Fin MacDonald, Sustainability Analyst, Morrison Hershfield
Fin Macdonald (left) receiving the Emerging Green Builder leadership award at Building Lasting Change 2014
Earning my green associate while I was still a student was a great career move. I wrote the exam while still in school and it helped me land a summer job in my field. I worked with Thermalwise in Halifax as a Green Building Researcher. In this role I developed case studies and video tours of green buildings throughout Atlantic Canada. I wanted to learn more so I applied for and won a scholarship through the USGBC and the CaGBC Atlantic Chapter to attend the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. Contacts I made at this conference helped me to land a job
before I graduated with Morrison Hershfield in Ottawa as a Sustainability Analyst.
During my last year of school I applied and was accepted for a 3 week student exchange to Ireland to work on a passive house retro-fit design project. My LEED Green Associate was a big talking point during the interview process and I know it helped me stand out and get selected. I worked with Irish, Scottish, German, Dutch, and Canadian students.
Shortly after graduating and beginning work with Morrison Hershfield I earned my LEED AP with specialty in Existing Buildings (EBOM). To date I've been involved on over 10 LEED projects, including an EBOM project that is pursuing LEED Platinum.
I wanted to be involved in Green Building outside of work as well. I joined the Ottawa Emerging Green Builders (EGB) committee and I have held a number of roles including finance director, vice-chair, and chair. I also joined the EGB National Committee as the Ottawa representative. I went back to Greenbuild in San Francisco last year, and I met with members of the USGBC's Emerging Professionals and USGBC Students. We are now working together and sharing ideas across the border. Since then I have led the development of the EGB handbook which serves as a guide on
how to start and operate a chapter EGB committee.
Currently at Morrison Hershfield I have been helping out with LEED reviews for the CaGBC and will be taking over as leader of our LEED EBOM review team in November. I have also been working as the lead carbon verifier on some high profile greenhouse gas projects, and working as the lead quantifier on our own carbon footprint. I'm also working with our marketing team to help increase awareness of our carbon services and try to bring in new business.
My LEED Green Associate started me on this path. It gave me a great story to tell in a job interview. It showed employers that I was serious about sustainability and proved that I am committed to continuous learning. It's helped me get a career I can feel good about. Taking the exam was my first interaction with the CaGBC and it opened the door to the wonderful chapter community I found in Halifax and then Ottawa. It's hard to believe how much has happened in the 2 years since I earned my LEED Green Associate.