Sustainable Design

Building Rapport’s Stephen Carpenter

Stephen knew from the beginning of his engineering career that buildings could be designed and operated more efficiently. With this belief, Stephen started his own firm, Enermodal Engineering, in 1980. The firm’s early successes included the first commercially available heat recovery heat pump, some of the first energy modelling software programs for buildings, and the design of early examples of green buildings (Waterloo Region Green Home – Natural Resources Canada’s Advanced Housing Competition Winner in 1992) and Green on the Grand, Enermodal’s Kitchener, Ontario headquarters (C2000 Canadian green office competition winner in 1996).

When Stephen became aware of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification system in the US, he quickly realized its potential as a game changer. He helped bring the rating system to Canada by authoring the LEED Canada for New Construction Reference Guide in 2004 and serving as the Canada Green Building Council’s Chair of the Technical Advisory Group for 9 years. He also served as a LEED Faculty and speaker at events such as Greenbuild, taught technical building courses and delivered inspiring talks on sustainable design to thousands of emerging green building specialists. Stephen’s dedication to nurturing LEED Canada was recognized when he was named to the inaugural class of LEED Fellows.

For a decade after helping bring LEED to Canada, Stephen transformed Enermodal into Canada’s largest green building consultant, with over 100 employees working coast to coast on hundreds of sustainable buildings and communities across North America. Enermodal’s building designs mirrored Stephen’s philosophy of using practical, common-sense strategies and a strong technical understanding of building systems to improve building designs and operations. Their projects became known for pioneering technologies for the Canadian development community, such as rainwater cisterns, radiant cooling, and onsite biofiltration. This philosophy was a success, as Enermodal certified more LEED buildings than any other green building consultant in Canada (over 250), and saw substantial metered (verified) energy and water savings compared with conventional buildings.

One example is A Grander View, Enermodal's headquarters completed in Kitchener in 2009. A Grander View uses a metered 82% less energy and 89% less indoor potable water than a conventional Canadian office. The building was one of two projects to represent Canada at the Sustainable Building Challenge in 2011, won the Center for the Built Environment's Most Livable Building Award, and achieved LEED Platinum certification.

In 2013, Stephen retired from the firm to bring his consulting expertise to new projects across North America through his consultancy, Building Rapport. The firm’s first project is as the green building expert with the city revitalization firm CityCraft, based in North Charleston, South Carolina.


Order of Canada
LEED Fellow
Exceptional Service Award, Canada Green Building Council
Alumni Award, University of Waterloo, Faculty of Engineering
Solar Person of the Year, Solar Energy Society of Canada
President's Award from the Ontario Building Envelope Council
Lifetime Achievement Award from Sustainable Buildings Canada


Design of energy-efficient and sustainable buildings
Consulting on green community development 
Planning for urban revitalization
Development of energy master plans

Building Rapport
Building Rapport
Building Rapport