McMahan, Principal and Green Studio Director with Koch Hazard Architects of Sioux Falls, S.D., resided in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for a year serving as Sustainability Advisor and Design Fellow with Architecture for Humanity, a position co-supported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the US Green Building Council. Her lecture at USD is free and open to the public.

McMahan first traveled to Port-au-Prince immediately following the 2010 earthquake. Once there, she and her team immediately recognized that in order to help the country rebuild, they first needed to teach the Haitian people safe building practices. Additionally, she and her team evaluated new projects, schools in particular, to ensure that before any building started, the owners of the building had a plan for success, including where students will come from, what they will be taught and how they plan to fund the school and keep it open.

At Koch Hazard, McMahan is project administrator for the majority of LEED projects. These projects include all phases of the design and construction process. She also works to bring innovation to projects through creative use of materials, technology and public art. McMahan is responsible for two LEED Gold projects and two Platinum (certified) projects. She was also the co-creator, chair and emcee of the Plain Green Conference from 2007-2010. A photo of McMahan is available for download at

For more information about “Architectural Acupuncture and the Influence of Design,” part of the USD Sustainability Program’s 2013 Sustainability Series, please visit or email

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