John F. Krecek
President
JFK Electrical Contracting Enterprises, Inc.
Gilbert, Ariz.

Back in 2007, when Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) started an advisory committee to investigate green building, I immediately recognized the importance of it to the future of construction. During a seminar on green building, I remember a gentleman asking: “Is this the future or just a fad?” The response was: “Ask your children and grandchildren what they are learning in school about green.”

In 2006, JFK had the opportunity to work on the first LEED Platinum project in Arizona. We became the first ABC certified green contractor in Arizona and the first certified electrical contractor in the nation. Our green experience definitely separates us from others.

Being a green contractor definitely impacts the bottom line. We no longer throw scrap metals in dumpsters; we recycle and get money in return. We no longer throw paper in dumpsters; we use city-provided recycle bins that are free to haul away. We also use motion sensors and LED and CFLs for water and electric to save on utilities.

Mary Tappouni
President
Breaking Ground Contracting Company
Jacksonville, Fla.

Years ago, we decided to incorporate sustainable practices in all areas of our business, including jobsites and offices. Everything from purchasing to processes are considered and required regardless of whether a project is pursuing certification through a green rating system. Included are onsite recycling centers for both construction and everyday waste; minimum waste diversion goals of 90 percent; energy-efficiency measures; green cleaning supplies; green building materials and products; zero VOC paints, caulks and sealants; carbon offsets; and indoor air quality plans and site protection plans. We also incorporate many of these requirements into our subcontracts. 

Our influence extends through our education services, where we teach subcontractors, clients and even competitors how to be green.  

“Walking the talk” brings attention and recognition to our firm, making us a trusted and respected green organization that goes beyond contracting. The key is to keep pushing the bar higher. 

Mike Van Gessel
President and CEO
Rockford Construction Co.
Grand Rapids, Mich.

We have a construction waste management program with a minimum goal of 75 percent recycled or salvaged materials that allows us to reduce our budget for this line item. We also have minimum requirements for indoor air quality on all projects, which provides better working conditions, results in increased productivity and facilitates higher quality projects.

In order to save printing costs and increase efficiency in sharing information, we use electronic distribution of bid, construction and closeout documents. We also process submittals electronically.

Our new LEED Platinum office is running 48 percent more efficiently than a similar building built to code, translating into approximately $56,000 of yearly savings on our electric bill. With the recent addition of organic waste composting, our office recycling program has resulted in a 70 percent reduction in landfill volume and waste disposal costs. Our office also serves as a lab to show clients true measurables while they plan their own project.