Critics have called him Canada’s greenest architect, and as the managing director of the Vancouver, British Columbia, office of international behemoth Perkins+Will, his business card has more letters appended to his name than a can of alphabet soup: C.M., FRAIC, MAIBC, Architect AAA, MOAA, Intl. Assoc. AIA, BCID, LEED AP. With these impressive credentials, Peter Busby, 59, runs his 88-person division of Perkins+Will with a firm design hand and a soft-spoken—even gentle—manner.
A graduate of the University of British Columbia School of Architecture, Busby founded his own firm in Vancouver in 1984 and joined forces with Perkins+Will in 2004. His focus has nearly always been green: Busby was mentored by sustainability guru Ray Cole early in his career, and he was one of the founders of the Canada Green Building Council, our neighbor to the north’s version of the USGBC.
Many of Busby’s projects are close to home (two of the three in this portfolio are near his office; the third a short plane ride away, in Calgary), but his long-earned expertise in green design has earned him commissions all over the globe, including master plans for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. And the scale of his projects is growing as architects and clients become more sophisticated about what’s needed to change how the world looks at the built environment. “Sustainability is a neighborhood phenomenon,” Busby says. “We’re moving from buildings to communities—it’s whole-systems thinking.”