Light House Building Centre’s Brenda Martens

About the Episode

In this episode, we visit with Brenda Martens. Brenda has worked in the building industry for over 25 years. She is a practitioner, educator, and advocate in the field of green building and sustainability. She is also the Director of Research and Collaboration for Light House Sustainable Building Centre. 

She has served on the Board of Directors of the Cascadia Green Building Council, is a past faculty member of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and the University of British Columbia Continuing Studies, and is a co-founder of Recollective Consulting and the Open Green Building Society, an organization that open sources information about green buildings. She currently teaches green building and sustainability for BCIT.

Tune in to this episode to hear more about Brenda’s journey.

Key Talking Points

  • Getting to know Brenda
  • Brenda’s start in sustainability 
  • First experience with Green projects
  • Exposure to Mentors
  • LEED Fellow
  • Cascadia
  • Projects during Brenda’s Career
  • What does the future hold
  • Bucket List
  • Brenda’s Advice

Key Milestones of the Episode

[01:43] Intro to Brenda Martens

[02:30] Early Exposure to Physics 

[03:05] Brenda’s AHA Moment

[05:36] Mentors

[10:25] Living Building Challenge

[16:20] Buildings at the end of life

[18:34] Trends in the future of green building

[22:56] Areas of Strength for Brenda

[24:32] Brenda’s Bucket List

[29:25] Final Words of Encouragement

Key Quotes from the Episode

“My focus was on commercial buildings at the time, I had never worked in the single-family, residential market.”

“That’s when I had my first epiphany that we didn’t have to do business as usual.”

“The design for disassembly and reuse is not strong.  How do you design for buildings and life?”

“I see a proliferation of different standards and rating systems.  Some of them like the Living Building Challenge and LEED are holistic and some are more concentrated on a portion of the characteristics of buildings.”

“You look at it as an opportunity not a challenge.”

Key Resources

Difficult Conversations:  How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone

Learn More about Brenda Martens, B.Sc., CSBA, LEED AP BD+C, LEED Fellow

Brenda’s work experience encompasses residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial projects throughout British Columbia, including the Vancouver and Whistler Athletes’ Villages, the Okanagan College Centre of Excellence (a Living Building Challenge Petal candidate), and over 20 BC housing projects across the province. She is deeply involved in the green building movement and has served the community as Chair of the Site and Water Technical Advisory Group (TAG); LEED Canada Steering Committee member; and the City of Vancouver Green Building Strategy Committee member, amongst other roles. She is committed to growing the green building movement through practice, mentorship and education. 


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