Max Zahniser's picture

Max Zahniser


Praxis | Buildings Solutions, LLC


Max has a broad background in architecture, including higher education, retail, residential, corporate office, healthcare and industrial projects. His work and experience also includes both traditional and high-performance/low-impact green buildings.

Following several years at a handful of architecture firms, Max went on to the U.S. Green Building Council, where he spent about 2 years as the LEED(r) Certification Manager. He then went on to function as the LEED Process & Integration Program Manager, LEED's technical and technological point person (both internally and outwardly). In this role he managed USGBC's relationship with Google, Adobe, Autodesk, and others, and provided support to LEED technical staff in a variety of ways.

In addition Max has played central roles in developing new business and certification processes and tools, and contributed to the development of LEED(r) for New Construction version 2.2, LEED(r) for Neighborhood Developments, LEED(r) for Homes, and LEED(r) for Schools. He supported development of these LEED rating systems in a committee-based technical development and certification process & infrastructure development capacity. He continues to support USGBC in its transition to LEED 2009, having helped to develop its workshop curricula around the new versions of the rating systems.

Max has been cited/quoted as an expert on green building, LEED and/or Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Building Design + Construction, Metropolis, Contract, Environmental Building News, and in live interviews for NPR stations. He also recently acted as a contributing author for a book published by Wiley in April of 2009, titled:

The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building - Redefining the Practice of Sustainability

Max spent a year as Director of Sustainability at Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), (a planning, landscape and architecture firm with a rich heritage in sustainable work), and started Praxis | Building Solutions, LLC in 2007.

Max is LEED Faculty, and a member the USGBC's LEED Implementation Advisory Committee, an elected and appointed group of experts that influence USGBC policy and strategies relative to how LEED certification evolves on an ongoing basis.

Max is also an adjunct professor at Drexel University in the Architecture and Interiors department, and a course designer instructor at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

Max is related to the late Howard Zahniser, the primary author of the Wilderness Act of 1964, which to this day protects over a 106 thousand acres of wilderness in the U.S.