First of all, what is a Chief Building Official (CBO) and why is it important to the city?
A Chief Building Official is the person responsible for the administration and enforcement of building codes as adopted by the city. The CBO has the responsibility to interpret any code, policy or procedure to clarify the application of its provisions.
The CBO is important to the city as they are the ultimate decision maker for all things related to building code. It’s my job to ensure Boulder has a safe, efficient and well-maintained built environment. A good example of this responsibility would be when there is a conflict between building codes, I make an interpretation and find solutions. In Boulder, this balancing act is vital to ensuring we can maintain our goals of historic preservation, energy efficiency and building safety.
Where are you from?
I’m from Christchurch, New Zealand. I’ve moved around quite a lot in my life. After Christchurch, I was in Perth, Western Australia where I worked in mining industry, then the Northwest Territory of Canada, where I worked in the oil industry. After that I travelled the world a bit before heading back to New Zealand for university. I began working in construction and moved to the U.S. in 2014.
What drew you to Colorado and specifically Boulder?
I’ve lived in Colorado for about a decade. I went to Lincoln University, which is a sister school to Colorado State University. I came to Colorado to visit friends I’d made in uni, and just never left!
It’s summer! What summer activities have you taken advantage of here?
All the Colorado things. I like fishing, camping and four wheeling - in that order. I have a two-year-old, so I’m hoping to do more as she gets bigger and can enjoy it all with me.
What shows or books are you currently binging?
As I said, I have a two-year-old so right now Shaun the Sheep is the top of our watch list.
Are there any experiences from your time in Weld County, Breckenridge and Firestone that you’ll be applying to your role with the City of Boulder?
Absolutely, it’s been invaluable to have experience working in different jurisdictions with different challenges, people and expectations.
In Breckenridge we adopted the department of energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes Program. In Weld County, I was responsible for the adoption of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Before my time with the county, they were on the 2006 IECC, so it was quite the adjustment for both staff and the community. That background is really helpful as we adopt and update our energy codes to meet our climate goals here in Boulder.
What challenges do you see in this role?
Boulder is on the cutting edge of energy code development nationwide. It’s exciting to be a part of this innovation, but it’s also a huge challenge to maintain affordability and practicality of construction.
What are some of your favorite buildings in Boulder?
Anything in the Historic District, particularly the old masonry buildings. It’s part of what drew me to Boulder. I love that we have that history and connection that’s been preserved.
What are you most excited to continue working on with the city?
Process improvements across the department. I want to strengthen our connection between the services we provide and our community members, and create a strong working relationship that’s an asset to our community.