Personal Profile

Dr. Goetsch joined NREL in 2020. As a member of the Building Energy Science Group within the Building Technologies and Science Center, her research focuses on decarbonization and applying circular economy principles to the building sector. She is particularly interested in applying these principles to building design, innovative low-impact material use and reuse, waste reduction and management, and off-site construction. Her research also includes determining and overcoming industry barriers to decarbonization.

Prior to NREL, Heather was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office (BTO). In that role, she led the visioning effort and strategy development to include life cycle impacts and circular economy frameworks within BTO’s mission space. 

Research Interests

Circular economy for buildings

Full accounting of building industry construction and demolition materials

Design for disassembly of building structures

Reuse potential of demolition waste

Building industry barriers to decarbonization

Education/Academic Qualification

Master, Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bachelor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

PhD, Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan


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Collaborations and Top Research Areas From the Past 5 Years

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