentucky Power Cooperative Demand Side Management & Renewable Energy Collaborative. She is working to develop a Passive House replacement program for mobile homes. Ginger has presented at numerous conferences and meetings, organized the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Kentucky Affordable Green Housing Summits and cares deeply about helping to develop a sustainable, less energy-intensive economy in Kentucky.