William Worthen, co-founder and CEO of Urban Fabrick until his death in 2017, was a nationally recognized sustainability and collaborative design leader. Over his twenty-year career, Bill balanced policy development with professional and public advocacy, practice experience, industry research and peer-to-peer education. Bill served as the sustainability consultant for many high-visibility projects exploring the practical application of cutting-edge sustainability strategies, energy performance and high-level LEED certifications for clients including: the San Francisco International Airport, Gensler, Perkins+Will, Tishman Speyer, and the cities of San Francisco and Palo Alto.
In addition to his professional practice, Bill was a leading advocate for green building and sustainability policy. He served as a member of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Green Building Task Force, resulting in the city’s pioneering Green Building Ordinance which won the first World Green Building Council Government Leadership Award in 2011. At the time of his death, he was a member of the San Francisco Eco-District Formation Task Force, and the United States Green Building Counsel’s LEED Implementation Committee, working on new innovations in green building certifications. Bill also represented his profession as the AIA National Director and Resource Architect for Sustainability from 2010 to 2012, spearheading several cross-industry collaborative sustainability initiatives – most notably overseeing the development of the AIA Energy Modeling Practice Guide.
Bill leaves a legacy of creating and promoting climate-positive development and collaborative design across all scales of the built environment. His work in LEED consulting and Life Cycle Assessment has shaped regional institutions like SFO and San Francisco State University. His leadership in water reuse strategies resulted in some of the first onsite residential systems in the City and County San Francisco. He brought a passion for sustainability that moved and motivated the industry. He will be missed.
The William J. Worthen Foundation’s mission is to carry on Bill's legacy of collaborative leadership in areas of sustainability and to advance a climate positive future. The primary purpose of the foundation shall be to promote and advance the planning, design, construction, use, reuse, performance, and beauty of the built and natural environment.