Rick Schwolsky has been professionally involved in renewable energy systems and environmental building for more than 40 years — as a pioneering solar contractor, innovative high-performance home builder, and award-winning construction journalist with Hanley Wood in Washington, DC., focusing on sustainable design and construction.
With degrees in environmental science and biology, and trade skills in carpentry and plumbing, Rick founded two innovative companies in Vermont in 1976: Sunrise Solar Services and Grafton Builders, both of which contributed directly to today’s understanding of residential renewable energy systems, building performance, energy efficiency, and building science. In 1979 Sunrise Solar Services was selected to install the solar system on The White House in Washington, DC. for President Jimmy Carter. And in 1982 Rick co-authored The Builder’s Guide to Solar Construction published by McGraw Hill.
At Hanley Wood Rick served as construction editor for BUILDER magazine, was the founding chief editor of EcoHome magazine, and built an annual series of nationally-recognized high-performance demonstration homes. He also helped create and lead the Vision 2020 Sustainability Research Program and The Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainability. As an Architecture 2030 Senior Fellow based near Boulder, CO, Rick assists with the organization’s embodied carbon initiatives as well as communications outreach.