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Building inspector wins top spot in state


Staff Writer

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“If you build it, I’ll be there.”

This quote is one that J.W. Greene has used throughout his career spanning over 30 years in building inspection. It also may be one of the reasons Greene was recently honored as the Upper East Tennessee Building Officials Association Code Official of the Year 2020. The Upper East Tennessee Building Officials Association assists in coordinating building codes as well as bringing public awareness to building and fire codes in the region. Greene takes pride in his role as building inspector.

“I like to go into a building and everything be right,” he said. “The fun part is getting together with contractors. People don’t build bad houses on purpose. I want them to know why it failed and help them find how to fix it.”

“He is always willing to help with any code-related issues or questions someone may have and also has the ability to enforce the codes in a very professional and respectful manner” said Brian Tapp, chief building official of the Town of Jonesborough.

After an early retirement from the Jonesborough Housing Authority in 2006, Greene felt he had more to offer and has since spent 14 years as an advisor with Jonesborough.

He remains very happy with his position.

Within his tool belt, Greene carries the experience to redo plans, inspect buildings and architecture. Greene was the lead on many projects in Jonesborough including Lowe’s, Walgreens, and Captain D’s. He is also certified in six trades including plumbing, mechanical and build — for both residential and commercial.

“J.W. has been an extremely valuable mentor to me, especially when I became a new inspector myself,” Tapp said. “He is also a very highly respected mentor to both new contractors as well as contractors who have been in the business for years.”

Greene is proven to not only be good at what he does, he has such a passion for it as well.

“I never get up and say I don’t want to go to work. Every day is new,” he said. “My favorite part is watching things be built from the ground up. It’s an art. You are building a painting.”

His co-workers are grateful to be working on that painting with him.

“Not only is it an honor for me to get to work with (Greene) on a daily basis, but also continue to learn from him every day,” Tapp said. “I feel that the award he has received is very deserving and it is an honor to have J.W. to continue to be involved with the Town of Jonesborough Building Department, but most importantly, the safe development and the continued growth of our town.”

On being awarded the Upper East Tennessee Building Officials Association Code Official of the Year 2020, Greene said. “It is a great honor and privilege to get to work with my peers and be recognized.”

Greene can be found in the Town Hall office Tuesdays and Wednesdays.