Join our network of non-profits, companies and individuals who believe social change can happen through design.

Become A Member

fres dersky

Ontario, Hamilton, Canada

Designer (Journalism)

Member since December 03, 2012

  • Hass Group Hearing Healthcare

    Communication, Communication Design

    Established in 1975, the H.A.S.S. Group is a total hearing healthcare solutions provider.

    H.A.S.S. is a family-owned and -run business, started by Nico van der Merwe Sr in 1975. Each family member is a director responsible for his/her own department in the company. We currently have over 200 staff members in the group with over 60 professionals. We also employ 12 deaf people.

    Our passion outside the company is the Eduplex, which Nico van der Merwe Sr started in 2002. The Eduplex is a mainstream school where 20% deaf children are included in the mainstream classes. Here each deaf child has the opportunity to learn in a normal environment and learn normal spoken language, assisted by modern technology such as cochlear implants, hearing aids and FM communication systems. The school currently consist of a pre-, primary and high school, with a total of 580 learners, of whom 98 are deaf. 58 of the deaf children are from economically disadvantaged homes and are bursary children.


    Alaska, heavily forested, built on rock and surrounded by water, every commodity that enters the country arrives by air and sea. The use of oil is a struggle for both the economy and the environment. Oil must come from elsewhere and be transported but of course by additional fuel, fuel that is subject to oil price stability.

    A site that could help giving a solution to the problem is the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center in Ketchikan. The site that provides information to more than a million visitors each year is also the site where a pilot biomass system is now coming to life. A two oil-fired boilers serving the 250,000-sq-ft center were replaced with a highly efficient system fueled by local wood was manufactured by Hurst Boiler & welding Company Inc.Another good thing about the project is that the hot-water boiler was custom-designed to fit within very limited indoor space.

    To address concerns towards issues related to building space, fuel costs, comfort, reliability, simplicity of operation more especially environmental concerns, the biomass boiler system was developed by Hurst representative Gregory W. Smith of Global Energy Solutions Inc. under the direction of E. Dane Ash, project manager for Tyonek-Alcan Pacific LLC.

    The excessive use of fossil fuels has been long a problem in any point of the world more especially to Alaska, the boiler system was intended to highlight how biomass can reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels....