Panoramic view of Houston Headquarters roof - Photo updated 8/16/2011
roof-8-16-2011

We believe in helping the environment every way we can.

We think, act and operate green.

At Smith, we believe that environmental sustainability is easily incorporated into all aspects of business operations, starting with internal culture. Smith has committed to protecting the environment through the decisions we make every day and the procedures we put into place that make our business run. From our use of solar energy, to our building "greenovation," we've changed the way we think, act and operate as an organization.

Solar Power

Smith powered by the sun

Our solar installation includes 140kW of renewable energy generated by a solar photovoltaic (PV) system located on the roof and parking structure, plus a solar thermal system for producing hot water.

Roof Modules
By using the sun to produce energy, solar PV roofing can significantly reduce electricity use. Our solar PV roof modules generate energy daily to help power our building and run the systems and electronics we need to conduct our business operations. Smith's solar PV roof modules include three types of solar panels with a total output of 91.08kW of solar power.

Parking Structure Modules
We encourage our employees to make sustainable choices at home as well as at work. In order to promote sustainable transportation, we've installed 24 parking spaces with a 46.8kW solar parking structure with reflectivity from the asphalt. The parking structure provides one electric car charging station per two parking spots (12 total).

Solar Thermal Modules
Our hot water is warmed by the sun. With the installation of a solar thermal system, we're now harnessing solar energy to generate enough heat to produce more than 115 gallons of hot water per day at an average temperature of 140 degrees. The water is heated by three roof top mounted Schüco thermal collectors.

Insulation and Cool Roof

We control the heat

A black asphalt roof gets hot quickly in the sun, resulting in an increase in energy used for cooling.  With the installation of our new cool roof and solar TPO poly roof system, we're beating the heat and decreasing our carbon footprint. Our white cool roof offers high solar reflectance that reduces building heat and improves thermal efficiency of the roof insulation. The solar TPO poly roof system includes insulation to help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer to improve comfort and save energy. The insulation reduces the need for heating and cooling, which saves non-renewable resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Lighting

A brighter future for our planet

Saving our planet can start with something as simple as changing a light bulb. We've installed LED and more energy-efficient metal halide lights to reduce energy and increase lighting efficiency. Our exterior light fixtures and poles, entrance and ground lighting, and roof-mounted flood lights have been replaced as a small but important step to improving Smith's environmental sustainability. We've also installed automatic on/off timers to control exterior lights in order to reduce unnecessary energy use during daylight hours. Motion sensors are also installed to automatically turn off lighting in vacant rooms.

HVAC

A cool system for chilled air

Because HVAC systems consume large amounts of energy and are significant contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we've removed our compressed gas HVAC system and replaced it with air-cooled chiller towers, exterior water pumps, and chill water air handling units. Our new HVAC system has dramatically reduced our overall energy use and GHG emissions. With the new system's specialized software, we are able to control all facets of the HVAC system (air flow, temperature, scheduling, etc.). The HVAC software also allows for close monitoring of energy consumption and elimination of unnecessary use.

Observation Deck

Come see solar for yourself

We like to give our visitors a firsthand look at what we're doing with solar energy. We've built an exterior circular stairwell with an observation deck that overlooks our rooftop solar project. We're eager to share information about our green initiative and about what we're doing to make Smith a leader in sustainable energy distribution. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about how you can see our solar project for yourself.

SSG, Smith Sustainability Group

Growing green awareness from the ground up

In an effort to increase employee awareness and participation in our green initiative, we've formed an employee-directed environmental conservation and sustainability group, SSG (Smith Sustainability Group). SSG takes a grassroots approach to increasing employee awareness and involvement in environmental issues. The group includes a representative from each Smith department and meets weekly to generate new ideas and goals to continually improve Smith's environmental footprint through increased sustainability efforts.

Transportation

Electric Vehicles drive our employees.

At Smith, everyone is excited about going green, so what better way to get there than in an electric vehicle? Smith has purchased two electric vehicles and created an incentive program for employees. Each month, two key employees are selected by upper management as high performers. These employees are each rewarded with the keys to a 2012 Chevy Volt that they can drive for the month. The cars can charge all day at Smith's on-site solar electric car charging stations. The program raises awareness of sustainable transportation and rewards top employees for a job well-done.



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