Melissa Kops Has Been Named a Living Future Hero

Date: 06.03.20

Pirie Associates is thrilled to announce that Associate, Melissa Kops, has been named a Living Future Hero.

The Living Future Hero award was created to acknowledge and celebrate individuals in the regenerative design community who have dedicated significant time and effort to advancing the Living Future programs and mission. The individuals chosen as Heroes exceed expectations in environmental advocacy, champion Living Future projects and products, and share this vision with their peers. The International Future Institute (ILFI) chooses approximately 10 recipients every year from across the globe with no nomination or application process.

At the virtual Living Future Conference,  Sunni Wissmer, manager of the ILFI Global Network gave a video tribute to Melissa and her dedication to its mission of creating a future that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. She noted that ILFI counts on Melissa’s support without question and her input on their strategic planning methods. She also recognized the large number of presentations and events Melissa has given and organized.

Melissa has made it her mission to contribute to her community and raise awareness of regenerative design that supports human and ecological health. In addition to being one of the first Living Future Accredited Professionals, serving as a Living Building Ambassador and Collaborative co-facilitator, she is board vice chair of the Connecticut Green Building Council (CTGBC). Under her leadership, the CTGBC became a regional partner of the International Living Future Institute and authorized provider of ILFI content.

With the objective of providing Living Future quality content in the Northeast, Melissa developed and organized a new biennial flagship event, NESSBE: Northeast Summit for a Sustainable Built Environment that draws speakers and attendees from across the Northeast and beyond. The inaugural event in 2017 focused on Health and Wellbeing, and in 2019 the theme was Equity and Social Justice which sold out a week before the event.

Her most recent activities center around advocacy. As cochair of the CTGBC advocacy committee, she has gathered a coalition of professional organizations to build support for legislation at the state level to address the climate crisis through a transformation of the built environment. She has authored several letters of public comment and policy briefs. She also has served on building sector working groups to advise the City of New Haven and State of Connecticut on sustainability measures. In 2018, the CTGBC awarded Melissa the Judy Swann Green Advocate Award.

At Pirie Associates Architects, Melissa has worked on and managed several community, municipal, and university projects with a focus on adapting existing buildings to serve contemporary needs, including converting an antiques store into a microbrewery with an indoor garden. In her free time she likes to hike, kayak, and play board games.


If you are interested in learning more about the Living Building Challenge, contact to schedule a presentation from a Living Future Hero.