Earth Day is always a good time to pause and ask ourselves how day-to-day actions are making of our planet a better place. As a firm, Payette is strongly committed to designing sustainably. The predicted energy consumption of our projects is consistently significantly lower than the national average and metered data supports this fact. For instance, most of our projects have no irrigation needs and use natural ventilation to improve the indoor air quality and well-being of the building occupants.
In our daily operations as an office, we have undertaken many internal efforts pushing our practice to operate more sustainably. However, while our sustainable action plan clearly outlines the paths to follow to minimize our carbon footprint as an office, we did not have a group of stewards to enforce those efforts and identify areas with room for improvement. That’s how Sustainable Studio was born. We’re a group of employees whose goal is to quantify the effect of our sustainable actions within daily office operations, motivate and educate our peers, and push the envelope of environmentally conscious actions to the same level as we do in our design work. We have two key focus areas: waste management and energy use reduction, with the goal of diverting as much waste from the landfill as we possibly can, as well as finding opportunities to eliminate unnecessary energy use through our lighting and equipment.
One of our composting bins in our office’s communal kitchen. We’ve started with two bins.
Since our group’s inception, our firm has implemented a composting program, which has led several employees to start composting in their own homes. We are looking forward to leading by example, and will report our next achievements on Earth Day in 2016!
Several of our employees ride bikes to work and take part in the annual Massachusetts Bike to Work Week Challenge (coming up in May!)