Significant global growth for technology company continues
CALGARY, Alberta --- May 1, 2009 --- SMART Technologies announces the official opening of its new headquarters and research center in Calgary. The building is a candidate for Gold certification under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines, an internationally recognized standard of environmentally sustainable design and construction, and has ample room for expansion beyond the company’s current 750 Calgary employees. The 19,602 m2 (211,000 sq. ft.) building cost over CDN$60 million to construct and is expected to become one of only nine buildings in Canada to meet LEED Gold certification criteria. Constructing an environmentally friendly building with considerations for today and the future was an important goal. The building produces 50 percent less greenhouse gas emissions relative to a typical office building. Environmental features include waterless urinals, low-flow faucets and toilets, motion-activated and energy-efficient light bulbs, non-toxic paints, adhesives, carpets and other synthetic materials, and a reflective roof that reduces cooling requirements during the summer. The building features approximately 90 meeting and collaboration rooms that accommodate as few as two people or as many as 150, all equipped with SMART’s products and integrated with other leading products. The new headquarters includes a large cafeteria that also functions as a general gathering area and informal meeting space for staff. There is a full-service daycare and a fully equipped fitness area. These features, as well as the building’s location within University Research Park with good access to public transit, bike and walking paths are a testament to SMART’s long-term, growth-driven view of its future in Calgary.
Despite the current global economic climate, SMART continues to hire to meet the needs of its expanding worldwide customer base and expects to add over 100 full-time employees to its Calgary operations and an additional 100 in other offices across North America and around the world in 2009. In its most recently completed fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, SMART grew revenue by approximately 35%, and the 2010 fiscal year is expected to grow at or above this same rate. The privately owned company is most widely known for the SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard, which it introduced in 1991. SMART continues to lead the global interactive whiteboard product category with 53.2 percent share in 2008 and has steadily expanded its Canadian operations to meet increasing global demand for a wide range of collaboration products for education, business and government. Over the last five years in particular SMART has expanded its product offerings to include other hardware and software products that provide solutions for education, business and government.
“We designed the building to meet the needs of our staff and the environment over the long term,” says David Martin, SMART’s executive chairman. “This new facility will serve as great space for our team to continue creating collaboration products that help people meet, teach, train and present better.”
“SMART’s strong, sustained growth was the catalyst for the development of this new headquarters,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. “We expect to continue to grow at an accelerated rate despite the weak global economy and this new, state-of-the-art building will foster an agile approach and focus.”
Additional building details
All design and construction decisions were made with a long-term view that includes the potential for further expansion. The building is composed of three multi-storey wings, decreasing the building’s footprint and optimizing the use of natural light. Throughout construction, waste materials were separated, with more than 75 percent being recycled or diverted from landfill. Many of the materials used in the building have a substantial recycled component. An 18-inch (46 cm) raised plenum floor houses mechanical, power and data systems allowing for air to rise from the floor to the ceiling, reducing fan power requirements, decreasing energy use and improving air quality and thermal comfort. The elevators use less than 20 percent of the energy of regular elevators and high-efficiency boilers with heat recovery from exhaust air increase efficiency. Wall density varies throughout the structure to make use of the natural environmental air temperature by utilizing passive cooling and heating.