Summer Orthodontics and the Environment
Throughout the design process of Summer Orthodontics, we considered how the office would interact with the environment. Buildings materials, office equipment, business supplies and office procedures were chosen based on sustainability, eco-friendliness, and energy efficiency.
We are hopeful the special care we have taken will allow Summer Orthodontics to become one of the first orthodontic offices in the world to receive LEEDS certification.
Note: LEEDS is a rating system created in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council to promote environmentally friendly best practices for construction projects.
The examples below highlight a few of the decisions we've made that benefit the environment.
The traditional definition of sustainability calls for strategies that meet society's present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability means a lot to Summer Orthodontics, and our choices reflect it.
- Flooring & ceiling accents: When you enter Summer Orthodontics, you will be walking on bamboo floors, and you will also see the use of bamboo as our ceiling accent. We chose this material because of its characteristic rapid growth (it is the fastest growing woody plant on earth). Plus, use of this material in building takes the pressure off old growth traditional hardwood forests.
- DryVac System: This vacuum suction system eliminates the need for large amounts of water (a precious Southern California resource) which is commonly used with traditional 'wet' vacuum systems.
- Paperless office: Our goal is to use as little paper as possible, which is why you'll see that we've implemented a variety of paperless business processes.
Although the daily operation of an Orthodontic office requires the consumption of a wide variety of resources, we asked ourselves a simple question. How can we deliver our services in such a way that is friendly to the environment in which we live and work? Here are a few of the areas in which we've put eco-friendly products to use.
- Digital Radiographs: The evolution of digital technology with radiographs not only enhances the patient experience, but it also eliminates the need for chemicals to develop the images, the material to print the images and the space required to store the images.
- Bio-degradable or Recycled consumables: Business cards, letter head, brochures, cups, printer paper are either recycled or biodegradable. Additionally, you will find each of our staff members wearing eco-friendly uniforms constructed partly from recycled materials.
- Steam-based Sterilization: Instead of using harsh chemicals to sterilize equipment for re-use, we use pressured steam to keep our instruments clean and our patients and staff safe from toxic fumes.
By reducing the energy needs of our office, we also reduce the amount of resources required to make energy. Ultimately this results in less greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air for all of us. We wanted to do our part, and made the following energy-efficient choices.
- LED lighting & HDTV: We have installed a state-of-the-art LED lighting system, which uses significantly less electricity than fluorescent lighting. Even our reception area television (an HDTV flat panel) has an LED display.
- Glass panels: Our usage of glass panels throughout the office promotes the dispersion of natural light.
- Co-located software systems: Much of the software required to operate an orthodontic office consumes a decent amount of energy. By collocating our server systems in a data center, we are significantly reducing our office's energy consumption by sharing space with other companies from around the world.
- Bus & bike accessible: If you're looking to leave your car at home, you'll find easy access to the office. Our office location in downtown Manhattan Beach is served by three public bus lines, including a short bus ride from the local Metrorail station. In addition, our office is located in a bicycle friendly plaza, including a bike lane adjacent to the property and bicycle racks.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
- Native American Proverb