We went with green for our
new office. And the interior designer
had nothing to do with it.
Our Green Office
After 20 years in the same north Burnaby location, Prism moved offices in 2010 to Discovery Place at 3605 Gilmore Way in central Burnaby.
This state-of-the-art facility clearly reflects what our company stands for. The modern building (approx 10 years old) is designed to significantly reduce energy consumption, waste and water use. It is surrounded by trees in a quiet area. The green setting, both inside and out, gives the office a “Zen-like” feeling, according to one employee.
Before moving into the new space, we undertook a major renovation and our approach was in line with our values. We reused office walls, doors, glass, cabling, carpeting and server room to eliminate waste. We installed LED downlights, dimmable T5 lights and occupancy controlled T8 lighting systems in the boardroom and private offices and used the open layout to maximize window exposure to natural daylight. We purchased Energy Star appliances and have programmed nightly and weekend unoccupied setbacks. We also installed an energy dashboard at the office entrance, which shares consumption information with staff visitors and helps us to track our energy use.
More recently, as a part of BC Hydro's Advanced Energy Office Demonstration project, we completed a lighting retrofit that includes the installation of 49 fluorescent luminaires that are individually controlled at each workstation via the user's personal computer. Photosensors in each zone dim the lights to activity around the workplace to ensure lights stay on only when needed.
Office Green Features
- Operable windows for ventilation and free cooling
- HVAC is supplied with geothermal heat pump loop
- Local zoning for temperature control and setback (nightly and weekend)
- Tenant sub-metering of electrical use
- High efficiency lighting systems
- Layout designed to maximize window exposure for daylighting and glass walls throughout to allow natural light to penetrate to core areas
- Green Construction Materials (reclaimed wood used for lobby flooring)
- Majority of office walls, doors, glass, cabling, server room and carpeting to minimize waste were recycled from previous tenant
- Carpeting is laid in 20' X 20" square tiles, so that only portions are replaced for wear or stains
- Volatile organic compound(VOC)-free paint used during renovation stage
- Energy dashboard at entrance shares consumption information with staff and visitors
Location and Transportation
- Central location to minimize commuting time for employees
- Easy access to highways, bike routes and rapid transit
- Secure bike room and separate men’s and women’s shower facilities
Read more about our efforts to "green our practice" (PDF).
Our Carbon Footprint
Prism, as a company, is committed to tracking, reporting and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. We are encouraging staff to use alternative commuting options, have implemented several waste reduction processes and continue to identify ways of reducing paper use. When we switched to 100% recycled paper for our printer in 2010, we cut out paper emissions in half.
We also offset 100% of our work related travel emissions, including site visits and air travel to conferences and training workshops.
Our Progress Towards Reduction
- In 2009, Prism assessed its operation’s environmental footprint through the Climate Smart workshops that follow GHG protocol standards and guidelines
- Prism’s typical annual GHG emissions are 85 tons CO2, approximately 3 tons CO2 per employee
- Prism offset all travel related emissions in 2010 through Carbonzero, a Canadian based offset company.
Our Green Team
The Prism office has a Green Team. Formed by Prism employees in January 2011, the team is made up of staff from all of Prism’s departments. They meet once a month to discuss ideas, set goals and to coordinate the latest green projects and campaigns.
Projects in Progress
- Campaign to reduce single occupancy staff commuting by promoting alternative transportation methods including carpooling, biking and taking transit.
- Reviewing procurement practices and identify additional opportunities for green purchases
- Promotion of alternative transportation options for site visits
- Computer and monitor shut down campaign
- Participate in community events, such as BCIT's Endless Mile event in celebration of Bike to Work Week