Q: What is your name ?
A: Chau Thai Huynh
Q: What are your pronouns?
A: He / Him / His
Q: Where is your hometown and where are you located now?
A: Hometown: Bentre (The Land of Austerity and Generosity), Vietnam. Currently: Vancouver, B.C.
Q: What did you take at OC? When did you graduate?
A: I took the SCMT program which is now Sustainable Building Technology Diploma. I graduated in June 2021 from the Penticton campus.
Q: What is your current position?
A: I am currently supporting LEED project coordination, assessing and reviewing projects performance against LEED and other green building rating systems; as well as other sustainability-related initiatives as a Regenerative Building Intern at LightHouse Sustainability Society based in Vancouver.
Q: Why did you choose your program at OC? How does it relate to what you’re doing now?
A: Long story short, the main reason why I came to choose this program was my personal realization about the interrelatedness between all life forms and the need for change in the current opposite reality of the built environment.
As a sustainability practitioner, I have always been in the quest of seeking new insights and contributing my expertise within the regenerative building paradigm and green building rating systems to help reconcile the built environment with the natural systems and reinvigorate the essence and co-evolution of place and community.
Q: What was one of your most meaningful memories during your time at OC?
A: There’s lots of great memories, but the one that will stick with me forever is the willingness to help and kindness of the instructors to students, and the coziness and solidarity of my SBT classmates.
Q: What do you think has been the biggest turning point for your career success?
A: I think the most influential and impactful point happened when I got to learn about regenerative design and development course in the SBT program. That’s when I realized my ancestral Eastern wisdoms regarding what to build and how to build in tune with the rhythm of nature started to reemerge in the wake of climate crisis. I strongly believe in the notion of we cannot use only technology to address environmental challenges until we become enlightened and perceptive of who we are and how we function in the world.
For me, it’s the human’s limited identity, which is the only problem to be addressed, not the technical or environmental issues. As we become a conscious being and carry within us a cosmos identity, we are naturally bound to take care of everything else because they are us and we are them. Then, everything will start to fall back into place and ecological damage will naturally be fixed. But to do that, we need groups of communities that know their origin of being, understand the land, water and wind to consciously cultivate cultures that are in honor of place, not in extracting. That’s the main reason why this course had a profound impact on me and has become my beacon for what I am striving towards.
Q: Are there any awards, achievements, or activities that you would like to highlight?
A: I obtained LEED AP BD+C credential during my final semester in college, which have given me the edge later on in my career. Other than that, I always see myself as a speck of the universe who comes and goes at any moment, so no matter what I have achieved, I understand all are just fugitive and the permanent thing is life continuing to flourish and evolve, which I strive to become a good partner in that process of evolution.
Q: What advice would you pass on to current/future students?
A: I do not think I am that better than anyone to give them advice, but if there is one thing that anyone can do, I would say: Always observe and pay absolute attention to everything in life. Always question what you are being taught. Always question "Is this a solution that will address the root cause?" Always see everything the way it is without any distortion or labeling. Last but not least, always remain humble as we are just little sparkling lights whose vigor is very dependent on the well-being of other life forms. If you could do those small things, big things will happen.
Q: When you’re not working, what are you doing?
A: When I am not working, I’d like to observe my inner self and everything around me to see how things really work and what they truly are without social distortion/labeling. Also, I do some yoga practices to make my body conducive for higher wisdoms that can not be decoded by logic. As I said, everything I do is to bring myself to equanimity and enlightenment upon which I could lead my life stably and dynamically so that it’s in absolute tune with forces of nature.
Connect with Chau:
Sustainable Building Technology Diploma (formerly Sustainable Construction Management Technology Diploma)
Be an agent of change as the built environment shifts to a net-zero energy, water and carbon future. Understand building science, technology, systems thinking and project management to deliver healthy, high-performance buildings.