Born and raised in Hawaii, Rochelle has traveled and worked around the country, although her focus has never strayed. She remains persistently dedicated to implementing sustainable design in her home state. She focuses on harnessing Hawaii’s mild climate to create more cost efficient, environmentally-friendly designs and deeply believes in the huge potential for sustainable development throughout the islands. This was the focus of much of her academic work while earning both her Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design at the University of Idaho and her Master of Science in Building Technology from MIT. Since then, she has been engaged in the discussion as LEED has transformed from a pilot project to a nation-wide ethical imperative.
Her approach is always informed by practical thinking: form follows function. The building must address both inside and outside by responding to user functionality and comfort while addressing the surrounding environment and site. She is concerned with how designs will actually get built and enjoys the technical aspects of design—working side-by-side with engineers and consultants during construction administration, ironing out the details, and determining how things fit together. Rochelle joined WRNS after working with Sasaki Associates in Boston, Chong Architects in San Francisco, and Ronald H. Nagata AIA Inc. in Hilo.