Madison, Wisconsin (PRWEB) October 27, 2011
A leader in sustainable planning and design, Flad is enhancing their understanding and desire for a better environment through participation in the Mpower ChaMpion program, a voluntary carbon reduction program for Madison-area businesses.
Over the span of one year, Flad will develop and implement strategies for reducing the firm's carbon footprint. In return, Mpower connects businesses with a wealth of energy-focused resources including Focus on Energy, Rideshare, EnAct, Energy Star Portfolio Manager, Madison Metro, and others, to help participating businesses reach their goals.
“Flad, by nature, does a lot of sustainable design and implementation,” said Steve Jackson, Flad Architect’s Mpower ChaMpion Leader. “We are currently trying to get our office building LEED EB certified and thought the program would be a great fit for us.”
In the first few months of the program, Mpower helps companies baseline their carbon footprint – electricity, natural gas, water use, and transportation. Madison Gase & Electric (MG&E) also does a site inspection and looks at lighting, HVAC systems, etc. and makes recommendations for improvement in energy usage.
“MG&E did an energy audit to see where we can improve. As a result, we are doing an energy modeling of the building, a 3D simulation, to actually test some of the strategies to be put in place,” said Garrick Maine, an architect with Flad.
Each business in the program selects three to six environmental goals they would like to accomplish, and as the year goes along, the companies report their progress to the group at monthly meetings.
“It has been helpful to have somebody from outside the firm, and to have those deadlines, to push us to achieve our goals,” said Jackson.
Some of the goals that Flad will implement are:
- Reducing water use by installing low-flow restrictors.
- Decreasing paper use through electronic documents and double-sided printing.
- Updating the firm’s rental car policy for hybrid and low-emission vehicles when possible.
- Encouraging employees to turn off monitors and shut down computers at the end of the work day and the weekend.
- Purchasing new computer monitors that are LED backlit and use half the energy as a typical monitor.
“As architects, we have the opportunity to make a significant impact by reducing the carbon footprint of the built environment. Much of what we learn from this process, we can actually use as a teaching tool for some of our clients as well,” said Maine.
About Flad Architects
Flad Architects (http://www.flad.com) specializes in the planning and design of innovative facilities for healthcare, higher education, and science and technology clients. With headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, and offices throughout the United States, Flad is a nationally recognized leader in serving the complex needs of knowledge-based organizations.