Architectural Science alumna named the recipient of Emerging Green Leader Award
Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science (FEAS) alumna, Samantha Menard, was the recipient of the Canada Green Building Council’s, external link Emerging Green Leader Award for 2020. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to lead, educate and advance Canada’s green building sector.
“I’ve worked hard throughout my career thus far to do what I can to influence not only the individual projects I work on but the broader industry as a whole as well,” says Menard. “Receiving this honour has validated that my efforts have begun making an impact, and I look forward to seeing what I can accomplish next.”
After graduating from the architectural science program with a concentration in building science in 2012, Menard began working at Provident Energy Management Inc. as an energy analyst. She now works with EQ Building Performance Inc., a consulting firm that focuses on advising the production of responsible buildings. As a manager of the energy team at EQ, Menard works with developers and design teams to analyze their work and explore options to improve buildings.
Menard says that she has always had a fascination with buildings. However, she took a particular interest in their performance when she specialized in building science.
“Most of the building science faculty had a significant influence on me and my career because of their interesting and diverse courses,” she says. “ Miljana Horvat, Ramani Ramakirishnan, and Vera Straka, in particular, brought passion to what they taught and helped ignite that passion in me.”
Menard says that her time-management skills and the importance of bringing passion to her work are the two most important things she learned throughout her studies.
“The architectural program had a large course schedule that needed to be balanced with studio time and that had largely self-imposed time management requirements. The organizational skills needed to balance everything to make sure things were high quality and completed on time was vital,” she says. “Being passionate in completing that work always made the work go much smoother and broadened opportunities in both my personal and professional life.”
Menard says that the practical approach to her courses enriched her learning and helped her in the early days of her career. “This gave me a huge advantage when starting my career since I was learning things that were applicable not just in theory, but in practice as well,” she says.
As Menard works towards growing Canada’s green building sector, she says that one of her biggest goals for a sustainable future is for each person to work towards lifestyle changes.
“While we should all do our part for larger changes by voting for leaders who will protect the environment and create sustainable legislation, individual choices add up. Choosing to eat less meat, reduce the thermostat, take fewer fuel-intensive trips, and shopping locally can all add up to a more sustainable future for us all,” she says. “Making this shift in mindset is essential as we need to ensure that we each do what we can.”