Leadership in Energy & Environment Design
(LEED®) Gold Rating 2012
Commitment to Environmental Responsibility
We take pride in giving back to our community and environment: Our goal is to become a leader in environmental stewardship for our community and the insurance industry.
At Farm Mutual Re, we are committed to implementing "green" initiatives that assist in reducing our carbon footprint. We take pride in being environmentally responsible and consider the impact on the environment in all of our decisions. Our goal to become a leader in environmental stewardship for our community and the insurance industry is demonstrated through the implementation of initiatives that enable us to reduce, reuse and recycle throughout our building.
Our building was constructed to meet LEED® (Leadership in Energy Environmental Design) certification and in 2011 earned the Gold designation. We are also a bronze pledging member of Sustainable Waterloo Region. Below is a list of the "green" initiatives we have in place:
- A high efficiency lighting system that reduces our energy consumption and lowers CO2 emissions. Electronic ballasts allow for daylight harvesting which reduces light intensity during daylight hours. Most areas are motion sensor controlled, turning lights off when an area is not in use.
- Automated window blinds were installed to control heat gain and light and are automatically controlled by computer and photocell. High performance glass was also used in the windows to reduce heat gain as well as noise.
- Our storm water management system was designed in conjunction with our proximity to the provincially significant wetland. Multiple setting points reduce sediment and contaminates prior to storm water release into the wetland. Thorough studies were completed to ensure there was a reduced impact on the wetland area.
- No landscape irrigation system was installed on the property. In order to mitigate our potable water consumption, drought tolerant vegetation was chosen for the landscaped areas. These types of plants have adapted to drought or "dry" conditions and therefore need less water to survive.
- We donate fresh vegetables to our local food bank. These vegetables are grown on our 400 square foot garden that is maintained by our employees.
- Three areas of our roof have been fitted with green roof plantings. This reduces our heat island effect by absorbing the sun's heat and not allowing it to heat up the surrounding air. This layer of earth helps to absorb sound as well as insulate the building, reducing the need for energy to cool and heat spaces. The green roof also enhances the storm water retention of the building by slowing the rate of water runoff as well as providing cleaner water to permeate the ground. These plantings are also drought tolerant requiring only 2.5 cm of rainfall per month which keeps the roof low maintenance.
- Rain water is gathered from our main roof into external cisterns and used as non-potable water for flushing toilets. This reduces the usage of potable water for sewage conveyance. The majority of washrooms contain ultra low flow toilets, dual flush toilets, ultra low flow faucets and cloth hand towels. The faucets are automated to reduce excessive water use. Furthermore, water hydrants located around the building are fed from our rainwater collection system to avoid depleting the city's potable water supply.
- The ground source heat pump system contains over 80,000 linear feet of underground piping extending under the parking lot. Primary pumps circulate vegetable based glycol fluid through the piping allowing us to extract heating and cooling energy from the ground depending on the season.
- A central computer monitors room temperature and C02 levels adding fresh air only when required. Roof top energy recovery ventilators use the recovered heat from exhaust air to pre-heat incoming airflow. These techniques reduce the energy consumption of the mechanical systems by allowing the system to function minimally.