August 3, 2010

By Chris Law - Lake Country Calendar
Published: August 03, 2010 7:00 PM

Lake Country's welcomed guests to tour their new office on Highway 97 last week. The building is unique in the community in that it is the first purely commercial office space in the municipality to follow strict guidelines on sustainable construction and maintenance.

"We wanted to build in this way because sustainable living is something important to us at home and we wanted to bring that into our business too," says Ched Gaglardi, CEO at

Gaglardi says that for he, and his wife and co-owner, Lauren, the living sustainably philosophy is all about leaving the smallest possible footprint. In the physical world, that philosophy translates into sourcing construction materials as locally as possible as well as ensuring that the materials don't contain or use chemicals in their production that are harmful to the environment.

"Sourcing the products turned out to be one of the biggest challenges we faced. We spent hours and hours going over everything from glues to paints to floors and desks to make sure that everything met the standard we were going for," says Ched.

The time that the Gaglardis put into researching their building wasn't the only price they paid for a small footprint. Their high standard came with a larger financial cost than a similar building built to traditional specifications.

"It was easy for us to justify the extra cost because of our personal beliefs. It's the same principle as buying organic foods—we didn't want the cheapest, we wanted the best," says Ched giving his view on corporate responsibility to the environment.

At, sustainability is about more than just the manner in which fixed assets are acquired and built—it's about lifestyle too. The building features a gym where employees take a 30 minute exercise break every day. They even have access to a personal trainer at least once every three weeks. When they're hungry, employees can visit the kitchen for a snack, which is kept stocked with organic fruits.

The criteria that the Gaglardis followed in building their new office are the same as is used in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) planning. The Gaglardis chose not to have their building certified as a LEED structure however, as Ched estimates that the process would have put them close to three months behind their work schedule. is in the business of matching aspiring post-secondary students to universities, colleges, and trade schools in Canada and the United States. The company's success lies in its ability to make well known internet search engines such as Google, consistently return high ranking search results for educational programs.

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