Champions for Change 3 years in a row.

June 8, 2010

On May 12, 2010, Boulder Associates Architects was awarded the Champions for Change Award for the third year in a row. Presented by Practice Greenhealth, the award is given to companies that demonstrate a commitment to green practices in their own organization and also assist healthcare clients in improving their environmental performance. Kristi Ennis, Boulder Associates’ Sustainable Design Director, accepted the award on behalf of the firm at the CleanMed 2010 conference.

Boulder Associates’ firm-wide dedication to sustainable practices was evident in several initiatives undertaken in the past year. As part of the environmentally responsible purchasing (EPP) effort, new office products with recycled content were tracked and reported at 42% for the year. Waste reduction continued to be a focus for the firm, whose Boulder office recycled or composted 74% of its waste last year. A battery round-up resulted in the collection and recycling  of 35.4 lbs. of used batteries from the Boulder and Sacramento offices; and two zero-waste events were organized—a company picnic and a holiday party.

To promote the benefits of sustainable design outside the firm, Boulder Associates staff contributed to several publications in 2009, including ASHE’s “Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities,” JCR’s “Planning, Design, and Construction of Health Care Facilities,” and “Informing Design,” a textbook on evidence-based design. In addition, case studies were completed showcasing the Sutter North Bay Regional Surgery Center and Clinica Family Health Services’ People’s Clinic.

In the last year, Boulder Associates project teams also identified ways for their clients to operate their buildings more sustainably, including: finding grant opportunities for a local non-profit, which resulted in the installation of a 42kW photovoltaic array; providing assistance with local utility incentives programs for energy-efficient design features; introducing a client to the concepts of integrated pest management (IPM) and green cleaning; and assisting in the development of their operational policies for these initiatives.

As in previous years, LEED education and project certification continued to be a focus for the firm in 2009. Thirteen Boulder Associates staff members became LEED Accredited, bringing the accreditation total for the firm to 75%. The Sutter North Bay Regional Surgery Center was certified LEED CI-Gold. It was the first LEED project­ (but certainly not the last) for one of the firm’s long-term clients. In addition, work continued on numerous registered LEED Projects in various stages of design and construction.

Kristi Ennis, Sustainable Design Director, noted that “This year it was important for us to stay on track with our internal initiatives, even in the economic downturn. Sustainability is part of our culture at Boulder Associates, and something the staff is passionate about. We are proud to have received this recognition from Practice Greenhealth, who pushes its membership for continuous improvement.”