Dave Spencer received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree from University of Toronto in 1971. After graduation he practiced out of his basement, took on short assignments for the GTA, then worked at the Ontario Ministry of Housing for three years. When he left to start his private practice, he was senior landscape architect and that experience led to a lifetime interest in designing better communities.
Dave moved his practice to Calgary in 1979. Spencer Design Group joined Stantec Consulting in 1994 and he continued in his role as Principal until 2019.
Over the last 25 years his design lens has focused on sustainability in the built environment.
Impatient with the slow adoption of more efficient residential development he co-founded and developed EchoHaven, an innovative and ecologically focused low impact development. This project turned out to be one of the most challenging undertakings of his career. The project earned an Emerald Award in 2016. He designed and built a demonstration home which he has lived in for seven years. The house is certified EnerGuide Netzero and is the first house in Canada to be certified by the International Living Future Institute and first to be certified in climate zone 7 or higher.
His design portfolio includes open space master planning for many communities, master plans for resorts in Cuba, Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau featuring indigenous planting typologies and resources conservation, design guidelines and design for Three Sisters Mountain Resort, redevelopment plans for Mount Royal University Thompson Rivers University, Grande Prairie Regional College and Stanley Park in Calgary. He was a key team member for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Red Deer College Health and Wellness Centre. and many other institutional projects.
His clients have included all major developers in Alberta, the City of Calgary, the provincial and federal governments and municipalities in Alberta and B.C. He has developed specialized expertise in sustainable development and gained recognition in the areas of environmental strategies and innovative green design solutions. He was the lead designer for the RiverWalk and signature projects in the East Village, and Memorial Drive The Landscape of Memory. His work has earned numerous awards and articles in design publications. Later recognitions include the Mayor’s Urban Design Award, the Lion Award and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Awards for Poppy Plaza and RiverWalk.
His volunteer activities include chair of the Alberta Solar Cooperative and Director of Planning and Development for his community association. Dave has been active as an expert contributor to climate change programs and seminars and has been a presenter on low impact development and environmental subjects for numerous organizations, school classes and conventions.