Fin MacDonald

Information on me and my current projects

Tag Archives: cagbc

CaGBC Ottawa Region Emerging Green Builders

I have been volunteering for the past year with the Canada Green Building Council’s Emerging Green Builders (EGB).  The EGB work with their local CaGBC chapters to put on events for students and new professionals.  The main goal is to attract young and new professionals to the green industry.  Another benefit of the EGB committee is that it allows new professionals to take on group leadership roles earlier in their careers, and is training the CaGBC leaders of tomorrow.  I am currently the Vice-Chair of the Ottawa Region EGB, and in the past I held the role of Finance Director.

In Ottawa we have had one successful year already and we have an ambitious plan for another great year ahead.  In the past we have held events like:

  • Holiday Party
  • Residential Panel Discussion for Green Homes
  • Green Building Bike Tour

We also assisted the Ottawa CaGBC Chapter with the Eco-Logical student design competition.

We will be running similar events again this year. We also have plans to host a Green Jobs 101 event which will showcase different green career options and give attendees the chance to discuss required skills and job opportunities 1-on-1 with industry leaders.

If you are interested attending events or joining your local EGB group, contact your local CaGBC chapter (


CaGBC Atlantic Chapter AGM

Today I attended the annual general meeting for the Atlantic Chapter of the CaGBC. I recently joined the local chapter and wanted to attend to meet other members, board members, and learn about the chapter.

The Atlantic Chapter has one part time employee on the payroll, and this is the Executive Director Lara Ryan. The rest of the positions are volunteer based. The chapter has 16 board members. There are also four committees:
1) Education Committee
2) Residential Committee
3) Carbon Committee
4) Build Green Atlantic Committee

Over the past year the chapter has held lunch and learn sessions in NS, NB, and NL. They are working on establishing relationships in PEI to be able to do the same there. The chapter currently has 264 paid members with the breakdown as follows:
New Brunswick : 34
Newfoundland & Labrador: 17
Nova Scotia: 204
Prince Edward Island: 9

Build Green Atlantic is the chapter’s major event. It was held on May 5th at the NSCC Waterfront Campus and was attended by 224 people (myself included). The keynote speaker on May 4th was attended by 125. The chapter also held a 1/2 day mini-conference at the Waterfront Campus in December which offered sessions on green building and the industry.

They provided us with a status report on LEED Buildings in Atlantic Canada.
Registered Projects
NS: 107 (up from 78 last year)
NFLD: 39 (up from 29)
PEI: 3 (up from 2)
NB: 41 (up from 36)

Certified Projects
NS: 6 (up from 4 last year)
PEI: 2 (up from 0)
NB: 6 (up from 5)

I’m glad I attended the AGM because I learned a lot about what the chapter does that I wasn’t aware of. I intend to be more active with the chapter going forward. It was great to meet the board members who voted to send me to Greenbuild as their scholarship winner. I’m looking forward to connecting with the local chapter at the Canada House Pavilion at Greenbuild in Toronto next month.

Greenbuild NEXT Scholarship

When I heard that Greenbuild was being held in Canada (the first time ever outside of the US) this year Oct 4-7th I thought this is my chance to see the world leaders in the green building industry in action. I was overwhelmed by the conference cost so I explored other options. Students are allowed to volunteer 8 hours in exchange for admission. Getting to Toronto would be a big expense, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to afford it. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) had scholarships available, but as far as I could tell they were for US citizens.

About a month ago I found out at the last minute that the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) was handing out 10 scholarships on behalf of the USGBC since they were the host country this year. Subsequently the Atlantic chapter was handing out at least one of them. I scrambled to put together an application, but I felt as though I still did an excellent job. As time went buy I assumed I didn’t win because I still hadn’t heard anything.

Recently I was notified that I was one of the recipients, and honestly I’m still kind of in shock. The scholarship includes conference admission, airfare to Toronto, and 3 nights accommodations at one of the conference hotels. I also get to meet and have my picture taken with Rick Fedrizzi, who is the CEO and founding chairman of the USGBC.

This is Greenbuild’s tenth anniversary and the theme will be “Whats Next for Green Building.” The conference will feature a job fair with green employers looking to network with green job seekers. There will also be a green job summit to discuss how to accelerate the creation of green jobs in the economy. Educational sessions will take up most  of the time during the 3 day event. I will get to choose from a wide array of topics, but I will focus my attention on presentations related to green building operations & maintenance and LEED for homes. Between education sessions I can browse the exhibit hall where over 900 companies will have info booths set up showcasing green building products and services. There will be lots of guest speakers, one of whom will be Michael Bloomberg the mayor of New York City.

Part of the deal is that I have to deliver a presentation to share what I learned. I will also use my blog to document the experience and share knowledge with the rest of the world.

Build Green Atlantic

Today I attended Build Green Atlantic, which is a green building conference presented by the Atlantic chapter of the Canadian Green Building Council and NSCC. The theme of the conference was Inspiration and Innovation. The conference presented 5 streams with a total of 25 presentations to choose from. The streams include:
1) Project profiles
2) Residential
3) Design
4) Carbon / Energy
5) Info / Education

The presentations I attended were:
1) LEED Certification Simplified – How LEED for Homes works with larger residential projects.
2) LEED Credentialing and Credentialing Maintenance.
3) Life Cycle Assessment – Developing a “Green Design” culture.
4) LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance – A team experience.
5) Making the business case for green building.

I really enjoyed the conference. The student admission rate was $35 which is very practical. Some of the conferences in my field tend to be very over priced. The best thing about the conference is that the workshops count towards your continuing education hours for LEED credentials. I don’t currently have a LEED credential but plan to write my LEED Green Associate exam really soon.