RDH Building Science with Steve Kemp

Steve Kemp has joined RDH Building Science in their Toronto office as a Senior Energy and Sustainability Specialist. At RDH, Steve will play a senior role in the development of their low-energy building design services, building-energy research, and team development in Toronto.

Prior to RDH Steve lead MMM Groups Buildings-Sustainable division, the firm’s world-renowned green building, energy modeling, and building performance monitoring group. With unsurpassed experience in building energy modeling (particularly for green buildings), Steve guides design teams through the process of choosing financially-appropriate, high-return energy-efficiency strategies. During and after construction, Steve’s team works with owners to install metering systems to monitor energy use and find opportunities for improvements.

Steve Kemp – Becoming Sustainability Focused

Steve grew up in Canada and attended Dalhousie University where he earned three degrees.  A B.Sc., Physics; B. Eng., Mechanical Engineering; and a M.A.Sc., Mechanical Engineering. Early on, Steve joined Enermodal Engineering and was surrounded by design decisions that embodied the same ideals as LEED prior to LEED making its stamp in the world. This was the turning point when he became sustainability focused.  

The Importance of a Mentor

Steve was fortunate to work at Enermodal Engineering from 1998 to 2015.  He was part of a team of eight that included three individuals he considers excellent mentors and lifelong friends. First, Stephen Carpenter, LEED Fellow in Canada. Second, John Coco who was essentially their measurement guru and started their commission group. Finally, Richard Lay who served as the mechanical design engineer.  All three influenced Steve in very positive ways.

Proudest Achievements  

Steve’s proudest achievement was an invitation to help design a solar community in a small town south of Alberto consisting of 52 homes.

“The design goal was to provide 90% of their heat from the sun.” – Steve Kemp

More recently, after transitioning to RDH, Steve is proud of the Joy Center for innovation and Partnerships at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. Steve helped win this net zero project and deliver a net zero building.

“I believe the next phase of this high performance building and partnership is going to be very much enclosure focused.” – Steve Kemp

Advice for Success and Recommended Reading

Steve encourages everyone to reach out to the decision makers before meetings take place to let them know what you are thinking and discuss. This alleviates any surprises and tension in the meeting.

“More decisions happen outside of the meeting room than you think.” – Steve Kemp

Steve believes that the next big challenge we have is what we are going to do with all the existing buildings. He recommends reading How Buildings Learn:  What Happens After They’re Built by Stewart Brand.

To hear more about Steve’s experience and leadership with sustainability, download and listen to the episode!

Learn more about Steve Kemp:  


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