Today, more than ever, our society is facing the realities of our impact on the environment and the carbon footprint we leave behind. Because of this, people are searching for ways to reduce their global impact. Whether it’s buying an electric vehicle, installing solar panels on your home, or something as simple as turning the water off when brushing your teeth, caring people are doing their part. In our industry, we have great latitude for reducing our environmental impact when designing and constructing new facilities. Pelin Karakas, our LEED accredited project manager/estimator, shares her Top Five strategies for earth sensitive design & construction:
- Waste Management - Separation of construction debris to certain components will significantly help the recycling process. Construction and demolition wastes constitute about 40% of the total solid waste stream in the United States. We paid great attention to this on our Susanville Courthouse project, which benefitted the overall project.
- Storm Water Management - Implementing a Storm Water Management Plan will reduce the discharge of any sediments or other contaminants that may negatively impact the water quality. At our Eldorado Beach Improvement project (a.k.a. Lakeview Commons), we paid close attention to storm water management due to the nature and location of the project.
- Indoor Air Quality - Construct an Indoor Air Quality Plan to reduce the air quality problems from the construction process. This will help maintain the air quality for the construction workers as well as the building occupants. Our REACH Ashland Community Youth Center project team benefitted from this as well as the facility visitors once the center was opened.
- Green Building Requirements/LEED - Make sure you know about all green building requirements and/or LEED requirements. By building your facility the right way the first time, you will be compliant from the start rather than having to go back and fix/re-do something in the end. At our recently completed Merritt College Allied Health and Science facility, our design-build team made sure to review all materials at the submittal phase and at installation for compliance with green building requirements to achieve LEED Gold Certification.
- Commissioning Agents - Coordination between the mechanical subcontractors and Commissioning Agent is important to achieve the goals of reduced energy use, lower operating costs, reduced contractor warranty callbacks and improved occupant productivity. We worked closely with the commissioning agent and subcontractors during our Alder Creek Middle School project, which helped us immensely throughout the planning and construction process.
C/S frequently delivers Platinum, Gold and Silver LEED Certified buildings. C/S employs LEED accredited project leaders. Our culture embraces the principles of sustainable and environmentally friendly construction. We constantly looks for ways to build eco-friendly and efficient facilities.