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During any collaboration, project stakeholders must find common ground on building efficiency goals. In the following Q&A, contractors and materials experts share their take on how to weave sustainability into the overall success of a project.  

How do you handle all the sustainability options available for construction projects? Are buildings going green in a pretty clear direction, or is there still a lot of variance depending on budget, schedule and location?

President and CEO
Frampton Construction
Ladson, S.C.

As we enhance our knowledge of construction materials and methods, it is evident that the construction industry can and does provide sustainability solutions, including solar power, recyclable content and high-efficiency systems. Schedule duration and the overall cost of a project will vary according to different options.  

During 2008, fuel costs peaked at more than $4 per gallon, the market hit rock bottom and energy consumption was at an all-time high. The construction industry realized the requirements of building leaner and greener and had to adopt better processes to deliver more self-efficient structures. Every owner and every project is different, resulting in a variance on sustainability requirements.  

Our team at Frampton is prepared to analyze the data and allow the owner to make the best decision possible for his or her project.

National Fenestration Research Council (NFRC)
Greenbelt, Md.

Given the many options for contributing to sustainability, what’s most important from NFRC’s perspective is educating the public to better understand the important role windows, doors and skylights play in improving energy efficiency. We also explain how these fenestration products increase occupant comfort along with health and human performance in commercial buildings by maximizing access to natural daylight.  

We generally find the specific techniques design-build professionals use to create greener structures varies according to their circumstances. NFRC helps them by offering access to free information that enables them to compare fenestration product energy performance during the planning stage, so they can incorporate this knowledge into the integrated design process and maximize the benefits for their clients. 

Coastal Construction

We’re fortunate to work with a select group of clients that truly desire delivering the absolute best product possible. Their vision isn’t shortsighted but rather considers the longevity of the building, its performance and the satisfaction of its inhabitants. 

Regardless of location, our clients continue to further their vision and social values by providing resource-efficient, sustainable buildings. While mindful of budgets, our clients understand the value of investing now to sustain our future.

Marketing Segment Manager 
Sustainability Committee Chair
Center for the Polyurethanes Industry
Washington, D.C.

When taking into account the many building materials available for construction projects, it is important to consider the effectiveness of materials. For example, spray polyurethane foam can offer multiple benefits toward achieving high insulation values, near-zero air permeability, increased building strength, severe weather and flood resistance, increased occupant comfort and reduced building operating costs. 

While the growth of foam insulation materials has been primarily in cold weather climates, closed-cell polyurethane foam is a moisture-resistant material that can also significantly increase racking strength in hot and humid conditions. 

Lauren Pinch is managing editor of Construction Executive. For more information, email pinch@abc.org.

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