Sustainability: It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot today in the construction industry as companies aim to become more environmentally friendly.
At Findorff, sustainable building isn’t a recent fad. It’s been a part of their business for decades, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in LEED work.
The company currently has 37 active and completed LEED projects, and sustainability is at the core of everything they do.
“We are not just focused on the construction. Instead, we think holistically throughout the planning, design, construction, post-construction and operations of a building,” said Ben Austin, sustainability lead for Findorff. “We also strive for our people to be sustainable stewards both on and off the construction site.”
As part of the company’s holistic approach, Findorff has an internal team of sustainability experts called Findorff Footprint. Spearheaded by Austin, this group is committed to leading by example as they integrate sustainability into the company’s everyday activities and office operations.
A recent project built by Findorff that exemplifies its sustainable efforts is Forest Edge Elementary School. Located in Oregon, Forest Edge combines deep energy-efficient systems with a large rooftop solar array to become the first Verified Net Zero Energy School in Wisconsin.
This designation means that after one year of construction, Forest Edge generated as much energy with on-site solar panels as it used in the building. Such facilities are at the heart of sustainable design as they prioritize a reduction in carbon emissions.
In addition to the environmental benefits, net zero buildings can improve staff and student productivity, engagement and retention.
Innovative components of the Forest Edge project include a geothermal system comprised of 99 geothermal wells that are 406 feet deep and a lithium-ion battery system that allows the building to act as a microgrid and lower electrical demand costs.