Building construction and operations have extensive impacts on the environment, society and the economy.
Triple bottom line approaches to sustainability address profit, people and the planet. As a firm we have the responsibility to do our part in advancing each of these aspects of a sustainable environment. To this end we are active within the firm monitoring, assessing and advancing our practices we have in place to contribute to a sustainable world.
Profit (economic sustainability)
Our firm operates so as to be consistently profitable and to expand over time, which is to be expected. This provides the firm and staff resources to support initiatives for a sustainable community we are part of as well as contributing to a growing sustainable environment.
People (community sustainability)
The firm regularly contributes financially to specific community organizations such as Vancouver Aquarium, Arts Umbrella and The Courage to Come Back Awards, which we feel makes a huge impact on the future of our community. We also take the opportunity to donate our skills to efforts such as the Little Frog Aboriginal Daycare Rehabilitation. As a policy we do not undertake projects that we do not feel are supportive of a healthy community. We do seek out projects which make contributions to the livability of communities such as our work on Robson Square, the Vancouver Convention Centre public art program and the Green Planet, Dubai projects.
Planet (environmental sustainability)
While we make small contributions, anything we do has an impact on the environment and the following are some of our initiatives within the firm:
- 65% of staff take public transport/bicycle to work
- 40% of staff use car cooperatives
- rely on natural daylight for most of daytime lighting
- full recycling plan in place
- electronic filing and movement to paperless office as much as practical
- use of teleconferencing on out of Vancouver projects to minimize air travel
- conduct research on advanced green technologies such as waste/rain water harvesting and PU solar installations.
Sustainability in the Design of our Projects
Our main objectives of sustainable design of our projects are to reduce, or completely avoid, depletion of critical resources; prevent environmental degradation caused by facilities throughout their life cycle; and create livable built environments.
While sustainable design initiatives are constantly changing, the following principles guide our work:
- Optimization of the site potential including consideration of adaptive reuse of existing buildings
- Optimize energy use
- Protect and conserve water use
- Optimize building space and material use and reuse
- Enhance indoor environmental quality
- Optimize operational and maintenance practices