Over the course of our existence on earth there has always been the juxtaposition of dreamers and realists. Those who believe one person can make a difference and those who believe it takes a village to accomplish anything. At AET, we are the former. We are a small employee-owned company that takes great stride to educate others on how our decisions and habits can impact the environment and directly influence the quality of life we have. Our goal at AET is to make a difference – to make the public aware that if we continue down the same road we’re on, at some point we won’t have an earth left to call home. In many countries around the world, the effects of human error are already visible. From extreme smog and destructive wildfires, to devastating hurricanes and tsunamis – we can’t deny that human actions have contributed to this.
To some degree, a lot of the population is ignorant to the real effects that our actions have on the environment – many organizations may think they’re already environmentally friendly or green until we show them otherwise. With all this said, we recently considered our own environmental impact. In the same way that you wouldn’t listen to a sick doctor who tells you to increase your leafy green vegetable intake and exercise more, you wouldn’t listen to us tell you to be more sustainable if we aren’t sustainable ourselves. That’s why we embarked on Project Evergreen – a green design build addition to our existing office space that includes;
- LED lighting throughout
- A Clearview atrium in the centre of the roof to allow natural day lighting into office spaces
- Individual office places with upper two thirds of interior private office walls glazed with double pane glass to allow natural light infiltration
- Interface tile carpeting throughout from recycled material
- Living wall tied into the cold air return to filter air and improve air quality
- Separate zoned heating/cooling including motion sensor thermostat to only heat/cool when space is occupied
- Energy star appliances and equipment
- No VOC paint on all walls and ceiling
- Hemp oil finish to all trim and doors
- Low flow faucets and dual flush toilet
- 2-foot roof overhang to provide shading in the summer and gain in the winter with shutter window systems
- Low emissivity roofing membrane to prevent heat gain
- Installation of a bioswale and rain garden for onsite storm water management
- R50 Insulated roof and continuous R30 floor to ceiling walls
- Outdoor lighting on photo sensors
- Reclaimed brick and timber
- UV water purification system
These changes have allowed us to use approximately 75% less energy, reduce urban smog, protect local waterways from pollution, reduce water usage by up to 50%, and reduce landfill waste. Before we decided to undertake this extensive project, we had to consider our mission and values – the building blocks of our company. We want to provide our clients with the best possible service while also be able to competently speak to what we believe, and, as you have heard us say time and time again, “walk the talk.” By evolving into a more environmentally friendly and sustainable work space, we are better educated and better able to lead our clients through similar changes.
While we have completed the interior renovations, we are still in the process of completing the exterior landscaping that will include additional greenspace, an employee seating area, and additional storage area. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement for our upcoming open house to view these changes!