Green building pioneer Stephen Carpenter was presented with the Order of Canada on September 12, 2014 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Carpenter, P.Eng, was recognized for “for his visionary leadership in the development and stewardship of Canada’s green building industry.”
Raised in Ottawa, Carpenter attended the University of Waterloo (B.A.Sc ’78, M.A.Sc ’80), studying mechanical engineering. Realizing there were few Canadian firms that specialized in energy-efficient, building design, in 1981 Carpenter founded Enermodal Engineering in Waterloo, Ontario. Enermodal’s early work focussed on developing Canada’s first energy modelling software. Carpenter’s “cracked the code” for the mathematical modelling of energy loss through building components such as windows, and this allowed for the development of sophisticated computer modelling tools used in the design of energy efficient buildings.
In the early 2000s, a green building rating system called LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was established in the US. Appreciating the value in a rigorous, independent rating system to determine the “green-ness” of a building’s design, Carpenter became involved in creating the Canadian version of the LEED rating system. He was the co-author of the LEED Canada manual and was the first chair of the Canadian Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Technical Advisory Group. For his role as an early adopter of LEED, Carpenter received the CaGBC’s first Exceptional Service Award in 2010 and was one of only two Canadians named to the inaugural class of LEED Fellows in recognition of highest level of expertise and commitment to the rating system.
Mark Hutchinson, Director of Green Building Programs at the CaGBC says, “When thinking of the many professionals who have contributed to the success of the CaGBC and LEED in Canada, Stephen Carpenter ranks among the most dedicated and instrumental experts in this field. His firm was responsible for 23 of the first 25 LEED NC certified buildings in Ontario. Steve’s firm has been instrumental in delivering some of the best performing green buildings and showing that LEED Gold and Platinum projects are cost effective and achievable.”
In late 2013, Carpenter retired from his position at MMM Group. Currently, he manages his own sustainable design and investment consultancy, Building Rapport. One of his projects is serving as a Principal and green building expert at CityCraft, an urban revitalization firm based in North Charleston, South Carolina.