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Leveraging inspiration from our new strategic plan, last October I sat down with our Sustainability Advisory Committee to discuss what bold steps we could take to reaffirm our commitment to sustainability and enhancing the world around us. We had just purchased carbon offsets for 2019 and for the first time in WalterFedy’s almost 70-year history, we could say that we were a carbon-neutral company. While we were excited about this big step we wondered where we could go from here.

 

One of our core values at WalterFedy is Integrity. Integrity means that we “do the right thing,” and not just when it’s convenient. We had set strong carbon reduction goals with Sustainable Waterloo Region and we felt we had done a good thing in purchasing carbon offsets, but we also knew we needed to do more. A true commitment to the environment comes through real organizational and operational change and not just strategic giving.

 

We used this as a springboard to propel our firm toward more substantive changes and set to work in building an ambitious plan to present to our board. Our proposal included a commitment to aggressively cut our greenhouse gas emissions from our 2017 levels by 60% by 2030, all while purchasing enough carbon offsets annually to offset our remaining emissions - and pull us 10% below zero emissions. The board overwhelmingly supported our initiative.

 

Our largest carbon footprint is linked to transportation-related emissions – more specifically in Employee Commute and Business Travel. Our Sustainable Advisory Committee is currently working to develop strategies to help us achieve our reduction goals, but we know that we will all have to work together to realize this ambitious vision. 

 

Beyond the carbon emissions directly linked to our employee’s daily activities, we know that our team can make an even greater impact on the world around us through our design and construction activities. As a firm, we are committed to improving the materials and methods used in our projects so that the spaces we design and construct have minimal impact on the environment.

 

Our Sustainability Advisory Committee is actively developing an implementation plan to integrate The Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Standard and additional sustainable design measures in all our work.

 

Learn more about our corporate sustainability goals.

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New Partners: Patrick Darby, Matt Ninomiya, and Russ Parnell

 

KITCHENER, Thursday, November 12, 2020 – The WalterFedy Board of Directors is pleased to announce three new shareholders are joining our ownership team. Congratulations to Patrick Darby, Matt Ninomiya and Russ Parnell who have all proven themselves as leaders within the firm and will be strong representatives of WalterFedy moving forward.

 

“We are proud to be adding these three talented professionals to our shareholders' table,” says Jamie Van Dyk, Chair of the WalterFedy Board of Directors. “Each one brings different skills and experiences to the group and their voices will be valuable additions to our ownership team.” 

 

All three represent different departments and showcase the breadth of talent within our organization. 


Patrick Darby, P.Eng., CEM, CMVP, LEED AP, has been a champion for sustainability in engineering at WalterFedy since joining the team in 2008. Patrick meshes his mechanical engineering background with environmental advocacy to develop future-conscious solutions for his clients. As manager of our Energy and Carbon Solutions department, he challenges his team to explore new approaches to carbon reduction and energy conservation, and actively encourages clients to make savvy, green choices for their buildings. He is also the chair of Smart Energy Oxford that has the mandate to support the county-wide goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. 

 

Matt Ninomiya, MBA, P.Eng., leads the Land Development practice with our Civil Engineering group. Matt joined the WalterFedy team in late 2018 and has made big strides for our business since coming on board. He brings a strong energy and client focus to every project he works on. Whether it be finer details on a small site or a big picture vision of a subdivision, Matt is passionate about designing and building the communities we all call home. He is also actively involved in the home building industry and serves as a Director on both the Waterloo Region Home Builders Association Board and the Brantford Home Builders Association Board.  


For Russ Parnell, P.Eng., M.ASc., structural engineering isn’t just his job – it’s his passion. This seasoned engineer joined WalterFedy in 2014 and believes building collaborative relationships is just as important as creating structures that will stand the test of time. As a creative problem solver, Russ is known for his ability to deliver large, complex, and multi-phased projects on accelerated timelines. Empowering those around him to grow and excel in their positions is something Russ takes great pride in. Outside of work, he is a dedicated member of the Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region Board of Directors. 


Congratulations Patrick, Matt and Russ. The WalterFedy community is happy to have you joining our leadership team to guide us toward a successful future for our organization. 

 

ABOUT WALTERFEDY

WalterFedy is a dynamic, integrated firm delivering creative design solutions and practical built environments. Our expertise includes architecture; mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineering; energy and carbon solutions; asset and facilities management; project management; and construction management through our sister company, AEC Developments.

 

Our staff of nearly 200 people serve from two locations in Kitchener and Hamilton. Together, we support clients across Canada with their commercial, healthcare, education, municipal, industrial, and residential projects.

 

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Website – walterfedy.com
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/walterfedy/
Facebook – facebook.com/walterfedy
Instagram – Instagram.com/walterfedy 

 

WalterFedy Media Contact
Katie McQuaid
519-576-2150 x229
kmcquaid@walterfedy.com

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A career in sustainability can take many forms. Some work in environmental law or advocacy, and others focus on research and development for new technologies. For resident sustainability expert Marlen Aleman, her niche is Asset and Facilities Management (AFM).  

 

Marlen has spent many years serving as a sustainability consultant, helping thousands of square feet of real estate across Ontario earn varying degrees of sustainability certification. A LEED Green Associate and certified Facilities Management Professional, Marlen combines her knowledge of building operations and building best practices to help clients achieve their sustainability goals. 

 

“Everything we do in AFM has to do with sustainability,” said Marlen. “We are helping to maximize building performance and lifecycle, so rather than decommissioning a building and start a new construction, we help our clients in the planning to keep their assets in good condition and up to standards. We can also help with operational strategies that impact energy consumption, but also the productivity and wellbeing of the occupants. It’s creating a sustainable environment and I am very proud of that.” 

 

Marlen and her team work closely with clients to help them map out plans to increase their sustainable practices and earn recognition for the strides they have made. Often times, this takes the form of guiding partners through programs like Buildings Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), which has a comprehensive rating system that helps owners of existing buildings achieve certification and recognition for their practices on an operational level. This means taking a critical look at energy, water, air, comfort, health and wellness, custodial practices, purchasing, waste, site, and stakeholder engagement. 

 

“The early integration of sustainability considerations is key for the success of any project. Our work helps our clients make informed decisions that have a positive impact in their bottom line, the environment and the well being of building occupants,” said Marlen. 

 

Whether you have an established building, or are exploring a new build, there are numerous programs available to help stimulate greener practices and design in business, including LEED, WELL, BOMA, and NetZero. While more and more businesses are striving to create positive change in their buildings and work culture, many are still working up the courage to take the next step.  

 

“One of the biggest misconceptions about sustainability is that it is expensive,” said Marlen. In fact, it is more accessible than you might think. “Some very important green strategies and activities cost very little,” she explained. The best place to start is with the people in your organization, and this approach is virtually free. With the implementation of awareness programs, tenants can start making changes to their habits that greatly reduce their environmental impact. “Green building systems are most effective if building occupants know how they work. That’s where every sustainability approach should begin.” 

 

Outside of her role as an Asset Management Specialist, Marlen actively participates in conversations on green living. She is a key member of WalterFedy’s Sustainable Advisory Committee, which was developed to facilitate ongoing change within the organization to reduce environmental impact. She also volunteers with Women in Renewable Energy and provides mentorship to young professionals looking to jumpstart their career in green industry.  Her motivation is simple: “The planet is the only home we have. I want my son to grow up in a healthy environment and enjoy nature. Sustainability is a way of living. It isn’t just a standalone project. It is a wide cultural change that needs to happen and can happen.” 

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We are happy to announce we are the recipient of a Diamond Award for Building Engineering in recognition of our work at Conestoga College's Waterloo Campus.

 

In association with Moriyama & Teshima Architects, we provided mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineering services for the College’s $43.5 million, 165,000 square foot expansion of their Waterloo Campus. This project included both a renovation to the existing structure and a new building, nearly doubling the existing area of the College. Part of this project’s funding was supported by the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) and was delivered through a fast-tracked process completed over three phases. In order to meet funding requirements, we strategically designed phases in parallel to expedite the design, tendering, and construction processes.

 

The project included several exciting additions that supplemented Conestoga's existing complement of training and student services programs. The Institute for Culinary and Hospitality Management was designed to educate students interested in hospitality and simultaneously positions Waterloo Region as a culinary tourism destination. The newly added access hub provides career advising, language training, testing, and academic advising for students, newcomers to Canada, job seekers, and area employers. The project also included the addition of the Centre for Advanced Learning, which focuses on information and communications technology, digital technologies, and business.

 

In line with the College’s mandate for sustainability, we were directed consider their targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction and sustainability in our design. Given the constraint of a limited capacity increase the existing electrical power on site, we designed a new cooling plant, which was the largest electrical load in the facility, to use a smaller chiller supplemented with ice storage. By pre-cooling with ice during the evenings, we were able to design a system that did not require additional power supply for the new building.

 

We were also involved in the design of a 150 kW solar installation on the new building. It was important to the College that the solar array was visible to the students and the public to showcase their commitment to sustainability. For this reason, the array was installed above the main entrance to the facility facing a major street – University Avenue. While this limited the physical size and angle of the array,  our firm, in conjunction with local solar panel installers, prepared the preliminary layout of the solar array detailing position, angle, and quantity of the solar panels to maximize electrical output.

 

The complexities the project presented were an invigorating challenge for our team, and we are thrilled with the end result. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the academic community to deliver projects that support student success and benefit the greater community.

 

Congratulations to all of the project partners involved in making this development a success.

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