Before becoming a Fellow I was the cofounder of a green building and development company, reSource Rethinking Building, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The mission of reSource was to ‘transform the way buildings are built’. It was recognized as a leader in the residential sector and affected well over 30,000 homes in British Columbia, enabling these buildings to be built in a more environmentally sustainable manner. There are a couple of projects of which I am most proud. Through reSource I led a sixty unit housing project that combined green building practices with affordability. It was, when completed, the most energy efficient multi unit residential building in Canada and it was sold at 20% below market. With a local financial institution we created a green loan that financed the entire energy cost premium. This made the green features cost neutral to us as developers and to the purchasers who pay the loan from their operational savings. The project received a national award recognizing its leadership in affordable and green housing. My current work is focused in Vancouver and I am particularly excited to be contributing to a roadmap for carbon neutrality for new buildings.
After only a year since my Fellowship I would say that the year gave me time to explore many of the forces that shape the urban environment. I left with a better appreciation for the political forces and how to work with them to contribute to my city. I have a deeper understanding of the powerful role of narrative — and how that can be used to shape people’s thinking, frameworks and actions. I delved into leadership — and have a much better ability to work with different voices to achieve more robust solutions. Much of my professional work has addressed sustainability as an overriding issue, with a particular focus on green building. Through the Fellowship I have refocused from buildings to urban issues, and, of course, sustainability!