May/June 2012

How tech helps you go green at each phase of the job.

Do green building projects cost more? Not necessarily. At least that is what many contractors are quickly discovering. The EPA, www.epa.gov, Washington, D.C., says integrated design processes can help identify the most efficient approaches to green buildings, which can ultimately reduce costs.

Michael Wiggins, project director, McCarthy Building Companies, www.mccarthy.com, St. Louis, Mo., agrees, but adds one caveat—projects where green building is an afterthought can end up costing more than buildings designed with green in mind from the beginning. He adds two of the recent green projects he delivered in California had no significant increase in cost.

“The idea of designing with that in mind from the beginning is what I think is having a positive impact on the building industry as a whole, because we are able to deliver more efficient buildings to the owners without really spending a lot of extra money,” Wiggins explains. What is necessary at the start is to have all team members—architects, general contractors, subcontractors, owners, structural engineers, mechanical designers, etc.—come together to provide input in the initial building phases. The key to building green, remarks Wiggins, is the integrated approach to project delivery.

For construction teams, this could be the critical asset necessary to building green at a fraction of the cost—a combination of technologies to manage the documentation associated with green projects as well as an integrated approach to the project delivery.

Read more in Constructech magazine’s print version.

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