2018 was a monumental year for Switch Engineering – we graduated from working out of a co-working space (thank you, Homestead) with a handful of clients to opening our Edmonton International Office, where we took charge of several service areas.
I’m thrilled with Switch Engineering’s progression and the ways in which it is opening avenues for renewables and sustainable design.
The Lead-up to Switch EngineeringSustainability in the construction industry has long been one of my passions, and a noticeable lack of it was what first led me to write my Master’s thesis.
During that time, I had an opportunity to learn about Building Information Modelling (BIM), researching why owners had a difficult time adopting BIM into their work practices. Three of the largest barriers to implementation that I uncovered in 2012 were management decision, software capability, and industry expertise.
Sadly, these issues are still present today, and that’s why I created Switch Engineering. I wanted the ability to lead by example, using my status as a business owner to make significant changes in the industry. I believe that improving performance in the construction industry means incorporating better collaboration tools and new forms of contracting and partnering to incentivize efficiency (rather than waste).
The early days at Switch focused on energy efficiency and energy modelling, but as we have grown with new projects and clients, we quickly incorporated BIM to deliver even more value to our clients.
Now, why Switch Engineering? Because we want to make a switch. We want to move away from antiquated, wasteful methods and towards a more efficient way of building the world.
Essentially, we strive to switch from a problem to a solution. With our vision of Positive Sustainable Change for the Built World, we are working hard to do just that.
Becoming a B Corporation
In other news for Switch Engineering, I’m proud to announce that we have submitted our application as a B Corp business.
What exactly is a B Corp? A Certified B Corporation is a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
B Corps help to fill in the gap between government and nonprofit, working to strengthen communities with high-quality jobs, a healthier environment, and greater equality for all.
I want to thank Chandos Construction (thank you, Peter Wardell) and BDC (thank you, Laurie Brennen) for pushing us towards this certification. Please look to our website in the future for what we do as a B Corp.
To learn more about B Corporations visit: https://bcorporation.net/
Anthony Valente, MSc, P.Eng, LEED Green Associate
As the Principal of Switch Engineering, Tony brings more than 17 years in construction management and engineering design and more than 11 in engineering management. In 2013, he acquired a Master of Science degree in international construction management from the University of Bath, completing his thesis on “Barriers of Adoption to Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Facilities Management.” He also earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta in 2001. Tony has significant professional experience in industrial mechanical systems from his work in the Oil Sands and at the Edmonton International Airport.
Sarah Toogood, BSc, EIT, LEED Green Associate
Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta in 2018. Her co-op work experience included geotechnical testing and inspections, pipeline integrity project management, and coordinating outreach programs. With Switch Engineering, she has performed an energy audit on two buildings in Yellowknife, NWT, to increase the efficiency and sustainability of their northern operations. In addition, Sarah helped design a large 3,700 sq. ft. cooler system, sizing the cooling equipment and projecting one year of detailed energy use. Other activities at Switch include business development research and mechanical component design.
Jaymon Matthew, Mechanical Co-op Student
Jaymon is working towards his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta. At Switch Engineering, Jaymon assists with proposals and audits, and he creates building models that analyze energy use. He believes that through hard work and dedication to environmental care, we can help Canada reach the zero-carbon building standard. During his spare time, Jaymon enjoys playing ice hockey and is currently on the Edmonton Royals, part of the Alberta Junior B hockey league.
Keep an eye out for introductions to more of our team members!