Mendez Named to Building Design + Construction’s 40 under 40 Class of 2020

Charlene Mendez headshot
Charlene Mendez

Charlene Mendez, LEED AP, senior sustainability analyst, has been named to Building Design + Construction’s “40 under 40” class of 2020, the publication’s annual list of young leaders in architecture, engineering, and construction who are making their mark in business, philanthropy, and in their communities.

The publication hailed Mendez a “sustainability savant,” highlighting her accomplished career developing solutions and tools that prioritize sustainability, health, and wellness. At HDR, Mendez translates ideas between architects and engineers around the world to test and identify achievable, beautiful sustainable innovations. She has also developed numerous tools to help better understand design problems — some of which are customized to a specific problem and others of which have been successfully utilized by other architects and engineers across the firm. These efforts have contributed to some of the firm’s most progressive, award-winning projects including LADWP Hoover Street and OCSD Administrative Headquarters.

“Transforming the way we practice to elevate high performance sustainability in a large international design practice focusing on highly complex, program-driven project types is not easy,” shared Kate Diamond, design director at HDR. “It requires leaders who can simultaneously convey the urgency of addressing climate change, provide technical modeling expertise to bring meaningful evidence to the design team early in the design process and diplomatically convince designers that beauty is not compromised when you deliver high performance. Charlene Mendez brings this trifecta of talents to her role.”

Prior to joining HDR, Mendez created new tools and methodologies to explore sustainability challenges with Atelier Ten and as a co-founder of Goletian Design and Evaluation. Her commitment to empowering those around her is evidenced by her work on the steering committee for Living Futures Los Angeles Collaborative and the hours she puts towards consulting design teams participating in the local ACE Mentor Program, an afterschool program designed to attract high school students into pursuing careers in the architecture, construction and engineering industry.