Ian Johnson (SPH’12)

Sustainable Design Professional | Specialties: Building Science, Green Buildings

Alum Ian Johnson for Boston University Sustainability.

Focus on sustainable business development and regenerative design


Nature lover and permaculturist. I often adventure in the mountains with my dog Tess or surf in Maine. I work remotely from a van and travel the country.



  • Worked on LEED Certifications for building projects with Dennis Carlberg. The first LEED project I worked on was 85/87 St. Mary's Street. I ended up getting a job mainly because of that project experience.

Beyond BU

  • Since graduating, I have worked on hundreds of sustainable design projects from LEED Homes to large industrial developments and high-rise buildings in New York.
  • I completed a full building material health and sustainability review for a client looking to increase their sustainable purchasing and to reduce many harmful chemicals in the building materials.
  • Finch Cambridge, a 98-unit Passive House project where I was the Certified Passive House Consultant of Record, was recognized as Best Overall Project Winner of the 2020 Passive Projects Design Competition.
  • I am continuing to focus on Passive House projects, as they are taking the lead right now. Passive House projects have set targets of performance, are built airtight, and require additional insulation and high-performance windows so that heating and cooling systems can be smaller. As for new construction, Passive House projects are the most energy-efficient projects out there. MassSave offers incentives to anyone looking to build a multifamily building through Passive House.

Advice for BU Students

Make a personal impact first. It is easy to be overwhelmed with trying to save the world, but for one person that's a burdensome task. Start with yourself and see how you can make your life more sustainable, and perhaps start to think regeneratively. How can you give back rather than just take? Can you create a habitat for local wildlife? Or can you reduce how much you purchase? Take a look at the things that you care about and are interested in and focus on that. If you care about it, you are bound to be successful.