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Seth Coan

  • Carbon-Free Buildings

Seth is a former manager on RMI’s Shine program developing innovative community-scale solar projects to make solar energy more affordable and accessible to greater numbers of customers. Seth also supported RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings Group to catalyze massive market growth for buildings that are more productive, valuable, healthy, and safe for the people who occupy them, society, and the planet. Seth is particularly interested in the role of buildings to support climate resilience.


Seth Coan is a Senior Environmental Risk & Energy Manager with 15 years’ experience developing strategies to mitigate risks related to energy, water, waste, and carbon across the built environment, professional services, and extractives sectors.

Prior to joining RMI, Seth was the Executive Director of The Earth Stewards, a nonprofit organization focused on restoration based economic development in Central Appalachia. As Director of Energy and Asset Management for GPG Advisors, Seth reduced operational costs by $12M+ over five years for several REITs. Previously, as Senior Environmental Specialist with Deloitte, he assured 30+ companies were compliant with environmental regulations for over $1B in liabilities through environmental due diligence. Seth is certified in GRI reporting and is knowledgeable regarding regulations and standards including ISO 14001 and 52000, RCRA, CERCLA, SMCRA, and others. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, Certified Energy Manager, and LEED AP.


Masters of Science in Real Estate, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, Summa Cum Laude, 2007-2009
Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering with fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, CA, Cum Laude, 2001-2002
Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Cum Laude, 1996-2000

Authored Works

Connected Communities: A Better Way of Building

Looking out your window you might see another building. But close as that may be, you likely share very little with it, even though both your building and the ones near you are dependent on much of the same infrastructure. What if we change this relationship and create functional connections…


Designing the City of the Future and The Pursuit of Happiness

What constitutes the “ideal” city? On a recent visit to Mumbai, India, my informal polling of shop vendors indicated that in their view, a new city outside of Mumbai known as Palava City represents a close approximation of the ideal, citing Palava’s quality of life, quality of construction, and amenities.