Handiss Spotlight - Magdaleen Bahour

Handiss Spotlight: Magdaleen Bahour – Architect

Magdaleen is an OAA Architect with great interest in various aspects of building science, including building energy. Having completed her Master’s Degree in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology at Ryerson University, she aims to build a career by combining both her architecture and building science background and knowledge for more affordable and sustainable construction.

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Q: What is it exactly that you did as an Intern Architect?

A: Being an Intern Architect is the first step in the process of becoming a Licensed Architect in Ontario. I started my career as an Intern Architect to fulfill the requirements for Licensure, and worked under the mentorship and supervision of Ontario Licensed Architects. During that period, I worked on different projects in various phases, from Design to Construction, which gave me a wholesome picture and hands-on understanding of the field. As of May 2020, I successfully completed all the requirements and became a Licensed Architect in Ontario.

Q: You’ve earned your masters degree from a Canadian University. Did the university play a role in growing your public relations and helping you step into the professional world?

A: It definitely did. Obtaining a Masters degree in Building Science expanded my knowledge in more technical aspects of the design and construction industry. It also gave me a better understanding of systems and how it all should be incorporated in the architecture of the building. It is more of an engineering outlook but complimented my training in Architecture as well.

Q: When you applied for the LEED GA certificate, was the study material relevant to your work experience and/or college studies? Or was it something totally new?

A: The LEED Green Associate designation was relevant to both my work experience and my Masters education, as my main goal is to be able to design and build with sustainability being the guiding principal.

Q: To what extent do you apply LEED standards in your projects? Can you give us examples?

A: LEED standards could be applied in varying degrees to any project, to make it ‘green’ or more sustainable, even if the aim isn’t to certify the buildings to full standards. A simple example is providing bike racks, to give the users of the building the opportunity to use more efficient methods of commute and reduce the impact of cars.

Q: Apart from the LEED designation, you’re also a certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC). Is this certification popular in Canada?

A: The AEC industry is evolving and growing fast, and the importance of being up to speed with design standards is important. Passive House is growing in North America, in my opinion. My CPHC designation allows me to dive into design guidelines and building certification that push the boundaries of minimum Building Code requirements, to achieve buildings that have minimal impact on the environment during their construction and operations, and can withstand weather conditions without extensive systems.

Q: Have you figured out your next career objective yet? If yes, what is it that you’re aiming for?

A: As a goal oriented person, I always have my next objective in mind as I complete what I am currently working on. Now that I have obtained my Architectural License, the next step is to expand my LEED designation further into an AP specialty. In addition, I also plan to obtain the Canadian Passive House certification, as I am currently certified under the Passive House Institute of the United States (PHIUS).

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