BBS News

2021 Women in Building Services: Karalisa Grundner

The following spotlight appeared in New York Real Estate Journal (NYREJ) on June 22, 2021:

Karalisa Grundner, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Associate
BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers, PC

Real estate associations or organizations that you are currently a member of:

What did you want to be when you grew up?
My career began by trial and error! I started out on a computer science path in college and realized it was not for me. My father was a small home improvement contractor and I started gaining interest in construction and design industry.

What led you to your current profession?
At the time, it was not an easy time for women to get into or work in construction, which got me started down the path of architecture and design. Ultimately, architecture and construction disciplines work together to accomplish a common goal, and I’m grateful to be a part of the AEC industry.

Who was/is your mentor and how did s/he influence/help you in your career?
I had a mentor very early on in my career, his name was Ira Haspel and was my first employer while I was in college. He owned a small architectural practice. I learned so much from him and his wife. They had a profound impact on my early years in this profession.

In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of?
Being able to keep our projects in forward momentum and afloat while dealing with various complications of shut downs and learning to adapt to new modes of communication in the midst of a pandemic.

What trends will dominate your industry in the coming months?
Finances. The AEC industry will be reactive to the economy. Governmental agencies directly affect policy, which will in turn trickle to our industry to determine which projects move forward. Additionally, the substantial increase in costs of materials will also significantly impact the AEC industry. Hybrid, work from home environments in turn affect both residential and commercial real estate.

How do you contribute to your community or profession?
Mentoring within the office. It is vital the newer architects learn the nuances of this industry and how to effectively problem solve.

What books or social media influencers would you recommend to other women?
I regularly read Architecture Magazine to follow trends in our industry.

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