Each day, SWA collaborates to create more sustainable, efficient, healthy, and accessible buildings. This holistic approach to the built environment necessitates talented teams with a wide range of specializations. (Want to join us? Check out the open positions on our Careers page!)
In this profile, we’re catching up with Thomas Moore, a Senior Building Systems Consultant located in Toronto, Canada.
Thomas developed a passion for the Passive House standard early in his career: “Simply put, I wanted to reduce the impact buildings had on the environment, and I saw Passive House as an actionable way of doing this,” he says. Thomas has been working on Passive House projects for more than 5 years on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.
How would you describe yourself in five words?
A problem solver—someone who looks for actionable and practical ways to work through problems.
What inspires you?
The synergy between affordable housing and Passive House has and will continue to inspire me.
In the overlap between affordable housing and Passive House design, I feel like I’m truly improving the built environment. Passive House offers a healthy, comfortable, and resilient space and works to materially drop building utility and operation costs. The benefits of Passive House perfectly align when considering housing design outcomes for low-income populations.
Applying my technical skillset when designing Passive Housing for low-income communities and working with mission-driven affordable housing developers has consistently motivated and inspired me in my career.
How did you get your start in this field?
I attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, to pursue an interest in environmental issues and earth system sciences. There, I earned my undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Physical Geography.
After undergraduate, I began taking LEED courses and learning about the impact of buildings on the environment. Through my LEED coursework, I found building science. I then earned a Graduate Degree in Building Science at Ryerson University in Toronto and studied architecture technology to supplement my design background.
How did you begin your career after you graduated?
When I was graduating from Ryerson, the PHIUS+ 2015 North American climate-specific Passive House program was just launching. This was an exciting development in the building science industry.
After graduating, I drove from Toronto to Pittsburgh with my girlfriend to get my Certified Passive House Consultant credential and then began trying to find a role where I could focus on Passive House exclusively.
I have been fortunate in that I have been able to focus almost exclusively on Passive House designs for the last 7+ years of my career.
What do you like most about your work with SWA?
In my role as a Passive House consultant, I have been able to return to my home city of Toronto and work on large scale Passive House designs. Bringing the technical means and methods to deliver large scale Passive Houses back to my home city of Toronto has been incredibly rewarding. I aim to help shape the future of the built environment in Toronto by integrating Passive House certification as a mechanism to achieve the highest levels of the Toronto Green Standard energy step code.
What’s one project you’ve worked on that you find most interesting?
I am currently a Passive House consultant for the University of Toronto’s newest student residence facility. This is a Passive House student residence project with 750 beds and 220,000 square feet of mixed-use space. It’s a project of unprecedented scale for Canada and the City of Toronto.
I see this project as a tipping point for the city. The delivery of a Passive House project at this scale in Toronto will serve as proof of concept, demonstrating to the Toronto development community that Passive House can be achieved at scale.
What certifications or credentials would you like to earn in the future?
I would like to become a fully certified and recognized Architectural Technologist, and be able to design, stamp, and certify OBC Part 9 buildings to the Passive House standard
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
In my free time, I like to go gravel biking.