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That’s One Smart Building!

We have officially moved into our new Passive House head office and we are so excited to announce that we have successfully completed all our Passive House testing! We are now waiting for the final review of our results and official Passive House certification from the International Passive House Institute. On our previous blog post we discussed encapsulating the value Charter provides to clients through our smart building. In this blog we will share some of our building’s smart capabilities that we are proud of.

Effective Communication:

  • Plumbing: Our hot water tank thinks and learns the building- creating hot water on demand quicker to those places where it is used most and reducing running water waste by having to wait for it to heat up.
  • Lighting: The lighting in our building is censored, if there is no activity our lights turn themselves off. We also utilize daylight harvesting, as the sun shines into our building, our lights react and dim to our pre-sets, reducing our power usage and ensuring a consistent lighting environment for our team.
  • HRV System: Rather than using a traditional HVAC system, we utilize Heat Recovery Ventilation systems. With the controlled climate of our Passive House design we use the HRV’s to harness heat from inside our building and transfer it to incoming fresh air from outside. With sensor monitor space utilization we ensure active areas are consistently furnished with fresh air warmed (or cooled) to consistent internal temperatures. This allows us to maintain a very comfortable and stable environment without the constant power up and turn off noise you get from a traditional HVAC system.
  • Charter HQ fun fact – with our building’s internal temperature set at 20 degrees Celsius, the weather could change between -15 to +32 and in that swing will only affect our internal temperature by +/- 1 degree without any additional heating!

 

 

 

Better Space Utilization

We have aligned our layout with staff groupings that we believe to be most efficient. Our sensors feed this information into our buildings network for space analysis to ensure we are utilizing our spaces in the most effective ways. In the centre of our building is our gathering stairwell, open to our upper floor allowing staff to communicate and visibly see both floors (stay tuned for pictures after our Grand Opening).

 

Increased efficiencies to the overall business

Our building is fitted with the latest technologies, one being our High Definition video systems, allowing us to spend less time traveling and more time face to face with our other offices and customers out of town – better on the environment and better on the business. Our wireless network not only delivers us with connectivity but also gives us additional censoring and asset tracking throughout our building, providing location services within a meter. Finally, after three years we have consolidated our fast-growing head office into one office location, increasing our collaboration among our various departments and executive.

 

We are proud to lead the charge on sustainable, energy efficient buildings that utilize technology to advance our corporate goals and ensure we do our part in reducing our energy consumption and CO2 emissions. This building aligns with what we want for our future, our clients and represents Charter’s values in a physical form.

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When we decided to embark on the journey of designing a new Headquarters (HQ) for Charter, we wanted to transform our values into a tangible form embodied through our new HQ.


To achieve this, we broke it down into three main goals.

  • Value to our clients. To encapsulate our value we provide to our clients we will be showcasing our innovation by creating a “smart” building that utilizes our ingenuity along with technologies we represent to physically display the value that we bring to our clients daily. Values such as, more effective communication, better space utilization, and increased efficiencies to the overall business. Please look for our upcoming blog post where we will be detailing the smart abilities of our building.
  • More creative, happy, healthy staff.
  • Environmentally sustainable and responsible. The most difficult goal we had was to create a space that is responsible environmentally and sustainably and can be an example of our Forward Together strategy from a community perspective.


With our Architects and General Contractor, we landed on building our new HQ to be Passive House Certified. On educating ourselves to this standard, we realized that this would allow us to check all the boxes we had hoped to from a “physical building” perspective. If this is a standard you are not familiar with, you are most likely not alone. To understand why this design and certification is important to our environment, our sustainability and our future we have provided a link to where you can start your educational journey here.


Creative, Happy, Healthy Staff:

One of the core design features of our new building is simple, a high level of temperature comfort.

Our building is free from:

  • Draughts
  • Cold Spots
  • Excessive Over Heating


Our internal temperature will barely vary even through extreme cold and hot weather and will have a constant supply of fresh air. Within our building’s layout we have made sure to account for the happiness of our staff, whether it be our rooftop patio, our putting green, or open social stairwell; we’ve tried to incorporate areas of gathering and relaxation to provide our staff with moments of enjoyment in the hectic work week. We also plan to utilize our penthouse social floor to push our work hard, play hard values. Finally, we know how important Charter’s environmental footprint is for our forward-thinking staff and we are prideful that they will know their workplace values sustainability and has invested heavily in our environmental future.


Environmentally and Sustainably Responsible:

Passive House buildings are designed to be highly energy efficient.


We expect our building to utilize up to 90% less energy than a building of similar size constructed in a traditional fashion while performing the same if not better functions as a traditional building.


We expect to reduce heat lost by more than 70% compared to existing double-glazed windows by using Passive house certified windows. High quality external insulation added to our walls should reduce heat loss by up to 90% and our efficient heat recovery system can reduce ventilation heat losses by up to 90%.


This means very little additional heating/cooling will be required to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. The vigorous planning procedures and calculations performed by the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) ensures there is no performance gap between the expected and actual building performance. We expect significantly lower energy consumption and we will have dramatically reduced our CO2 emissions. If more businesses built to theses standards, imagine what would be possible?! As our Founder and CEO Paul Chandler always says, “We have a responsibility as an active member of our community to ensure we leave this world better off than how we found it”.

 
 
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After a monumental year in 2016, Charter is excited to announce that resulting from our recent growth, we have broken ground at our new headquarters site!

While Charter has grown its national presence over the past year to eight offices located across Canada, our corporate office will remain rooted on Vancouver Island. Our new headquarters location will be in Langford, British Columbia, just 15 minutes away from Metchosin, where our company was founded.

Our new headquarters will model business philosophies that Charter undertakes; strategic, cutting-edge, and customer focused. When complete our 11,000-square foot innovation centre will house 35+ employees and will be on the leading edge of sustainable design, housing a state of the art lab facility. The building will be Passive House certified.

Charter expects to move into our new headquarters by the end of the year and will keep you informed along the way with regular updates to our blog. Stay tuned for more information at www.charter.ca/news-media/blog/.


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After a year of exponential growth, we are excited to recap Charter’s monumental year and share what this means for our clients and partners moving forward.

This spring, we announced that Charter has acquired Victoria-based Boardwalk Communications – one of the top Cisco network integrators in Western Canada. The merger fortifies Charter’s national presence and deepens the array of solutions we offer to our customers.

With the acquisition of Boardwalk, Charter adds industry-leading Cisco products to our solutions suite and increases the breadth of our team of technology experts. All of Boardwalk’s staff have joined Charter, growing our company to more than 90 employees in eight offices across Canada.

Together, we are exponentially more capable of providing our clients with powerful IT solutions to their business problems. We now have the capacity of a bigger IT company without losing focus on the personalized customer service and acute understanding of business requirements that has brought both companies to this point.

The acquisition of Boardwalk, a company that works extensively with healthcare providers, is a strategic move for Charter as our team continues to focus on building healthcare-specific solutions in 2017. Philip Stone, who is leading this effort, has added industry veteran Dave Mathieson from Cisco’s healthcare division, to the team.

Charter is also celebrating an award-winning year. This fall, Charter was named one of the Top 20 Most Promising IT Infrastructure Solution Providers in North America by CIOReview magazine for being at the forefront of providing technology solutions and our impact on the marketplace. Boardwalk was also recognized this year with the Architectural Excellence, Enterprise Networking award for Canada from Cisco after growing the company’s Enterprise Network business more than 100% in FY 2016.

Our company is growing, dynamic and modern, so we are excited to announce that our new and refreshed website www.charter.ca is now live!

Our new website is clean and easy to navigate so you can learn more about our growing solutions suite, our partners, and our technology success stories. We are also creating new ways to connect to our clients and partners. This blog will be updated monthly, and we will be launching a quarterly newsletter with case studies, technology news and tips, product updates and exclusive offers. At Charter, our most valuable asset is our people – so we will also introduce you to our team and share their stories.

Clients can easily access the My Charter customer portal and our Trouble Ticket system on the new website at www.charter.ca/my-charter.

After this monumental year, Charter is now positioned to address new technology challenges and build new solutions in 2017. We look forward to sharing more on this in the near future. For now, we invite you to explore our new website and sign-up for our quarterly newsletter.

If you would like to provide feedback on the new website, please email your comments to info@charter.ca.
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