Kaitlin Carlson | Commissioning Project Manager

Kaitlin Carlson

Commissioning Project Manager

EQ Building Performance

Sector: Engineering

Born: ON

Location: ON

Education: University

Type: Career Profile


Math, Physics, Technology & Engineering

Careers, Civil Engineering, Engineering, Environmental Monitoring, Management, Sustainability

Kaitlin Carlson | Commissioning Project Manager
Kaitlin CarlsonCommissioning Project Manager
I am motivated by

My greater purpose to address global climate change fuels my work ethic. I also love the variability of my job, as well as the freedom of scheduling and level of autonomy I have. I enjoy working with the many different teams on site of every project, and visiting buildings across southern Ontario. It's extremely satisfying to walk or drive around and see buildings you're working on, or have worked on, and know you have made a difference.

I am motivated by
My career path is

When I finished high school, I had no idea that commissioning even existed or what it was. Being in the sustainable buildings field, it's a fairly new concept. I kind of fell onto this path when I took a sustainability course during my undergraduate degree and loved it. I did a co-op term doing energy modeling. I was amazed by the different ways you could affect building energy use during design phases of a project.

During my next work term, I went back to the same company to learn about LEED and other green building standards. I loved it so much I decided to do a masters degree to learn more. I partnered with a company for funding - they put me to work doing energy audits for existing buildings and ended up hiring me on after I finished my degree. At the time when they hired me, they needed some help in the commissioning division, so I got the opportunity to learn more about the process. I ended up loving the work. My current employer approached me when they had an opening in commissioning. This employer is actually the same that I started with in energy modeling. So, I've gone full circle!

My career path is
My advice to others

Reach out to people in the industry! It's the best way to get a good picture of what's going on and where the industry is headed. People working in the sustainability field tend to love talking about it and helping others pursue careers in the same fields!

My advice to others
How I affect people's livesThe work I do directly affects the people that live and work in the buildings I commission. It's my job to make sure the building is energy efficient and comfortable/healthy. On average, commissioning reduces building energy consumption by 13% so I also contribute to the effort to reduce energy consumption and thereby mitigate global climate change. This is meaningful to me and, because of this greater purpose, I really do feel grateful to be in the position I am in.
How I affect people's lives
Outside of work I

Outside of work I play basketball, sail in the summer, and like to exercise (especially biking and hiking). I also have over 20 houseplants and 10 plants at work that I love caring for. I also love walking around Toronto and trying new restaurants with friends.

Outside of work I
What I do at work

Commissioning is the process of making sure a building’s equipment and system installations work properly and follow building plans and guidelines. This is important because it ensures everything will operate properly, safely, and in an energy efficient manner. A properly commissioned building is one that future occupants will enjoy living and working in.

At work, my time is split about 50/50 between being in the office and on the construction site. I schedule my days as I wish and usually work alone or with my project coordinator, who I manage. I work for a small company and my team is four people - our manager, myself, and two project coordinators. We work in two teams of two but we all help each other and collaborate. Between the four of us, we manage about 90 projects, mostly in the GTA. When I'm on site I'm usually testing mechanical, electrical, and automation equipment and systems. I also s meet with clients and contractors, attend and lead meetings or training sessions.

When I'm in the office I'm usually completing paperwork for what I observed on site. This includes reporting any issues or problems to the owner so they can contact the appropriate contractor to get the issue fixed. I also review design documents in the early stages of the project and design energy and water submetering systems for buildings. I also work on proposals and prepare reports for clients.

What I do at work
About me

I was born/grew up in: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I now live in: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I completed my training/education at: Undergraduate degree BSC in Civil Engineering (Co-op) at the University of Waterloo and graduate degree MASc in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto

About me

When I was

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Math
  • Physical Education / Health
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Other : Drafting/architecture
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked reading
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Always knew what I wanted to do
  • Liked to design or build things

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