Ask the Expert: Grant Peters, LEED Fellow, Ed Lim Technical Volunteer Award winner

Grant Peters, LEED Fellow, Ed Lim Technical Volunteer Award winner

The Technical Expertise Volunteer Award is presented to an individual who has generously dedicated considerable time and expertise to advance LEED in Canada. Named in memory of a dedicated technical expert, Edwin Lim, the recipient is always highly regarded as a subject matter expert, serving as a member of one (or more) of CaGBC’s volunteer committees.

This year’s winner, Grant Peters certainly fits the bill. The Partner and Manager of Green Building Services at Fluent Group Consulting Engineers has provided valuable technical guidance serving for a decade on the CaGBC Sites and Water Technical Advisory Group (TAG) including a four-year term as Chair of the TAG and representing the TAG on the LEED Canada Steering Committee.

Grant was also among a group of 25 individuals from around the world to be named a LEED Fellow – and the only Canadian on this year’s list. LEED Fellows are nominated by their peers and must have made at least 10 years’ worth of exceptional impact on LEED and hold an active LEED AP with specialty credential, among other requirements.

Learn more about Grant’s path to LEED Fellow in this Ask the Expert interview:

Tell us about your career and how you came to be in the role you are now.

I have been fortunate to spend my entire career in the green building sector. In fact, it began even before I graduated - I had several engineering co-op terms with Enermodal Engineering, which was Canada’s foremost LEED Consulting and Energy Modelling firm at the time. At Enermodal I was taught by some of the best in the industry at a time when LEED and green buildings were making their mark in Canada. From there, it was a fairly straightforward trajectory, joining Fluent Group in 2009 to continue my work in this field, accepting a partnership, and eventually taking over as Manager of Green Building Services.

Did you have any mentors or role models as you developed your career? What insights did they provide that have helped you advance?

Loaded question! I have had, and continue to have, several mentors and distinguished colleagues - many of which are LEED Fellows and industry leaders. Beyond my co-workers, the support has always been strong from my fellow TAG and Steering Committee members, especially those that helped me develop into the Chair: Steve Carpenter, Brenda Martens, and Colleen Loader. Finally, I owe a great deal of respect and gratitude to my partner at Fluent, Michael Pelton. Collectively, my mentors built my passion for the industry and gave me opportunities to flourish. Perhaps their most important lessons were those of dedication to the task and the ability to creatively solve very technical problems.

How did you get involved with CaGBC and its Technical Advisory Groups?

In my early days at Enermodal, I often heard about TAG and Steering Committee discussions from co-workers, but my first in-depth experience was during the development of LEED Canada 2009 when we worked with CaGBC staff and TAGs to develop the newest rating system. Following that work, I applied for the Sites and Water TAG in 2010, and maintained participation for 10 years, with an appearance as Vice Chair, and my final four years (2016-2019) as Chair.  As TAG Chair, I also sat on the LEED Steering Committee, which was a very different experience because it was focused more on the marketing and industry-wide aspects of LEED, rather than the technical nitty-gritty.

How important are the TAGs to ensuring LEED meets the needs of the Canadian market? What challenges will the TAGs be tackling in the next five years?

TAGs have always had a great deal of (unseen) influence on the direction of LEED and the green building industry – their input is critical in maintaining a market and momentum for Canadian projects. As we see LEED diversify and compete with other rating systems, it will be very important that TAGs start to tackle the “edges” of the market. By this I mean that wellness, biophilic design, social equity, and other hot topics will eventually be woven into LEED, and it will be the TAGs that facilitate this transition.

You were recently recognized for Technical Leadership as part of CaGBC’s Leadership and Green Building Excellence Awards. What does it mean to you to be recognized in this way?

I am very honoured to have been recognized at the national level. Upon departing the SW TAG Chair position, I joked that it wouldn’t be long until I returned to the volunteer pool – I owe a great deal of my success in this business to the CaGBC and my opportunities on various committees, so I consider this award to be a milestone in a much longer story.

What advice do you have for other professionals that might consider joining a TAG?

Volunteering for the CaGBC, and specifically a TAG, is a lot of work. The commitment should not be taken lightly. That said, the rewards are unique and plentiful. The people you meet, the quality of discussions you have, and the insight you gain from such an experience can really boost your understanding of the industry. And the cherry on top is the contribution you make to your peers, clients, and the environment. I would encourage everyone embedded in this industry to find a volunteer opportunity with the CaGBC.