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Zahra is an urban sustainability expert with more than eight years of experience in low embodied and operational-carbon buildings development. Zahra is well-connected to a network of climate change action leaders in the public, private, and academic sectors, especially in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia. She brings in a diverse background in policy advising, sustainable building innovation, multi-stakeholder outreach and engagement, and project management.
Before joining Mantle314, Zahra was a Research Manager at UBC Sustainability Initiative and a Planning Assistant at the City of Vancouver’s Sustainability Group. Her past projects include developing the first embodied carbon reporting and reduction policies for the Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning of the City of Vancouver and the 2030 Climate Action Plan of the University of British Columbia. She led the creation of more than 10 case studies and technical primers capturing innovative solutions for building decarbonization, which are available on the Zero Emissions Building Exchange (ZEBx) website. Zahra also managed an in-depth Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing study, comparing the Brock Commons Tallwood House – an 18-storey student residence at UBC that was the tallest hybrid mass-timber structure at the time – with a similar concrete residential tower. This study led to a multi-year embodied carbon pilot study at UBC, which is informing local and national embodied carbon policies and guidelines. Zahra was the co-lead of phase one of the study and subject-matter advisor on phase two.
Zahra holds a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran, and a Master’s in Advanced Studies in Architecture from the University of British Columbia. She is a Certified Passive House Designer. Zahra has led and supported various industry events and workshops through volunteering for organizations such as Living Future Vancouver collaborative. She is currently sitting on advisory committees of the Embodied Emissions study of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, the City of Vancouver Climate Emergency Response Big Move #5, and LCA^2 initiative of National Research Council Canada.