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Sustainable and effective construction practices

Using available resources judiciously is an important consideration when renovating or doing new construction.

February 2023 Time to read 3 min read

Coastal Community’s Deb Smilski explains how sustainable construction practices are environmentally responsible and resource efficient, and the many ways you can put them into practice. This article first appeared in the September 2022 edition of the Business Examiner. Read the online edition here.

As Associate Vice President, Procurement & Premises at Coastal Community, I recently oversaw the new construction of our building in Port Alberni. Here are a few things I kept in mind to reduce Coastal’s carbon footprint and support local artisans during the build.

One of the first steps during a renovation or new construction is to think about sustainable sourcing. Consider:

  • Purchasing chair fabrics made from 100% recycled collected ocean plastic – a step that helps our island environment;
  • Purchasing chairs made from recycled materials such as ocean-bound plastic, which diverts 150 metric tons of plastic from the ecosystem every year;
  • Using low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint to reduce carbon emissions;
  • Using natural stone tile to reduce your carbon footprint;
  • Designing spaces to use as much natural light as possible;
  • Replacing inefficient and high energy usage HVAC equipment with new energy efficient systems;
  • Utilizing technology to provide heating and cooling consistency; and
  • Providing EV charging stations where possible.

Following these and other kinds of sustainable construction practices can make a big difference to our beautiful islands—and as our new location illustrates, you don’t have to sacrifice efficiency or style! Speaking of style, another thing I keep in mind when designing spaces is the value of community involvement and supporting local artisans. For example, we incorporated a live edge table made from local wood in our board room at Port Alberni.

We also have a rotating art program to beautify our buildings. Coastal Community publishes an annual calendar featuring submissions from local photographers. Every year we reproduce the calendar photos to display in all of our locations. At year’s end, we auction them off to raise funds for a local charity. Last year we supported the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

These are just a few of the ways we can effectively use resources and support local while growing our businesses – a win/win situation! If you have any questions about construction financing, call 1-888-741-1010 to speak to one of our experts.