The fresh Spring air has reminded us of all the great sustainable office practices we’ve initiated over the past several years and continue to build on.
Our office is lucky to have a rooftop herb and vegetable garden that we plant every Spring. Employees take turns caring for the plants for everyone to enjoy. This provides our staff with fresh veggies for salads and snacks and a great place to enjoy lunch breaks and soak up some sunshine!
We’ve reduced our plastic use by eliminating plastic straws in the office and providing refrigerated water pitchers and reusable glassware for meetings. We have a plethora of washable plates, mugs, glassware, and cutlery to reduce waste and encourage people to wash their recyclable plastic food containers and wrappers.
Food never goes to waste in this office! Any food not eaten during meetings or vendor lunches is donated to a local shelter via an intrepid network of volunteers.
We’re lucky to work in such a commuter-friendly city. Employees take full advantage of various eco-friendly travel modes such as public transit, walking, cycling, jogging, and e-scootering. CambridgeSeven even offers bicycle commuting reimbursement, covered bicycle and scooter parking, and on-site showers.
Architecture offices go through a lot of material samples, plotted sheets, and technology devices. Our office has designated bins to recycle several different materials including architectural building samples. When manufacturers don’t need or want their material samples returned to them, our office donates them to nonprofits in need of certain materials, such as The Beautiful Stuff Project, or Boston Building Resources. Still, if these abundant materials can’t find a home, they are placed in Re-Stream bins. Re-Stream ensures that these materials are responsibly recycled or use them in their Free-Stream program to provide local teachers and artists who can make use of them.
Outside of our own office, we encourage sustainable practices in the projects we design as well. We track the Energy Use Intensity for all our projects and are reporting all of our projects to the American Institute of Architects for the 2030 Commitment (only 1% of US architecture firms are currently reporting their full portfolio). Our goal is to collect post-occupancy data for at least 50% of our projects to learn how buildings’ energy usages change with user variables.
As of May 2020, CambridgeSeven has 17 LEED Accredited Professionals team and two who are certified in Passive House design. Our management fully encourages staff members to pursue these types of professional development opportunities and provides staff with an annual allowance for training and certifications like LEED and Passive House. We have designed several LEED-certified buildings over the past 15+ years, including LEED Platinum projects like the Roux Center for the Environment and the Williams Bookstore.
CambridgeSeven is lucky to have team members who are constantly searching for new and better ways to respect the environment. Our people are passionate about protecting the environment through their actions and architectural designs. We especially love working with clients who share those values and are committed to sustainable choices. For clients who may be interested in making sustainable choices but are not quite sure how to incorporate green building practices into their projects, we’re more than happy to help them get started!