An avid skier since the tender age of four, Dirk almost became a snow scientist in order to work where he played. Memories of waterskiing, sailing, canoeing and snow skiing near his family’s cottage in north Wisconsin ultimately led him to obtain an under- graduate degree in geography and environmental science. “I grew up in the outdoors and want to protect those natural re- sources for myself and everyone else,” Dirk asserts. “I realized that the built environment is where a balance needs to take place, and that’s where I could have real impact on saving the planet.”
Dirk obtained a Master of Urban Planning and practiced as a town planner until a residential green building project got him re-engaged in building science. He developed expertise in vapor barriers, gap analysis and proper construction, which grew into a consulting business. With a special emphasis existing buildings, Dirk has managed or overseen the certification of over 30 million square feet of existing building space during the past 20 years. In 2013, he co-founded the Compass Group in Wisconsin, his second sustainability consulting firm.
As a Green Globes Assessor, Dirk likes to sit down with the management team during the site visit to discuss how the building is truly being run. “When people are operating a building, it’s not all black and white. There are nuances that can get lost in translation,” he says. Dirk focuses on helping teams make buildings that save money and make occupants happy because it’s a win-win. “That way, whether they think it’s saving the world or saving the bottom line, their efforts help us keep spinning on this globe in a harmonious way.”