By Caitlin Forbes
Martine Dion, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Martine’s commitment to sustainability began on a fifth grade “green” field trip when, in encountering a landfill, she realized that pollution directly impacted community health. Since then she has been invested in creating a cleaner world, both personally and professionally. As SMMA’s Director of Sustainable Design, Martine provides energy efficiency, sustainability, and LEED consulting services to clients. Martine has been in charge of the implementation and coordination of sustainable design practices for the firm for the past 17 years and has largely contributed to its consolidation and expansion across the firm’s A&E dis.
Much of Martine’s background in sustainable design aligns with the origins of the USGBC. When she moved to Boston she immediately connected with its sustainable network, many of whom were originally brought together by the BSA COTE Committee. This group of sustainable advocates eventually came together to form the USGBC MA Chapter. As a founding Director on the USGBC MA board, Martine helped establish the organization, creating its bylaws and expanding it to support an executive director and staff. She remains an active member of USGBC today. Martine also currently serves as a Director on the NESEA Board.
While her sustainable projects have varied over her twenty-four year design career, Martine sees her work at K-12 schools as career highlights, such as her work at Winchester High School. Martine believes that green schools are crucial tools for encouraging youth engagement in sustainability and energy conservation because they can uniquely supplement a sustainable curriculum. The school facility can be an active tool for learning – a photovoltaic system informs a science class even as it contributes to fossil fuel reduction; green vegetated roofs and school gardens often bring the classroom outside, connecting the students to nature and inspiring them to invest in protecting resources.
Looking forward, Martine envisions her design career continuing to support sustainability across five crucial areas: education, community health, materials transparency, zero-net energy, carbon neutral and performance based design