Building Green

July 5, 2005

Tips from the Foundation's Management Courses:
Building Green

By: John Zink

The PHCC Educational Foundation will debut its new “Business Owners Management Workshop" in October 2005. The attendees will learn about analyzing financial statements, making accurate projections, avoiding litigation and marketing design/build work from experts in the construction industry. During class, a discussion of renewable construction or "Building Green" will also take place.

Read on to get a sampling of the information you can pick up at one of the Foundation’s courses.

Green Building
Some contractors are reporting that they had seen a new surge in the “Green Building” trend in their construction markets. On these projects, the owner’s goal is to get a new building with as little waste and damage to the environment as possible.

On most of these “green” jobs, each sub is required to have a plan for an environmentally friendly method of disposal for waste materials, including recycling containers onsite for cardboard, wood and other materials. While this requirement may not seem too burdensome, check the contract carefully, as there may be more time-consuming documentation requirements and some surprises that you would not expect.

Depending on the contract stipulations, the owner may require a sub to not only document what materials are being installed, but also where they were manufactured, how far these materials had to be transported, what method was used to transport them and what fuel that transportation used.

Material source information, recycling methods and data based on a variety of other reporting requirements may be used by the owner in a point system to track the environmental friendliness of the contractor. A contractor whose environmental impact gets a failing grade could miss out on bonuses or even face reduced payments.

Many contractors would steer away from this type of work due to the heavy documentation burden. However, an organized and professional contractor looking for a new niche market with few competitors could be looking at an opportunity to enjoy years of high margin work before the rest of the marketplace catches up. Keep an eye out for work of this type in your area and examine your company to see if you might be able to profit from this new opportunity.

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