About Us

We were established to transform built environments, helping humanity survive and thrive in today’s polluted world.

Our clients include architects, designers, and agencies working in the “built environment” and organizations that want to enable themselves to face an uncertain future with new capacity.

We landed on the name, “AFFECTINGCHANGE,” because we are well known for our ability to “affect” how change happens and for revealing the opportunities for making conscientious choices on their projects.

Our logo represents the power of the mountain in the landscape—we stand for what is possible for humanity—everything else—the wind, the water, the air, moves around us. Our clients do the change in the world and we enable and empower them to stand, like a mountain, for what is possible.

We enable organizations to create facilities that enable them to accomplish their mission and purpose, while minimizing their impact and possibly even enabling ecosystem restoration and making a positive social impact.

Sandra Leigh Lester

BTech.Arch.Sci., MCOD, ARIDO, IDC, ZIN, PTS, CSBA, LEED AP BD+C

Founder and CEO

 

Sandra grew up in southwestern Ontario and during summers on construction sites on Manitoulin Island. When she was just eleven years old her life changed—she went to help people in her city after an F7 tornado hit her city. It was this experience that connected her to the severe weather events that are projected to occur more often due to climate change.

Sandra is trained in architectural science, change management and organizational development. She is a self-taught registered Interior Designer. She has a passion for wellness, health and fitness and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Zumba Instructor. She taught the LEED-accreditation prep course for HOK Architects and the Certified Sustainable Building Advisor course for the Canada Green Building Council and is a LEED-accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor.

Sandra has a passion for humanity and the diversity of cultures in her adopted hometown of Toronto and works tirelessly as an advocate for climate change solutions.

Education

Bachelors of Technology in Architectural Science, Ryerson University
Masters Certificate in Organization Development, Schulich

Certifications

Certificate in Change Management from the Canadian Organizational Development Institute (CODI)
NCIDQ-certified and Registered Interior Designer (ARIDO IDC)
LEED-Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD+C)
Certified Personal Trainer Specialist (PTS)
Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA)

Consultant to:
• HOK Architects
• Perkins+Will Architects
• LAT49 Architects
• Colleges Ontario
• The Atmospheric Fund
• Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
• Ministry of Health and Longterm Care
• Ministry of Infrastructure 
• Humber River Hospital
• Shorefast Foundation (Fogo Island Inn)
• The City of Toronto
• The Government of Ontario
• The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Aided in the selection of various synergistic retrofit strategies for the $500 million Low-Carbon Innovation Fund for the retrofit of College and Universities across the Province of Ontario.

Teaching Experience

• Visiting Professor and Adjunct at the University of Manitoba
• Lead Instructor, Certified Sustainable Building Advisor Course, Canada Green Building Council
• Part-time Instructor, University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
• Part-time Instructor, Ryerson University
• Part-time Professor, Centre for Construction & Engineering Technologies, George Brown College

 

We work with Communities, Architects, Designers, and the C-Suite to improve each step from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, and renovation. A building that is green is often referred to as being sustainable, or environmentally friendly. The materials used should ease a building’s maintenance while reducing costs. These materials will aid in energy conservation and improve occupant health and productivity. 
We all understand the conditions the earth is facing… Sustainable architecture seeks to renovate buildings with innovative design, renewable materials, and energy-efficient technology while reducing dependence on traditional energy sources. Green building refers to both a structure and the process applications which are environmentally responsible while being resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle.

We work alongside our clients to determine strategies that should be used on their projects in order to meet the following five high-performance metrics:

Environmental Responsibility

Environmentally responsible architecture was developed in the 1960’s and driven by concerns about ecological and environmental matters and issues. Beginning a half century ago, individuals and groups began experimenting with buildings made of natural materials which are energy efficient, insulated and rely on solar- and wind-powered energy sources.

Energy Efficiency

We help your Designers create resource-efficient facilities to help support sustainable growth of the world’s expanding urban landscape. Taking into consideration energy use and emissions for a building—or collection of buildings, we also determine how comfortable occupants will be, indoors and outdoors.

Resiliency

We use the best science to predict and help ensure that you buildings is able to withstand and survive the predicted increase in severe weather event disruptions. While the word, “resiliency” is passed around a lot lately, especially among environmental designers, it threatens to displace “sustainability”, which isn’t the point. Your facility should bounce back. Your organization should bounce back. Your facility will have the ability to handle climate change, resource destruction and a host of growing challenges to humanity’s wellbeing.

Health Indoor Environments

Your facility should enhance occupant well-being, and under our guidance,  your facilities will move past merely optimizing single metrics like temperature and humidity. Incorporate more holistic approaches which receive their cues from health-supporting behaviours. Go deep on supporting health by using evidence-based design measures to support the occupant of the facility by creating clean water, healthy food, and easy ways to incorporate being active during the day into design elements of the building. Following revelations provided by scientists we follow healthy building guidelines to enable users not only have better health on an ongoing basis, but also nudge building users to a healthier lifestyle.

Positive Social Impact

Buildings embrace an evolving and lasting effect on both their occupants and surrounding communities. To boost occupant productivity, facilitate social engagement and innovation, evidence-based design strategies can be easily implemented early on in the design process. These strategies will also boost your employee retention rate, talent attraction and profit.

While the population increases, spaces and structures work to continue to accommodate the needs of generations to come. The human condition is made as much of satisfying basic needs as desiring a better life. To solve that challenge, we offer advice on working with local communities as they ensure created structures have the greatest impact.

With projects flung across the globe, we have won more than 75 awards.

Contact us today to learn how you can create the change you want to see in the world.

Let's Work Together

Whether you are looking to help create a more enabled or resilient future for your organization, we can help!

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