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Kim Shanahan is recognized as a national expert on Green Building Codes after 35 years of general contracting in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  With a career spanning hands-on remodeling, luxury custom homes, and affordable housing subdivisions – all encompassing the best thinking in sustainable construction practices – he is well-suited to understand the complexities of 21st century homebuilding.

During the industry-disruptive years of 2008-2009, Mr. Shanahan pivoted his career from being the elected president of the board of directors for the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, a volunteer position held by a builder-member, to becoming the association’s paid executive officer, a position he held until the end of 2018.

In 2006, when the city of Santa Fe was determined to adopt green building codes and mandates, Mr. Shanahan led the representation of homebuilder interests in the drafting of the local ordinance.  His ability to mediate competing interest toward a common goal with practical solutions was key to its initial acceptance by the community.  His continuing participation in progressive amendments to the green code over time has kept it viable and valid.

Upon assuming the duties of managing the association, Mr. Shanahan was surprised to learn that former builders becoming executive officers of local home builder associations was very rare amongst the 800 chapters in the national federation.  In 2009, NAHB’s Executive Officers Council asked Mr. Shanahan to represent it as their liaison to the highly-technical NAHB Construction Codes and Standards Committee.

During his 10 years on the CC&S committee, Mr. Shanahan also volunteered to attend all subcommittee meeting of the CC&S, which included the Construction Standards and Research Subcommittee, the Energy and Green Codes Subcommittee, and the Green Building and Sustainability Subcommittee.  Even without a vote as a liaison, Mr. Shanahan was often the only member from Rocky Mountain western states on the committees and always brought a strong voice for that region’s unique perspectives and challenges to the attention of his national code peers.

One of Mr. Shanahan’s greatest achievements in his last two years managing SFAHBA was shepherding the creation of the nations’ first ever predictive calculation tool for determining presumed water consumption in a new home. Called the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS), it was adopted as a Santa Fe city code in 2006.  Mr. Shanahan then introduced the concept to the national association and lobbied successfully to have it included into the National Green Building Standard.  The name was changed to the Water Rating Index (WRI) and is now a stand-alone appendix in the 2020 NGBS.

In 2019 Mr. Shanahan returned to private practice as a sustainability consultant with concentrations in water conservation, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and affordable housing.

Also in 2019, Mr. Shanahan returned to his collegiate journalism roots at Michigan State University when the Santa Fe New Mexican asked him to begin writing a weekly column featured on the front page of the Sunday real estate section called Building Santa Fe.  The popular column generates many questions from loyal readers on a wide range of home building issues, which Mr. Shanahan is always willing to discuss on a private basis.