Jose B. Rodriguez Leads Willoughby Engineering’s Green and High-Performance Building Initiatives


Chicago, IL (August 30, 2013) — When Willoughby Engineering (WE) was created earlier this year, Jose B. Rodriguez, LEED AP, was part of the core team who joined Tom Willoughby in defining their 5+ year collaboration into a new firm with a vision of quality and high-performance. As WE’s sustainability leader, Jose champions an all-encompassing approach to sustainability and high-performance design, advising well beyond the boundaries of rating systems. It is with this holistic approach that Jose will help Willoughby Engineering lead the charge in designing and delivering buildings with real-world environmental benefits.


Jose began his career as a young architect in his native Panama, where his work on high-rise and high-end residential projects informed his viewpoints on design excellence, project critical paths, project lifecycle, and timely delivery. He realized that missing from all these projects was a critical variable – performance metrics. With the desire to develop his knowledge of more consistent and rigorous ways of measuring a building’s impact on the environment, Jose won a Fulbright Scholarship and completed his Master of Science in Building Design from Arizona State University with an emphasis on High Performance Buildings and Climate Responsive Architecture.


Prior to Willoughby Engineering, Jose was part of the sustainability teams at Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), Halcrow Yolles, and most recently CH2M-Hill. During this part of his career, he worked on major building and masterplanning projects around the world, such as the expansion of Beijing’s Central Business District (CBD). It was at SOM that Jose met Tom Willoughby and the two realized their shared vision of leading clients to achieve buildings of high performance.  Their diverse but complementary backgrounds – Jose’s in architecture, Tom’s in engineering – and their mutual commitment to quality, communication, and technical excellence create a dynamic work synergy that permeates the WE practice.


Jose currently serves as Chair of the Committee on the Environment (COTE) at AIA Chicago, where he contributes to the group’s mission of advocating design practices that enhance the quality and environmental performance of the built environment. As COTE Chair, Jose facilitates conversation among like-minded colleagues within the AIA community about designing and implementing carbon and energy reduction strategies into their projects. Jose has also been a guest speaker on sustainability and green building topics at Universidad Palermo in Buenos Aires, The Architects Collegiate of Panama, and the Ministry of Health in Panama, and he has co-authored papers on building performance and Life Cycle Assessments.