GreenPoint Rated, our certification program for high-performing homes, would not be possible without the investment and efforts of our Raters. Through these spotlights, we hope to provide a glimpse into the individuals behind the work—how they became interested in building healthier homes, how their perspectives have changed over time, and what they enjoy when they’re not on the job.

KATE LATHAM | CALGreen Special Inspector, Latham Home Ratings

My path to the green building industry was a circuitous journey that started in college. While pursuing my master’s in environmental studies at San Jose State, my advisor asked me to teach a solar home design class. This early exposure to home energy-efficiency is what sparked my passion for this field.

I began working for a retrofitting startup, and became a GreenPoint Rater when the owner needed one on staff. My first GreenPoint Rated job was intimidating, as I had no mentoring experience or anyone else to learn from at the company. I remember getting dressed up to look as professionally as possible to meet with the homeowner and architect. Although I was nervous, I realized I was capable of showing the architect what I knew. I eventually quit the company to deliver GreenPoint Rated services full-time and haven’t looked back since. 

There have been some hurdles in this profession. I have worked with some pretty challenging contractors who believe green building is a waste of time, and homeowners who value aesthetics over functionality. But who wouldn’t want a high-efficiency flush toilet? 

It’s satisfying to convert recalcitrant contractors to the green building side, and, while I’m still facing some resistance, people are coming to accept more of the rules and requirements.  I’m really thankful that jurisdictions have required green buildings and Build It Green is there. Overall, I’ve been amazed that I can make a good living doing this and nothing else. The key is just getting your foot in the door early.

When I’m not rating homes, I keep active by training and doing swimming triathalons. Something you might not know about me is that I used to play tennis professionally. I’ve competed at both Wimbledon and the US Open, and even held a world ranking!