March Sustainability Spotlight Hero: Ambient Energy
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
Our Sustainability Hero this Month is Ambient Energy! You may have seen them around campus or in the MSU Denver Aerospace & Engineering Science Building (room 440), but did you know that Ambient Energy has a 15-year history in green energy consulting? Ambient Energy is a proudly women-owned business which moved to the Auraria Campus through a public-private partnership with the Metropolitan State University of Denver! Being located on the Auraria Campus, Ambient has more opportunities for student engagement like guest lecturers, classes taught by staff, and even internship opportunities (more on that later)!
Ambient Energy helps newly constructed or renovated buildings meet different certifications like LEED or WELL through three main services:
1. Building Performance
-Analyzing building energy use, the embodied carbon of construction materials, and opportunities to introduce natural light
2. Commissioning Team
-Make sure all mechanical systems within a building are working properly and communicating with each other
-Allows for the opportunity to find issues with the building before it becomes fully operational, leading to long-term energy savings
3. Sustainability Team
-Work with design teams and contractors to implement sustainable practices like:
Indoor air quality, Encouraging alternative transportation, Construction and operational waste, Building material use, Thermal comfort
They also actively help teams reach different green building certification levels.
Within these three teams, Ambient Energy is constantly evaluating to see if they’re meeting their vision statement, “Working towards a resilient and regenerative built world”, through many of their projects on and off campus. You might be familiar with their work within the Denver International Airport in which they are helping with the expansion of the concourses and to reach LEED Gold certifications! They’re also working with the Denver Zoo Animal Hospital reach LEED Gold too. They've even done some work on campus helping with the renovation of the Auraria Library and UCD North Classroom, commissioned the replacement of a more energy efficient water chiller in the UCD Dravo Building, and served in a consulting capacity for the UCD Student Wellness Center! Ambient Energy walks the walk when it comes to sustainability, and that’s evident through their office and company culture.
Currently, their office is working on a WELL certification through several aspects: a living wall of plants offers biophilic design connecting occupants back to nature; photo sensors dim lights based on available natural light in efforts to conserve energy and reliance on artificial light; sit stand desks recovered from Google offices allow employees to work comfortably based on their preferences; buying local or second hand materials as much as possible like their conference table, made with resin and lumber from fallen city park trees by a local artist; two bikes and a bike rack at the back of the office, promoting employees to bike to work when possible; recycling station for difficult to recycle items like batteries, Styrofoam, soft plastics, etc.; and snacks with low sugar content promoting a healthier lifestyle!
A work hard play hard mentality is adopted by Ambient Energy because their employees are dedicated to the work that they do. If you can’t find them in the office, maybe you’ll find them at a happy hour or on their annual 14er hike! Their management team also is receptive to feedback about working at Ambient Energy and continuously looking for ways to improve.
Ambient Energy wants the Auraria Campus community to know that sustainability is a growing field with many career opportunities! They encourage you to think big and learn how you can generate good, not just using less of something. They believe that “every project has the potential for positive impact beyond the limits of construction”, constantly looking at the larger impact a building may have around its location, and how buildings can solve problems.
So, in case all of that got you interested in looking for ways to engage with Ambient Energy, they’re pleased to announce that they offer internship opportunities throughout the school year for those interested in working within their three main service offerings! You can check out available internship opportunities on their website: ambient-e.com/careers