The Robert Brown Philosophy

When it comes to building, whether it involves properties or communities, the fundamental questions we need to ask ourselves are: “What is in the best interest of the individuals who reside there? How can the wider community also benefit? And how can we foster an environment where people can thrive?” These questions need to drive decision-making and are as important as making a fair financial return.

What I have come to understand is that true impact, successful projects and real joy can exist together – in the middle. I refer to this as the “hybrid space.” Within this space, we can develop solutions that serve people’s needs, minimize our ecological footprint, and remain financially feasible. It is possible to construct homes that are not only comfortable, beautiful, and secure but also affordable, healthy and economically sustainable. These homes foster a sense of community and contribute greatly to people’s happiness.

This philosophy dictates that we should strive to be Building for Better.

The Lighthouse — Glasgow, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

My Story

We all start from somewhere. Here is my beginning and how my career came to be.

Robert Brown

We are all a product of our history.
My history started in Glasgow, Scotland.

I grew up in a “nice” part of Glasgow, but at the same time I learned a lot about the city’s history and challenges with unemployment and poverty and how real estate interacted with this history. The issues I saw and learned about shaped my perspective and profoundly affected how I would approach my work in real estate, especially housing, and also my volunteer time. The role that thoughtfully-created housing can play in building communities and enabling people to flourish became very clear to me.

In 1988, I moved to Canada and within weeks, I fell in love with it. I knew that BC was “my place”. I began working in commercial real estate and after three years started a new partnership with a national asset management company. I worked across BC visiting many communities, and again saw how the design, quality and cost of housing affected people’s lives so significantly.

In 1996, I left this company to start a new small-scale real estate development entity, Chesterman Properties. From the start, Chesterman was committed to green building design and strategies. From learning this approach on the ground I created a green building consulting company with a partner to broaden the impact of this work. In seven years we consulted on over 200 projects across BC.

Over these years, I was involved in creating and/or volunteering for numerous non-profit organizations including Compassionate Eye Foundation, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, Tradeworks Training Society and Catalyst Community Developments Society. Through my work with Catalyst, I was hugely blessed to work and partner with so many amazing non-profits that do incredibly impactful work in our community.


I want our planet to be strong and to thrive.

In the end, I want to know that I have contributed to making the world a better place. Having a stable, safe, affordable and beautiful place to call home enables us to flourish and attain things we all need to create a satisfying and contributing life.