Some construction companies ‘go green’ because it is mandated by either the owner of the project or the government. In other cases it is simply to save money internally. But others have created a corporate culture around sustainability that extends far beyond just building practices and highly efficient construction methods.
Miron Construction, www.miron-construction.com, Neenah, Wis., is one such company that has a corporate-wide sustainable initiative that integrates green building with business-management practices and operations. The corporate culture created in the company aims to expand the employees’ knowledge and capabilities around green building.
One interesting fact to consider: Sustainable construction is actually comparable in cost to traditional construction, according to the company, through reduced operation and maintenance costs, among others. Taking that concept a step further, technologies for project management and energy modeling can help enable a more integrated delivery method, keeping costs down, and ultimately integrating data with green-certification systems.
For Miron, the goal of its sustainable initiative is to lessen environmental impacts, to provide a healthy place to work, and incorporate that knowledge into green-building projects.
Last year, Miron launched a sustainability program for its employees in which more than 200 of the 330 employees participated. The objective is to develop a greater awareness and acceptance of sustainability—extending practices from the office to the home.
Through iChoose, a sustainability card game, employees report changes in personal efforts, including the activity associated with saving energy and water in the home and gasoline on the road. The results are staggering. Employees are collectively on track to reduce electricity by 18% compared to typical households, which results in savings of more than $100,000 and 1.2 million pounds of carbon emissions.
The program has allowed employees to become more aware of energy consumption in the home and in the office, and gives the company the knowledge necessary to lead by example through educational efforts and, ultimately, practical construction solutions. While the program is a good way to develop knowledge among employees, the expertise can ultimately improve sustainable behaviors in construction and beyond.