We are a California-based energy efficiency consultancy, focused on improving the performance of the buildings we live in.
Build Smart is an independent energy consultancy specializing in California energy modeling, energy code, and building performance. We support architects in designing energy-efficient buildings with code-compliance documents, and optimization services to create high-performance buildings.
We are part of a virtual organization of other independent small businesses that can execute large scale consulting projects with deep technical expertise. This “gig economy” approach allows for lower overhead expenses and advanced analysis capabilities that larger companies may not be able to achieve.
Nick Brown, President: Nick Brown is a Certified Energy Analyst (CEA) for residential and an Associate Energy Analyst (AEA) for nonresidential construction by the California Association of Building Energy Consultants (CABEC), and has maintained his certifications for 2008, 2013, 2016, and 2019 code cycles. He is a Subject Matter Expert on the Energy Code Ace statewide education team and teaches classes for Southern California Edison on Net Zero Design, All-electric Homes, Heat Pumps, and Selling Clean Energy Homes. As part of a CalSEED team, Nick is currently researching phase change material applications in HVAC systems. Nick was elected to the Board of Directors of CABEC beginning in 2018.
He holds a BA in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA in Manufacturing from the University of Michigan. He remodeled his own home in 2014 in a deep energy retrofit and has written and presented extensively on Net Zero buildings, high-performance walls, and energy efficient building. Prior to starting Build Smart, he served as President of Merlex Stucco for 15 years, a $15 million Southern California stucco manufacturer.
Vanessa Lincoln, Energy Consultant: Vanessa Lincoln is an energy consultant with experience in modeling low- and high-rise residential projects under the 2019 code. She has done modeling and conducted data analysis for a study on heat recovery ventilators and has attended various classes on topics relevant to Title 24, as well as the TecHome Builders conference in Seattle.
Vanessa holds a BA in Environmental Analysis - Environmental Policy and a minor in Economics from Scripps College. Prior to working at Build Smart, she interned at Holland America Group where she worked in environmental compliance reporting.