Jean Carroon FAIA
Principal, Goody Clancy
Who or what deserves credit for your success?
The practice and success of architecture relies upon the entire team. I have been very fortunate in my career to work with talented committed owners, contractors, engineers, and architects on fabulous buildings.
What is your favorite Boston-area building or structure?
Trinity Church - an iconic National Historic Landmark - which I have had the privilege of working on for two decades. Being inside the sanctuary never fails to quiet my soul.
Has your career taken you anywhere you didn’t expect?
The attics, crawlspaces, and hidden service areas of existing buildings are an ongoing delight.
What do you hope to contribute from your work?
Stewardship of existing buildings is a critical part of climate action and sustenance of the human spirit. My advocacy for this will never slacken.
What do you see as the largest barrier to equity in your profession?
The gateway to becoming an architect is a professional degree, which, too often, is beyond the reach of many because of cost and time. We must find better ways of widening access to this career.
What are some changes that you have implemented in your firm (or for yourself) to address issues of equity in your profession?
Goody Clancy, with the leadership of David Spillane as president, and a remarkable group of principals, is committed to an open dialogue about tough issues from BLM to Covid19 to our financial framework. We are an employee owned company, and early adopters of the JUST Program of the Living Future Institute, as well as members of the Boston Women's Workforce Council.
What is the most effective step you’ve taken in your work toward a more sustainable built environment?
My practice focuses on the renewal and stewardship of existing buildings. It intuitively makes sense that a sustainable world values what already exists, whether a water bottle, a grocery bag, or, our largest objects, buildings. Life cycle assessment confirms that the fastest way to drive down carbon emissions is through retrofitting existing buildings rather than building new high performance buildings. New buildings have an exceptional carbon (and often social equity) footprint because of the impact of the materials. A relatively small material/carbon investment in a renovation to reduce operational energy is often "paid back" in just a few years. I encourage people to enjoy and learn from the BSA's excellent Embodied Carbon 101 series.
Whom do you most enjoy partnering with on a project?
People who are passionate, courteous, and aspirational. Owners, fellow architects, engineers, and contractors, who believe in making the world a better place.
If you could sum up your outlook on life in a bumper sticker, what would it say?
Building Reuse is Climate Action (with thanks and credit to Lori Ferriss, Goody Clancy's Director of Sustainability and Climate Action).
For more on Jean Caroon FAIA and her work on creating a more sustainable built environment, check out this article from AIA National, Renovating Buildings to Protect the Climate and Rejuvenate Communities.