High Performance Design Strategies: Meet AE Works’ New Vice President of Operations

February 2021


Princeton University’s Low Carbon Geoexchange Central Plant, George Mason University's Horizon Hall, and the Living Building Challenge Certified Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center - these are just a few of the recent high performance building projects that AE Works’ new Vice President of Operations, Sara Lappano, PE, LC, LEED AP BD+C, has led in her career.

Named to Building Design + Construction’s notable “40 under 40” list, Sara has led with her passion for engineering and people to make a positive impact on the highly sustainable projects and teams she’s led in her high performing career that spans numerous Living Building Challenge, LEED, and Net Zero Energy buildings, as well as campus and city-scale decarbonization strategies. Prior to joining AE Works, Sara served as the Managing Principal of the Washington, DC office of Integral Group, an international engineering and sustainability consulting firm and as a Principal with SmithGroup, a national architectural engineering firm.

“We have a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on the world and environment through the work we do on building projects”

Sara Lappano, PE, AE Works Vice President of Operations

A known industry leader for Low-Carbon/Net Zero Energy Buildings and Campus Infrastructure, Sara has immersed herself in solving complex building problems with a holistic approach to design. This has resulted in her expertise in a variety of market sectors, including higher education, science and technology, multi-family residential, and commercial office projects throughout the country. Sharing this knowledge to impact more projects and inspire future engineering leaders, Sara has presented on sustainability for industry groups and communities throughout the country in addition to authoring several articles in High Performing Buildings Magazine and Consulting Specifying Engineer on high performance design strategies. These articles explore building resiliency in the face of future challenges of sea-level rise, coastline erosion and hurricanes through her work on the Brock Environmental Center located in Virginia Beach, VA.

While Sara’s technical background is in electrical engineering, she excels at seeing the “big picture” in her team’s projects to make building projects a better value for clients. Leveraging AE Works’ commitment and certification as one of a select few A/E firms in the world to achieve B Corporation status, Sara will focus on bringing her passion for high performance design strategies to partner with our clients and communities to transform the lives of people and organizations through innovation in building projects.